Thoughts on… Conscience and Consciousness

“Cogito ergo sum.” (I think, therefore I am)   —René Descartes, from Les Discours de la Méthode, 1637

“There is an imperative which commands a certain conduct immediately, without having as its condition any other purpose to be attained by it. This imperative is Categorical… This imperative may be called that of Morality.”   —Immanuel Kant, from Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics, 1785

“My conscience hath a several thousand tongues, and every tongue brings a several tale, and every tale condemns me for a villain.”   —William Shakespeare, from King Richard III, 1593

Throughout eternity an infinite stillness reigns wherein the conscience may talk with the individual… it must be heard.”   —Sören Kierkegaard, from Purity of Heart, 1846

“Within the realm of the consciousness of every individual there are two assessment paradigms that exist at the very foundation of consciousness. One of the paradigms abhors being scrutinized and propels us into a life where freedom is an illusion, yet proclaimed as fact. The essence of this paradigm is egoistic and its intention is to exalt self. The other paradigm delights in being scrutinized and compels us into a life that can be one where freedom is an explicit reality. The essence of this paradigm is empathy, or love.”   —Ben Nelms, from The First and Final Paradigm, 2008 Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on… Human Interaction

“Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it away.”   —William Allen White

“How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”   —Benjamin Disraeli

“Ira furor brevis est.” (Anger is a short madness)   —Horace, from Epistles, book 1, number 2, 1.162

For as the nature of foul weather, lies not in a shower or two of rain; but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary.”   —Thomas Hobbes, from Leviathan, 1651, part 1, chapter 13 Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on… Awareness

Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise it would be called sure-thing-taking.     —Tim McMahon

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just be doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.     —Aristotle

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; He who would search for pearls must dive below.     —John Dryden, from All for Love (prologue), 1678

Fulfillment comes, not from having dreams, but from living them.     —Ben Nelms, from The First and Final Paradigm, 2008 Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on… Truth and Doubt

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.     —an inscription on the mantel of the ancient Hinds Head Hotel in Bray, England

The poverty of the saint, of the rapt philosopher, of the naked Indian, is not comic. The lie is in the surrender of the man to his appearance; as if a man should neglect himself and treat a shadow on the wall with marks of infinite respect.     —Ralph Waldo Emerson, from The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1904

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All Conspiracy is Business Because Somebody Profits

The man who does not know history is destined to remain a child.

Cicero

We are taught today that the word conspiracy is only in the lexicon of the foolish and paranoid. Yet whether ethical, moral or legal, the conspiracy/business Gordian knot is no illusion. Regardless the continent or the century, many outcomes flow backward in space and time to money and power where, in its wake, human rights are easily violated and people suffer. Included in this section are the words of those held in such high esteem that their credibility and sanity have never been questioned.

The historical comments and observations included in this section might be unsettling for some. They will contradict many of the things we have been taught, things sometimes completely omitted by the media, entertainment, political, corporate and academic industries that have largely shaped the worldview, even the belief system, of Americans for more than two centuries. Today, as much as any time in our history, we are admonished to believe what we are told by those in authority and to do so without question. Yet some dare to question. This evolving section of QuestionsUnanswered will attempt to shed light on some of the thoughts by respected historic figures that stand in opposition to the commonly held views purported by politicians and the national media, left and right, about some of the circumstances of the actions, motivations and events that have shaped our world, especially where money and power are involved. These comments and observations on business, government, money, power and influence are not referencing the endless small, local businesses that populate every country. Rather, their comments reference those concerns with a national and international reach. Read the rest of this entry »

The Reemergence of the Russian Bear

Russia. Georgia. A lot has been made on both sides about the reasons why Russia made its move past the South Ossetia break-away region in mid-2008 and continued its march to Gori in the central part of the country and to Poti on the Black Sea coast. Once there, the Russians proceeded to sink the Georgian Navy’s vessels. The reasons for the Russian invasion appear to be several, though one of the pivotal reasons has received virtually no coverage from the major U.S. news media.

Some say Russia wants recapture territory lost after the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. Or perhaps it’s an attempted return to Russia’s czarist rule that lasted 1,000 years. Lest we forget, Russia had imperial inclinations from the beginning. The word “Czar” was taken from the Roman word “Caesar.” But whether as Soviet or Czarist, Russia is certainly making an example of those rebellious Georgians who finally emerged as a post-Soviet free-market democracy. And like Ukraine, Georgia wants to be a member of NATO. Read the rest of this entry »

You Are the Cure for Congressional Treason

“Just victims of the in-house drive-by. They say jump, you say how high?” Aside from some of their seemingly anarchist lyrics, of which I don’t approve, that line from Rage Against the Machine is as close as any I can find to fit the current day and generations-long condition of the American experience existing between “We the people” and the Congressional/Administrative branches and the “financial element” whose will politicians dutifully obey (c.f., Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson, Jackson, Garfield and Wilson).

I suppose I’m about to offend the sensitivities of the party faithful on both sides of the aisle. And should I shudder in fear of a namecalling onslaught from the anonymity of the American blogosphere? Well, line up. Here goes. Read the rest of this entry »

Tea Party Opponents – Clean Up Your Own House First

If the mindset of many Americans so prevalent today had been present in 1776 there would have been no American Revolution. In 1776, many wished to avoid war and there were many that remained loyal to Britain, with the estimates of some historians ranging as high as 40 percent. That pre-Revolution loyalty to the British Crown reminds me of a similar type of loyalty that is pervasive today. For decades, the machinations of the Congressional/Administrative Ruling Elite have successfully brainwashed large portions of the American population and we, in turn, believe what they say to believe. Read the rest of this entry »

Silence Equals Consent; I Won’t Make the Same Mistake Again

I’ve been thinking about my comments in this column back in April when I argued for supporting the tea party initiatives across America. My appreciation for the effort only intensified as I stood in front of Newnan (Georgia) City Hall and made the time to speak with dozens of the people (black, Asian, white, Latino and European immigrants) in attendance, asking them why there were there.

Bottom line, they were all sick of Washington’s interference in their lives. They cited Bush and Obama and the Republican and Democratic parties controlling Congress as the root cause of their dissatisfaction, dismay and disdain. Read the rest of this entry »

What is Science Afraid Of?

I happened to be at conference at Emory in 1977 to present a paper on the impact of “belief” on human consciousness. Also presenting that day was another Georgia State student. Her paper held that Science qualified as a “belief system.” She was not the first or the last to put forward that thesis.

A belief system, according to Webster, is a fixed, coherent set of beliefs prevalent in a community or a society. It is also defined as faith based on a series of beliefs but not formalized into a religion. Once a little known term from Anthropology, the term “belief system” is much more widely used today, including as an often-used substitute for the word “religion.” This is because, by its very nature, a belief system explains the origin and existence of life and the Earth, the nature and origin of the universe and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

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