Simply stated, this is what I think it is

I’ve been enjoying watching the Star Wars prequels, yet again, and as I’ve been watching, it happened to occur to me what the Star Wars philosophy may be as far I can read it.

Simply stated, Star Wars philosophy as far as I sense is that good and evil are equal halves of the same union, but one of these, either good, or evil, can get pushed further into existence than the other.

The pull towards good or evil, light or darkness, depends on how certain people and figures converge with good or with evil, light or darkness, at a certain point in time.

The ideal state is balance or equilibrium, even distribution, and harmony and peace, not greed and possessiveness (which is “imbalance”). One must be in-tune or integrated, to overcome evil or the darkness, and if one is, one may change the world, as one strives for the ascendency of the light in the mechanisms of the world, such as in Government.

However fragile I see this philosophy, I still enjoyed the films. The films can be seen from simpler angles such as what happened and from subtler thematic points of view about subjects like Fall and Redemption. However, the above philosophy is in my opinion the main idea in Star Wars, but it doesn’t work. I don’t believe in it as its untenable. Jesus addressed effectively the kind of philosophical issue Star Wars raises with his life, death, resurrection, and teachings.


Christmas “eureka moments” may happen in the quiet times

Pause to reflect. A writer needs refreshment and the Christmas period is quite obviously a good time for that.

I’ve been doing less writing recently and more note taking, research, and reflection.

But I trust that the pleasures of contemplation can draw me back to the discipline of writing in a fresh way.

Pre-Christmas can be busy, but the post-Christmas break is a good chance to re-store, re-think and re-charge, and even re-prioritize.

Life can be busy yet I wonder if it’s all helpful. Busyness is self-multiplying, in that work multiplies work. In a rush of doing work, one may find inspiration after inspiration, but rather thoughtlessly (don’t I know it).

In busyness, one may not be thinking clearly about what one is doing. However, in a period of reflection, like at Christmas, things can become clearer. Career decisions and direction can be made during the quiet times and in the process of reflection.

Reflection can spawn even Eureka moments that clear the mind with solutions and answers.

In reflection one sees the road ahead clearer in a transparent dose of reality that isn’t inspired by the adrenalin of the year that’s gone.

Sleep, get lazy, hazy, do something completely different, and don’t think too much. Pause.


Safe art and manipulative art

The best art isn’t manipulating some idea, philosophy, political ideology that it wants to plow and that someone will use to push an agenda.

There is so much manipulation in art and media that one has to interrupt it and find clarity and even declutter one’s thoughts to come to what one truly believes. Preaching and speaking can also be a form of manipulation, except if one is able to detach from it.

Art manipulates when it is convincing, yet is essentially an illusion. Art manipulates when it plays on emotions, even instrumentals can do this, to take us to some other place emotionally.

The best art doesn’t invade the emotions, but we are able to remain detached.

Love songs are quite easily the most manipulative, followed by politics in art, ideas and philosophies.

Where is clear thinking?

The safest art allows one to see the subject without manipulating one’s emotions , and one isn’t persuaded to take a side. The safest art expresses life without using life to push ideas, politics, and philosophy.

If you’re an open person like me, who wants to do the right thing, then being manipulated by something sounding plausible and good isn’t always the good thing. One is persuaded to think about the subject from a certain angle, but that’s manipulation, wherever it happens. Detachment is the best state to be in to decide on some issue.

In life, we are continually being manipulated by people, art, preaching, ideas, and philosophy and the media. Be on the alert. Make a commitment from today to not be manipulated.



An episode of Autopsy had much to do with the liver

This one made me think—about my coffee intake. Although the program was about alcoholism, the common link for the rest of us is what we do to our liver.

If one can relate, Autopsy is an appropriate title to make one think twice about taking care of one’s self. It made me think twice about my coffee intake.

It is a television series from Britain’s ITV studios that analyses the life and last days of famous people. Dr. Jason Payne-James looks at the cause of death that is on the celebrity’s death certificate but looking closely at the evidence he concurs with the certificate or comes to another conclusion.

The subjects of the series are people well-known in film, music, and sports. For example, the days leading up to the untimely deaths of actors Robin Williams and Heath Ledger are analysed. In the episode I watched, the life and death of Irish-born Manchester United footballer George Best are scrutinized.

It wasn’t easy for Best. The reason for Best’s drinking habit is given at the start. He was a shy young man and became a social drinker. This led him to going to the bottle when challenges in life came his way.

One such challenge was the death of his mother. She couldn’t take the public criticism of his son when he gave up football and she took to the bottle and eventually died of alcoholism. He suffered in that process, too.

The tricky winger is regarded as the one of the greatest UK footballers [soccer] if not the best ever. But his downfall was that he had a disease—he was an alcoholic. Death by alcoholism is not mentioned on the death certificate, but Dr Payne-James postulates that Best may have died from alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Payne-James investigates. This is where this program gets scary, if one cares about the liver.

Best’s alcoholism, which was a progressive disease over thirty years, certainly had an impact on Best’s liver. Doesn’t heavy coffee drinking over time have some impact on the liver, as well?

A lesson of this episode is to look after yourself whatever’s happened to you. Keep off self-destructive tendencies no matter what it takes. Do something about it. This program can scare one into submission to doing the good thing.


Practical reasons for behavior makes better sense than ‘faith in self’

“Faith in yourself” is believed to help someone move from one state in life to another. It’s believed to help someone make progress.

Yet one is already moving along in life. One doesn’t need to have faith in self. One just goes and does.

What about in other circumstances? It’s the same. If someone is searching for something in life, that search already has inner momentum. One is already impelled because one is needy and dry.

But in everyday terms, life just keeps on going.

If someone is severely limited or debilitated it may take extra effort, however. Does believing in yourself work then? I think if someone needs to, they will move out of their predicament. It’s more inspiration and the need to rather than empowerment to. The need will drive one out.

What if someone is getting on with their life but there are obstacles or road blocks in one’s way? Wouldn’t faith in self empower over and above the obstacles?

One just doesn’t know how much they are already moving along. Obstacles just become part of the everyday hazards that have to be dealt with. Faith in self has nothing to do with it.

What about moving into a career or new vocation? Wouldn’t one need faith then, to believe one can achieve it, to get through the hard yards of achieving it?

Again, one will fight for what they want, but quite a few of the things we do have practical origins and faith in self does not figure consciously.

Saying to have faith in self is so overused.


That sweet day of chocolate renaissance

Not that I’m always intent on what I should eat, as if food is something not to be enjoyed, but my obsession with reducing sugar begun with thinking about my diet. I have less processed sugar because I believe less of it is good for me.

I believe the experts when they say that processed sugar should be eliminated from our diet, but of course I’m not perfect as I nick off with a chocolate, more motivated by a sweet friendly environment than biology.

My obsession with sugar has produced unforeseen consequences: empathy with food documentaries such as That Sugar Film and finding wise articles about the make-up of our food such as Just a Matter of Taste in the TV Guide. One could say I’m hooked—on taking less sugar as much as possible that is.

That Sugar Film is a 2014 Australian documentary that positions itself on the side of the debate that says added sugar in food is not good for you. I agree. In fact, I’m adamant, because I’ve been off juice drinks for over a year now, with a couple of relapses here and there, and I think I’m better for it. I don’t miss these drinks by and large. The taste for them has basically gone.

In the documentary one interviewee said that “addiction to sugar” has caused materialism, in that people will buy sugary products that satisfy their cravings for more sugar. Sugar can be addictive so there’s a need for more.

Perhaps there is a better way of having what we like and not getting fat. TV Guide article—Just a Matter of Taste—raises an interesting point about having sweet food with less sugar in an interview with Michael Mosley, the presenter of the documentary The Secrets of Your Food that screens tonight in some parts of the world.

Mosley says in the article that the aroma molecules of sweet tasting fruit, such as strawberries, trick the brain into thinking there’s more sugar in it than there actually is.

If scientists can learn how fruits, which contain less sugar, but give off that sweet taste, it may help in reducing sugar content in foods (and still taste sweet). [TV Guide, February 10-16, Just a Matter of Taste, by James Rampton].

There are those of us who hold out hope for the day when we can eat chocolate that tastes salubriously sweet, just like a strawberry, and the amount of sugar is reduced very significantly.

Underneath, we all get that sneaking feeling–is that chocolate doing me any good? In the health conscious West, we all could do we a little light relief on those days when one has an appetite for a chocolate and one knows eating one is better than the bad old days.


Counting the cost

That Sugar Film (2014) is an Australian documentary that positions itself on the side of the debate that says added sugar in food is not good for you. I agree. In fact, I’m adamant.

I’ve been off juice drinks for almost a year now and don’t miss them. The taste for them has gone. This documentary has motivated me to do more.

There’s a theological rationale for it, too. God the Creator wouldn’t make our bodies react in adverse ways to food that isn’t good for us or isn’t supposed to be there.

One interviewee said that “addiction to sugar” has caused materialism, in that people will buy things that satisfy their cravings for more sugar. Materialism is an artificial way to live as it can leave one feeling empty. But empty for what? More things?