Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Brain Hurts!

I just can’t help it, when I get to thinking about stuff; I seem to awaken more opposition to the solution than I do the resolve. I have been studying the thought “What Is Truth” and whilst it is easy enough to come up with a contrite statement that will satisfy the ear, somehow it just unravels many of the theories and observations those years of learning have established. I mean, who decides what is truth?

The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it. ~H.G. Wells

I have been putting together some blog thoughts over the past few weeks and as a result have ended up having to further research the model by which many scientific arguments are presented. Problem is, many of the arguments used to dispel a theory from being accepted as a fact, are now being ignored when it comes to presenting so called evidence in favour for establishing a theory as a fact. What am I talking about, the great debate between intelligent design and evolution?

Our job is not to make up anybody's mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking. ~Author Unknown

“I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens, many people will pose the question; How did this ever happen?” Lovtrup Soren.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Darwin himself made this observation on his THEORY, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down"cited in Michael J Behe, Darwins black box p39

Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. ~John F. Kennedy

Since the opening up of Darwins “black box” (Nuclear Genetics), science is without a rational defense in support of this theory. Yet they persist in riding it! Why?

Perhaps it is to preserve the theory that has become more of a stance against intelligent design than the pursuit of scientific evidence? A refusal to go to the scientific evidence is not a scientific hypothesis, yet science still clings to a leaking theory.

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? ~Winnie the Pooh

“To Darwin, the cell was a black box, its inner workings were utterly mysterious to him. Now the black box has been opened up and we know how it works. Applying Darwin’s test to the ultra-complex world of molecular machinery and cellular systems that have been discovered over the past forty years, we can say that Darwin’s theory has absolutely broken down”. cited in Michael J Behe, Darwins black box p39

No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head. ~Terry Josephson

You see, if the theory of evolution has become a fact (as many would iterate), then one would have to substantiate it scientifically. Francis Crick – Nobel prize winner and evolutionist said in Life Itself; it’s origin and nature. p88 “An honest man armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions that would have to have been satisfied to get it going".

If we are to conclude that science itself is now being driven by a culture and philosophy of preference and belief, we do well to judge it by our own. If science is now presenting philosophical ideals as the philosophers of old did, then excuse me if I stick to my steadfast anchor as they float into the cosmos somewhere in pursuit of another black box.

The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inside Out


A man's mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Raise your hands if you are experiencing some “dealings” in your life presently! I see that hand! Welcome to personal development 101. I have had my fair share of dealings in life and they seem to have stepped up of late. In fact, if medals were issued for shoveling from beneath what’s been dumped on oneself, I reckon I would get gold! Seriously, there is some poetic justice that seems to brighten up our day, as we hear of another’s misfortune.

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. John Ruskin

I love the Monty Python sketch “four Yorkshire lads” talk about “The good old days,” whilst reminiscing upon the pain and injustice they had experienced. “Aye” says Michael Palin “sheer luxury.”

When it comes right down to it, all you have is your self. Your Self is a sun with a thousand rays...
Pablo Picasso

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. John Heider

Talent (we are told), will open the door of opportunity to us, but character will keep us there. Each week, we watch talented sports people play out their talents for ridiculously obscene amounts of money, yet under the pressure of daily life, their true character is revealed. Pick up any morning paper and compare the escapades of celebrities and the privileged few, revealing what goes on outside of the spotlight. You and I may never have the gaze of public adornment to contend with but never the less our character is on full view during times of hardship, privilege and pressure. A friend of mine Robert Ferguson has a saying “If you want to know what’s in a man’s heart, drop a brick on his foot”. Discomfort has a way of exposing our frailties, which is why the hard times present us with an opportunity to grow from the inside out. What goes on externally effects what is developed within us?



Relational breakdown






Accidents and many more will all eventually reveal what is truly within our character.

I'm convinced that we can write and live our own scripts more than most people will acknowledge. I also know the price that must be paid. It's a real struggle to do it. It requires visualization and affirmation. It involves living a life of integrity, starting with making and keeping promises, until the whole human personality the senses, the thinking, the feeling, and the intuition are ultimately integrated and harmonized.
Stephen Covey

My mum always had a saying, “I used to complain I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.” Monty Python said, “We were poor but we were happy, aye we were happy because we were poor”.

So how is life and living treating you?

One of the marks of excellent people is that they never compare themselves with others. They only compare themselves with themselves and with their past accomplishments and future potential. Brian Tracy

Whatever life has had in store for you of late, it’s all about the development within that reveals how much we are truly growing. So take a deep breath, pick up the shovel and Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s off to work we go, with a knife and fork and a belly full of pork, Hi Ho, Hi Ho!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Change Is As Good As a Rest.

Change is as good as a rest.

You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown

CHANGE! The very word is enough to frighten most of us land lubbers into panic and trauma.

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson

It’s a word that often has negative connotations. Woman approaching menopause refers to ‘THE CHANGE”, mostly with emotions of anxiety and dread. Babies dislike it, despite their well-being and the aromatic benefits to anyone down wind. Regardless of one’s personal preference towards change, it is inevitable. Change is the only constant in life. In fact, without it we all die. Our red blood cells are renewed every three months, brain cells daily.

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer. ~Shunryu Suzuki

This week I had a conference to attend in the City. I avoid the City like the plague for reasons of well-being and to minimize the effect of the thronging crowds, limited parking and queues of stress heads, racing from one destination to another. It’s a proven fact that our heart rates increase in such environs and I for one don’t need it or want it. Now it is some years since I had worked there, but today I visited my favourite coffee shop to find that not only does it not sell coffee, but it has been replaced with a three storey multi-media complex. The friendly faces are gone and so was my almond croissant. It’s now a choice of burritos or sushi, slush puppy or chai latte, Katy Perry or Jason Derulo for goodness sake!

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. ~Robert C. Gallagher

Am I showing my age?

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. ~Faith Baldwin

To those born before 1950. We are the survivors. Consider the changes we have witnessed.

We were born before: penicillin, polio shots, frozen food, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, the pill and before television came to (New Zealand). We were before credit cards, ballpoint pens and laser beams. Before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes driers, electric blankets, air and hair-conditioners, drip-dry clothes and before man walked on the moon.

Togetherness: We got married first, and then lived together. We were before househusbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers and computer marriages. We were before day care centres, group therapy and nursing homes. We had never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yoghurt, and guys wearing earrings.

For us timesharing meant togetherness - not computers, Holiday homes and motels; a "chip" meant a piece of wood, or fried potato, hardware meant household tools, and software wasn't even a word.
In 1950, "Made in Japan" meant junk and “making out" referred to how you did in an exam.
McDonalds, Kentucky Fried, Starbucks and instant coffee were unheard of.

In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was mowed, coke was a soft drink and pot was something you cooked in. Rock music was Grandma’s lullaby, "Aids" were helpers and "gay" meant you were happy,

...Difference: We were certainly not before the difference between the sexes was discovered - but we were before the sex change. We made do with what we had and were dumb enough to think you needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder we're so confused and there's such a generation gap! But we survived. What better reason to celebrate?

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Knight In Shining Armour

My Knight In Shining Armour

How often has that term been used as the epitome of the perfect man? It conjures up an image of the knight on horseback racing to the rescue of a damsel in distress, and with one foul swoop defeats all foes before him, assails the castle walls and rescues his queen to a life of happy ever after. Wow!

In Medieval times, Chivalry was the code by which all noble knights were governed. Only those of honourable birth and standing could take up the office.

13th Century conventions of chivalry directed that men should honor, serve, and do nothing to displease ladies and maidens. Knights were members of the noble class socially as bearers of arms, economically as owners of horse and armor, and officially through religious-oriented ceremony.

More than a code of manners in war and love, Chivalry was a moral system, governing the whole of noble life...—Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror

Whilst I recognize that times have changed, some for the good and some for the bad, I can’t help but feel society as a whole has become far too familiar with itself. The pursuit of equality and parity has robbed us of innocence and honour. Not so long ago I kept the door held open whilst leaving a store for the following customer, (which happened to be a female). She cursed at me and was clearly livid at the prospect of a male treating her as inferior. I was doing what I always do, using my manners. Are we so full of our plight, that any offer of humanity is perceived as being superior?

The institution of chivalry forms one of the most remarkable features in the history of the middle Ages. Horatio Alger

I wonder whether our society has changed so much that the difference between the sexes is now seen purely as one of superiority or inferiority. There is a great quote “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission”. Inferiority is never overcome by imposing ones superiority on another. Chivalry, gallantry, honour, respect, defender, protector, are those virtues really so bad? Do females no longer dream of having someone to provide honour and treat them with respect as a fair maiden?

Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left un-redressed on earth. Charles Kingsley

You who long for the Knightly Order,
It is fitting you should lead a new life;
Devoutly keeping watch in prayer,
Fleeing from sin, pride and villainy;
The Church defending,
The Widows and Orphans succouring.
Be bold and protect the people,
Be loyal and valiant, taking nothing from others.
Thus should a Knight rule himself.

He should be humble of heart and always work,
And follow Deeds of Chivalry.;
Be loyal in war and travel greatly;
He should frequent tourneys and joust for his Lady Love;
He must keep honor with all,
So that he cannot be held to blame.
No cowardice should be found in his doings,
Above all, he should uphold the weak,
Thus should a Knight rule himself.
— Eustace Deschamps

I can’t help but feel that most men have in-built within them, the desire to protect and provide. Perhaps this is the reason for their pursuit of knightly orders and contact sports. Since all the dragons are slew and maidens no longer desire (or would tolerate) being rescued, gallantry is no longer a code to live by, but fuel to be used in defense of how more enlightened we are today. No knights, no damsels, no dragons, no heroes, no vanquished foe, no chivalry.

The age of chivalry has gone; the age of humanity has come. - Charles Sumner

Friends, Who Needs Em?

Friends, who needs em?

“No man is an Island”

Years ago as an apprentice chef, I was employed by a landed gentry family, who owned a classic English estate. Each week the owner would jot down cryptic comments and supposed motivational / correctional notes on my clocking in card. On one such occasion, was the above quote. It was meant as a reminder to me of the need of others in order to achieve ones personal goals. It was some years later that I eventually grasped the true meaning.

“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. John Donne, Meditation XVII English clergyman & poet (1572 - 1631)

Ones view of friendships may change with the circumstances in which a friend is involved. We all have stores of disappointment and betrayal in which a friend’s colours are nailed to the mast. Sadly, we often miss the opportunity of developing a good friendship into a great one, due to feelings of disappointment and broken trust. It is at times such as this we may ask, “Friends, who needs em?”

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa

As the poet John Donne observed, every one of us is part of the whole, which is mankind. As independent and adrift as we may become, we are no less part of what was built into the fabric of humanity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

Growing a friendship is akin to growing a rose. Care and attention is needed in all four seasons in order to benefit from the sweetness of the bloom in summer. As a gardener, I always find the pruning season of least satisfaction. It somehow pains me to cut back and prune healthy plants. Every gardener knows that without it, the results aren’t as good. Friendships also require such care and attention and even if there is no visible bloom in progress, the preparation for the bloom is still underway. Maybe one of you friendships is presently in the dormant stage, keep the season in mind and remember “even though we can’t see the sun through the clouds, it’s still bringing warmth and heat to sustain us all. Somewhere in the world, someone is enjoying the warmth on their face.

Top Ten Issues that strain friendships to breaking point:

1. Betrayal

2. Lack of Trust

3. Lack of respect

4. Lack of genuine love

5. Criticism and lies

6. Lack of belief in

7. Controlling and overbearing

8. Lack of awareness of others (selfish)

9. Limiting perception of potential

10. Unwilling or unable to say sorry (poor communication)

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." - Helen Keller

Perhaps the greatest friendship one can experience is that of a successful marriage, but a successful marriage doesn’t happen, it takes majour attention, consideration and unselfishness.

According to Dr. Kenneth Bateman of Amber University, one of the main reasons for marriage breakups is ineffective communication about significant topics that concern the marriage. The inability to compromise to find a resolution to issues such as control, money, independence and children is a byproduct of poor communication.

"Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter." - James Fenimore Cooper

Friendships may indeed place a greater demand on our resources and indeed open us up like a surgeon at times, but in the end, real friendships cost us everything. That which we value, we honour and that which we honour we prioritise. If we have friends that treat us as such in our life, we are truly blessed. If we behave this way to others, we are a true friend!

Friends, who need em? We all do!