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Life

Thought after first season of Alone

by Andrea Elizabeth

I’m glad they chose philosophically minded survivalists. Quotes I remember are “this place will beat the crap out of you.” And “you have to work with nature, not against it.” And ‘if nature doesn’t want you here, you’ll die”. And “nature wont change for you”. And “This otter pellet is such a gift.”

These ideas can seem contradictory, but they’re all true. The participants learned to respect nature, and nature did provide for them, with caveats. Great first season.

It’s Jefferson’s fault

by Andrea Elizabeth

Transgender bathroom rights was discussed in the Diane Rehm show today. The leftists were so definite that gender identity can be different than the one “assigned at birth”. The rightest lawyer’s best argument was that discrimination is clearly defined as illegal against sex, not gender identity. The left’s best argument was the sound of a female now male identifying guest’s masculine sounding voice. And their argument that the right is engaging in fear mongering that men are going to pretend to be trans to get access to women’s bathrooms. This may be naive, but it does sound like it is more for the sake of argument than based in experience. They also said predators don’t care what the law is anyway. I do think there needs to be more privacy within all bathrooms and changing rooms.

I am wondering if the Founding Fathers started this “leftist gender theory“. The notion of inalienable rights and the pursuit of happiness has always sounded governmentally overreaching to me. I do not know how these are determined. Even though this article says this notion was used to challenge the divine right of kings, it sounds theological and based on the intentions of the Creator for mankind. Otherwise I don’t see a basis for rights at all for randomly occurring self-determining life forms. So either there are divinely given rights and a hierarchy that can protect them, or it’s a free for all or an agreed upon democratic society that can change with the wind. Google says the nation is pretty split about transgender bathroom rights. The right has the problem of basing its morality on religion.

he also prays

by Andrea Elizabeth

spoiler alert. In Episode 5 of Alone, the Omm guy also prays, so it’s not just about being chill. He’s interesting, but my favorite guy is the young carpenter who is a little overzealous with his plans. At least he has plans, though. Interesting that he interprets Darwin and gets on his knees to ask for help. And the youngest guy is doing suprisingly well. The older Georgia, or was it North Carolina, guy has a fun flare for the dramatic.

ommm

by Andrea Elizabeth

Alone is George’s and my new addiction. We’re 3 episodes into the survival show that put 10 guys about 10 miles apart in a cold, soggy, bear, wolf and cougar infested forest on Vancouver Island to see who could last the longest. Before one guy found fresh water he talked about how becoming upset elevates your heart rate and blood pressure, so he kept calm on purpose. It is interesting how one can somewhat regulate one’s bodily responses to stress.  It takes a psychological toll though, which usually catches up with you. I’ll call it Pelagian Buddhism. It is manufactured peace without grace*. Graced peace is effortless. Perhaps manufactured peace can become a habit and be effortless too, but I wager it is not as good. We have a stress response on purpose. It enables us to flee or fight. To stay in a dangerous situation and basically ignore your impulses can be a Buddhist feat and impress people at parties, and can sometimes save your life, such as not gasping and gulping while still partially submerged under water, but there is a time to gasp and gulp, flee and fight.

Several people in the show obviously were letting themselves panic. They were not expecting the conditions to be as bad as they were. Expectation has a lot to do with peace. One needs to know what they’re in for to prepare themselves. I’m very interested to see who can cope with the isolation and imminent danger. I sympathize with the ones who have already “tapped out”, but they do seem a little babyish. They aren’t handling disappointment very well. They seem to feel betrayed by the show letting things be that bad.

Back to keeping calm on purpose. I don’t think this works very well if one is resenting their conditions. One needs to be convinced that they are in the right place to have genuine calm. I remember going to get my 5 year old vaccinations. I was hysterically fighting against them. I did not believe shots were necessary to sustain or improve my life. I felt betrayed by society and my family. I have learned since then to not fight or flee many situations I do not like. However, I’m not very easily convinced the situations are depriving me of necessary conditions for my life. Sometimes I just feel powerless and that it’s useless to fight or flee. Sometimes it’s blind faith that God will work it out in the end. It’s also a pretty stubborn belief that I don’t need a lot of what society tells me is necessary. I am pretty minimalistic about and question a lot of customs. I think it is better to learn to live only by grace from God instead of things we normally think of as necessary, like food, water, clothes, shelter, and certain types of community. But for the uninitiated to do without them cold turkey with a stoic attitude alone, that’s not going to last very long. The desert can destroy people. The ones it doesn’t know its secrets and have gradually conditioned their bodies to withstand deprivation.

You can tell the guy who cut down all those trees depleted himself too much too soon. He’s not in his right mind right now. I hope he eats some slugs, has some salt with his water, and rests for a while before calling it quits.

*I can’t say for sure Buddhistic peace is without grace. Maybe God doles it out based on intention. And maybe there is grace in being one with God’s naturally graced creation without acknowledging him.

Your nous will out you

by Andrea Elizabeth

Psychics develop this, but everyone, I assume, has the ability to know where someone with sunglasses is looking. I’ve often wondered how you can tell, and recently it came to me that it is because nouses are detectable. This is how you sense that you are being watched. It’s not fool-proof, but an attended gaze is a powerful thing that impacts those involved, photographed, in proximity, and as St. Nicholai Velimirovich says, the whole universe.

St. Nikolai Velimirovic
The Prologue of Ochrid ~ February 20 Reflection

Water is finer than earth; fire is finer than water; air is finer than fire; electricity is finer than air. Nevertheless, air is a dense element in comparison to the spiritual world and electricity is a dense element in comparison to the spiritual world.

Electricity is very fine but the voice is finer than electricity; the thought finer than the voice; the spirit finer than thoughts.

The air is fine and it carries the voice over a great distance. Electricity is fine and it carries light over a great distance. Nevertheless, how much more is every deed, every word and every thought of yours carried to all ends of the spiritual world. O how awesome it is to commit sinful deeds and to speak sinful words and to think insane thoughts! To what immeasurable distances are amassed from that on the waves of the spiritual sea! But do not go into the details of the unknown world. The main thing is that you know and that you measure how all of your deeds, words and thoughts unavoidably create an impression on all four sides: On God and the spiritual world, on nature, on men and on your soul. If you train yourself in this knowledge, you will attain a higher level of saving vigilance.

This is so fun

by Andrea Elizabeth

To me the division of pro and anti Trumpsters are between realists and idealists. Cruz, and a certain stripe of Evangelicals, and democrats for that matter, are idealists who have no idea how much their rubber does not meet the road. I am surprised that there appears to be a large number of Evangelicals who are realists. They are the ones who do not consider themselves above common sinners and who can take a joke. The idealistic ones see themselves as being persecuted for righteousness sake, and that someone as crass as Trump will bring about the end of conservative values. I hope so. I used to be that type of conservative, but I think their values do need to be reformed. The idealist will put the oxygen on their favorite aborted baby before themselves or the oh so sinful mother. And when the baby is the only one alive, it wont be for long because the caretakers will be dead. Trump seems more pragmatic about why America needs to protect itself from too much meddling and aid doling in other countries. Not because America is exceptional, but because families are, or should be, the most qualified to take care of their own. Cruz would have done much better if he would have laughed off the grassy knoll suggestion instead of going into a self-righteous tizzy and calling Trump all sorts of names that he really meant, as opposed to Trump who comes across as humorously nick naming, not that he didn’t mean it either. Like wife-gate. Cruz really wanted to show Trump as “we don’t serve your kind” the kind who would marry a trashy pin up girl. And Trump said, “at least she’s pretty”. And she is. And that’s funny, not snobby Cruzy.

pros and cons

by Andrea Elizabeth

Is civilization a necessary evil? Or has it become so only when it comes within arms’ reach?

What comes to mind is that Russian family that escaped the communists by living in a very remote region of Siberia. They survived 40 years on barley until they were found. Shortly after, two of them died of pneumonia, that I assume was gotten from exposure to “civilization”. Then there was the Scottish island shepherds who around the same time abandoned their ancient ways of life to seek medicine after tourists brought disease to their community.

Today I also caved by taking my daughter to a high tech wound care center after trying to treat her shin wound at home for 3 weeks. We kept it free from infection with Epsom salt soaks and over the counter wound ointment, but the center wouldn’t heal over some traumatized tissue that had died. The doctor debrided it with a scalpel after numbing it with lidocaine gel. Back in the day, they did have stitches and knives and bigger scars, but I’m not willing to do that by myself. I suppose I could if civilization wasn’t within reach. I also get my teeth cleaned by similar methods so that they don’t fall out like people’s used to. I just saw a documentary on Texas National Parks that included Fort Davis which has one of the best preserved old forts in the nation. They showed the hospital ward where many young soldiers died from things they wouldn’t have died from today.

But nature is so much more peaceful and beautiful than cities. Until something goes wrong. Then people leave to get help. The Indians were able to develop natural remedies that didn’t destroy nature. I really like Native Americans. I find them less savage than civilized people’s assault on nature. I wish I’d known a toothless medicine man who could have treated her wound better than I did.

British cheerfulness

by Andrea Elizabeth

Searched for and oddly found in the same quote collection as last post’s.

Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bryson

And the British are so easy to please. It is the most extraordinary thing. They actually like their pleasures small. That is why so many of their treats – tea cakes, scones, crumpets, rock cakes, rich tea biscuits, fruit Shrewsbury- are so cautiously flavorful. They are the only people in the world who think of jam and currants as thrilling constituents of a pudding or cake. Offer them something genuinely tempting – a slice of gateau or a choice of chocolates from a box – and they will nearly always hesitate and begin to worry that it’s unwarranted and excessive, as if any pleasure beyond a very modest threshold is vaguely unseemly.
“Oh, I shouldn’t really,” they say.
“Oh, go on,” you prod encouragingly
“Well, just a small one then,” they say and dartingly take a small one, and then get a look as if they have just done something terribly devilish. All this is completely alien to the American mind. To an American the whole purpose of living, the one constant confirmation of continued existence, is to cram as much sensual pleasure as possible into one’s mouth more or less continuously. Gratification, instant and lavish, is a birthright. You may well say “Oh, I shouldn’t really” if someone tells you to take a deep breath.
I used to be puzzled by the curious attitude of the British to pleasure, and that tireless, dogged optimism of theirs that allowed them to attach an upbeat turn of phrase to the direst inadequacies – “Mustn’t grumble,” “It makes a change,” “You could do worse,” “It’s not much, but it’s cheap and cheerful,” “Well, it was quitenice” – but gradually I came around to their way of thinking and my life has never been happier.” 

Bill Bryson on communism done right

by Andrea Elizabeth

It has long seemed to me unfortunate – and I am taking a global view here – that such an important experiment in social organization [communism] was left to the Russians when the British clearly would have managed it so much better. All those things that are necessary to the successful implementation of a rigorous socialist system are, after all, second nature to the British. For a start, they like going without. They are great at pulling together, particularly in the face of adversity, for a perceived common good. They will queue patiently for indefinite periods and accept with rare fortitude the imposition of rationing, bland diets, and sudden inconvenient shortages of staple goods, as anyone who has ever looked for bread in a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon will know. They are comfortable with faceless bureaucracies and, as Mrs. Thatcher proved, tolerant of dictatorship. They will wait uncomplainingly for years for an operation or the delivery of household appliance. They have a natural gift for making excellent, muttered jokes about authority without ever actually challenging it, and they derive universal satisfaction from the sight of the rich and powerful brought low. Most of those above the age of twenty-five already dress like East Germans. The conditions, in a word, are right.” From Notes from a Small Island

why people should be able to pick the bathroom they want to use

by Andrea Elizabeth

  1. the women’s bathroom lines can be too long.
  2. urinals do not provide enough privacy and there aren’t enough stalls.
  3. men in the men’s room should not be subjected to the eyes of gay, female identifying men.
  4. women in the women’s room should not be subjected to the eyes of gay, male identifying women.
  5. if a straight female identifying man is in the women’s bathroom, the girls should be able to flee to the men’s.
  6. vice versa.
  7. if there is a fleeing woman in the men’s bathroom, the men should be able to go to the women’s bathroom that has a straight female identifying man in it.
  8. vice versa.
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