I read one historian urge people to write down their impressions of this remarkable time that we’re going through, so for now, I’m going to repurpose this blog. I’m not able to do my research and rewriting and editing anyhow, so I’ll keep up on how life has changed and how, I hope, we’ll get back to some sort of workable normal. And sometime soon, I hope to get back to what I was working on. Because if nothing else, if this damned disease does come calling for me, I’d really hate to leave without finishing this project.
I was raised godless. Churchless. Creedless. Without spirituality except for one thing. Once a week, on Sunday nights, we made a big bowl of popcorn, flavored with Lowrey’s seasoning salt, and gathered on the couch to watch Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking and breathtaking science for the masses series, “Cosmos.” The show is back for a new season, and the first episode has a special guest who’s an old friend.
My great-grands in Axel had a front-row seat to a wide sweep of history. Maybe they weren’t sophisticated and citified, but they got caught up in the social movements and major battles of their time. They helped shape the country borders that exist to this day.
An apology is in order, and I owe it to my great-grands. So here it is: I’m sorry I thought the lot of them were a bunch of boring clayhoppers.
Spinoza’s philosophy, with its insistence that everything has already been determined and none of us has free will, gives rise to a lot of Really Big Questions.
This philosophy isn’t a cure, or at least, it hasn’t been yet. But it is a help. Especially, I find, with things that are far beyond my influence, such as the upcoming election. It’s comforting to find a way to let go of some of that anxiety. And that, at least, is something.
In this series of posts, I’ll take a look at Spinoza’s concept of determinism and attempt to explain how it’s possible to balance it against an innate sense of self insisting we have free will.
It’s not as easy as I had presumed.
I may not know why the caged bird sings. But I sure as hell know why the tethered goldfinch just sits there staring at you. He’s pleading for help. Because if he didn’t have that chain on his ankle, he’d be off flying in search of a plot.
Right-wing alarmists complain that political correctness runs amok. Imagine their despair to learn the Amsterdam Museum banned the phrase “Golden Age.” The reason: the golden years weren’t golden for everyone. But terms like “Golden Age” make history more accessible, and god help us, we need to talk about our history more if we want to change our future.