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(no subject) [Dec. 25th, 2011|05:26 pm]
I went to visit grandma today.

It was a cold and sombre day, and a cold and sombre drive. We attempted to speak of other things but, of course, it was difficult. Bramcote was busy though; lots of well-dressed people and flowers everywhere. The solemnity was strangely...joyous, it was more a celebration of happy christmas's past; I could not help but think of living rooms full of laughter and the sounds of tinkling glasses, for most of the people had half smiles. We placed the flowers where she had been scattered then, realising it was more to the left, I moved them; my grandfather was suprisingly insistant about that. We didn't stay long for what does one do at such a place except stare at the void where a loved one once was. We placed carnations, her favourite flower, the flowers which had been in her wedding bouquet, and then we left.

The strange thing is that I would love to say 'you take someone for granted and then they are gone' and some similiar platitude. I'm not sure why I wish for a platitude, perhaps it would make me feel more normal and make everything seem somehow conventional and managable but, you know, there was never a day I took her for granted; I loved every minuite I got to spend with her, why didn't I spend more minuites? Why was I always so keen to get home at a reasonable hour?

It is strange to know that one is experiencing what everyone has, and shall, experience; you would imagine it to be somehow banal and yet it really isn't. How in such a circumstance could I actually enjoy my trip and enjoy my day? I did, which seems inconcievable.
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(no subject) [Sep. 11th, 2011|10:14 pm]
Everyone is tucked into bed, but I really wanted to post something. I looked back through my posts, so many sad sad words; at times I felt quite upset and moved. There are so many posts that I wrote and had to keep just for myself, and that made me sadder than all the other downcast things I wrote I think.

Sometimes it feels that there are two of me, a spirit of summer and dawn and a spirit of winter and dusk; one is renewing, bouyant, energetic, the other is cold and somnambulent. Yet I have so many memories; many certainly sadder than I would wish, and so many experiences; many, again, certainly sadder than I would wish but I suppose on reflection I am not unhappy with myself and my choices.

My life at present is one of much greater solitude; Neil is the other side of Nottinghamshire, Roger has conflicting hours to those I work and everyone else is ephemeral and pre-occupied, as is only right, and yet I feel generally centred. I think perhaps my great fault has been to think that I am fine as soon as my mood picks up when, really, this isn't the heart of being better. To be healthy I feel that we have to face our demons and come to terms with them, to stare the abyss in the face; I am alone and yet I feel like a functioning individual, functioning on my own terms but, nonetheless, functioning.

The house is silent, my typing is almost offensive. I found it hard to write down my thoughts the other day and it seemed to me that;

'The paper refuses the pen, the words refuse the thought.'
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(no subject) [Jun. 4th, 2011|04:42 pm]
Lacking much social intercourse, as I do, I occassionally have the odd peruse of an internet forum or two. In the course of doing so the other day I noticed and increasingly worrying tendancy of mine, something that has cropped up in different cases in the past. I was reading about a chap who is finding it difficult to reach a decision; should he study for a Phd and have the attendant difficulties or embark on a different course in life?

I find it difficult because I don't have the option; I was told that, though my proposal is interesting, due to my grades only being humble I shall not be given sponsorship which essentially rules out any chance of study. The fact that there are all these chaps talking about how 'it was worth it in the end because now I have a good job' or 'it was a brilliant experience' hurts me, somehow, it feels as though a door is closed to me but I can still see the light and warmth eminating through the cracks; the hint of something glorious just on the cusp of reach.

I have fell into the trap that holds most of us in the modern world in chains, that trap of not attaining that which we have been told is possible or desirable. I was always brought up to be a worker, yet I can....

Oh I can hardly face finishing! it has all been said before in a billion ways has it not?
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On the Position of Divinities [May. 10th, 2011|08:47 pm]
Let us consider the place of divinity in ethics. There are many different concepts of the divine of course; we may believe in a pantheon of beings, or one all-powerful entity or simply some form of nebulous, but potent, spirit. All such concepts normally postulate that we are created by these higher powers and are also somehow subordinate to these powers; due to their might, wisdom or simply the fact that we were created either later or, more generally, by such beings.

I argued previously that someone who believes in a divine spirit may be able to answer many ethical questions with surety and to their own satisfaction; it seems rational indeed to say that a certain action is right because it has been vindicated by a being of more wisdom than ourselves, indeed, it may be said that human legalism is such a process; we generally bow to the opinion of those individuals of wisdom who are trained to be judges by our educational establishments; those individuals entrusted with the duty of passing judgements, based on venerable precedent, overseen by a body of impartial laymen. The legalism of laymen is a different thing entirely from the oversight of divinity however; the former rests on the aegis of our equals whom we recognise have an unbiased interest in the pursuit of law and, more importantly, justice.

If we take divinity in its most undiluted and extreme sense; the monotheistic worship of God the Father in Christianity, we are confronted by a different situation entirely however. Just as the judge may be of greater wisdom in matters of law and justice than the common man, and perhaps also wiser than average so, certainly, is the Creator of the Universe, He who is immanent in all things; possessed of greater wisdom than all the judges under the sun. Unlike the judge God is not under the observation of impartial men who are the equal of the defendant however and this must be a cause for concern; would we trust power to be rendered unto a great human, a person possessed of intelligence, beauty and wisdom? An individual unbound by law, constraint and oversight? Even if this person was possessed of all the wisdom on Earth most of us would baulk at the prospect; the reason that we have juries to oversee judges is due to the fact that it generally considered offensive by humanity to be ruled over by others, particularly others who have no limits on their authority.
God is not on Earth however or merely under the sun; He is all things at all times, and so those who have a literal faith in religion would argue that His judgements are a special thing beyond concerns about autonomy; God would provide us with wisdom beyond our understanding, wisdom that we would accept without question, commands that are just even if we ourselves fail to see the justice; God is the divine centre, the measure, the cornerstone by which all such things as justice, good and bad, black and white, are measured from. Perhaps I am churlish however, but I personally don't want to do something simply because I am told that it is right but because it actively seems right to me; the clichéd argument for this objection is perhaps the best; I am told that the murder of an innocent is for the greater good, I am ordered to take this life in cold blood because it is deemed by someone of a grander intelligence and beauty than myself to have a good end, one I am incapable of seeing. I have no reason not to trust the truth of this claim but would that be an overriding reason to commit an action that violates one of our most essential qualms; the taking of life.

Consider that God never makes his existence obvious moreso than we are told by those with a faith that He has already; by the world itself. All we have then in that case is a series of prohibitions in ancient documents; often these are fairly sound prohibitions; as mentioned earlier many religious books offer sage wisdom to the reader. My arguments hitherto may be accepted with little loss therefore, the believer may well say; 'I certainly accept that humanity has the right to choose its own destiny, these are rights and abilities God-given in point of fact, but you seem to claim that God should expect us to audit his affairs, to scrutinise his decrees; decrees you have accepted have much logic behind them, isn't that a ludicrous contention?' If I did say that we should scrutinise God then certainly it would be; it is not for me to second-guess the Creator but, consider, the issue from another angle.
The idealised view of childbirth is that two people, who love each other, conceive a child together in this spirit and henceforth love the child. A child is born lacking speech, knowledge and skill; these things all develop on their own, to a degree, but we help the infant along; we set boundaries out of a spirit of stewardship and may also punish in the same spirit, all for the greater good of the infant. The Christian God is like this; and in the same way that my parents had no oversight over their own actions except their conscience then neither has God. As the child finds their own mind then this stewardship chafes and eventually parents give up their control over their own child, a child that goes on in the fullness of time to have children of its own and teaches them the same lessons all over again. Most children maintain a warm relationship with their parents, even though they chafed under their domination; we do not resent this stewardship on reflection but we have no wish to be placed under it again and, if it was extended indefinitely, we would rebel violently against it. This is not due to any hatred of our parents but because we are possessed of free will; stewardship is the process of turning children into adults capable of exercising free-will rationally. Surely our Creator wishes us to be adults, wishes us to argue, wishes us to dispute; to say that we were given free will simply to give Him added satisfaction when we follow His rules is akin to arguing that we are given life by our parents simply because they enjoy our affection. We would consider parents who had children out of such a spirit questionable; we find it offensive in general when parents seemingly have children only due to wanting an animate doll, some form of fashion accessory or extension of themselves; it would seem strange to consider such motivations as being those possessed by the Creator.

If the Creator is vain and venal then I see no reason to have undue attachment to Him, only a healthy respect due any vague and slightly embarrassing parent. If the Creator is wise and goodly then He would surely wish us to exercise the abilities we are given. It seems strange to argue that a parent owns us all our life, perhaps God is not to be contrasted with any earthly concept; isn't it not strange to willing suspend disbelief in perpetuity however? Should society follow rules given to us that, though often sound, are not based on rational philosophy but on the diktat of some uncommunicative Creator? Should we accept, as sound, commands given to us that cannot be explained or argued for by the enunciator? I say that such a thing would seem an affront to God; to take ones own abilities, given to us as a gift and dowry, and to cast them aside; God grants us an opportunity every day to think and breath for ourselves; to breath for oneself is surely the highest commandment.
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(no subject) [Mar. 7th, 2011|09:03 pm]
For some reason I started thinking about memories today. It occured to me that my earliest varifiable memory, i.e not one in which I am jumping out of my cot or running along a clifftop or the like. I remember very clearly having a little plastic post-office; it had a till that made a satisfying 'ping!' noise and some plastic cans and a basket so that I could help people make their purchases. It also had a little stamp so I could frank my customers letters and my parents provided envelopes and paper and I forced them to write letters by looking sad and hopeful I seem to remember, i've always been very good at being aggressively pathetic.

I always remember having this vision of a Cornish post office; about two customers a day and time to chat about everything under the sun. I rather had the notion that this was what life was like for most people. My parents worked alot so it was mostly grandmother I spoke to about these kinds of things; I am sure I told her (oh yes, I was most sure) that I would run a post-office when I was older and she said that I could do anything I wanted to, as long as I was well-behaved or somesuch platitude.

Dear dear grandmother, she had no idea such a thing was a lie of course; I imagine my grandmother does believe that in general life is quite good and kindly and that anything evil or anyone morally dubious is a disturbing abberation in the common goodness of people and place. We really do need such people...I suppose in some ways I am a Marxist because of my grandmother more than anyone else, yes, that only just occured to me. We should all be able to hold such a gentle and completely inacurate view of the world; the cruelties of our system do not allow us generally to hold such a peaceable and harmless view of society but I rather wish it to be otherwise.
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(no subject) [Jan. 29th, 2011|06:53 pm]
Some thoughts I spent an hour or so rambling about:

I term my believe system "The Edification"; Edification, like most words, has various meanings and implications wholly depending on the context and, through an accident of history, this specific word encapsulates my whole moral viewpoint perfectly. Firstly to be Edified is to be uplifted, filled with joy or perhaps even enlightened; Edification is the process of being edified, if you see my point. A completely accidental implication of the word but, in my opinion, perhaps its most valuable is it sounds like 'Edifice' which implies a large and imposing building, and my viewpoint is something that, like a building, rests on foundations, has its functional and its purely aesthetic elements merged in a greater whole that we term 'the Edifice' without, itself, being merely one totality.

If approached critically my viewpoint implies a stark universe lacking in morality and restraint. The critic may view my believes thusly because that is a completely just reading of my views; I start at first princibles; what is the universe? It seems to me that it is an impossibility for something as small as me to understand it and, indeed, the greatest minds of our planet only see glimpses; even our theologians would not claim that they understand the universe, only that which their specific divinity reveals to us who are incapable of ascertaining a true measure of it.

After seeing this fairly obvious truth, our own lack of understanding, it seemed to me that we do many curious things. We talk so authoritatively on the subject of right and wrong, good and evil; a theologian may be forgiven doing such a thing for their divinity will surely set the moral goalposts yet what of the rest of us? I have had agonositcal philosophers telling me that murder is wrong and their only vindication for such an arguement is that they have a vague 'sense' that such things are wrong "It seems apparent Michael that such things are wrong, all people would agree"; certainly I would accept that, do we not all feel a vague sense about certain things being right and certain things being wrong? Yet such an explanation is worth exactly nothing, it is not an explanation, no scientist would accept such an arguement, would any of us? If I said to you that it seemed to me the world was triangular because I "have a vague feeling that it is" would you accept that? Yet where morality is concerned we accept such arguements.

I could not however imagine myself commiting an act of murder mainly because a vague feeling tells me that I am wrong, it is clear that we have such feelings; where then do they come from? There are two accounts as far as I can see, my favourite account is this. We evolve through a process of natural selection; the best fitted for their enviroment survive to pass on their genes, and so on and so forth, and through the action of such a passing on of genes those with certain useful qualities survive. there are some creatures, so perfectly adapted, that they change not a jot over the centuries; their were species of Dinosaur that lived unaltered for millenia. They did not change because their circumstances did not change and they suited their circumstances perfectly; humans are a creature that possess sentience however and changes its circumstances constantly; it evolved in packs, thence families, thence tribes and onto nationstates and a world society; a society cannot function where murder and rape and killing are allowed wholesale; perhaps at one time there were tribes who lived in a such a manner, yet they died out and only us social animals survived to awaken into world society; therefore these vague feelings are evolutionary responses to society, or perhaps our unique sociability is in fact the reason for society; either way our morality is built on a set of vague feelings caused by human evolution.

There are however theistic explanations; we were created by a divine being, or spirit or somesuch who gave us a set of codes which we must abide with. Perhaps this is true, I cannot deny that it may be the case for I know just as little about the universe as anyone else, however if this is the case it seems a distinctly worrying view to me. It implies that your worth is to the extent that you blindly follow codes of behaviour and act obediently to religious authority; what account does that take of the peculiar beauty of a person who acts as their concience tells them, who donates large sums discretely to charity and who looks after his children yet ignores rules he considers outdated or offensive? He is doomed to be second-class; indeed some faiths would say he is doomed to torture for eternity; his completely honest altruism is not worth a hill of beans compared to his objection of specific rules. Of course we may say that our creator as the right to ask of us whatever he wants, but how does he have such a right? Does a parent have any rights over his children once they are of an age to live independantly? The children have no obligations except voluntery ones.

Be there a creator or not I would like to think that, like a parent, they would rejoice in seeing us stand on our own two feet; and if their is not a creator then we have twice the reason to assert ourselves intellectually. As I mentioned earlier we are intellectually foggy on the subject of morality; scientists who believe that our morality exists due to evolutionary reasons still speak of right and wrong when, unless their is a creator, such concepts of irrelevent. How does one measure good and bad? are their 'good' atoms and 'bad' atoms? Is it written in the stars? It no use speaking of vague feelings for feelings may often be wrong themselves; if I halucinate and have a feeling that the sky is falling in then does such a feeling have any validity? Yet we base legalism on vague feelings and broad codes of conduct often founded out of the particular biases and desires of the group of lawgivers writing at the time.

Morality should be based on that which works and that which does not work; it seems to me that morality should be founded on the concept of empathy; if I was in that position how would I wish to be treated? I myself wish to live a life free of violence, murder, oppression, and one in which I have the nessecities of life avaliable to me. Good and Evil are incidental; we should talk in terms of that which works and, in terms of justice, treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

I really don't think a creator, if they asked 'account for your life' would be satisfied if we said 'I followed your rules and had faith in them' I think they would be fair more satisifed if I said 'I had many vague feelings and were taught many conflicting things; I followed that which seemed the best course at the time, I did unto others as I would have them do unto me and I am not ashamed though I may well be wrong'.

What if there is no creator however? Then perhaps we are alone or perhaps there are multiplicities of other places filled with creatures alike and varied; or perhaps in countless multiplicities we are alone and nobody will ever rate our performance or remember our comings and goings. It would seem to me however that even though this looks stark it is also beautiful; in an empty galaxy it would seem to me that humanity, as something rare, is also something worthy of comment and worthy of interest; it may not be something of vast force or magnatism but it is something of idea, of emotion and of awareness that nothing else possesses. If we are surrounded by neighbours then, how glorious, that whether we win or lose there are distant stars and distant music that florish regardless.

The most uplifting thing is that none of it matters; if it is not being scored then we are free to be the people that we wish to be, that we objectively think we should be. If we are so favoured with the skill and industry we may move out into the galaxy and make it according to our tastes. Consider that we never leave this world though; I feel that humanity has the power to become divine and glorious here, on this one world in a remote corner of emptiness. The greatest achievement can be to look out upon darkness and solitude and say 'it is neither good nor evil, it is' and, in your soul, accept it as such.
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(no subject) [Nov. 4th, 2010|07:23 pm]
Dear Livejournal

I've rather been avoiding you these last few weeks; not conciously perhaps but I certainly haven't been ready to discuss my recent experiences. Its amazing just how quickly I fall into the role of protagonist in a Greek tradgety; I, the eternal victim, embarking on some interminable quest only for it to end in pathos. Well, if that is to be my role I accept it; I shall drink the bitter dregs of my experiences as it seems I am fated to do.

I went on holiday recently as some of you may have know; what you perhaps didn't know was the main reason for my holiday. I have, for quite a while, been talking to someone I really began to care very deeply about; intelligent, cultured, handsome and, most shocking of all, interested. We have spoken about the possibility of meeting one another for quite a while and so I booked one of my few holidays off work with the intention of seeing him and exploring his current city of London a little.

I did myself a great deservice, I convinced myself that the reason for visiting the city was simply due to wanting to see some of the sites and meet some people. I think it became obvious to me not long after arrival that my real reason for visiting was in the hopes of romance. I kept my scedule open and didn't arrange to meet anyone except my young gentleman; he couldn't give me a firm date afterall. Of course the details are wearisome but the upshot is that I never saw my gentleman, or even heard from him, and nor did any of the other people who I contacted seem interested in a conversation or a meal; I therefore spent three days in London alone.

I did get out and explore indeed, and I enjoyied my exploring, but it was in a slight pall of sadness. On one of the days I just walked for, well, it must have been around 5 hours and even now find it very hard to remember what I did with those middle few hours.

You know, I thought I could write about it but I don't think I can; i've gotten this far and it hurts to think on much more of it. I at least felt like I had romance these past few months and so all the other bad things didn't seem quite so bad but now it seems I have to start at the begining, once again.
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2010|08:16 pm]
Well my dear friends I am afraid that I am indulging my habit of editing and sanitising my thoughts yet again. I had started writing but then I was worried that my words would sound either depressing or akin to some sort of homily; neither of which I wished. I hope none of you that know me will think I am attempting to garner a reaction, moreso than usual.

I'm not entirely sure just how I feel, at present, it has been a week filled with lots of bad incidents and yet this evening I feel quite good. In some ways I find good moods strange things to deal with. I am familiar with bad moods; in fact as a youngster I had a much darker and fanciful outlook than I do now. The good thing about experiencing small pains for a long period of time is that one eventually accepts them without difficulty; headaches don't phase me now for instance; and in the same way I know just how long a bad mood will tend to last and how difficult, or not, coping through the duration will be.

As it is; just what is a good mood? I remember once I went on a date with an old friend of mine, David, how I loved him in my own particular way and yet he was moderately innocent of the fact. We brought cheap wine and sandwiches and walked to the river side. It was the most gloriously bright day I have seen in many years and I felt very happy. I remember I walked across a beautifully slender victorian bridge and looked up the entire length of the river as far as I could see and suddenly...well, I realised just that however long I lived I would never see the view in quite the same way again and that I was enjoying it alone; David having a snooze as he was.

I'm never sure just how long the good will last, I find that slightly scary.

As it i've gotten one or two phone numbers to phone up tommorrow jobwise; which has made me feel more bouyant than I have done for a fair while. One wants a teaching assistant for young children and another is on the off-chance that one of my local schools has a position for a humanities student on their graduate training program; even though it is a primary school. In all honesty I am completely pessimistic but...well, I don't know, it just makes me feel that I may be able to move forward, even if I feel that it will most definately end up being illusionary.

My dreams have been very cruel and aggressive recently; sometimes I wake up feeling emotionally violated and quite dirty.
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(no subject) [Sep. 8th, 2010|09:19 pm]
Being vaguely conciencious and not wanting to waste the time of the medical profession I logged onto that NHS Direct site. Apparently I should 'make a routine appointment with my GP' but based on the fact it assertained this due to simply asking me two questions I am not convinced by its accuracy.

As it is though I really think I should; I feel so very trapped at present and see no way of getting out. All my friends around me seem to have gone down the route into teaching, and are having lots of fun; all my university friends have left me far behind and are actually starting to get settled in life and i'm doing absolutely nothing. I don't really pretend to understand these teaching courses, and nobody seems to want to sit down and explain them.

As it is I can't spend another year working in the Co-Op; it doesn't listen to its employees and seems to enjoy trapping them. Neither can I really afford to take one of these teaching courses, unpaid, for a year with no guarentees and then have to work with children at the end of it; I loathe children.

What do I do then? that is why I feel so trapped; my chest keeps tightening sometimes and I even had a little sob today; that makes about the third time in my life i've got teary without thinking I can get something or win an arguement (I am that guy).

To be honest though I won't go; I don't like the idea of having pills forced down me, perhaps I don't like being helped and rather enjoy being a victim. I just really don't know what to do...how can I go on like this?
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(no subject) [Aug. 13th, 2010|08:36 pm]
A thousand voices all like yours
singing a song called Memory
a lilting tune with soulful chords
a dreary little melody

If only I hated all your songs
and could deaden my ears to the words
why can I not right those wrongs?
and forget that music hitherto heard

I admire your voice, which caries
and your beautiful compositions
yet they remind me of loss and marriage
dreams of a forlourn disposition

They say the past is another country
a world apart accross the sea
yet still some vague eulogy
crosses such divides unto me

You are worth such torments, true
those trials are such a little price
yet my question is, wherever are you?
my trial, my torment, my love, my vice
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