Do we dream less as we get older?

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sun May 02, 2021 2:17 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Yes, sometimes it's a good idea just to take stock and re-assess you entire set of beliefs and opinions. You mentioned that you've been in communities in the past, what were they? Anything analogous to, say, the Pagan community?


My point about these communities revolves more around how we come to be a part of them because of the circumstances in our lives that bring them to our attention in the first place. Had this or that not happened or had we not met this or that person we might never have become aware of the group at all. The complexity and the uncertainty of it all. I was once a devout Christian, then a Unitarian, then a political radical, then an existentialist. What began to dawn on me however is that being part of a group was really the most important consideration. It provided me with a "meaning of life" that allowed me to ground myself in something far more substantial than my own insignificant existence in the vastness of "all there is". Now that this is gone I'm left with stumbling about as best I can to make sense of things. But the consolation is that in not being a part of a group that makes distinctions between the right way and the wrong way to do things, I have many more options from which to choose.

Maia wrote:I'll describe the last moot I attended, but I think you'll be disappointed, because I most certainly was! (See below, for other more interesting stuff, though.) It was in February last year, about a month before the lockdown, at a pub well-known among local Pagans. There were only four of us present, and since two of the others were smokers, we had to sit outside in the beer garden, and it was a bit chilly. It had been billed as a discussion about the Northern tradition, but pretty soon one of them lit up a spliff, right there in the middle of the beer garden. I didn't want to get thrown out so I left, in disgust. And then a few weeks later the lockdown happened and the world changed. I imagine moots will be starting up again soon, though, and indeed, other events such as rituals, though I don't have any specific details yet.


Well, if you ever become a part of one that is more to your liking let me know what you took away from it. That's the part that always intrigues me. There is what you think and feel. Then you become a part of a community where others think and feel the same. And you have to dig down deeper into why you think and feel what you do in terms of being a part of the community itself. And then the part where something comes up in which there are different, sometimes conflicting reactions. Always wanting to be a part of the whole but recognizing the challenges that are sometimes posed in integrating "I" and "we".

Or, sure, maybe, I'm really thinking more of my own experiences over the years. Only when I get to know you better will I perhaps come closer to a "middle ground".

Maia wrote: As for belief, this is not an important concept in Paganism. Practice is much more important, as with the form of ritual, for example. There are Pagans who believe in all sorts of different gods and goddesses, Pagans who don't, and Pagans who don't think it even matters.


Yes, sooner or later what you believe is going to be tested "for all practical purposes" in your interactions with others. Some things will click, others won't. Same with some people. All we can really do is to be willing to live and learn. And then of course the part where sheer luck -- what some call serendipity -- comes in.

Maia wrote: Being blind has impacted my journey through Paganism in a number of ways. For example, a very common practice in Pagan ritual is visualisation, which is used, for example, to visualise the result you want to happen. This is no real problem to me as I just imagine the result without any visualisation. More difficult are colours, which are used in almost all Pagan rituals, with each colour having specific meanings, often connected to the planets and astrology. My workaround for this is the same technique I mentioned before about associating colours with their most familiar linguistc couplings (blue sky, green grass, red blood, white snow, black night, and so on).


Have you ever encouraged others you know who are blind from birth to explore this community with you? That way you would have another mind able to interact in the community and enabling you to discuss your own shared experiences from the same starting point.

By the way, I just finishing watching The Miracle Worker for the zillionth time. The 1962 original. I was wondering if you had ever had a relationship with someone who was deaf from birth. I'm trying to imagine what conversations between someone who was totally deaf and someone who is totally blind would be like. Each having to make their way in a world where most can both hear and see but having to so in this case from a different starting point.

Maia wrote: Ok, here's the more interesting description of a Pagan event that I promised earlier, hehe. A few years ago I attended a handfasting at Glastonbury. A handfasting is a Pagan marriage, and Glastonbury is a well-known centre of Pagan and New Age activities in south-west England. The handfasting took place on Glastonbury Tor, a large hill with a lot of legendary and mythical associations. At the top of the hill is a ruined church tower. We started at the bottom of the hill then walked up it, gradually spiralling round the hill till we reached the top. They had laid out a design in the tower with sticks, comprising three squares, one inside another. The bride and groom each had nine followers, called maidens and knights. I was one of the maidens, in other words, a bridesmaid. When we got to the tower we each took our places in the squares laid out on the floor, then moved around in a complicated pattern decided by the bride and groom (who stood outside), symbolising a battle, followed by reconciliation and union. This is the part that relates to your question about how conflict is resolved, and why I chose this particular example, because the answer among Pagans, at least in theory, is through use of stylised ritual (in practice, of course, Pagans are just as fractious as anyone else, perhaps more so). The bride and groom took their oaths, and after that we all went down to a nearby pub for a meal.


Thanks. That was really well described. I understand the need for ritual in our lives. And it transcends particular communities to basically include all of us. It seems to be a part of how the brain evolved to make sense of the world. By engaging in rituals we do the same things in the same way for the same reasons. And it is precisely in doing this that it gives the behaviors weight. And it is from this that we able to anchor ourselves to a necessary reality. With me though I find myself thinking about it in this way and the more I do the less I can participate in them myself. The part I find very hard to explain to others.

Maia wrote: Maddy is indeed brilliant, and here's another.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sls3mig_58I


And another back to you: https://youtu.be/8NrHkf7rB34
My favorite by Steeleye Span

Maia wrote: Sounds like a interesting novel, but I have to note that the author seems to believe the common fallacy that blind people see black, or darkness. It certainly shouldn't affect the story though, as you describe it, which looks like an intriguing concept.


In fact, I'm beginning to suspect that even though the novel is called Blindness, the fact that all the main characters [except one] are blind seems to be of less importance than the manner in which they become blind. And the fact that blindness actually becomes contagious. Like a viral pandemic. And then the manner in which it is necessary to quarantine them. The pages are riddled with capital letter words like Government and Authority. It seems more an attempt to explore a community cut off from the rest of society and forced to create their own world. A kind of Lord of the Flies only all the people are blind.

Though this may turn out to be wrong.

As for blackness and darkness, that is still really difficult for me to understand.

Here is something from the BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-ouch-31487662

It begins...

"It's often assumed that blind people experience complete darkness, but in my experience this is far from the truth.

"I appreciate this is going to sound odd coming from a blind person but when people ask me what I miss most about not being able to see, my answer is always 'darkness'"

And then...

"Though I've had the cord cut between my eyes and my brain, it seems that the world has not turned black. All metaphors, similes, analogies, and literary flourishes about blindness and darkness should henceforth cease to be used because I'm saying it's far from dark. It is, in fact, quite the opposite.

"So what replaces 3D technicolour vision once it's gone? The answer - at least in my case - is light. Lots of it. Bright, colourful, ever-changing, often terribly distracting, light.

"How do I even begin to describe it? Let me have a go. Right now I've got a dark brown background, with a turquoise luminescence front and centre. Actually it's just changed to green… now it's bright blue with flecks of yellow, and there's some orange threatening to break through and cover the whole lot.

"The rest of my field of vision is taken up by squashed geometric shapes, squiggles and clouds I couldn't hope to describe - and not before they all change again anyway. Give it an hour, and it'll all be different."

Is this anything like your own experience?

To me it all seems counter-intuitive. Blackness is what I would expect but, of course, I have no experience with being blind and I don't understand the technical, biological, chemical, neurological etc., interactions between the brain and the eyes.

Also, the author does not appear to have been blind from birth.


Yes, being part of a group is indeed one of the most important things about movements such as Paganism, or indeed any other. It's also why I've stuck with it all these years, despite some very annoying tendencies within it. I was pretty naive when I first became involved, of course, wide eyed and innocent, as they say, and it was all quite thrilling, too, going along to secret meetings of covens and such like. That eventually wore off, I'm glad to say, not least because I found Wiccan rituals actually quite boring (it's all a matter of taste, though). But by then I had already made lots of other contacts in the Pagan community.

I have to admit that being a devout Christian is something I have a hard time imagining. If you'd like, perhaps you could cast your mind back and describe how it affected your actions and thoughts on any average day.

I shall indeed describe the next event I go to, whether moot, ritual or whatever, if you like. What I personally take from these events differs according to the event. A moot is basically a social occasion, meeting and chatting, even if it also includes a talk of some kind. So what I get from it is community feeling. A ritual, on the other hand, is very different, and what I get from it is a spiritual communion with the forces of nature. Or at least, and this is the important bit, I should do, if it's a good ritual. Another type of event is a festival or camp, and these combine elements of both.

Well, yes, I'm definitely a great believer in serendipity, and luck. I would call it the guiding principle of the universe.

It's a nice idea, setting up some sort of blind Pagans group, but the numbers involved probably wouldn't make it viable. At best, it would only be an online thing, with members thinly scattered across the world.

I've never had a relationship with a deaf person and, indeed, don't really know any (a few of the people at our school, though, were hearing impaired as well as blind, but not fully deaf). I assume, since a large proportion of deaf people can lip read, communication would be verbal. Though not necessarily. I've heard of blind people learning BSL (British Sign Language) by touching the hands of those who are signing.

For today's musical feast, how about a sea shanty?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHbU6s0jANc

Sounds like that book is a bit like Day of the Triffids then, where almost the entire population of the earth is blinded by a strange meteor shower one night, and have to pick up the pieces of civilisation afterwards, in the face of (well, this is John Wyndham, after all) walking carniverous plants. I much prefer the Chrysalids by him, though. The Kraken Wakes, on the other hand, was as dull as dishwater.

That BBC article very much highlights just how different the experiences of those who lose their sight are, compared to those born blind. Since I've never had any visual input at all, I simply don't have a "field of vision" in my mind, of any sort whatsoever. And I fully realise, of course, that sighted people are literally hardwired to find it impossible to imagine this, just as the converse is true for me, with regard to seeing.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 03, 2021 3:39 am

Maia wrote: Yes, being part of a group is indeed one of the most important things about movements such as Paganism, or indeed any other. It's also why I've stuck with it all these years, despite some very annoying tendencies within it. I was pretty naive when I first became involved, of course, wide eyed and innocent, as they say, and it was all quite thrilling, too, going along to secret meetings of covens and such like. That eventually wore off, I'm glad to say, not least because I found Wiccan rituals actually quite boring (it's all a matter of taste, though). But by then I had already made lots of other contacts in the Pagan community.


This sort of thing is often really, really difficult to communicate, to explain to others. And I'm no exception. And that is because unless I am you what can I possibly now about how you came to think and feel about what you do here. Especially about something as profoundly intimate as an attempt to grapple with "a meaning of life" -- philosophical, spiritual of otherwise -- that connects you to a bigger and bigger reality. That's why, in the end, I have to accept that I will only understand you up to a point. And that, in regard to beliefs like this, a person should at least try to avoid being intolerant in regard to others and, above all, try to minimize any possible pain and suffering in the lives of others.

Maia wrote: I have to admit that being a devout Christian is something I have a hard time imagining. If you'd like, perhaps you could cast your mind back and describe how it affected your actions and thoughts on any average day.


Well, that was many years ago and it revolved almost entirely around a chance meeting on my part with Reverend Deardorf. I was going through a difficult time in my life and he brought me into his congregation and, through his understanding of God, gave me that "larger meaning" that had been missing in life. My life itself did not change much at all, only a far more uplifting frame of mind in which to put all of the turmoil into perspective.

Maia wrote: I shall indeed describe the next event I go to, whether moot, ritual or whatever, if you like. What I personally take from these events differs according to the event. A moot is basically a social occasion, meeting and chatting, even if it also includes a talk of some kind. So what I get from it is community feeling. A ritual, on the other hand, is very different, and what I get from it is a spiritual communion with the forces of nature. Or at least, and this is the important bit, I should do, if it's a good ritual. Another type of event is a festival or camp, and these combine elements of both.


Yes, I understand the profound importance of feeling you belong to a community. I have experienced it many times myself. Both in a religious and in a political context. Only now, however, it's a rather glum frame of mind embedded in me from day to day...knowing it is not very likely to ever come back around. Still, I have made the adjustment to a solitary existence and recognize how fulfillment and satisfaction can be gotten from both experiences.

But, yes, on your next close encounter with one or another event, try to explain what it is about the experience that meant the most to you. Also, anything you would like to see in the way of changes. The "I" and the "we" parts that always fascinate me the most.

Maia wrote: It's a nice idea, setting up some sort of blind Pagans group, but the numbers involved probably wouldn't make it viable. At best, it would only be an online thing, with members thinly scattered across the world.


Actually, I was thinking more of you inviting others who are blind to join you in the communities you are already involved with now. Not a Pagan group consisting of the blind but others who are blind able to share your current experiences in a way that might allow you or enable you to share the experience more fully given the sort of empathy that comes from the same starting point.

Maia wrote: I've never had a relationship with a deaf person and, indeed, don't really know any (a few of the people at our school, though, were hearing impaired as well as blind, but not fully deaf). I assume, since a large proportion of deaf people can lip read, communication would be verbal. Though not necessarily. I've heard of blind people learning BSL (British Sign Language) by touching the hands of those who are signing.


It was just a thought. Though I've had experiences with both blind and deaf people when I was a political activist, they were only on the surface. I never actually befriended someone or came to understand their world more in depth. It just seems fascinating to imagine that sort of exchange. The thing they share in common but in a different way.

Maia wrote: For today's musical feast, how about a sea shanty?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHbU6s0jANc


Thanks, matey. Right back at you: https://youtu.be/ZIwzRkjn86w

I have a half dozen or more of them on my music thread. Some more or less ribald.

Maia wrote: Sounds like that book is a bit like Day of the Triffids then, where almost the entire population of the earth is blinded by a strange meteor shower one night, and have to pick up the pieces of civilisation afterwards, in the face of (well, this is John Wyndham, after all) walking carniverous plants. I much prefer the Chrysalids by him, though. The Kraken Wakes, on the other hand, was as dull as dishwater.


Yes, the further into the book I go, the more I suspect that blindness is not the point. These people are just thrown into this abandoned mental institution with little or no compassion from those not infected. It's like the world just wants to be rid of them. The reader seems left to explore how they come to figure out ways to make their lives the least hellish. Again, unless the author is just setting this up at the beginning to go into a more constructive understanding of blindness. And of human interactions in general.

Maia wrote: That BBC article very much highlights just how different the experiences of those who lose their sight are, compared to those born blind. Since I've never had any visual input at all, I simply don't have a "field of vision" in my mind, of any sort whatsoever. And I fully realise, of course, that sighted people are literally hardwired to find it impossible to imagine this, just as the converse is true for me, with regard to seeing.


I'm still not all that sure if I will ever understand what you mean then when you react to words like blackness or darkness.

I recall as a boy reading this science fiction novel in which "in the future" there was this device that doctors and psychologists could use in order to "get inside the head" of patients. They could literally experience the world as they did. In terms of thoughts and feelings and sense perceptions. Imagine if that was ever to become a reality.

Here of course all we basically have are words.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Mon May 03, 2021 12:49 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Yes, being part of a group is indeed one of the most important things about movements such as Paganism, or indeed any other. It's also why I've stuck with it all these years, despite some very annoying tendencies within it. I was pretty naive when I first became involved, of course, wide eyed and innocent, as they say, and it was all quite thrilling, too, going along to secret meetings of covens and such like. That eventually wore off, I'm glad to say, not least because I found Wiccan rituals actually quite boring (it's all a matter of taste, though). But by then I had already made lots of other contacts in the Pagan community.


This sort of thing is often really, really difficult to communicate, to explain to others. And I'm no exception. And that is because unless I am you what can I possibly now about how you came to think and feel about what you do here. Especially about something as profoundly intimate as an attempt to grapple with "a meaning of life" -- philosophical, spiritual of otherwise -- that connects you to a bigger and bigger reality. That's why, in the end, I have to accept that I will only understand you up to a point. And that, in regard to beliefs like this, a person should at least try to avoid being intolerant in regard to others and, above all, try to minimize any possible pain and suffering in the lives of others.

Maia wrote: I have to admit that being a devout Christian is something I have a hard time imagining. If you'd like, perhaps you could cast your mind back and describe how it affected your actions and thoughts on any average day.


Well, that was many years ago and it revolved almost entirely around a chance meeting on my part with Reverend Deardorf. I was going through a difficult time in my life and he brought me into his congregation and, through his understanding of God, gave me that "larger meaning" that had been missing in life. My life itself did not change much at all, only a far more uplifting frame of mind in which to put all of the turmoil into perspective.

Maia wrote: I shall indeed describe the next event I go to, whether moot, ritual or whatever, if you like. What I personally take from these events differs according to the event. A moot is basically a social occasion, meeting and chatting, even if it also includes a talk of some kind. So what I get from it is community feeling. A ritual, on the other hand, is very different, and what I get from it is a spiritual communion with the forces of nature. Or at least, and this is the important bit, I should do, if it's a good ritual. Another type of event is a festival or camp, and these combine elements of both.


Yes, I understand the profound importance of feeling you belong to a community. I have experienced it many times myself. Both in a religious and in a political context. Only now, however, it's a rather glum frame of mind embedded in me from day to day...knowing it is not very likely to ever come back around. Still, I have made the adjustment to a solitary existence and recognize how fulfillment and satisfaction can be gotten from both experiences.

But, yes, on your next close encounter with one or another event, try to explain what it is about the experience that meant the most to you. Also, anything you would like to see in the way of changes. The "I" and the "we" parts that always fascinate me the most.

Maia wrote: It's a nice idea, setting up some sort of blind Pagans group, but the numbers involved probably wouldn't make it viable. At best, it would only be an online thing, with members thinly scattered across the world.


Actually, I was thinking more of you inviting others who are blind to join you in the communities you are already involved with now. Not a Pagan group consisting of the blind but others who are blind able to share your current experiences in a way that might allow you or enable you to share the experience more fully given the sort of empathy that comes from the same starting point.

Maia wrote: I've never had a relationship with a deaf person and, indeed, don't really know any (a few of the people at our school, though, were hearing impaired as well as blind, but not fully deaf). I assume, since a large proportion of deaf people can lip read, communication would be verbal. Though not necessarily. I've heard of blind people learning BSL (British Sign Language) by touching the hands of those who are signing.


It was just a thought. Though I've had experiences with both blind and deaf people when I was a political activist, they were only on the surface. I never actually befriended someone or came to understand their world more in depth. It just seems fascinating to imagine that sort of exchange. The thing they share in common but in a different way.

Maia wrote: For today's musical feast, how about a sea shanty?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHbU6s0jANc


Thanks, matey. Right back at you: https://youtu.be/ZIwzRkjn86w

I have a half dozen or more of them on my music thread. Some more or less ribald.

Maia wrote: Sounds like that book is a bit like Day of the Triffids then, where almost the entire population of the earth is blinded by a strange meteor shower one night, and have to pick up the pieces of civilisation afterwards, in the face of (well, this is John Wyndham, after all) walking carniverous plants. I much prefer the Chrysalids by him, though. The Kraken Wakes, on the other hand, was as dull as dishwater.


Yes, the further into the book I go, the more I suspect that blindness is not the point. These people are just thrown into this abandoned mental institution with little or no compassion from those not infected. It's like the world just wants to be rid of them. The reader seems left to explore how they come to figure out ways to make their lives the least hellish. Again, unless the author is just setting this up at the beginning to go into a more constructive understanding of blindness. And of human interactions in general.

Maia wrote: That BBC article very much highlights just how different the experiences of those who lose their sight are, compared to those born blind. Since I've never had any visual input at all, I simply don't have a "field of vision" in my mind, of any sort whatsoever. And I fully realise, of course, that sighted people are literally hardwired to find it impossible to imagine this, just as the converse is true for me, with regard to seeing.


I'm still not all that sure if I will ever understand what you mean then when you react to words like blackness or darkness.

I recall as a boy reading this science fiction novel in which "in the future" there was this device that doctors and psychologists could use in order to "get inside the head" of patients. They could literally experience the world as they did. In terms of thoughts and feelings and sense perceptions. Imagine if that was ever to become a reality.

Here of course all we basically have are words.


Don't you see any possibility of ever shaking free of your glum state of mind, then? I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, but the way you describe it, it sounds rather more long-term. How do you see the rest of your life panning out? And how about things like work?

I've never made any secret of my involvement in Paganism to my blind friends and acquaintances, probably to the point of boring them to death with it, hehe. While I certainly understand the point you're making, I actually prefer to keep those two communities that I happen to be part of quite separate.

And I did indeed wonder why you mentioned relationships, to be honest, and was hoping we were not heading down that particular rabbit hole.

Ok then, time for a bit of culture, I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PG29axsU14

That's the original Parry piano score. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Elgar bowdlerisation is better.

The way you describe the book then, it seems increasingly like a typical post-apocalyptic, distopian anti-fantasy, of the sort churned out by sci fi hacks for the past century or more. In other words, some disaster happens, and the survivors have to battle it out among themselves afterwards. And, of course, this sounds perfectly reasonable. Human nature is pretty nasty, violent and selfish, after all. But that's not all it is, if it were, we would hardly have survived as a species. Human nature is also kind, compassionate and altruistic. Often all these traits are found in the same individual, even. What would happen, then, after a terrible natural disaster? Would the survivors start tearing each other apart, or would they try and work together for the good of all? We have a clue to this in the events of the past year or so, and while the recent pandemic was not on the scale of apocalyptic fantasy, it was still pretty bad. I can only really speak about events in the UK, of course, but I strongly suspect other places had similar experiences. What happened was, quite remarkably (and perhaps even unexpectedly), is that everyone pulled together. Total strangers organised themselves into groups with the specific intent of taking food and other necessaries to vulnerable people who couldn't get it themselves, or who couldn't afford to. Others volunteered as drivers, or to work in hospitals, and so on. Those are just examples, and perhaps, in a way, there was a sort of society-wide catharsis, a re-examination of essential values, to go along with the personal ones that many of us experienced too. So essentially, I am optimistic about such things, as I am with much else, too.

Actually, as something of an amateur historian myself, we can easily look to previous collapses in society to learn some valuable lessons about human nature. One period of particular interest to me is Dark Age Britain, after the Romans left in the early 5th century, and for approximately the next two centuries. This, of course, included the time of King Arthur, and all the myths and legends associated with him (he was also, incidentally, supposedly buried at Glastonbury, hence all its mystical associations). There's precious little evidence that he actually existed, but what archaeology tells us very clearly about the period is that instead of descending into anarchy and barbarity, civilisation continued here virtually uninterrupted, despite plagues, famine and other natural disasters. That's one of the reasons, by the way, why I sometimes regret not going to university, because if I had, I would probably have studied archaeology, which at least has the advantage of including a lot of hands-on, outdoor work, rather than been cooped up inside all the time.

That sounds like a pretty neat device, especially if it allowed me to see what seeing is like. Pity it's just made up.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 03, 2021 6:45 pm

Maia wrote:Don't you see any possibility of ever shaking free of your glum state of mind, then? I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, but the way you describe it, it sounds rather more long-term. How do you see the rest of your life panning out? And how about things like work?


Actually, since I argue that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas, there is always the possibility that something might manage to reconfigure my current frame of mind, there is never not any hope at all. And the glumness does not extend to all of the things I do in which I am anything but glum. Instead, it revolves more around the assumption that in the absence of God -- just another assumption -- there does not appear to be a way [for me] to make any objective, wholly true distinction between good and bad behaviors. I can only try to be as tolerant of others as I can and to minimize any harm I might do. Everything here is far more precarious and problematic given what I have thought myself into believing. I'm not part of a community that provides the sort of meaning that you have in being a Pagan. The sort of meaning I had as a Christian or a political activist. I'm just not able [here and now] to imagine a way back to it. But that might change.

Maia wrote:I've never made any secret of my involvement in Paganism to my blind friends and acquaintances, probably to the point of boring them to death with it, hehe. While I certainly understand the point you're making, I actually prefer to keep those two communities that I happen to be part of quite separate.


Again, I am far, far removed from understanding what motivates you here. That is a part of your world and I know almost nothing about it. I can only imagine that if I were blind interacting in a community of sighted people, I would want to include others in that community who shared something with me as fundamental as this. But then that is a frame of mind rooted in the existential parameters of my own life.

Maia wrote:And I did indeed wonder why you mentioned relationships, to be honest, and was hoping we were not heading down that particular rabbit hole.


Not sure what you mean by this. I am curious about your relationships in the Pagan community. I am trying to understand what it might be like to be a part of a community in which what most consider to be an important part of their life -- the ability to see -- sets you apart from all of the others. Just as the manner in which my own philosophy of life often set me apart from others in the past. The part where we seek others who are like us in order to share experiences more fully, more intimately.

Maia wrote: Ok then, time for a bit of culture, I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PG29axsU14

That's the original Parry piano score. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Elgar bowdlerisation is better.


Thanks. My own favorite rendition is this one: https://youtu.be/w9TbiIEpZJ8

These two songs [from Enya] just popped up on my cassettes:

https://youtu.be/whIYv3_CvqU
https://youtu.be/Fp5t2yIiR-U

Maia wrote: The way you describe the book then, it seems increasingly like a typical post-apocalyptic, distopian anti-fantasy, of the sort churned out by sci fi hacks for the past century or more. In other words, some disaster happens, and the survivors have to battle it out among themselves afterwards. And, of course, this sounds perfectly reasonable. Human nature is pretty nasty, violent and selfish, after all. But that's not all it is, if it were, we would hardly have survived as a species. Human nature is also kind, compassionate and altruistic. Often all these traits are found in the same individual, even.


Yes, that's well put. Eighty pages into the book, and a lot of what has unfolded so far fits the "nasty, violent and selfish" description. But the author, José Saramago, is no hack. Among other things, he is the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. What I am most curious about is why he chose Blindness as the title of the book. Perhaps it is less in regard to blindness literally and more in the way of a metaphor. How, in many important respects, we are all blind to important things around us. And how this blindness allows those in power -- his capital letter Government -- to create the conditions that the literally blind in the story are enduring. Increasingly more appalling. That's what keeps me reading...to find out what blindness he is talking about.

What I will do is finish the book and come up with my own conclusions. And then I will go on line and Google reviews of the book. To note the conclusions of others.

Maia wrote: What would happen, then, after a terrible natural disaster? Would the survivors start tearing each other apart, or would they try and work together for the good of all? We have a clue to this in the events of the past year or so, and while the recent pandemic was not on the scale of apocalyptic fantasy, it was still pretty bad. I can only really speak about events in the UK, of course, but I strongly suspect other places had similar experiences. What happened was, quite remarkably (and perhaps even unexpectedly), is that everyone pulled together. Total strangers organised themselves into groups with the specific intent of taking food and other necessaries to vulnerable people who couldn't get it themselves, or who couldn't afford to. Others volunteered as drivers, or to work in hospitals, and so on. Those are just examples, and perhaps, in a way, there was a sort of society-wide catharsis, a re-examination of essential values, to go along with the personal ones that many of us experienced too. So essentially, I am optimistic about such things, as I am with much else, too.

Actually, as something of an amateur historian myself, we can easily look to previous collapses in society to learn some valuable lessons about human nature. One period of particular interest to me is Dark Age Britain, after the Romans left in the early 5th century, and for approximately the next two centuries. This, of course, included the time of King Arthur, and all the myths and legends associated with him (he was also, incidentally, supposedly buried at Glastonbury, hence all its mystical associations). There's precious little evidence that he actually existed, but what archaeology tells us very clearly about the period is that instead of descending into anarchy and barbarity, civilisation continued here virtually uninterrupted, despite plagues, famine and other natural disasters. That's one of the reasons, by the way, why I sometimes regret not going to university, because if I had, I would probably have studied archaeology, which at least has the advantage of including a lot of hands-on, outdoor work, rather than been cooped up inside all the time.


Again, really well put. But what always intrigues me is why actual individuals go in what some construe to be constructive directions, while others choose destructive directions instead. And, just as importantly, what happens when behaviors that are deemed constructive by some are seen to be destructive by others. How is all of this more a manifestation of the lives that we lived predisposing us existentially to go in these different directions; or, instead, more as derived [philosophically, scientifically, spiritually etc.] from our capacity as rational and virtuous human beings to "think up" the "right thing to do"?

One of the points I always raise on the philosophy board here revolves around the part where how we view ourselves in the world around us is -- or can be -- profoundly dependent on the historical age in which we were raised. Surely, the manner in which folks back in Medieval Britain reacted to the world around them is going to be different -- sometimes very different -- from how modern day British citizens see things like government, social interactions, gender roles, plaques, etc.. Maybe even blindness itself?

And yet at the same time, there are all the things we share in common as members of the human species. The things that are always true for all of us and the things that seem, instead, to provoke conflicting thoughts and feelings.

That's always what most attracts and intrigues me.

Out of curiosity, I Googled "blindness in the Middle Ages" and found this: https://historicengland.org.uk/research ... 1050-1485/

"Attitudes to disability were mixed. People thought it was a punishment for sin, or the result of being born under the hostile influence of the planet Saturn. Others believed that disabled people were closer to God - they were suffering purgatory on earth rather than after death and would get to heaven sooner."

Maia wrote: That sounds like a pretty neat device, especially if it allowed me to see what seeing is like. Pity it's just made up.


Yes, for those who are blind from birth, there always seems to be the part -- the consolation? -- where they don't have to think they have lost something...or to experience the reality of actually having lost their vision. But then the part where from time to time they can't help but wonder what it is like to see the world around them. Especially if they don't believe in the afterlife. Something like, "this life is all there is and I will never see it".

Just think of the part where in "falling in love" many sighted people can become obsessed with "looks". Is she pretty? Is he handsome? And sometimes in putting too much emphasis on that they choose the wrong partner. So, the first thing that might pop into the head of sighted people, is how not having the capacity to assess "looks", affects those who are blind in regard to their own relationships.

Or imagine a sighted person who was preoccupied with looks in a relationship, losing his or her sight and then engaging in future relationships.

Again, all the complexities and uncertainties involved here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Tue May 04, 2021 12:34 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Don't you see any possibility of ever shaking free of your glum state of mind, then? I know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, but the way you describe it, it sounds rather more long-term. How do you see the rest of your life panning out? And how about things like work?


Actually, since I argue that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas, there is always the possibility that something might manage to reconfigure my current frame of mind, there is never not any hope at all. And the glumness does not extend to all of the things I do in which I am anything but glum. Instead, it revolves more around the assumption that in the absence of God -- just another assumption -- there does not appear to be a way [for me] to make any objective, wholly true distinction between good and bad behaviors. I can only try to be as tolerant of others as I can and to minimize any harm I might do. Everything here is far more precarious and problematic given what I have thought myself into believing. I'm not part of a community that provides the sort of meaning that you have in being a Pagan. The sort of meaning I had as a Christian or a political activist. I'm just not able [here and now] to imagine a way back to it. But that might change.

Maia wrote:I've never made any secret of my involvement in Paganism to my blind friends and acquaintances, probably to the point of boring them to death with it, hehe. While I certainly understand the point you're making, I actually prefer to keep those two communities that I happen to be part of quite separate.


Again, I am far, far removed from understanding what motivates you here. That is a part of your world and I know almost nothing about it. I can only imagine that if I were blind interacting in a community of sighted people, I would want to include others in that community who shared something with me as fundamental as this. But then that is a frame of mind rooted in the existential parameters of my own life.

Maia wrote:And I did indeed wonder why you mentioned relationships, to be honest, and was hoping we were not heading down that particular rabbit hole.


Not sure what you mean by this. I am curious about your relationships in the Pagan community. I am trying to understand what it might be like to be a part of a community in which what most consider to be an important part of their life -- the ability to see -- sets you apart from all of the others. Just as the manner in which my own philosophy of life often set me apart from others in the past. The part where we seek others who are like us in order to share experiences more fully, more intimately.

Maia wrote: Ok then, time for a bit of culture, I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PG29axsU14

That's the original Parry piano score. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Elgar bowdlerisation is better.


Thanks. My own favorite rendition is this one: https://youtu.be/w9TbiIEpZJ8

These two songs [from Enya] just popped up on my cassettes:

https://youtu.be/whIYv3_CvqU
https://youtu.be/Fp5t2yIiR-U

Maia wrote: The way you describe the book then, it seems increasingly like a typical post-apocalyptic, distopian anti-fantasy, of the sort churned out by sci fi hacks for the past century or more. In other words, some disaster happens, and the survivors have to battle it out among themselves afterwards. And, of course, this sounds perfectly reasonable. Human nature is pretty nasty, violent and selfish, after all. But that's not all it is, if it were, we would hardly have survived as a species. Human nature is also kind, compassionate and altruistic. Often all these traits are found in the same individual, even.


Yes, that's well put. Eighty pages into the book, and a lot of what has unfolded so far fits the "nasty, violent and selfish" description. But the author, José Saramago, is no hack. Among other things, he is the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. What I am most curious about is why he chose Blindness as the title of the book. Perhaps it is less in regard to blindness literally and more in the way of a metaphor. How, in many important respects, we are all blind to important things around us. And how this blindness allows those in power -- his capital letter Government -- to create the conditions that the literally blind in the story are enduring. Increasingly more appalling. That's what keeps me reading...to find out what blindness he is talking about.

What I will do is finish the book and come up with my own conclusions. And then I will go on line and Google reviews of the book. To note the conclusions of others.

Maia wrote: What would happen, then, after a terrible natural disaster? Would the survivors start tearing each other apart, or would they try and work together for the good of all? We have a clue to this in the events of the past year or so, and while the recent pandemic was not on the scale of apocalyptic fantasy, it was still pretty bad. I can only really speak about events in the UK, of course, but I strongly suspect other places had similar experiences. What happened was, quite remarkably (and perhaps even unexpectedly), is that everyone pulled together. Total strangers organised themselves into groups with the specific intent of taking food and other necessaries to vulnerable people who couldn't get it themselves, or who couldn't afford to. Others volunteered as drivers, or to work in hospitals, and so on. Those are just examples, and perhaps, in a way, there was a sort of society-wide catharsis, a re-examination of essential values, to go along with the personal ones that many of us experienced too. So essentially, I am optimistic about such things, as I am with much else, too.

Actually, as something of an amateur historian myself, we can easily look to previous collapses in society to learn some valuable lessons about human nature. One period of particular interest to me is Dark Age Britain, after the Romans left in the early 5th century, and for approximately the next two centuries. This, of course, included the time of King Arthur, and all the myths and legends associated with him (he was also, incidentally, supposedly buried at Glastonbury, hence all its mystical associations). There's precious little evidence that he actually existed, but what archaeology tells us very clearly about the period is that instead of descending into anarchy and barbarity, civilisation continued here virtually uninterrupted, despite plagues, famine and other natural disasters. That's one of the reasons, by the way, why I sometimes regret not going to university, because if I had, I would probably have studied archaeology, which at least has the advantage of including a lot of hands-on, outdoor work, rather than been cooped up inside all the time.


Again, really well put. But what always intrigues me is why actual individuals go in what some construe to be constructive directions, while others choose destructive directions instead. And, just as importantly, what happens when behaviors that are deemed constructive by some are seen to be destructive by others. How is all of this more a manifestation of the lives that we lived predisposing us existentially to go in these different directions; or, instead, more as derived [philosophically, scientifically, spiritually etc.] from our capacity as rational and virtuous human beings to "think up" the "right thing to do"?

One of the points I always raise on the philosophy board here revolves around the part where how we view ourselves in the world around us is -- or can be -- profoundly dependent on the historical age in which we were raised. Surely, the manner in which folks back in Medieval Britain reacted to the world around them is going to be different -- sometimes very different -- from how modern day British citizens see things like government, social interactions, gender roles, plaques, etc.. Maybe even blindness itself?

And yet at the same time, there are all the things we share in common as members of the human species. The things that are always true for all of us and the things that seem, instead, to provoke conflicting thoughts and feelings.

That's always what most attracts and intrigues me.

Out of curiosity, I Googled "blindness in the Middle Ages" and found this: https://historicengland.org.uk/research ... 1050-1485/

"Attitudes to disability were mixed. People thought it was a punishment for sin, or the result of being born under the hostile influence of the planet Saturn. Others believed that disabled people were closer to God - they were suffering purgatory on earth rather than after death and would get to heaven sooner."

Maia wrote: That sounds like a pretty neat device, especially if it allowed me to see what seeing is like. Pity it's just made up.


Yes, for those who are blind from birth, there always seems to be the part -- the consolation? -- where they don't have to think they have lost something...or to experience the reality of actually having lost their vision. But then the part where from time to time they can't help but wonder what it is like to see the world around them. Especially if they don't believe in the afterlife. Something like, "this life is all there is and I will never see it".

Just think of the part where in "falling in love" many sighted people can become obsessed with "looks". Is she pretty? Is he handsome? And sometimes in putting too much emphasis on that they choose the wrong partner. So, the first thing that might pop into the head of sighted people, is how not having the capacity to assess "looks", affects those who are blind in regard to their own relationships.

Or imagine a sighted person who was preoccupied with looks in a relationship, losing his or her sight and then engaging in future relationships.

Again, all the complexities and uncertainties involved here.


Yes, there is always the possibility of change, in all things, and this is a source of great hope. And in my experience, when big changes happen, they all come very quickly. Important events are not spread out at random, but rather, they seem to cluster in bunches. Which probably gives a clue to the workings of fate.

With regard to relationships, in the more general meaning of the term, I've never had any problem making friends, whether in the Pagan community or anywhere else, as I think I'm a fairly sociable sort of person. In particular, I've never had any hang-ups about mixing with sighted people, which is not the case for all blind people. In fact, I prefer it. And this goes back to the previous point about not blurring the lines between the two communities. My purpose in becoming involved in a Pagan group or event is to take from it what it offers on its own terms. I have no wish to change the nature of the event to suit my own needs, or bring people along for support, who may be there mainly for my sake, rather than the event itself. And yes, being blind does indeed set me apart from all the others at such events, but this needn't be a bad thing. It has certainly opened doors for me that wouldn't necessarily have opened otherwise.

Ah, Enya (or "Enema" as a friend of mine at school used to call her, yes, very juvenile, I know), another excellent choice. And from Enya we move quite naturally onto Clannad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWtVNfMDfSg

Newgrange is one of those places I'd really love to visit one day, though I've never actually been to Ireland.

You still have cassettes? I do, but that's because a lot of audio books, especially older ones, come in that format.

He probably chose Blindness as the title of his book for its shock value. It is, after all, something that most people fear quite badly. It's also a very good metaphor, of course.

I think most people have an inner voice, a conscience, that tells them when something they're doing is right or wrong. At least, I like to think that's the case. Often, though, people will ignore their conscience, and persuade themselves that what they're doing is right, or for the best in the long run, or whatever. A million excuses to tell themselves that they've done the right thing, when in fact, they know they haven't. But then, there are always grey areas. Take vegetarianism, for example. I can fully understand the argument of those who say it's wrong to kill and eat a living, conscious creature. I don't happen to agree with it, simply because that's not how humans have evolved. I do, however, think that we owe it to these animals that we keep for food to make their lives as comfortable as we can, beforehand. And obviously, we should never waste the food so provided. As for myself, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, but that's primarily as part of my drive for physical and spiritual purification that I mentioned before.

I hadn't heard that thing about Saturn before, I must admit. But then, I'm not an expert on astrology. I know that blind people were put to work in the middle ages, rather than just left to vegetate. For example, on building sites they were often employed in groups to walk round giant treadmills to provide lifting power for wooden cranes and things like that. Sounds particularly dull and repetitive, but quite a lot better than just being left on the streets to beg. Which also happened, though. Prior to the Reformation, many welfare services were provided by monasteries (hospitals, hostels, alms, and so on), and the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII caused quite a major crisis. So the state had to step in, and began to get a lot more heavily involved in welfare legislation during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Yes, the old saying, what you've never had you never miss. And, you know, it's true in a way. But only up to a certain point. I would dearly love to know what it's like to see, if only out of intense curiosity. Having said that, I can't imagine what it must be like to lose one's sight. Truly awful, presumably.

In terms of physical attraction, it's smell that does it for me, and that's something I pick up on the moment I meet anyone (actually, usually just before I meet them).
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 04, 2021 7:33 pm

Maia wrote: Yes, there is always the possibility of change, in all things, and this is a source of great hope. And in my experience, when big changes happen, they all come very quickly. Important events are not spread out at random, but rather, they seem to cluster in bunches. Which probably gives a clue to the workings of fate.


Of course it works both ways. The changes might be for the better, giving you hope...or for the worse, leading to despair. The important thing in my view is in recognizing just how important contingency, chance and change can be in our lives. We can never be too comfortable in our skin because we never really know for sure what's around that proverbial next corner. But, in accepting this, we are better prepared for whatever does come around it.

And, yes, the mystery embedded in the parts that are fate and the parts that are autonomy. Never really being certain of where one crosses over into the other.

Maia wrote: With regard to relationships, in the more general meaning of the term, I've never had any problem making friends, whether in the Pagan community or anywhere else, as I think I'm a fairly sociable sort of person. In particular, I've never had any hang-ups about mixing with sighted people, which is not the case for all blind people. In fact, I prefer it. And this goes back to the previous point about not blurring the lines between the two communities. My purpose in becoming involved in a Pagan group or event is to take from it what it offers on its own terms. I have no wish to change the nature of the event to suit my own needs, or bring people along for support, who may be there mainly for my sake, rather than the event itself. And yes, being blind does indeed set me apart from all the others at such events, but this needn't be a bad thing. It has certainly opened doors for me that wouldn't necessarily have opened otherwise.


That's good of course. You have thought this through given all of the experiences you have had in both communities. And you certainly strike me as intelligent and perceptive. And someone who has accumulated both emotional depth and social skills in regard to your interactions with others around you. You have come to embody a frame of mind that sustains a level of satisfaction and fulfilment that seems clearly to work for you as "the best of all possible worlds". At least for now.

I can only imgagine being in a group given my own more problematic frame of mind. I would almost certainly be more inclined to want those who are most like me to share the experiences. Someone I can discuss them with given factors that are most important to us. But those factors will always be different for different people. Which is why I tend towards the more pragmatic notion of "whatever works" here. Different strokes for different folks. While always being mindful of tolerance and in minimizing any possible pain and suffering inflicted on others when points of view are in conflict.

Maia wrote: Ah, Enya (or "Enema" as a friend of mine at school used to call her, yes, very juvenile, I know), another excellent choice. And from Enya we move quite naturally onto Clannad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWtVNfMDfSg

Newgrange is one of those places I'd really love to visit one day, though I've never actually been to Ireland.


Oh, indeed, and Clannad created one of my all time favorite albums: Macalla

https://youtu.be/z-Eu3gPywMY
https://youtu.be/IaY3X1FpUcU
https://youtu.be/s597mjkKNlQ
https://youtu.be/caH6Ys_bM34
https://youtu.be/y7WfjADdPlY

What I'll do is this: As I come to some of my favorite songs in the folk genre on my cassettes, I'll put them on this thread for you.

Maia wrote: You still have cassettes? I do, but that's because a lot of audio books, especially older ones, come in that format.


I have literally hundreds of "mixed tapes". Thousands and thousands of song in which I am never really certain which genre will pop up next. But that's the thing with me and music. I don't get in the mood for a particular kind, I let whatever kind does pop up on the cassette take me into however I react to it. Emotionally and/or esthetically.

Maia wrote: He probably chose Blindness as the title of his book for its shock value. It is, after all, something that most people fear quite badly. It's also a very good metaphor, of course.


At the end of the book, I will come to my own conclusion. And then I'll let you know my own reaction.

Maia wrote: I think most people have an inner voice, a conscience, that tells them when something they're doing is right or wrong. At least, I like to think that's the case. Often, though, people will ignore their conscience, and persuade themselves that what they're doing is right, or for the best in the long run, or whatever. A million excuses to tell themselves that they've done the right thing, when in fact, they know they haven't.


Where things get more muddled for me here however is when, given my reaction to a particular situation [from the news or from my life], I fall down into this philosophical hole:

"If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein [the life I lived] and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically."

Then I have to grapple with how much it really is just an intellectual contraption and how much it is applicable to my life "for all practical purposes" from day to day. On the other hand, given my agoraphobia, I almost never actually interact with others "in the flesh" anymore. So, I wonder, is that the good news or the bad news?

Yes, the grey areas:

Maia wrote: But then, there are always grey areas. Take vegetarianism, for example. I can fully understand the argument of those who say it's wrong to kill and eat a living, conscious creature. I don't happen to agree with it, simply because that's not how humans have evolved. I do, however, think that we owe it to these animals that we keep for food to make their lives as comfortable as we can, beforehand. And obviously, we should never waste the food so provided. As for myself, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, but that's primarily as part of my drive for physical and spiritual purification that I mentioned before.


Exactly! People on both sides of the issue can make reasonable arguments. And each of us as individuals will come to our own subjective conclusions based on what is happening in our lives over the years.

Now, the point of philosophy revolves around this: "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence". The so-called search for wisdom. That's always been my own obsession: in regard to animal rights and all of the other moral issues in our life, is there a way philosophically to know how "one ought to live"?

Maia wrote: I hadn't heard that thing about Saturn before, I must admit. But then, I'm not an expert on astrology. I know that blind people were put to work in the middle ages, rather than just left to vegetate. For example, on building sites they were often employed in groups to walk round giant treadmills to provide lifting power for wooden cranes and things like that. Sounds particularly dull and repetitive, but quite a lot better than just being left on the streets to beg. Which also happened, though. Prior to the Reformation, many welfare services were provided by monasteries (hospitals, hostels, alms, and so on), and the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII caused quite a major crisis. So the state had to step in, and began to get a lot more heavily involved in welfare legislation during the reign of Elizabeth I.


That's the historical nature of the beast: the human condition. It changes over time as new discoveries, new ways of thinking, new political philosophies, new inventions, new technologies and all of the other factors reconfigure attitudes about almost everything over and over and over again.

Maia wrote: Yes, the old saying, what you've never had you never miss. And, you know, it's true in a way. But only up to a certain point. I would dearly love to know what it's like to see, if only out of intense curiosity. Having said that, I can't imagine what it must be like to lose one's sight. Truly awful, presumably.


Needless to say, no one knows how to sort all this out...not into the most and the least rational ways to think about it. Some things just become a part of what is...whether we like it or not. And the way we make the most out of that. And the way we figure out solutions in regard to the interactions between those who are one way and those who are another way. What some call the "brute facticity" of the world as it is. As opposed to the way we would like it to be instead. And then the parts where we can bring what is closer to what we want it to be.

Yes, for those who could see for many years, those who put so much emphasis on "looks" in their search for a romantic partner, losing their vision might be awful indeed. What are they going to do when they meet someone new? They find this person intelligent and funny and in possession of great emotional depth and liking the same things that they do. But will they still find it necessary to ask of a sighted friend, "is she pretty?", is he "handsome".

Maia wrote: In terms of physical attraction, it's smell that does it for me, and that's something I pick up on the moment I meet anyone (actually, usually just before I meet them).


Of course, never having been blind, I hardly ever gave thought to smell in my own relationships. On the other hand, smell aside, you still do have all those other factors available to you in which to react to others.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 04, 2021 10:45 pm

As promised...

The Roches "Losing True": https://youtu.be/5MtQscjlciI
Judy Collins "Farewell To Tarwathie" https://youtu.be/OjfkQtSNKl4
Trapezoid "In The Hills Of Shiloh" https://youtu.be/tuSIsUo6JA4
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Sculptor » Tue May 04, 2021 10:53 pm

iambiguous wrote:As promised...

The Roches "Losing True": https://youtu.be/5MtQscjlciI
Judy Collins "Farewell To Tarwathie" https://youtu.be/OjfkQtSNKl4
Trapezoid "In The Hills Of Shiloh" https://youtu.be/tuSIsUo6JA4


You just took me back to this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WorgQGCFeLM
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Wed May 05, 2021 11:35 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Yes, there is always the possibility of change, in all things, and this is a source of great hope. And in my experience, when big changes happen, they all come very quickly. Important events are not spread out at random, but rather, they seem to cluster in bunches. Which probably gives a clue to the workings of fate.


Of course it works both ways. The changes might be for the better, giving you hope...or for the worse, leading to despair. The important thing in my view is in recognizing just how important contingency, chance and change can be in our lives. We can never be too comfortable in our skin because we never really know for sure what's around that proverbial next corner. But, in accepting this, we are better prepared for whatever does come around it.

And, yes, the mystery embedded in the parts that are fate and the parts that are autonomy. Never really being certain of where one crosses over into the other.

Maia wrote: With regard to relationships, in the more general meaning of the term, I've never had any problem making friends, whether in the Pagan community or anywhere else, as I think I'm a fairly sociable sort of person. In particular, I've never had any hang-ups about mixing with sighted people, which is not the case for all blind people. In fact, I prefer it. And this goes back to the previous point about not blurring the lines between the two communities. My purpose in becoming involved in a Pagan group or event is to take from it what it offers on its own terms. I have no wish to change the nature of the event to suit my own needs, or bring people along for support, who may be there mainly for my sake, rather than the event itself. And yes, being blind does indeed set me apart from all the others at such events, but this needn't be a bad thing. It has certainly opened doors for me that wouldn't necessarily have opened otherwise.


That's good of course. You have thought this through given all of the experiences you have had in both communities. And you certainly strike me as intelligent and perceptive. And someone who has accumulated both emotional depth and social skills in regard to your interactions with others around you. You have come to embody a frame of mind that sustains a level of satisfaction and fulfilment that seems clearly to work for you as "the best of all possible worlds". At least for now.

I can only imgagine being in a group given my own more problematic frame of mind. I would almost certainly be more inclined to want those who are most like me to share the experiences. Someone I can discuss them with given factors that are most important to us. But those factors will always be different for different people. Which is why I tend towards the more pragmatic notion of "whatever works" here. Different strokes for different folks. While always being mindful of tolerance and in minimizing any possible pain and suffering inflicted on others when points of view are in conflict.

Maia wrote: Ah, Enya (or "Enema" as a friend of mine at school used to call her, yes, very juvenile, I know), another excellent choice. And from Enya we move quite naturally onto Clannad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWtVNfMDfSg

Newgrange is one of those places I'd really love to visit one day, though I've never actually been to Ireland.


Oh, indeed, and Clannad created one of my all time favorite albums: Macalla

https://youtu.be/z-Eu3gPywMY
https://youtu.be/IaY3X1FpUcU
https://youtu.be/s597mjkKNlQ
https://youtu.be/caH6Ys_bM34
https://youtu.be/y7WfjADdPlY

What I'll do is this: As I come to some of my favorite songs in the folk genre on my cassettes, I'll put them on this thread for you.

Maia wrote: You still have cassettes? I do, but that's because a lot of audio books, especially older ones, come in that format.


I have literally hundreds of "mixed tapes". Thousands and thousands of song in which I am never really certain which genre will pop up next. But that's the thing with me and music. I don't get in the mood for a particular kind, I let whatever kind does pop up on the cassette take me into however I react to it. Emotionally and/or esthetically.

Maia wrote: He probably chose Blindness as the title of his book for its shock value. It is, after all, something that most people fear quite badly. It's also a very good metaphor, of course.


At the end of the book, I will come to my own conclusion. And then I'll let you know my own reaction.

Maia wrote: I think most people have an inner voice, a conscience, that tells them when something they're doing is right or wrong. At least, I like to think that's the case. Often, though, people will ignore their conscience, and persuade themselves that what they're doing is right, or for the best in the long run, or whatever. A million excuses to tell themselves that they've done the right thing, when in fact, they know they haven't.


Where things get more muddled for me here however is when, given my reaction to a particular situation [from the news or from my life], I fall down into this philosophical hole:

"If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein [the life I lived] and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically."

Then I have to grapple with how much it really is just an intellectual contraption and how much it is applicable to my life "for all practical purposes" from day to day. On the other hand, given my agoraphobia, I almost never actually interact with others "in the flesh" anymore. So, I wonder, is that the good news or the bad news?

Yes, the grey areas:

Maia wrote: But then, there are always grey areas. Take vegetarianism, for example. I can fully understand the argument of those who say it's wrong to kill and eat a living, conscious creature. I don't happen to agree with it, simply because that's not how humans have evolved. I do, however, think that we owe it to these animals that we keep for food to make their lives as comfortable as we can, beforehand. And obviously, we should never waste the food so provided. As for myself, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, but that's primarily as part of my drive for physical and spiritual purification that I mentioned before.


Exactly! People on both sides of the issue can make reasonable arguments. And each of us as individuals will come to our own subjective conclusions based on what is happening in our lives over the years.

Now, the point of philosophy revolves around this: "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence". The so-called search for wisdom. That's always been my own obsession: in regard to animal rights and all of the other moral issues in our life, is there a way philosophically to know how "one ought to live"?

Maia wrote: I hadn't heard that thing about Saturn before, I must admit. But then, I'm not an expert on astrology. I know that blind people were put to work in the middle ages, rather than just left to vegetate. For example, on building sites they were often employed in groups to walk round giant treadmills to provide lifting power for wooden cranes and things like that. Sounds particularly dull and repetitive, but quite a lot better than just being left on the streets to beg. Which also happened, though. Prior to the Reformation, many welfare services were provided by monasteries (hospitals, hostels, alms, and so on), and the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII caused quite a major crisis. So the state had to step in, and began to get a lot more heavily involved in welfare legislation during the reign of Elizabeth I.


That's the historical nature of the beast: the human condition. It changes over time as new discoveries, new ways of thinking, new political philosophies, new inventions, new technologies and all of the other factors reconfigure attitudes about almost everything over and over and over again.

Maia wrote: Yes, the old saying, what you've never had you never miss. And, you know, it's true in a way. But only up to a certain point. I would dearly love to know what it's like to see, if only out of intense curiosity. Having said that, I can't imagine what it must be like to lose one's sight. Truly awful, presumably.


Needless to say, no one knows how to sort all this out...not into the most and the least rational ways to think about it. Some things just become a part of what is...whether we like it or not. And the way we make the most out of that. And the way we figure out solutions in regard to the interactions between those who are one way and those who are another way. What some call the "brute facticity" of the world as it is. As opposed to the way we would like it to be instead. And then the parts where we can bring what is closer to what we want it to be.

Yes, for those who could see for many years, those who put so much emphasis on "looks" in their search for a romantic partner, losing their vision might be awful indeed. What are they going to do when they meet someone new? They find this person intelligent and funny and in possession of great emotional depth and liking the same things that they do. But will they still find it necessary to ask of a sighted friend, "is she pretty?", is he "handsome".

Maia wrote: In terms of physical attraction, it's smell that does it for me, and that's something I pick up on the moment I meet anyone (actually, usually just before I meet them).


Of course, never having been blind, I hardly ever gave thought to smell in my own relationships. On the other hand, smell aside, you still do have all those other factors available to you in which to react to others.


Despair is certainly an option, if you let it be. Depression is something I've been mercifully free of in my life, touch wood, but I know exactly how it affects others, and it's not usually something that just goes away on its own. The solution to it is inspiration. Getting inspired by something, literally anything (doesn't have to be group based, could be a personal passion for some field of study, for example), and becoming absorbed by it. The trick, though, is lighting that initial spark, and that always has to be down to the individual. But I'm sure that none of this is news to you.

If you like, I can outline some very simple grounding rituals that you might like to try out. Just a thought, anyway.

And, of course, thank you for the compliment when you called me intelligent, perceptive, and so on.

Yes, Macalla is brilliant. And here's a particularly haunting version of the old folk classic, John Barleycorn Must Die.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oHLXMpl9L0

A very nice selection of songs you posted below, too. The third one, In the Hills of Shiloh, which I was only vaguely familiar with, was bit tearful, actually, in a good way.

The first of those points is clearly true, our values are indeed derived from our life experiences. Not so sure about the second, though, that there are no objective values that can be reached, as it's just, as you say, an opinion, and a rather depressing one at that. My own opinion, and it is, of course, just an opinion, is that there is indeed an objective core of ethical values, as dictated by conscience. Since this opinion is more optimistic, if there's no other way of choosing which is correct, then it's probably best to go for the optimistic one, for all practical purposes.

And equally, I'm not at all sure there's a way of knowing the best way to live, from philosophy alone. They've been at it for two and a half millennia, after all. Or maybe there is, and it's been staring everyone in the face from the start. I'm more inclined to the latter opinion, because it's more hopeful, and the answer is, be nice to people, and nice things happen to you.

As for those who lose their sight and their attitudes towards the visual appearance of any potential romantic partner, it surely varies from person to person. Some won't care. And others will probably want to know what the individual looks like, not out of any shallow motivation, but in an effort to cling to the life they once had. Or maybe even just curiosity.

I think most people react to smell subconsciously. For me, it's obvious, and, indeed, I can recognise anyone I know by their smell alone. But yes, smell is the first thing I notice when meeting someone, but then all the other factors come into play, too.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 05, 2021 7:47 pm

Maia wrote: Despair is certainly an option, if you let it be. Depression is something I've been mercifully free of in my life, touch wood, but I know exactly how it affects others, and it's not usually something that just goes away on its own. The solution to it is inspiration. Getting inspired by something, literally anything (doesn't have to be group based, could be a personal passion for some field of study, for example), and becoming absorbed by it. The trick, though, is lighting that initial spark, and that always has to be down to the individual. But I'm sure that none of this is news to you.


Yep, that's how it can be for some. No doubt about it. Here, though, everything would seem to revolve around actual options. The ones there that you miss, or the ones there only if you go deep enough to think them up. Unless, of course, the depression is more of a clinical nature. In other words, derived from a brain that creates depression due to chemical and neurological interactions that aren't working as they should be. Think William Styron's Darkness Visible. Here sometimes only medication helps.

This just popped into my head:

Is it possible that just as some people are born blind, others are born depressed?

Here is one take on that: https://www.bustle.com/articles/103024- ... -depressed

Excerpt:

"The short answer is yes, some people are born with a genetic makeup that makes them prone to depression — but that doesn't mean they will automatically become depressed."

On the other hand, with blindness, given the congenital relationship between the brain and the eyes, some are "automatically" blind for life. Unless science is able to change that. And how could someone blind from birth not hold out at least some hope of that?

Maia wrote: Yes, Macalla is brilliant. And here's a particularly haunting version of the old folk classic, John Barleycorn Must Die.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oHLXMpl9L0


Yes, the music is haunting but it was difficult to make out the words. At least on my own "cheap" laptop. And this [for me] is one of those songs where the music and the words come together in producing the most intense reaction.

As in, for example, Traffic's cover: https://youtu.be/LdI057Rs3wY

Maia wrote: A very nice selection of songs you posted below, too. The third one, In the Hills of Shiloh, which I was only vaguely familiar with, was bit tearful, actually, in a good way.


Anne Louise White, a member of Trapezoid, taught my daughter voice lessons here in Baltimore. I vaguely recall that at Jessica's last class, Anne had informed us that either she or her husband had contracted lupus. It's all basically a blur now.

Maia wrote: The first of those points is clearly true, our values are indeed derived from our life experiences. Not so sure about the second, though, that there are no objective values that can be reached, as it's just, as you say, an opinion, and a rather depressing one at that.


Oh, indeed. I wish that I could figure out a way to think myself into not believing what I do. In fact, that's why, in part, I come to places like this. There is always the possibility that others can nudge me in a less cynical and pessimistic direction.

Maia wrote: My own opinion, and it is, of course, just an opinion, is that there is indeed an objective core of ethical values, as dictated by conscience. Since this opinion is more optimistic, if there's no other way of choosing which is correct, then it's probably best to go for the optimistic one, for all practical purposes.


This seems practically beyond all doubt rooted in the lives of each of us as individuals. It only gets problematic when "for all practical purposes" one person who sincerely believes that one course of action is moral bumps into another who sincerely believes that another, conflicting, course of action is moral. Then what? Then it's either "might makes right" where the one with the most power prevails, "right makes might" where both people can come to agree on one right behavior, or "moderation, negotiation and compromise" where they agree to disagree about right and wrong but are willing to come up with a resolution somewhere in the middle. Both of them get something but neither of them get everything.

Maia wrote: And equally, I'm not at all sure there's a way of knowing the best way to live, from philosophy alone. They've been at it for two and a half millennia, after all. Or maybe there is, and it's been staring everyone in the face from the start. I'm more inclined to the latter opinion, because it's more hopeful, and the answer is, be nice to people, and nice things happen to you.


That works for me too. Especially the part where the whole point of your interactions with another is to come up with a way in which to cause each other the least displeasure.

Maia wrote: As for those who lose their sight and their attitudes towards the visual appearance of any potential romantic partner, it surely varies from person to person. Some won't care. And others will probably want to know what the individual looks like, not out of any shallow motivation, but in an effort to cling to the life they once had. Or maybe even just curiosity.


Here all we can do is to take it one close encounter at a time. If we ever even have such a close encounter...a situation in which we actually do befriend someone who was obsessed with "looks", becomes blind, and then asks you if the person they just met is "pretty" or "handsome".

I mean, what are the odds of that?!

Maia wrote: I think most people react to smell subconsciously. For me, it's obvious, and, indeed, I can recognise anyone I know by their smell alone. But yes, smell is the first thing I notice when meeting someone, but then all the other factors come into play, too.


I really have almost no understanding of what you mean by this. How could I? For me smell came into play [when I was interacting with others] only in situations where it was a very powerful smell...due to physical exertion or in a particular environment.

A question about your avatar here at ILP...

You have of course never seen it. Now, what I see is you kneeling down with an arm raised so that your hand covers most of your face. It almost looks as though you were taking a photograph with a really small camera.

So, I'm curious as to why you chose this? Were you aiming to tell us something about yourself? Or is it more or less something that "just happened"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 05, 2021 9:34 pm

Leonard Cohen "The Partisan" https://youtu.be/hs5hOhI4pEE
Leonard Cohen "Who by Fire" https://youtu.be/ilGahIwQEQ0
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 06, 2021 1:30 am

Buffy Sainte-Marie "God is Alive, Magic is Afoot" https://youtu.be/i-GonR4S1to
Aphrodite's Child "Loud Loud Loud" https://youtu.be/uAhbVzwzZ6
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Thu May 06, 2021 12:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Despair is certainly an option, if you let it be. Depression is something I've been mercifully free of in my life, touch wood, but I know exactly how it affects others, and it's not usually something that just goes away on its own. The solution to it is inspiration. Getting inspired by something, literally anything (doesn't have to be group based, could be a personal passion for some field of study, for example), and becoming absorbed by it. The trick, though, is lighting that initial spark, and that always has to be down to the individual. But I'm sure that none of this is news to you.


Yep, that's how it can be for some. No doubt about it. Here, though, everything would seem to revolve around actual options. The ones there that you miss, or the ones there only if you go deep enough to think them up. Unless, of course, the depression is more of a clinical nature. In other words, derived from a brain that creates depression due to chemical and neurological interactions that aren't working as they should be. Think William Styron's Darkness Visible. Here sometimes only medication helps.

This just popped into my head:

Is it possible that just as some people are born blind, others are born depressed?

Here is one take on that: https://www.bustle.com/articles/103024- ... -depressed

Excerpt:

"The short answer is yes, some people are born with a genetic makeup that makes them prone to depression — but that doesn't mean they will automatically become depressed."

On the other hand, with blindness, given the congenital relationship between the brain and the eyes, some are "automatically" blind for life. Unless science is able to change that. And how could someone blind from birth not hold out at least some hope of that?

Maia wrote: Yes, Macalla is brilliant. And here's a particularly haunting version of the old folk classic, John Barleycorn Must Die.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oHLXMpl9L0


Yes, the music is haunting but it was difficult to make out the words. At least on my own "cheap" laptop. And this [for me] is one of those songs where the music and the words come together in producing the most intense reaction.

As in, for example, Traffic's cover: https://youtu.be/LdI057Rs3wY

Maia wrote: A very nice selection of songs you posted below, too. The third one, In the Hills of Shiloh, which I was only vaguely familiar with, was bit tearful, actually, in a good way.


Anne Louise White, a member of Trapezoid, taught my daughter voice lessons here in Baltimore. I vaguely recall that at Jessica's last class, Anne had informed us that either she or her husband had contracted lupus. It's all basically a blur now.

Maia wrote: The first of those points is clearly true, our values are indeed derived from our life experiences. Not so sure about the second, though, that there are no objective values that can be reached, as it's just, as you say, an opinion, and a rather depressing one at that.


Oh, indeed. I wish that I could figure out a way to think myself into not believing what I do. In fact, that's why, in part, I come to places like this. There is always the possibility that others can nudge me in a less cynical and pessimistic direction.

Maia wrote: My own opinion, and it is, of course, just an opinion, is that there is indeed an objective core of ethical values, as dictated by conscience. Since this opinion is more optimistic, if there's no other way of choosing which is correct, then it's probably best to go for the optimistic one, for all practical purposes.


This seems practically beyond all doubt rooted in the lives of each of us as individuals. It only gets problematic when "for all practical purposes" one person who sincerely believes that one course of action is moral bumps into another who sincerely believes that another, conflicting, course of action is moral. Then what? Then it's either "might makes right" where the one with the most power prevails, "right makes might" where both people can come to agree on one right behavior, or "moderation, negotiation and compromise" where they agree to disagree about right and wrong but are willing to come up with a resolution somewhere in the middle. Both of them get something but neither of them get everything.

Maia wrote: And equally, I'm not at all sure there's a way of knowing the best way to live, from philosophy alone. They've been at it for two and a half millennia, after all. Or maybe there is, and it's been staring everyone in the face from the start. I'm more inclined to the latter opinion, because it's more hopeful, and the answer is, be nice to people, and nice things happen to you.


That works for me too. Especially the part where the whole point of your interactions with another is to come up with a way in which to cause each other the least displeasure.

Maia wrote: As for those who lose their sight and their attitudes towards the visual appearance of any potential romantic partner, it surely varies from person to person. Some won't care. And others will probably want to know what the individual looks like, not out of any shallow motivation, but in an effort to cling to the life they once had. Or maybe even just curiosity.


Here all we can do is to take it one close encounter at a time. If we ever even have such a close encounter...a situation in which we actually do befriend someone who was obsessed with "looks", becomes blind, and then asks you if the person they just met is "pretty" or "handsome".

I mean, what are the odds of that?!

Maia wrote: I think most people react to smell subconsciously. For me, it's obvious, and, indeed, I can recognise anyone I know by their smell alone. But yes, smell is the first thing I notice when meeting someone, but then all the other factors come into play, too.


I really have almost no understanding of what you mean by this. How could I? For me smell came into play [when I was interacting with others] only in situations where it was a very powerful smell...due to physical exertion or in a particular environment.

A question about your avatar here at ILP...

You have of course never seen it. Now, what I see is you kneeling down with an arm raised so that your hand covers most of your face. It almost looks as though you were taking a photograph with a really small camera.

So, I'm curious as to why you chose this? Were you aiming to tell us something about yourself? Or is it more or less something that "just happened"?


Yes, it's clear that depression, or at least a predisposition to depression, can be genetic. It even seems to run in families. But, as the article pointed out, having a genetic predisposition to depression doesn't mean they'll actually get it. But, you know, we all have to play the hand we're dealt with, because that's the only option. We should be genuinely thankful for, and make the very best of what you've been given, rather than wasting our lives away wishing for things we can't have. And, as you say, I'm blind for life, but to be honest, it's nowhere near as bad as most people seem to imagine, a point I really hope I've managed to drive home in everything I've been saying.

On the subject of medication, while I accept that there are certain conditions where it's essential, I personally try and avoid it like the plague. Too often, doctors dope their patients up to the eyeballs and turn them into addicts, but filling my body with artifical chemicals just doesn't appeal to me, and would go against my long-term quest for purification. I'm lucky, of course, to be blessed with good health, so those less fortunate than me would have perfectly valid reasons for a different opinion.

Ok, let's try something. Can you describe to me, in detail, the place where you live, layout of rooms, and so on. And then, describe to me, from beginning to end, your average day, say, yesterday.

That's very interesting to know. Not so much that a member of that band taught your daughter (interesting though it is), but that you have a daughter.

Thanks for the selection (the last one wouldn't play, though, but that's sometimes the case because of copyright issues in different countries). Here's another good'n.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmsrfivdKPQ

The problem of conflicting opinions leading to actual conflicts is not, I think, a philosophical issue. Perhaps it should be, in an ideal world, but it isn't. It's a political and social issue. Humans are social creatures, and over time have evolved highly complex societies, which include rules of behaviour, designed, or rather evolved, to meet this precise issue, namely, how can conflict be contained. In some cases, people have sat down and actually written a constitution, the USA being the archetypal example. In other cases, such as the UK, no constitution has ever been drawn up, it has just evolved over time as needs demanded. Legislation, or constitutions, may be influenced by philosophy, but laws are, in practice, backed up by consensus. There is a consensus in any society among the actual people themselves that certain modes of behaviour are ok, and others aren't, and these evolve too, as the culture itself evolves.

I would say that the most satisfying way of living is not so much just causing the least displeasure, as actively seeking ways to cause pleasure. Within reason, I hasten to add.

I took my profile pic myself, with my brother's camera, in front of a mirror with him directing, about ten years ago now. That's the uniform of the leisure centre, by the way, where the senior citizens' club meets. We did a few, for me to use online, but he assured me that was the cutest.

And that neatly leads onto something I've been wondering. I've been a member here for nine years, so why wait till now, this past month, to engage me in conversation? Just curious, that's all, about the workings of fate.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 06, 2021 8:22 pm

Maia wrote:Yes, it's clear that depression, or at least a predisposition to depression, can be genetic. It even seems to run in families. But, as the article pointed out, having a genetic predisposition to depression doesn't mean they'll actually get it. But, you know, we all have to play the hand we're dealt with, because that's the only option.


Yes, I often come back to this. The profoundly problematic interaction of genes and memes that can produce literally countless combinations of variables in the lives of each of us as individuals. Some at birth and others throughout the course of our life from the cradle to the grave. And then the equally [at times] convoluted part where sometimes some things are beyond our control but then other times other things are not. It may well be a miracle that we are able to communicate our lives to each other as well as we do.

Maia wrote:We should be genuinely thankful for, and make the very best of what you've been given, rather than wasting our lives away wishing for things we can't have. And, as you say, I'm blind for life, but to be honest, it's nowhere near as bad as most people seem to imagine, a point I really hope I've managed to drive home in everything I've been saying.


Yes, well put. You are able to live a rewarding life given the things that you can't control and the things that you can. How can that not be the basic goal for all of us?

Maia wrote:On the subject of medication, while I accept that there are certain conditions where it's essential, I personally try and avoid it like the plague. Too often, doctors dope their patients up to the eyeballs and turn them into addicts, but filling my body with artifical chemicals just doesn't appeal to me, and would go against my long-term quest for purification. I'm lucky, of course, to be blessed with good health, so those less fortunate than me would have perfectly valid reasons for a different opinion.


Clearly, to the extent that someone is able to avoid medication, they should. And then the part where drugs become just one more commodity that others are able to sell in order to make lots and lots of money. So, naturally, from their point of view, the more pills and injections and doses the better. It always comes down to thinking through your own situation to the best of your ability and [hopefully] finding doctors that you truly trust to give you the best advice.

Maia wrote:Ok, let's try something. Can you describe to me, in detail, the place where you live, layout of rooms, and so on. And then, describe to me, from beginning to end, your average day, say, yesterday.


I live in a really nice brick apartment complex near the water. The rooms are typical of most apartments here: living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. But, for me, the center of the universe is my recliner. On either side of it is my stereo, the stack of books I am currently reading, my magazines, the television, my laptop, the internet and cable modem.

Of course I can't help but wonder how you would describe your own living quarters.

Now, in hardly ever leaving my apartment, my days are all pretty much the same. I am either online, reading, watching a movie, listening to music, tuning into PBS, HBO and the Science Channel, or doing crostic puzzles. For years now, and I still never ever get bored and, in having become my own best friend, am quite comfortable with the life I live.

Maia wrote:That's very interesting to know. Not so much that a member of that band taught your daughter (interesting though it is), but that you have a daughter.


Now, there's a long story. Going back to a marriage in which my ex-wife left me for another woman, and then straight out of Kramer vs. Kramer, she left with her lover Jackie. And for a few years I raised Jessica on my own. Then she was back and it was joint custody. Then a really, really complex twist in which Jess and I don't really see each other anymore. We're still in touch...but barely.

Maia wrote:Thanks for the selection (the last one wouldn't play, though, but that's sometimes the case because of copyright issues in different countries).


Ill try another youtube video. And include another song from 666 to see if that too is "blocked".

Aphrodite's Child "Loud Loud Loud" https://youtu.be/37nZHiVoh9Y
"Break" https://youtu.be/ZIBgX2m18sA

Aphrodite's Child is really not a folk band, but these two songs are kind of "folkish" to me.

The man who created the band is Vangelis Papathanassiou -- or just Vangelis to most of us. He created what, to my ears, is one of the most beautiful songs of all time: https://youtu.be/C9KAqhbIZ7o

The love theme from Blade Runner. I can't help but wish that you could see the video that goes with it. The interaction between Harrison Ford and Sean Young.

Maia wrote: The problem of conflicting opinions leading to actual conflicts is not, I think, a philosophical issue. Perhaps it should be, in an ideal world, but it isn't. It's a political and social issue. Humans are social creatures, and over time have evolved highly complex societies, which include rules of behaviour, designed, or rather evolved, to meet this precise issue, namely, how can conflict be contained. In some cases, people have sat down and actually written a constitution, the USA being the archetypal example. In other cases, such as the UK, no constitution has ever been drawn up, it has just evolved over time as needs demanded. Legislation, or constitutions, may be influenced by philosophy, but laws are, in practice, backed up by consensus. There is a consensus in any society among the actual people themselves that certain modes of behaviour are ok, and others aren't, and these evolve too, as the culture itself evolves.

I would say that the most satisfying way of living is not so much just causing the least displeasure, as actively seeking ways to cause pleasure. Within reason, I hasten to add.


Yes, all of this seems reasonable for all practical purposes. If only in those communities/nations that do not revolve around "might makes right" i.e., theocracies, monarchies, dictatorships, survival of the fittest mentalities...or those communities/nations that do not revolve around "right makes might", i.e., more or less totalitarian communities/nations that revolve around one or another authoritarian ideological agenda.

The U.S. and the U.K., with or without a Constitution, have evolved historically into the third type of government: a democracy rooted in the rule of law. Revolving more or less around moderation, negotiation and compromise.

This works for me as the "best of all possible worlds", but...

...but I am still no less fractured and fragmented given my own reaction to what I call "conflicting goods". Or what William Barrett called "rival goods":

"For the choice in...human [moral conflicts] is almost never between a good and an evil, where both are plainly marked as such and the choice therefore made in all the certitude of reason; rather it is between rival goods, where one is bound to do some evil either way, and where the the ultimate outcome and even---or most of all---our own motives are unclear to us."

Maia wrote: I took my profile pic myself, with my brother's camera, in front of a mirror with him directing, about ten years ago now. That's the uniform of the leisure centre, by the way, where the senior citizens' club meets. We did a few, for me to use online, but he assured me that was the cutest.


Yes, now it comes back to me. Didn't you offer us an opportunity to choose which picture you would use as your profile pic? I can't remember what the other ones were but...but was the one you did choose as a result of what those here suggested or was it all on your brother's shoulder?

Maia wrote: And that neatly leads onto something I've been wondering. I've been a member here for nine years, so why wait till now, this past month, to engage me in conversation? Just curious, that's all, about the workings of fate.


Let me think about that...

I do remember responding to a few of your posts. But you're right: why now for a more extended conversation?

Well, having thought about it some, as you may or may not know, I have a fascination with dreams. In particular how they relate to the debate revolving around free will and determinism. So I clicked on your post originally because it was about dreams.

But then I started thinking: Dreams? How can blind people dream?! Again, I have almost no experience with blindness other than through film characters who were blind. And, to the best of my knowledge, dreams never came up in these films.

And, truth be told, I am still not really able to imagine dreams that did not involve sight.

Given that, if you ever have any particular vivid or exceptional dreams down the road, I really would be interested in your attempts to describe them as you experienced them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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iambiguous
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Fri May 07, 2021 12:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Yes, it's clear that depression, or at least a predisposition to depression, can be genetic. It even seems to run in families. But, as the article pointed out, having a genetic predisposition to depression doesn't mean they'll actually get it. But, you know, we all have to play the hand we're dealt with, because that's the only option.


Yes, I often come back to this. The profoundly problematic interaction of genes and memes that can produce literally countless combinations of variables in the lives of each of us as individuals. Some at birth and others throughout the course of our life from the cradle to the grave. And then the equally [at times] convoluted part where sometimes some things are beyond our control but then other times other things are not. It may well be a miracle that we are able to communicate our lives to each other as well as we do.

Maia wrote:We should be genuinely thankful for, and make the very best of what you've been given, rather than wasting our lives away wishing for things we can't have. And, as you say, I'm blind for life, but to be honest, it's nowhere near as bad as most people seem to imagine, a point I really hope I've managed to drive home in everything I've been saying.


Yes, well put. You are able to live a rewarding life given the things that you can't control and the things that you can. How can that not be the basic goal for all of us?

Maia wrote:On the subject of medication, while I accept that there are certain conditions where it's essential, I personally try and avoid it like the plague. Too often, doctors dope their patients up to the eyeballs and turn them into addicts, but filling my body with artifical chemicals just doesn't appeal to me, and would go against my long-term quest for purification. I'm lucky, of course, to be blessed with good health, so those less fortunate than me would have perfectly valid reasons for a different opinion.


Clearly, to the extent that someone is able to avoid medication, they should. And then the part where drugs become just one more commodity that others are able to sell in order to make lots and lots of money. So, naturally, from their point of view, the more pills and injections and doses the better. It always comes down to thinking through your own situation to the best of your ability and [hopefully] finding doctors that you truly trust to give you the best advice.

Maia wrote:Ok, let's try something. Can you describe to me, in detail, the place where you live, layout of rooms, and so on. And then, describe to me, from beginning to end, your average day, say, yesterday.


I live in a really nice brick apartment complex near the water. The rooms are typical of most apartments here: living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. But, for me, the center of the universe is my recliner. On either side of it is my stereo, the stack of books I am currently reading, my magazines, the television, my laptop, the internet and cable modem.

Of course I can't help but wonder how you would describe your own living quarters.

Now, in hardly ever leaving my apartment, my days are all pretty much the same. I am either online, reading, watching a movie, listening to music, tuning into PBS, HBO and the Science Channel, or doing crostic puzzles. For years now, and I still never ever get bored and, in having become my own best friend, am quite comfortable with the life I live.

Maia wrote:That's very interesting to know. Not so much that a member of that band taught your daughter (interesting though it is), but that you have a daughter.


Now, there's a long story. Going back to a marriage in which my ex-wife left me for another woman, and then straight out of Kramer vs. Kramer, she left with her lover Jackie. And for a few years I raised Jessica on my own. Then she was back and it was joint custody. Then a really, really complex twist in which Jess and I don't really see each other anymore. We're still in touch...but barely.

Maia wrote:Thanks for the selection (the last one wouldn't play, though, but that's sometimes the case because of copyright issues in different countries).


Ill try another youtube video. And include another song from 666 to see if that too is "blocked".

Aphrodite's Child "Loud Loud Loud" https://youtu.be/37nZHiVoh9Y
"Break" https://youtu.be/ZIBgX2m18sA

Aphrodite's Child is really not a folk band, but these two songs are kind of "folkish" to me.

The man who created the band is Vangelis Papathanassiou -- or just Vangelis to most of us. He created what, to my ears, is one of the most beautiful songs of all time: https://youtu.be/C9KAqhbIZ7o

The love theme from Blade Runner. I can't help but wish that you could see the video that goes with it. The interaction between Harrison Ford and Sean Young.

Maia wrote: The problem of conflicting opinions leading to actual conflicts is not, I think, a philosophical issue. Perhaps it should be, in an ideal world, but it isn't. It's a political and social issue. Humans are social creatures, and over time have evolved highly complex societies, which include rules of behaviour, designed, or rather evolved, to meet this precise issue, namely, how can conflict be contained. In some cases, people have sat down and actually written a constitution, the USA being the archetypal example. In other cases, such as the UK, no constitution has ever been drawn up, it has just evolved over time as needs demanded. Legislation, or constitutions, may be influenced by philosophy, but laws are, in practice, backed up by consensus. There is a consensus in any society among the actual people themselves that certain modes of behaviour are ok, and others aren't, and these evolve too, as the culture itself evolves.

I would say that the most satisfying way of living is not so much just causing the least displeasure, as actively seeking ways to cause pleasure. Within reason, I hasten to add.


Yes, all of this seems reasonable for all practical purposes. If only in those communities/nations that do not revolve around "might makes right" i.e., theocracies, monarchies, dictatorships, survival of the fittest mentalities...or those communities/nations that do not revolve around "right makes might", i.e., more or less totalitarian communities/nations that revolve around one or another authoritarian ideological agenda.

The U.S. and the U.K., with or without a Constitution, have evolved historically into the third type of government: a democracy rooted in the rule of law. Revolving more or less around moderation, negotiation and compromise.

This works for me as the "best of all possible worlds", but...

...but I am still no less fractured and fragmented given my own reaction to what I call "conflicting goods". Or what William Barrett called "rival goods":

"For the choice in...human [moral conflicts] is almost never between a good and an evil, where both are plainly marked as such and the choice therefore made in all the certitude of reason; rather it is between rival goods, where one is bound to do some evil either way, and where the the ultimate outcome and even---or most of all---our own motives are unclear to us."

Maia wrote: I took my profile pic myself, with my brother's camera, in front of a mirror with him directing, about ten years ago now. That's the uniform of the leisure centre, by the way, where the senior citizens' club meets. We did a few, for me to use online, but he assured me that was the cutest.


Yes, now it comes back to me. Didn't you offer us an opportunity to choose which picture you would use as your profile pic? I can't remember what the other ones were but...but was the one you did choose as a result of what those here suggested or was it all on your brother's shoulder?

Maia wrote: And that neatly leads onto something I've been wondering. I've been a member here for nine years, so why wait till now, this past month, to engage me in conversation? Just curious, that's all, about the workings of fate.


Let me think about that...

I do remember responding to a few of your posts. But you're right: why now for a more extended conversation?

Well, having thought about it some, as you may or may not know, I have a fascination with dreams. In particular how they relate to the debate revolving around free will and determinism. So I clicked on your post originally because it was about dreams.

But then I started thinking: Dreams? How can blind people dream?! Again, I have almost no experience with blindness other than through film characters who were blind. And, to the best of my knowledge, dreams never came up in these films.

And, truth be told, I am still not really able to imagine dreams that did not involve sight.

Given that, if you ever have any particular vivid or exceptional dreams down the road, I really would be interested in your attempts to describe them as you experienced them.


The subject of medication brings up a bit of a dilemma for me, where my intuition says one thing, but compelling logical arguments say another. The covid vaccine has not yet been offered to those in my age group, but it's only a matter of time before I get the call. On a purely personal level I'm sure I don't need it, since covid surely poses little risk for me even in the unlikely event that I caught it, but I have to think of others who I might pass it on to. My parents, who are in their fifties, have both had the first AstraZeneca dose, and it did them no harm, apart from some mild side effects, and I definitely don't subscribe to the wilder conspiracy theories about it. Of much more immediate concern than that, though, are the elderly people I work with at the leisure centre. All of them have now had both doses, which has allowed the club to meet again, and as a member of staff, who works with them, I could, if I wanted to, have the jab myself, at any time. Indeed, there has been talk of making it compulsory for everyone who works there. I suppose that what I'll end up doing is having it either when I get the call, or if they make it compulsory at work. But I'm not happy about it, and this must be a good example of your point about conflicting evidence and opinions.

Your flat sounds really nice, especially being near water, which I think always makes a very big difference to the atmosphere and energies of a place. I asked because I wanted something more definite to imagine, while writing responses and thinking about them. I live in a ground floor flat in a fairly small block, with a communal garden both out the front and the back. Not near water though, sadly. I have one large living room five and a half metres by four, with a small kitchen between the back entrance and the living room, and another door leading to the bedroom and bathroom. The garden out the front, surrounded by trees, is a really nice place for picnics with a few friends in the summer.

I'm glad to hear that you're still in touch with your daughter, if only barely. Again, there is always hope for a better future. As for your wife leaving you for another woman, yes, you're right, sounds like something straight out of some awful sitcom. Sorry to hear about it though, anyway. My own experiences of a romantic nature have been rather less than successful (my standards are probably a little too exacting, or so I've been told), and for the past three years or so, I've decided to swear off it completely.

Thanks, all of those videos played just fine. I wasn't very familiar with Vangelis, though I have, of course, heard of Blade Runner.

For my own musical offering, since it's Friday, how about Rebecca Black? Just kidding. How about Tuesday Afternoon instead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEMuAnFH_lM

Yes, I remember when I offered people the opportunity to choose which pic I should use, hehe. I decided to stick with the first one in the end, though, as per my brother's opinion.

I'll certainly describe any interesting dreams I have, if you like, because I find the subject fascinating too, though they've been pretty sparse lately. A lot of my dreams involve recurring themes (though not in the same settings), and one in particular I've noticed involves something like a spiral staircase, or sometimes a spiral slope, in a fairly confined space, with gaps in it that I have to climb down, or up.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 07, 2021 9:37 pm

Maia wrote: The subject of medication brings up a bit of a dilemma for me, where my intuition says one thing, but compelling logical arguments say another. The covid vaccine has not yet been offered to those in my age group, but it's only a matter of time before I get the call. On a purely personal level I'm sure I don't need it, since covid surely poses little risk for me even in the unlikely event that I caught it, but I have to think of others who I might pass it on to. My parents, who are in their fifties, have both had the first AstraZeneca dose, and it did them no harm, apart from some mild side effects, and I definitely don't subscribe to the wilder conspiracy theories about it.


Welcome to the real world as some might say. We are all in a particular situation that others may or may not have any actual understanding of at all. And then there are all of these variables that we have to weigh in order to make what can only be a more or less reasonable and educated choice. I think where the fanatics come into play here is when they link their reaction to things like pandemics and lockdowns and masks and vaccines to one or another political ideology. Especially in regard to their views about the Government and Big Brother. Which is basically how the author of Blindness depicts the authorities in his novel.

The irony here being that while they put so much stock in being "rugged individuals" who get the way the world works that all the rest of us don't, they always insist that only if you think exactly like they do can you be a "rugged individual" too.

My own close encounter with medication revolved around a time in my life when I was pummeled on all sides by what I came to call "stresspools". The anxiety had reached the point where it triggered ungodly attacks of vertigo. I was really, really reluctant to go down the pill path myself but Dr. Palmisano, someone I trusted, convinced me to try Paxil. It was nothing short of, well, a miracle? Not only was the anxiety tamped down, but my actual personality itself became less turbulent, hostile, grim. Everyone at work, the woman I was with, my daughter, all commented on it.

But that was me. Then. For others the experience might be very difference. When my daughter's boyfriend committed suicide in New York, she was prescribed Paxil. Nothing. Then she was prescribed Prozac. It worked. It still works. She was able to graduate from Oberlin college with a MFA degree and now teaches art at a local community college where I was once a student myself.

Maia wrote: Of much more immediate concern than that, though, are the elderly people I work with at the leisure centre. All of them have now had both doses, which has allowed the club to meet again, and as a member of staff, who works with them, I could, if I wanted to, have the jab myself, at any time. Indeed, there has been talk of making it compulsory for everyone who works there. I suppose that what I'll end up doing is having it either when I get the call, or if they make it compulsory at work. But I'm not happy about it, and this must be a good example of your point about conflicting evidence and opinions.


No, there does not seem to be a way around the parts in life that tug us in different directions. There are only the parts we have some measure of control over and the parts we don't. I hope that all of these parts come together for you in a way that you are most hoping for.

Me, in living in my own imploded cocoon world, I have almost no interactions with the "real world". So, these days, I wonder, am I lucky then?

Maia wrote: Your flat sounds really nice, especially being near water, which I think always makes a very big difference to the atmosphere and energies of a place. I asked because I wanted something more definite to imagine, while writing responses and thinking about them. I live in a ground floor flat in a fairly small block, with a communal garden both out the front and the back. Not near water though, sadly. I have one large living room five and a half metres by four, with a small kitchen between the back entrance and the living room, and another door leading to the bedroom and bathroom. The garden out the front, surrounded by trees, is a really nice place for picnics with a few friends in the summer.


Flat. That sounds so much more appealing to me than apartment. And since we both seem to be quite content and comfortable living in our respective flats, we can both be grateful for that. Liking where you live is no small thing.

And though the water is a river and not the ocean I still enjoy being able to go down to it.

Also, I am told that former President Richard Nixon once lived in these apartments way back when. Mine, maybe?

Maia wrote: I'm glad to hear that you're still in touch with your daughter, if only barely. Again, there is always hope for a better future.


We just came to be passionate about different things. For her, art. For me, philosophy. Then as I began to implode and pull back from my interactions with others, we just started seeing each other less and less. Now we stay in touch virtually and it's understood that if she needs me or I need her, we are there for each other. And I am also very, very proud of what she was able to accomplish given all the trials and tribulations in her own life.

Maia wrote: As for your wife leaving you for another woman, yes, you're right, sounds like something straight out of some awful sitcom. Sorry to hear about it though, anyway. My own experiences of a romantic nature have been rather less than successful (my standards are probably a little too exacting, or so I've been told), and for the past three years or so, I've decided to swear off it completely.


Romance has always been something that pulled and tugged me in, well, how to put this, incompatible directions? The thing about the relationships I loved was in always having someone I could share those experiences with that really meant the world to me. I miss that most of all. But then relationships always put you on the spot when you want to do one thing and your partner another. Again, I have been surrounded by people all my life. And now it just feels nice to have my life all to myself. Everything I do I do only because that is what I want to do.

Though clearly that is not for everyone. I've had the best of both worlds and I'm really satisfied with the way things are for me now. As, it seems, are you. But, who knows, we are back to that proverbial next corner and not really knowing for sure what or who might be around it.

Maia wrote: For my own musical offering, since it's Friday, how about Rebecca Black? Just kidding. How about Tuesday Afternoon instead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEMuAnFH_lM


My own favorites from them:
"The Actor": https://youtu.be/Qbm9nI_FBuQ
"Watching and Waiting": https://youtu.be/eYenQ5C77nk
"Higher and Higher": https://youtu.be/mC7jXpGy_Ik

Although, for me, this is still one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded: https://youtu.be/VqW-eO3jTVU

Maia wrote: I'll certainly describe any interesting dreams I have, if you like, because I find the subject fascinating too, though they've been pretty sparse lately. A lot of my dreams involve recurring themes (though not in the same settings), and one in particular I've noticed involves something like a spiral staircase, or sometimes a spiral slope, in a fairly confined space, with gaps in it that I have to climb down, or up.


Sparse my own dreams are not. Every night I seem to be deluged with them. And recurring themes for sure. Since I almost never have nightmares or "bad dreams", I always look forward to them myself. In them I can do things, see things, feel things, touch things, taste things that are completely out of reach now for me in the "real world".

And spirals seem revealing to me. Like windows and doors.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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iambiguous
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sat May 08, 2021 1:03 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: The subject of medication brings up a bit of a dilemma for me, where my intuition says one thing, but compelling logical arguments say another. The covid vaccine has not yet been offered to those in my age group, but it's only a matter of time before I get the call. On a purely personal level I'm sure I don't need it, since covid surely poses little risk for me even in the unlikely event that I caught it, but I have to think of others who I might pass it on to. My parents, who are in their fifties, have both had the first AstraZeneca dose, and it did them no harm, apart from some mild side effects, and I definitely don't subscribe to the wilder conspiracy theories about it.


Welcome to the real world as some might say. We are all in a particular situation that others may or may not have any actual understanding of at all. And then there are all of these variables that we have to weigh in order to make what can only be a more or less reasonable and educated choice. I think where the fanatics come into play here is when they link their reaction to things like pandemics and lockdowns and masks and vaccines to one or another political ideology. Especially in regard to their views about the Government and Big Brother. Which is basically how the author of Blindness depicts the authorities in his novel.

The irony here being that while they put so much stock in being "rugged individuals" who get the way the world works that all the rest of us don't, they always insist that only if you think exactly like they do can you be a "rugged individual" too.

My own close encounter with medication revolved around a time in my life when I was pummeled on all sides by what I came to call "stresspools". The anxiety had reached the point where it triggered ungodly attacks of vertigo. I was really, really reluctant to go down the pill path myself but Dr. Palmisano, someone I trusted, convinced me to try Paxil. It was nothing short of, well, a miracle? Not only was the anxiety tamped down, but my actual personality itself became less turbulent, hostile, grim. Everyone at work, the woman I was with, my daughter, all commented on it.

But that was me. Then. For others the experience might be very difference. When my daughter's boyfriend committed suicide in New York, she was prescribed Paxil. Nothing. Then she was prescribed Prozac. It worked. It still works. She was able to graduate from Oberlin college with a MFA degree and now teaches art at a local community college where I was once a student myself.

Maia wrote: Of much more immediate concern than that, though, are the elderly people I work with at the leisure centre. All of them have now had both doses, which has allowed the club to meet again, and as a member of staff, who works with them, I could, if I wanted to, have the jab myself, at any time. Indeed, there has been talk of making it compulsory for everyone who works there. I suppose that what I'll end up doing is having it either when I get the call, or if they make it compulsory at work. But I'm not happy about it, and this must be a good example of your point about conflicting evidence and opinions.


No, there does not seem to be a way around the parts in life that tug us in different directions. There are only the parts we have some measure of control over and the parts we don't. I hope that all of these parts come together for you in a way that you are most hoping for.

Me, in living in my own imploded cocoon world, I have almost no interactions with the "real world". So, these days, I wonder, am I lucky then?

Maia wrote: Your flat sounds really nice, especially being near water, which I think always makes a very big difference to the atmosphere and energies of a place. I asked because I wanted something more definite to imagine, while writing responses and thinking about them. I live in a ground floor flat in a fairly small block, with a communal garden both out the front and the back. Not near water though, sadly. I have one large living room five and a half metres by four, with a small kitchen between the back entrance and the living room, and another door leading to the bedroom and bathroom. The garden out the front, surrounded by trees, is a really nice place for picnics with a few friends in the summer.


Flat. That sounds so much more appealing to me than apartment. And since we both seem to be quite content and comfortable living in our respective flats, we can both be grateful for that. Liking where you live is no small thing.

And though the water is a river and not the ocean I still enjoy being able to go down to it.

Also, I am told that former President Richard Nixon once lived in these apartments way back when. Mine, maybe?

Maia wrote: I'm glad to hear that you're still in touch with your daughter, if only barely. Again, there is always hope for a better future.


We just came to be passionate about different things. For her, art. For me, philosophy. Then as I began to implode and pull back from my interactions with others, we just started seeing each other less and less. Now we stay in touch virtually and it's understood that if she needs me or I need her, we are there for each other. And I am also very, very proud of what she was able to accomplish given all the trials and tribulations in her own life.

Maia wrote: As for your wife leaving you for another woman, yes, you're right, sounds like something straight out of some awful sitcom. Sorry to hear about it though, anyway. My own experiences of a romantic nature have been rather less than successful (my standards are probably a little too exacting, or so I've been told), and for the past three years or so, I've decided to swear off it completely.


Romance has always been something that pulled and tugged me in, well, how to put this, incompatible directions? The thing about the relationships I loved was in always having someone I could share those experiences with that really meant the world to me. I miss that most of all. But then relationships always put you on the spot when you want to do one thing and your partner another. Again, I have been surrounded by people all my life. And now it just feels nice to have my life all to myself. Everything I do I do only because that is what I want to do.

Though clearly that is not for everyone. I've had the best of both worlds and I'm really satisfied with the way things are for me now. As, it seems, are you. But, who knows, we are back to that proverbial next corner and not really knowing for sure what or who might be around it.

Maia wrote: For my own musical offering, since it's Friday, how about Rebecca Black? Just kidding. How about Tuesday Afternoon instead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEMuAnFH_lM


My own favorites from them:
"The Actor": https://youtu.be/Qbm9nI_FBuQ
"Watching and Waiting": https://youtu.be/eYenQ5C77nk
"Higher and Higher": https://youtu.be/mC7jXpGy_Ik

Although, for me, this is still one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded: https://youtu.be/VqW-eO3jTVU

Maia wrote: I'll certainly describe any interesting dreams I have, if you like, because I find the subject fascinating too, though they've been pretty sparse lately. A lot of my dreams involve recurring themes (though not in the same settings), and one in particular I've noticed involves something like a spiral staircase, or sometimes a spiral slope, in a fairly confined space, with gaps in it that I have to climb down, or up.


Sparse my own dreams are not. Every night I seem to be deluged with them. And recurring themes for sure. Since I almost never have nightmares or "bad dreams", I always look forward to them myself. In them I can do things, see things, feel things, touch things, taste things that are completely out of reach now for me in the "real world".

And spirals seem revealing to me. Like windows and doors.


That's good news that you had a positive experience with medication, and that it made such a dramatic improvement in your life. And for your daughter too, and I'm glad she has what sounds like an interesting and creative job. I fully understand, of course, your reluctance to go down that route, as I would feel the same.

With regard to the fanatics, the conspiracy theorists, it's all rather amusing and boring at the same time. Have you heard the one, for example, where all the governments of the world have conspired to create a drug, that is, the vaccine, designed to kill 90% of the population? By pushing this sort of stuff, what they don't seem to realise is that they're actually putting people off investigating any legitimate issues that might (or might not) exist. Or then again, perhaps they do, and are secretly part of a conspiracy...

What's absolutely clear is that the vaccine rollout in the UK has been a huge success, and has virtually brought the pandemic here to an end, more or less. And this, I think, is what finally swayed me, after quite a lot of indecision, to accept the vaccine when it's offered to me. Namely, a feeling that we're all in this together, and we all have to make sacrifices (in this case, admittedly, the very minor sacrifice of having the vaccine), for the greater good.

It's funny you saying that "flat" sounds much more appealing, because the term "apartment" is occasionally used here for very expensive, upmarket flats. Mostly in London, a place I tend to avoid at all costs. And Richard Nixon is just the icing on the cake, hehe.

It does indeed sound like your daughter is someone to be proud of, and I'm glad she's happy. That's always the best thing we can wish for a person, and the best gift to give, if we can.

Yes, at the moment, I would indeed describe myself as satisfied being single, but as you say, who knows what's in store? In 2009 I fell suddenly, deeply and crazily in love with a guy I'd just met (at a Pagan moot, as it happens, but in my defence, I was only 18 at the time) but that, sadly, didn't work out, and everyone I've dated (if that's the right word) since then just hasn't measured up, so basically, I just stopped.

Yes, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, a very beautiful song indeed.

Lucky you, being deluged with dreams. Yes, I really like them too, and I never have nightmares either, if you define a nighmare as something that causes genuine fear. The characteristic feature of a dream, I think, is the intense emotion that goes along with it. Much more intense than anything in real life (mostly). And then there's that state when you're just waking up and the dream is still in your head, and just for a split second, you're not sure which is real. And then, later in the day, bits of the same dream might pop into your head for no reason whatsoever.

Another recurring theme with me is one where I'm trying to find something, or much more often, someone. Thinking about it has led me to remember some, and they often involve travel. So for example, there's a bus route in my home city that goes all the way round the outer suburbs in a massive circle. In one dream I was walking round this route on foot, but the places I came to on my journey were nothing like the actual places in real life. I was trying to find someone (I don't know who), but they always remained one step ahead of me. Many of my dreams involve underground rooms, or, in one case, a whole street with shops and things, that could be accessed via a spiral staircase (again) or something similar, at any rate, that led to the surface, at a location close to my parents' house.

So spirals are a bit like doors and windows, which always lead somewhere else?
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 08, 2021 8:24 pm

Maia wrote:
That's good news that you had a positive experience with medication, and that it made such a dramatic improvement in your life. And for your daughter too, and I'm glad she has what sounds like an interesting and creative job. I fully understand, of course, your reluctance to go down that route, as I would feel the same.


Like everyone else, all I can do is wait and see. Something will pop up in my life and it will involve the need to choose or not to choose medication. I'll calculate to the best of my ability the interplay between all of the variables involved and take that existential leap. Anyway, I'll keep you informed about my own quandaries if you'll keep me informed about yours.

Maia wrote:With regard to the fanatics, the conspiracy theorists, it's all rather amusing and boring at the same time. Have you heard the one, for example, where all the governments of the world have conspired to create a drug, that is, the vaccine, designed to kill 90% of the population? By pushing this sort of stuff, what they don't seem to realise is that they're actually putting people off investigating any legitimate issues that might (or might not) exist. Or then again, perhaps they do, and are secretly part of a conspiracy...


And, as you may or may not know, we've got quite a few of those fulminating fanatics right here. In fact, some will now suggest, the lunatics may well have already taken over the asylum. Fortunately, there are still those around who are willing to go a little deeper in exploring such dire threats as viral pandemics.

Maia wrote:What's absolutely clear is that the vaccine rollout in the UK has been a huge success, and has virtually brought the pandemic here to an end, more or less. And this, I think, is what finally swayed me, after quite a lot of indecision, to accept the vaccine when it's offered to me. Namely, a feeling that we're all in this together, and we all have to make sacrifices (in this case, admittedly, the very minor sacrifice of having the vaccine), for the greater good.


That's really all we can do. First, we need to be given the opportunity to voice our opinions about things like vaccines. Then we need to recognize that there may well be legitimate arguments pro and con. Then accept that some -- medical scientists -- have more expertise than others in grappling with possible solutions. Then, factoring in a well thought out understanding of our own unique situation, making an informed choice.

Maia wrote:It's funny you saying that "flat" sounds much more appealing, because the term "apartment" is occasionally used here for very expensive, upmarket flats. Mostly in London, a place I tend to avoid at all costs. And Richard Nixon is just the icing on the cake, hehe.


I recall an exchange with MagsJ in which I noted other words that are used where you are that appealed more to me than the words we use here. Words like "mate" and "bloody" and "chips". Why? No clue actually.

Maia wrote:It does indeed sound like your daughter is someone to be proud of, and I'm glad she's happy. That's always the best thing we can wish for a person, and the best gift to give, if we can.


She is now doing what I once thought I would be doing myself: teaching. And she also creates art as well. Actual works of art. And not just "worlds of words" that most philosophers "think up".

Maia wrote: Yes, at the moment, I would indeed describe myself as satisfied being single, but as you say, who knows what's in store? In 2009 I fell suddenly, deeply and crazily in love with a guy I'd just met (at a Pagan moot, as it happens, but in my defence, I was only 18 at the time) but that, sadly, didn't work out, and everyone I've dated (if that's the right word) since then just hasn't measured up, so basically, I just stopped.


No doubt about it. Make them measure up. Of course when you meet someone who insists that you measure up as well then a real tug of war can begin. I have only had one relationship however in which that was the case. I think we both came to agree that we did measure up. Only she had married a man in order to get her green card and I pushed her too hard and she vanished into thin air. Then a few years later, she was back in my life but no longer did measure up. She had abandoned deconstruction and semiotics and language games for biology and chemistry and physics.

Again, just out of curiosity, was the guy you loved sighted? If so, were you able to construct a relationship in which the communication found a way to bridge the gap between these two worlds given particular situations? Or, sure, if you'd prefer not to go there, no problem. I'm just always drawn to how we interact with others given the things we share in common and the things we don't.

Maia wrote: Lucky you, being deluged with dreams. Yes, I really like them too, and I never have nightmares either, if you define a nighmare as something that causes genuine fear. The characteristic feature of a dream, I think, is the intense emotion that goes along with it. Much more intense than anything in real life (mostly). And then there's that state when you're just waking up and the dream is still in your head, and just for a split second, you're not sure which is real. And then, later in the day, bits of the same dream might pop into your head for no reason whatsoever.


That's basically how it works for me as well. Maybe for all of us. For myself, however, the emotions I had/have in "real life" come back in the dream in a truly empathic manner. The dream experiences are always so much more visceral because, well, for some reason my brain doesn't seem interested in coming to grips with my dream world interactions "philosophically".

And that's fine with me!!!

Maia wrote: Another recurring theme with me is one where I'm trying to find something, or much more often, someone. Thinking about it has led me to remember some, and they often involve travel. So for example, there's a bus route in my home city that goes all the way round the outer suburbs in a massive circle. In one dream I was walking round this route on foot, but the places I came to on my journey were nothing like the actual places in real life. I was trying to find someone (I don't know who), but they always remained one step ahead of me. Many of my dreams involve underground rooms, or, in one case, a whole street with shops and things, that could be accessed via a spiral staircase (again) or something similar, at any rate, that led to the surface, at a location close to my parents' house.


Dreams themselves are always mindboggling. In them it's like my brain itself seems to be attempting to figure me out. It puts me in contexts I have been in many, many, many times and then seems to say, "Okay, what about now"? They say there are those who are "experts" in interpreting dreams. So, maybe you could take your dream above to one of them, and, in knowing as much as possible about your life, he or she could "tell you what it means".

Only with me I almost always know what the dream is telling me, but: as with the real deal experiences themselves this doesn't really offer me much help in attaching them to a "larger meaning". It's just another rendition of feeling fractured and fragmented. Only with a more potent emotional punch.

Thus...

Maia wrote: So spirals are a bit like doors and windows, which always lead somewhere else?


...lead me only deeper into the profound mystery that is "me".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 08, 2021 9:41 pm

Ralph McTell

"Zimmerman Blues" https://youtu.be/236opOtuv6w
"Streets of London" https://youtu.be/DiWomXklfv8
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sun May 09, 2021 12:47 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:
That's good news that you had a positive experience with medication, and that it made such a dramatic improvement in your life. And for your daughter too, and I'm glad she has what sounds like an interesting and creative job. I fully understand, of course, your reluctance to go down that route, as I would feel the same.


Like everyone else, all I can do is wait and see. Something will pop up in my life and it will involve the need to choose or not to choose medication. I'll calculate to the best of my ability the interplay between all of the variables involved and take that existential leap. Anyway, I'll keep you informed about my own quandaries if you'll keep me informed about yours.

Maia wrote:With regard to the fanatics, the conspiracy theorists, it's all rather amusing and boring at the same time. Have you heard the one, for example, where all the governments of the world have conspired to create a drug, that is, the vaccine, designed to kill 90% of the population? By pushing this sort of stuff, what they don't seem to realise is that they're actually putting people off investigating any legitimate issues that might (or might not) exist. Or then again, perhaps they do, and are secretly part of a conspiracy...


And, as you may or may not know, we've got quite a few of those fulminating fanatics right here. In fact, some will now suggest, the lunatics may well have already taken over the asylum. Fortunately, there are still those around who are willing to go a little deeper in exploring such dire threats as viral pandemics.

Maia wrote:What's absolutely clear is that the vaccine rollout in the UK has been a huge success, and has virtually brought the pandemic here to an end, more or less. And this, I think, is what finally swayed me, after quite a lot of indecision, to accept the vaccine when it's offered to me. Namely, a feeling that we're all in this together, and we all have to make sacrifices (in this case, admittedly, the very minor sacrifice of having the vaccine), for the greater good.


That's really all we can do. First, we need to be given the opportunity to voice our opinions about things like vaccines. Then we need to recognize that there may well be legitimate arguments pro and con. Then accept that some -- medical scientists -- have more expertise than others in grappling with possible solutions. Then, factoring in a well thought out understanding of our own unique situation, making an informed choice.

Maia wrote:It's funny you saying that "flat" sounds much more appealing, because the term "apartment" is occasionally used here for very expensive, upmarket flats. Mostly in London, a place I tend to avoid at all costs. And Richard Nixon is just the icing on the cake, hehe.


I recall an exchange with MagsJ in which I noted other words that are used where you are that appealed more to me than the words we use here. Words like "mate" and "bloody" and "chips". Why? No clue actually.

Maia wrote:It does indeed sound like your daughter is someone to be proud of, and I'm glad she's happy. That's always the best thing we can wish for a person, and the best gift to give, if we can.


She is now doing what I once thought I would be doing myself: teaching. And she also creates art as well. Actual works of art. And not just "worlds of words" that most philosophers "think up".

Maia wrote: Yes, at the moment, I would indeed describe myself as satisfied being single, but as you say, who knows what's in store? In 2009 I fell suddenly, deeply and crazily in love with a guy I'd just met (at a Pagan moot, as it happens, but in my defence, I was only 18 at the time) but that, sadly, didn't work out, and everyone I've dated (if that's the right word) since then just hasn't measured up, so basically, I just stopped.


No doubt about it. Make them measure up. Of course when you meet someone who insists that you measure up as well then a real tug of war can begin. I have only had one relationship however in which that was the case. I think we both came to agree that we did measure up. Only she had married a man in order to get her green card and I pushed her too hard and she vanished into thin air. Then a few years later, she was back in my life but no longer did measure up. She had abandoned deconstruction and semiotics and language games for biology and chemistry and physics.

Again, just out of curiosity, was the guy you loved sighted? If so, were you able to construct a relationship in which the communication found a way to bridge the gap between these two worlds given particular situations? Or, sure, if you'd prefer not to go there, no problem. I'm just always drawn to how we interact with others given the things we share in common and the things we don't.

Maia wrote: Lucky you, being deluged with dreams. Yes, I really like them too, and I never have nightmares either, if you define a nighmare as something that causes genuine fear. The characteristic feature of a dream, I think, is the intense emotion that goes along with it. Much more intense than anything in real life (mostly). And then there's that state when you're just waking up and the dream is still in your head, and just for a split second, you're not sure which is real. And then, later in the day, bits of the same dream might pop into your head for no reason whatsoever.


That's basically how it works for me as well. Maybe for all of us. For myself, however, the emotions I had/have in "real life" come back in the dream in a truly empathic manner. The dream experiences are always so much more visceral because, well, for some reason my brain doesn't seem interested in coming to grips with my dream world interactions "philosophically".

And that's fine with me!!!

Maia wrote: Another recurring theme with me is one where I'm trying to find something, or much more often, someone. Thinking about it has led me to remember some, and they often involve travel. So for example, there's a bus route in my home city that goes all the way round the outer suburbs in a massive circle. In one dream I was walking round this route on foot, but the places I came to on my journey were nothing like the actual places in real life. I was trying to find someone (I don't know who), but they always remained one step ahead of me. Many of my dreams involve underground rooms, or, in one case, a whole street with shops and things, that could be accessed via a spiral staircase (again) or something similar, at any rate, that led to the surface, at a location close to my parents' house.


Dreams themselves are always mindboggling. In them it's like my brain itself seems to be attempting to figure me out. It puts me in contexts I have been in many, many, many times and then seems to say, "Okay, what about now"? They say there are those who are "experts" in interpreting dreams. So, maybe you could take your dream above to one of them, and, in knowing as much as possible about your life, he or she could "tell you what it means".

Only with me I almost always know what the dream is telling me, but: as with the real deal experiences themselves this doesn't really offer me much help in attaching them to a "larger meaning". It's just another rendition of feeling fractured and fragmented. Only with a more potent emotional punch.

Thus...

Maia wrote: So spirals are a bit like doors and windows, which always lead somewhere else?


...lead me only deeper into the profound mystery that is "me".


Yes, I'll certainly keep you informed about any upcoming quandries, and I'll look forward to hearing how you resolve yours, too. Each situation is unique, and perhaps no hard and fast guidelines are possible. Intuition, logic and all sorts of other things must always come into play, including, as always, chance. My overriding principle is how to live as naturally, and independently, as possible.

Yep, I know all too well about the fulminating fanatics here. I suppose they can't do any harm. Not here, anyway. Scaring people off from taking the vaccine, especially if they are in a vulnerable group, is the only sure fire way of keeping the pandemic going and killing thousands more people.

Perhaps British English has a tendency to short, punchy words. It's an interesting subject though, how languages develop and diverge, and how they are used. In Wales, specifically North Wales, they still speak Welsh as their main, everyday language, although they can, of course, all understand and speak English too. Nevertheless, in buses, shops, and everywhere else, it's Welsh that they use. That's one of the reasons why it's such a fascinating place to visit. Welsh is actually a very beautiful language, with a nice lilt to it and a lot of soft consonants. Here are some examples of it, if you haven't heard it before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCjLWzRUZik

Anything creative is always wonderful, and good for the spirit, too. What sort of works of art does your daughter specialise in?

Yes, the guy I loved was sighted. So, indeed, have been the others I've had tentative sorts of dates with since. I basically don't hang around with blind people any more, since leaving school. It didn't really seem to be an issue with him, and we most definitely had all the right chemistry. But I was never really sure if it was going to become an issue, or if deep down he felt it was something that was going to be a barrier between us. Perhaps I was just young and naive, but it ended pretty much before it even began. I've never felt the same way with anyone since, which I suppose is what I meant when I said that they never measured up. It certainly wasn't their fault.

But in terms of actual communication, I don't think that was ever a problem, or rather, I didn't think so, anyway. In fact, I was looking forward to exploring each other's worlds together. It would have been fun, I think, while getting to know each other.

Visceral is indeed a good word to describe the emotions of dreams, and there is certainly no logic involved. It's fascinating how the mind seems to cobble together an almost coherent story out of them. Not sure what I think about professional dream interpreters though. As you say, what the dream is saying should be pretty obvious.

Thanks, Ralph McTell is definitely brilliant.

Here's something a bit different. Fungus on Mars! Can you have a look at the pic and tell me what it looks like, please?

https://futurism.com/scientists-fungus-growing-mars
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 09, 2021 8:42 pm

Maia wrote: Yes, I'll certainly keep you informed about any upcoming quandaries, and I'll look forward to hearing how you resolve yours, too. Each situation is unique, and perhaps no hard and fast guidelines are possible. Intuition, logic and all sorts of other things must always come into play, including, as always, chance. My overriding principle is how to live as naturally, and independently, as possible.


That's really all there is in the end. Something important happens to us and we either have others we can talk to about it or we don't. Those who are as genuinely interested in understanding how we have come think and to feel about it as we are interested in understanding how they have come to think and to feel about the important experiences in their own life. The rest is then groping as best we can to come up with an exchange that best communicates something that we react to in, at times, different worlds.

Maia wrote: Yep, I know all too well about the fulminating fanatics here. I suppose they can't do any harm. Not here, anyway. Scaring people off from taking the vaccine, especially if they are in a vulnerable group, is the only sure fire way of keeping the pandemic going and killing thousands more people.


Okay, let's agree: you are aware of them over there and I am aware of them over here. And that we can only react to them as best we can. And hope that it doesn't reach the point where they can do great harm.

Maia wrote: Perhaps British English has a tendency to short, punchy words. It's an interesting subject though, how languages develop and diverge, and how they are used. In Wales, specifically North Wales, they still speak Welsh as their main, everyday language, although they can, of course, all understand and speak English too. Nevertheless, in buses, shops, and everywhere else, it's Welsh that they use. That's one of the reasons why it's such a fascinating place to visit. Welsh is actually a very beautiful language, with a nice lilt to it and a lot of soft consonants. Here are some examples of it, if you haven't heard it before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCjLWzRUZik


Yes, and even among those who speak English, the word pronunciations can be so far removed from the manner in which I understand them, I am simply unable to follow the conversations. Well, not in "real life" so much as in films. There have been movies I've watched [especially those set in Scotland] in which even though the language spoken is English, I can only follow the plot by using subtitles. In fact, there are a handful of small films set there that did not provide subtitles. I was barely able to finish the films because I couldn't connect the words being spoken with the things that they did.

Here's a humorous video that explores Irish and Scottish accents: https://youtu.be/k3AgxhGU4JU

Exactly like your own video. Well, to my ears. Is that actually English that they are speaking? I could follow, well, nothing that was said.

Maia wrote: Anything creative is always wonderful, and good for the spirit, too. What sort of works of art does your daughter specialise in?


Drawing, painting, creations with cloth. Her work is more in sync with what is called "modern art". The world of art that I am least familiar with. And attracted to. Works that resonate with me, well, not much at all. It's more an aesthetic, subjective, subjunctive experience. Whereas, as with philosophy, I am more inclined towards art/words that seek to explore human interactions more existentially...in terms of the behaviors that we can communicate most effectively in making others understand what we mean.

Maia wrote: Yes, the guy I loved was sighted. So, indeed, have been the others I've had tentative sorts of dates with since. I basically don't hang around with blind people any more, since leaving school. It didn't really seem to be an issue with him, and we most definitely had all the right chemistry. But I was never really sure if it was going to become an issue, or if deep down he felt it was something that was going to be a barrier between us. Perhaps I was just young and naive, but it ended pretty much before it even began. I've never felt the same way with anyone since, which I suppose is what I meant when I said that they never measured up. It certainly wasn't their fault.

But in terms of actual communication, I don't think that was ever a problem, or rather, I didn't think so, anyway. In fact, I was looking forward to exploring each other's worlds together. It would have been fun, I think, while getting to know each other.


Yes, this is the part in almost all relationships where we never seem able to be entirely certain if our partner "gets" us and our world. And it could be in regard to any number of things. Physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. I was once involved in a relationship where I felt truly anchored to an extraordinary emotional bond. The chemistry was smoking. But the things that were most important to me outside the relationship -- music, philosophy, political commitment -- were of almost no interest to her. I was drawn and quartered. When I ended the relationship, she sent me a letter in which she pointed out that I might find this "perfect women" but there would always be something that kept it from being as powerful as the relationship that we shared. And to this day that has turned out to be exactly true.

And it's often futile to try to assess or to assign blame or fault. There are simply too many factors that get all tangled up in lives that ever and always change over time.

Still, I find it hard to understand why you would not choose to be around others who were blind. But, here, again, I can only imagine myself becoming blind. And needing that empathy.

So: Is that something you would feel comfortable telling me about? Clearly, for each of us there are "personal things" that we prefer to keep to ourselves. I'm just one those people who, in being fascinated with why different people do different things in similar situations, tend to be less uncomfortable with revealing things about myself. Everyone is unique here.

And, true, this is a "public forum" so privacy is all the more problematic here.

Maia wrote: Visceral is indeed a good word to describe the emotions of dreams, and there is certainly no logic involved. It's fascinating how the mind seems to cobble together an almost coherent story out of them. Not sure what I think about professional dream interpreters though. As you say, what the dream is saying should be pretty obvious.


Yes, visceral is one of my favorite words. That and intuitive. They both seem to convey this sense of reality that combines elements of the id, the ego and the superego. But "in dreams" it appears to be the brain itself that conducts the orchestra. And, speaking for myself, I'm here to give mine a standing ovation.


Maia wrote: Here's something a bit different. Fungus on Mars! Can you have a look at the pic and tell me what it looks like, please?



https://futurism.com/scientists-fungus-growing-mars

Okay, I'll do my best.

In the photograph at the top of the page, there appear to be these things that to me resemble tennis balls. Of different sizes. So, if I were to become blind and held one of these things in my hand, I would say, "this feels like a tennis ball...mostly round and fuzzy on the surface".

The next time you hold a tennis ball in your hand, that's what you can't see here.

On the other hand, one of them is more like two tennis balls fused together in the middle...which is narrower. For the sighted, it looks like cells dividing in the womb.

Then the part where they might actually be examples of "life on Mars". And then "my thing" here: exploring and explaining how each of us as individuals would react to that in so many different ways.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 10, 2021 12:35 am

This Mortal Coil "The Jeweller": https://youtu.be/aghket3BJPE

This Mortal Coil "Song To The Siren": https://youtu.be/HFWKJ2FUiAQ
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Mon May 10, 2021 1:41 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Yes, I'll certainly keep you informed about any upcoming quandaries, and I'll look forward to hearing how you resolve yours, too. Each situation is unique, and perhaps no hard and fast guidelines are possible. Intuition, logic and all sorts of other things must always come into play, including, as always, chance. My overriding principle is how to live as naturally, and independently, as possible.


That's really all there is in the end. Something important happens to us and we either have others we can talk to about it or we don't. Those who are as genuinely interested in understanding how we have come think and to feel about it as we are interested in understanding how they have come to think and to feel about the important experiences in their own life. The rest is then groping as best we can to come up with an exchange that best communicates something that we react to in, at times, different worlds.

Maia wrote: Yep, I know all too well about the fulminating fanatics here. I suppose they can't do any harm. Not here, anyway. Scaring people off from taking the vaccine, especially if they are in a vulnerable group, is the only sure fire way of keeping the pandemic going and killing thousands more people.


Okay, let's agree: you are aware of them over there and I am aware of them over here. And that we can only react to them as best we can. And hope that it doesn't reach the point where they can do great harm.

Maia wrote: Perhaps British English has a tendency to short, punchy words. It's an interesting subject though, how languages develop and diverge, and how they are used. In Wales, specifically North Wales, they still speak Welsh as their main, everyday language, although they can, of course, all understand and speak English too. Nevertheless, in buses, shops, and everywhere else, it's Welsh that they use. That's one of the reasons why it's such a fascinating place to visit. Welsh is actually a very beautiful language, with a nice lilt to it and a lot of soft consonants. Here are some examples of it, if you haven't heard it before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCjLWzRUZik


Yes, and even among those who speak English, the word pronunciations can be so far removed from the manner in which I understand them, I am simply unable to follow the conversations. Well, not in "real life" so much as in films. There have been movies I've watched [especially those set in Scotland] in which even though the language spoken is English, I can only follow the plot by using subtitles. In fact, there are a handful of small films set there that did not provide subtitles. I was barely able to finish the films because I couldn't connect the words being spoken with the things that they did.

Here's a humorous video that explores Irish and Scottish accents: https://youtu.be/k3AgxhGU4JU

Exactly like your own video. Well, to my ears. Is that actually English that they are speaking? I could follow, well, nothing that was said.

Maia wrote: Anything creative is always wonderful, and good for the spirit, too. What sort of works of art does your daughter specialise in?


Drawing, painting, creations with cloth. Her work is more in sync with what is called "modern art". The world of art that I am least familiar with. And attracted to. Works that resonate with me, well, not much at all. It's more an aesthetic, subjective, subjunctive experience. Whereas, as with philosophy, I am more inclined towards art/words that seek to explore human interactions more existentially...in terms of the behaviors that we can communicate most effectively in making others understand what we mean.

Maia wrote: Yes, the guy I loved was sighted. So, indeed, have been the others I've had tentative sorts of dates with since. I basically don't hang around with blind people any more, since leaving school. It didn't really seem to be an issue with him, and we most definitely had all the right chemistry. But I was never really sure if it was going to become an issue, or if deep down he felt it was something that was going to be a barrier between us. Perhaps I was just young and naive, but it ended pretty much before it even began. I've never felt the same way with anyone since, which I suppose is what I meant when I said that they never measured up. It certainly wasn't their fault.

But in terms of actual communication, I don't think that was ever a problem, or rather, I didn't think so, anyway. In fact, I was looking forward to exploring each other's worlds together. It would have been fun, I think, while getting to know each other.


Yes, this is the part in almost all relationships where we never seem able to be entirely certain if our partner "gets" us and our world. And it could be in regard to any number of things. Physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. I was once involved in a relationship where I felt truly anchored to an extraordinary emotional bond. The chemistry was smoking. But the things that were most important to me outside the relationship -- music, philosophy, political commitment -- were of almost no interest to her. I was drawn and quartered. When I ended the relationship, she sent me a letter in which she pointed out that I might find this "perfect women" but there would always be something that kept it from being as powerful as the relationship that we shared. And to this day that has turned out to be exactly true.

And it's often futile to try to assess or to assign blame or fault. There are simply too many factors that get all tangled up in lives that ever and always change over time.

Still, I find it hard to understand why you would not choose to be around others who were blind. But, here, again, I can only imagine myself becoming blind. And needing that empathy.

So: Is that something you would feel comfortable telling me about? Clearly, for each of us there are "personal things" that we prefer to keep to ourselves. I'm just one those people who, in being fascinated with why different people do different things in similar situations, tend to be less uncomfortable with revealing things about myself. Everyone is unique here.

And, true, this is a "public forum" so privacy is all the more problematic here.

Maia wrote: Visceral is indeed a good word to describe the emotions of dreams, and there is certainly no logic involved. It's fascinating how the mind seems to cobble together an almost coherent story out of them. Not sure what I think about professional dream interpreters though. As you say, what the dream is saying should be pretty obvious.


Yes, visceral is one of my favorite words. That and intuitive. They both seem to convey this sense of reality that combines elements of the id, the ego and the superego. But "in dreams" it appears to be the brain itself that conducts the orchestra. And, speaking for myself, I'm here to give mine a standing ovation.


Maia wrote: Here's something a bit different. Fungus on Mars! Can you have a look at the pic and tell me what it looks like, please?



https://futurism.com/scientists-fungus-growing-mars

Okay, I'll do my best.

In the photograph at the top of the page, there appear to be these things that to me resemble tennis balls. Of different sizes. So, if I were to become blind and held one of these things in my hand, I would say, "this feels like a tennis ball...mostly round and fuzzy on the surface".

The next time you hold a tennis ball in your hand, that's what you can't see here.

On the other hand, one of them is more like two tennis balls fused together in the middle...which is narrower. For the sighted, it looks like cells dividing in the womb.

Then the part where they might actually be examples of "life on Mars". And then "my thing" here: exploring and explaining how each of us as individuals would react to that in so many different ways.


The video I posted was actually in Welsh, so it's not surprising you couldn't understand a word! As a Celtic language, Welsh isn't even all that closely related to English, though it's full of English loan words, and, though you wouldn't think so to listen to it, lots of Latin ones as well, dating from the time when Britain was part of the Roman Empire. That's another reason why I find dialects and things like that fascinating, because they are living embodiments of history.

Sounds lovely, all that arty stuff. Maybe I should give it a try...

It seems that the person you're describing there is "the one that got away" (regardless of who dumped whom), the one your mind keeps going back to over and over again, and wondering, what if? I suppose I'll never know if that guy was put off by me being blind, because there's no way he would ever have admitted it.

As for why I don't tend to hang around with other blind people, a number of factors are at work here. For a start, none of my friends from school actually live anywhere near where I do. We keep in touch, of course, but rarely meet up. True, there's a branch of the RNIB in my city, and I very occasionally attend events, such as their national conference a few years ago. But to be honest, I actually find all that a bit boring, and the politics annoying. I also find sighted people, in general, far more interesting (not to mention far more numerous), and would choose their company any day. That may well put me in something of a minority among blind people, but probably not as much as you might think. When I want to hang out among like-minded people, talk things over, and so on, it's to my Pagan friends that I go.

I'm always happy to discuss anything you like. I doubt anyone else is still reading our random ruminations on life, the universe and everything any more, anyway, but even if they are, that's fine. If you've taken the trouble to write to me, and to share your thoughts and feelings, then I'll always do the same in return.

And talking of random ruminations, what do you like to eat? As you know, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, and have just made myself a very mild curry with chopped apple, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes and butter beans with melted Stilton and grated Cheddar, which I'm eating right now, between typing.

Thank you, that was a good description, and I'm sure that won't be the last time I ask for something like that. As for actual life on Mars, I notice that the article has been roundly debunked by a whole load of sceptics. This will keep on happening right up to the moment that they actually find it. If it really is confirmed one day, I think I would be very happy. The life-force finds a way, anywhere and everywhere.

Thanks for the links. The first one reminded me of Sonic Youth's version of Superstar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21VecIIdBI

Here's another one I like, Eternal Flame by the Bangles. The phrase "eternal flame" actually has an important spiritual meaning for me, which has nothing at all to do with this song (though might be why I like it).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSoOFn3wQV4

And, in a change of mood, but still on the theme of Mars, Forever Autumn, sung by Justin Hayward, of Moody Blues fame, in Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVe7EoRKoXY

But the one that really made me cry was the next track on the same album, Thunder Child, sung by Chris Thompson. A single ship, all on its own, valiantly battling it out against overwhelming and incomprehensible odds, and then getting sunk, is very poignant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RRe40O6QKU
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 10, 2021 8:07 pm

Maia wrote:
The video I posted was actually in Welsh, so it's not surprising you couldn't understand a word!


That's good to know! I actually thought it was English. I was bewildered because I could not make out anything at all that they were saying. And these seemed to be sophisticated, educated, articulate men and women. I thought the problem must be me.

Maia wrote:As a Celtic language, Welsh isn't even all that closely related to English, though it's full of English loan words, and, though you wouldn't think so to listen to it, lots of Latin ones as well, dating from the time when Britain was part of the Roman Empire. That's another reason why I find dialects and things like that fascinating, because they are living embodiments of history.


Yes, language is something that many simply take for granted. Few stop to think about the extraordinary journey that particular words/sounds have taken down through the ages. And then the part that most intrigues me: how different people can hear the same language and react to it in different [sometimes conflicted] ways. It's like people hearing the same song...some loving it, others hating it.

How does that come to be?

Maia wrote: Sounds lovely, all that arty stuff. Maybe I should give it a try...


There's a movie that I really like called Blind Beast. Unfortunately the trailer is no longer available. It is the story of a blind man who creates a world all his own by reconfiguring art from the visual into the tactile. He kidnaps a woman and is obsessed with creating a sculptured likeness of her. Then their relationship takes on a rather, well, ghastly trajectory. But for him touch is everything.

Maia wrote: It seems that the person you're describing there is "the one that got away" (regardless of who dumped whom), the one your mind keeps going back to over and over again, and wondering, what if? I suppose I'll never know if that guy was put off by me being blind, because there's no way he would ever have admitted it.


What keeps playing out in my mind over and over again is this: would I have chosen different...if I could? The thing is that she turned out to be right. But that was never a certainty. I came close with Supannika [the green card woman I noted above] and there was always the possibility that I might have found someone that I could be absolutely crazy about...and who did share my passions.

It just never happened.

Maia wrote: As for why I don't tend to hang around with other blind people, a number of factors are at work here. For a start, none of my friends from school actually live anywhere near where I do. We keep in touch, of course, but rarely meet up. True, there's a branch of the RNIB in my city, and I very occasionally attend events, such as their national conference a few years ago. But to be honest, I actually find all that a bit boring, and the politics annoying. I also find sighted people, in general, far more interesting (not to mention far more numerous), and would choose their company any day. That may well put me in something of a minority among blind people, but probably not as much as you might think. When I want to hang out among like-minded people, talk things over, and so on, it's to my Pagan friends that I go.


Of course there is no way I can actually understand this. And the reason is simple: I'm not you. I have almost no understanding of the life that you have lived, the experiences that you have had, the people you have met. And I can only attempt to scratch the surface in understanding it up to a point in exchanges like this one. On the other hand, like you, being around "like-minded" people is also very important to me. If only, here and now in my life, virtually.

There's just something about the reality of blindness -- of imaging myself blind -- that would propel me towards finding a close friend who shared this world with me. But, then, as you note, being blind from birth is a whole other kind of blindness. Something that is forever beyond my understanding.

Maia wrote: I'm always happy to discuss anything you like. I doubt anyone else is still reading our random ruminations on life, the universe and everything any more, anyway, but even if they are, that's fine. If you've taken the trouble to write to me, and to share your thoughts and feelings, then I'll always do the same in return.


Yes, this has been a really rewarding exchange. And it's nice to know for both of us. Let's keep it going and see what pops up.

Maia wrote: And talking of random ruminations, what do you like to eat? As you know, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, and have just made myself a very mild curry with chopped apple, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes and butter beans with melted Stilton and grated Cheddar, which I'm eating right now, between typing.


As with much of my life these days, the food I eat has become just another part of the routine. I pretty much eat the same things day after day. Fruits and vegetables, nuts, chicken, fish, bagels. It's always healthy food however and despite it being routine, it never stops being delicious. Although, admittedly, I do miss the trips to the restaurants I would go to with my daughter.

On the other hand, you seem to be entirely more inclined to explore the world of food more...adventuresomely?

Maia wrote: Thank you, that was a good description, and I'm sure that won't be the last time I ask for something like that.


Please do.

Maia wrote: As for actual life on Mars, I notice that the article has been roundly debunked by a whole load of sceptics. This will keep on happening right up to the moment that they actually find it. If it really is confirmed one day, I think I would be very happy. The life-force finds a way, anywhere and everywhere.


What can possibly be more mysterious than the evolution of matter into biological life on Earth? Any attempt to explain it takes you to things like the gods, or to a God/the God...or to nature itself.

Or, as Dr. Ian Malcolm once put it: https://youtu.be/kiVVzxoPTtg

Maia wrote: Thanks for the links. The first one reminded me of Sonic Youth's version of Superstar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21VecIIdBI


Yes, this is one of my favorite cover songs of all time. The voice, the music seem to zero right in on how mysterious and fragile and enigmatic relationships can be. Every time I listen to it, I go tumbling back to the most haunting relationships in my life.

Thanks for all the songs that you send my way. Keep them coming please.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 11, 2021 3:56 am

Silly Sisters "The Old Miner" https://youtu.be/KcKc8a7vxhs

Priscilla Herdman "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" https://youtu.be/BNu_Brs0EvQ
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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