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A Quagmire of Obtuse Construction April 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
63 comments

Sometimes wading through the written word is like getting sucked into an imbroglio of briars and quicksand.

Instead of building from Point A to Point B, certain writers circle around the point they are trying to express, using as many ostentatious, esoteric, and cumbersome words as possible.

Cautious readers must wear hip boots or waders to protect against muck, mire, and the occasional thorn. 

When I can’t follow a writer’s line of reasoning on a subject with which I am conversant, I assume the problem lies with the writer and not the reader.  :mrgreen:

Lest you accuse me of hubris, I followed the less than pellucid wanderings, wonderings, mutterings, and meanderings of Kant, Hume, Sartre, Descartes, and Socrates as a Philosophy major in college . . . without major mishap.

In law school, I studied and digested 75 page “briefs” of the United States Supreme Court . . . with only rare indigestion or stomach upset resulting from the effort.

Based on these experiences, it is my reasoned opinion that good writers, even those espousing philosophical musings, manage to convey complex ideology in a straightforward manner without resorting to obscure references and labyrinthine reasoning.

They bring readers into the fold, rather than leaving them out in the cold.

When writers obfuscate, that propensity may stem from a lack of mental clarity or acuity on their part.  Perhaps they haven’t yet grasped what it is they are attempting to say.

Even if that appears the most ostensible or plausible explanation, I try to be charitable and give them the benefit of the doubt.

After all, if we didn’t know what we wanted to say, would we say anything?

In some cases, I suspect that lack of clarity in sentence after ghastly sentence stems from a latent desire to confuse and mislead readers, by throwing them off the scent.

I know that seems counter-intuitive but watching readers scratch their heads or stall in their tracks may provide befuddled or bemused writers with an ego boost derived from delusions of adequacy.

Who knows?

* He who writes carelessly makes first and foremost the confession that he himself does not place any great value on his thoughts. For the enthusiasm which inspires the unflagging endurance necessary for discovering the clearest, most forceful and most attractive form of expressing our thoughts is begotten only by the conviction of their weightiness and truth – just as we employ silver or golden caskets only for sacred things or priceless works of art. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

* I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.  ~ Blaise Pascal

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  Have you ever waded into a writer’s work and become lost in a quagmire of obtuse construction?  What did you do?

Did you beat a hasty retreat or wallow a while longer?

A Pelican, A Gator, and An Elephant April 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Spirit & Ego, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

The pelican leaned back and relaxed as he spoke with his friends, flip-flops flapping in time with the Eternal Now.

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“When we reflect on our lives, and what we want, the goal behind most other goals is simply happiness.  We want to be happy. But, we have a tendency to look for happiness in all the wrong places.”

The gator nodded, her agreement impossible to miss given her prominent jaw.

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“We look for happiness outside of ourselves, instead of looking within.  We look for acceptance and approval from others, rather than accepting and approving of ourselves.  We get caught up in daily dramas and lose touch with the present moment.”

The elephant, resplendent in his attire as self-appointed court jester, laughed in agreement.

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“It’s Ego that gets in the way!  It pretends that its defending us from the unwarranted attacks of others while acting the part of the Trojan Horse.”

His stalwart companion neighed support, choosing to ignore the disparaging comparison between Ego and his distant kith and kin.

Seeing all eyes upon him, the pelican reclaimed the floor.  “Ego is a story-teller, spinning webs and stirring up conflict by encouraging us to look to others to define our selves and delineate our relevance.”

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Pelican reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper, worn at its creases.  He glanced over his bill at his companions before continuing.

“In Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness, Deepak Chopra explained the distinction between Ego and Spirit in a way that really spoke to me.  Here’s the passage:

Behind the curtain of your intellect and emotions is your self-image or ego. The ego is not your real self; it is the image of yourself that you have slowly built over time. It is the mask behind which you hide, but it is not the real you. And because it is not the real you, but a fraud, it lives in fear. It wants approval. It needs to control.

The ego is the prison you have built around your-self, and now it holds you captive within its walls. 

And how do you break free from captivity? You break free by choosing to identify with your inner self, the real you.

You know you are free when you feel happy and at ease instead of fearful and anxious. You know you are free when you are independent of the good and bad opinions of others, when you have relinquished the need to seek approval, when you believe that you are good enough as you are.

You know you are free when you surrender to the moment, to the what is, and trust that the universe is on your side. You know you are free when you let go of resentments and grievances and choose to forgive.

As the pelican refolded the sheet of paper and stuffed it back into his pocket, a transvestite bullfrog (in full regalia) hopped over to join the conversation.

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“I overheard what you said about Ego.  I agree.  Now that I use an internal yardstick to measure my worth, I am happy.  I no longer get offended if THEY don’t approve of my lipstick.  I don’t feel the need to defend myself if THEY criticize my weight, my attire, or my life choices. What THEY think of me is none of my business.  I don’t need a signed permission slip from THEM to live MY life.”

With that, the bulging bullfrog (and his bulbous gilded lips) morphed into a Golden Egret.

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As the transformed frog lifted off the ground to soar on an unseen breeze, it tossed out a golden nugget for the pelican, gator, and elephant to digest:

The key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source.  Then you no longer look for happiness because you know you already have it.

This happiness is true bliss, and it follows you wherever you go.*

Aah . . . that’s better!

* What is the key to lasting happiness?, Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness

RX For Happiness April 4, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
44 comments

Robert Louis Stevenson penned this prescription for happiness:

Tree-Frog-PerchedMake up your mind to be happy.
Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Make the best of your circumstances.
No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life.

The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Frog-CircusYou can’t please everybody.
Don’t let criticism worry you.

Don’t let your neighbor set your standards.
Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.

Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges.

Tree-Frog-PerchedaDon’t hold post-mortems.  Don’t spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.  Don’t be one who never gets over things.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And for an extra dose of Happy:

 

April Phools! April 1, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
Tags: , ,
50 comments

TimonWhile watching The Mentalist one night, we heard an enticing News Blurb that encouraged us to stay tuned to NBC for the local News at 11.

Some guy had used up all his cell phone minutes.  He didn’t have a plan with rollover minutes.

The gentleman in question wanted to enjoy cheap phone sex without paying for extra minutes or charging several dollars a minute to a credit card for the lady’s time.

What a dilemma for a desperate and determined dude!

In a less-than-brilliant move, he did what any red-blooded male with half a brain would do . . . he dialed 911!

Betty-BoopYup, he called the 911 Operator and asked her what she was wearing.  Then, he asked her if she had a nice ass.

Then, he shared intimate details about his body before asking her a few more questions that NBC censored from the 911 tape being replayed for our listening pleasure.

Paydirt!  The 911 Operator agreed to head over there as soon as her shift ended.

Surprise, surprise, surprise . . . the “hussy” never showed up.  Instead, a patrol car ran round and two officers arrested the dude.

Lumpus-MooseWhen he denied having made a 911 call, the officers called the number on the recorded 911 tape and the dude’s cell phone started ringing.

BUSTED!

Happy April Fool’s Day!  

Virtual Reality: Kings & Pawns March 28, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People, Politics, Spirit & Ego.
Tags: , , , ,
42 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’

We closed our eyes.

When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. – Desmond Tutu

* * *

Kill one man and you’re a murderer, kill a million and you’re a conqueror. – Jean Rostand

America is so advanced that even the chairs are electric. – Doug Hamwell

We are here on earth to do good unto others.
What the others are here for, I have no idea. – W.H. Auden

Chess

Lawyers believe a man is innocent until proven broke. – Robin Hal

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing. – Emo Philips

After the game, the King and the Pawn go into the same box. – Italian proverb

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

Meeting Life As It Is March 26, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
22 comments

nrhatch:

Here’s to allowing things to be “as they are” while we “go with the flow” and “embrace the now.”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Originally posted on Find Your Middle Ground:

… Continuing the conversation about judging, evaluating and accepting life as it is. These words from Adyashanti moved me today. May they touch you also and bring a deeper connection with your inner being and life itself.

Clarity Image courtesy of wbhunt.com

“The greatest generator of conflict, both internal and external, is our addiction to interpreting and evaluating each and every moment of our experience.
When we continually judge and evaluate, we separate from what’s happening. We feel a certain distance from our experience, because now we have become the evaluator of the moment and we’re no longer in unity with the flow of existence and life.

As we begin to meet life as it is rather than as we think it should be, as we let go of our need to control and continuously interpret our experience, we start to open to life in a completely new way. We become deeply founded in silence.
The nature of this…

View original 55 more words

The Nature of Relationships March 24, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Poetry.
Tags: , , ,
57 comments

Tiggers-R-UsRelationships are governed by societal and religious expectations and conditioning. As a result, human relationships vary from culture to culture.

Despite the global nature of the internet, we are not having a universal experience.

The norm in one corner of the globe does not translate across all borders and boundaries.

Tigger-PogoFor that reason, I don’t really care what people in general think.  I care about what the people I care about think.

It’s less confusing.

Instead of expending untold energy trying to figure out how to get inside someone else’s head, perhaps we should get to know who we are.

Look deep . . . the answers lie within.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Great minds may not think alike . . . but most great minds like a think.

Related posts:  What Makes You, You? * Torn AsunderThink Like A Man, End Up Without One (1) (Lively Twist)

Ramblings of a Retired Mind March 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Life Balance, People.
Tags: , , ,
48 comments

grumpy_thinking

(1) You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

(2) The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

(3) Old age => you still have something on the ball but you are just too tired to bounce it.

Mr-Rossi(4) If you live long enough, you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

(5) Some people try to turn back their “odometers.” Not me. I want people to know why I look this way => I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

(6) Next time you complete a form that asks who to call in an emergency, fill in the blank with . . . “an ambulance.”

(7) The older we get, the more often things go missing.  I’ve found that the easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

James-the-Cat

(8) You know how when first time visitors see a cat litter box, they say, “Oh, have you got a cat?”

Next time I’m going to respond, “No, it’s for company.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Not My Monkey, Not My Circus! March 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
61 comments

monkeysSometimes the illusion of peace in relationships stems from allowing someone else to call ALL the shots while we bite our tongues.

Even then determined drama queens find ways to stir up the dust.

Over time, I’ve gotten better at shrugging off the weight of their disapproval, side-stepping unnecessary conflict, and ignoring de bait.

If necessary, I repeat the mantra:

Not my monkey, not my circus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

How are you at side-stepping determined drama queens?

Related post:  Taming The Mammoth ~ Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think (Wait But Why)

Tips On Speaking March 14, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , ,
53 comments

alice26thFill your speech with the 7 deadly sins (Gossip, Judging, Negativity, Complaining, Excuses, Embroidering/ Exaggerating/ Lying, and Dogmatism) and people tend to tune out.

Focus on Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love and they tune in.

In Fight On The Plane, Nicki Chen shares an example of conflict sparking a real (if somewhat heated) exchange between two fellow passengers.

When they dropped their masks . . . honesty, authenticity, integrity, and even love peeked through.

Of course, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.  A few tools to play with ~ Register, Timbre, Prosody, Pace, Silence, Pitch, and Volume.

For still more tips, have a listen to Julian Treasure as he plays a masterful instrument . . . the human voice:

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

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