Archive for February, 2012

Say what you want about her but the girl can sing and write. One of my favourite songs…probably because it’s so honest, it speaks to me 🙂

“I don’t know this could break my heart or save me
Nothing’s real until you let go completely
So here I go with all my thoughts I’ve been saving
So here I go with all my fears weighing on me.”

Sober Music and Lyrics By Kelly Clarkson

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I work as a nanny for three amazing kids and everyday they surprise me. Always so curious asking tons of questions a day What are clouds made of? Why do people kiss on the lips? What happens when you die? They have this ability to believe anything I tell them (another reason why I love kids so much). I feel I was sometimes misinformed as a child so I always try to give them the most honest and true answers to their questions. Clouds are made of water, people kiss when they love each other, no one really knows what happens when you die.

This brings me to the topic of my blog today. One day while I was at work I noticed the kids calling others kids of darker skin as black or brown. This disturbed me as I had never referred to people of darker skin tone as a color (certainly not in front of them). It didn’t feel right to me to let them continue on using these terms so I said “Kids you don’t call people black or brown. Does anyone call you white? No. People are not colors they are simply people. We are all different shades some people are lighter shades others are darker.” They were about three at the time and that simple statement kiboshed their use of those words to describe people. The best part was seeing them go out into the world and spew this information to people young and old so proud of this new information they had learned. “Did you know people aren’t colors? They are shades? I’m a lighter shade!” (so cute, and the looks they get from people, priceless!).

Since then I have used this tactic to instill understanding and compassion for many other things such as homosexuality, adoption, poverty, amputations/physical differences/paralysis. These kids understand that you can love whoever you want, that some kids have many parents some have none, that we all are a little different but we are also all a little bit the same. They don’t seem to hold it against people their lifestyle choices or aesthetics. If you play with them and make them laugh, they will love you! I find it fascinating that such young children could understand and accept such concepts that most adults can’t or choose not to understand.

Let me make it clear, I am not trying to suggest I changed these kids lives or that I am Miss-Judgement Free 2012. I only wish that when I was a young I had someone to stop my stereotypes before I had time to develop them. Instead I work hard to break through a little bit of my judgements and generalizations everyday, that I feel, the society I grew up in conditioned. However the more I break through the easier it gets.

Children are our future. Ellen Degeneres was right when she suggested that Compassion should be a subject in school. Children are like sponges soaking of every last bit of information available. Why don’t we make the available information be ones of compassion, love, acceptance, and peace? Everyday I lose hope in humanity, it sometimes seems that people will never get it. We have 7 billion people each living in their own realities, how do you get them all to live as one? Is that even possible? Should I even care? I don’t know (as usual). All I do know is that when I see kids spreading words of support, empathy, happiness and helpfulness I gain back the little hope I had lost. Children are our hope.

Side note: Miss Judgement-Free 2012 intrigues me. Maybe a contest is in order?!………

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dear uWise One, You are anything but unwise. I love what you have to say about yourself and what you write. I take it you’re from Canada? Would like to know more about what has most influenced you as a person, poet and philosophical searcher. I wish there were more unWise ones in the world. It humbles me and gives me hope for the future.
– Gordon Stewart –

 First of all thank you for your questions and kind words. I assure you they humble me. 🙂

At first I was skeptical of answering this question because I really have no education in the area of philosophy or writing. All I know is that I was always an inquisitive child, curious for answers asking endless bounds of questions. My parents were very helpful in this development they always encouraged me to ask questions and listen and talk about anything and everything. I also had a passion for writing poetry and prose as a child. I remember being encouraged by my grade 2 teacher to never stop writing and I have listened to her. When I look back at my writings from childhood I see the wonder and curiosity I had that started from very young age and seemingly sprouted out of no where. My only explanation for it is that I must have been born with it. Even so I have never considered myself a writer or a poet or even an artist. (however with all this blog love I might started considering it)

That being said my real philosophical journey began after I dropped out of university. Once I left I began to read endless amounts of books about everything. I was so angry at being forced to read books during my 14 years in the education system. I always hated reading in school and being expected to have certain opinions or understand the book in a certain way. So I rebelled by reading as many books as I wanted on every topic that interested me (oh what a rebel, ha!). The more I read, the more I wrote, and the more I wrote the more I read. It was a continuous circle of thoughts, ideas and questions. Then one day in 2010 I went to Chapters Bookstore to pick up some books on the 2012 End of The World Prophecies as I had become weirdly curious with this concept. I pulled a book from a shelf and another book tipped over, my eyes were drawn to the tilted book and I was immediately intrigued by the title, it read The Book of Not Knowing By Peter Ralston. I picked it up and put it on the pile of others I had collected. When I got home I and in the following weeks I read through the 2012 books and was almost convinced that the world could realistically end in two years (ah how naive). A few days later I began The Book of Not Knowing and my mind was immediately expanded.

I have to admit with minimal education the book was difficult for me to read/understand but the book reassured me that what I was reading now, would make more sense later if only I would keep reading. So I did as it asked. Everyday I read more, I did the exercises it asked me to do. Some were writing exercises others were focussed solely on your thoughts and awareness. Every time I would read the book I could almost feel my mind being opened. The weird thing was that book was not providing me with any answers in fact it started making me question things that I thought I had the answers for.    Eventually I came to the near end of the book in which it asks you to re-read from the beginning because this was the point of no return. I was shocked. It had taken me months to get through the bulk of the book and now I was expected to re-read it before I finished it?! Needless to say I was irritated so I simply closed the book and pledged to myself that I would re-read it eventually but not anytime soon.

Well, it has been two years since I put the book down I have yet to re-read and finish it but yet I am still feeling the effects of what I read everyday. When I stopped reading the book was when my real, honest and true philosophical journey began. In the simplest sense The Book of Not Knowing made me question everything I thought I knew and contemplate anything that could ever be or not be. It recharged my love for curiosity, philosophy, ontology and life in general. I still plan on finishing it one day but not until I feel I’m losing sight on the things I have learned…or better yet unlearned.

Check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Not-Knowing-Exploring-Consciousness/dp/1556438575

http://www.gordoncstewart.com

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ritu's Weblog

A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered ‘How am I supposed to know?’ ‘How do you not know? You’re a Zen master!’ exclaimed the samurai. ‘Yes, but not a dead one,’ Hakuin answered.

A General and a Zen Master

During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived – everyone except the Zen master.

Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was.

When he wasn’t treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger.

“You fool,” he shouted as he reached for his sword, “don’t you realize you are standing before a man who could kill you without blinking…

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Des..ire

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
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“My only desire is not to desire.” L.D

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Views from the Edge

My way of listening and seeing is profoundly shaped by Willem Frederik Zuurdeeg, the late Professor of the Philosophy of Religion and author of An Analytical Philosophy of Religion, and Man Before Chaos: Philosophy Is Born in a Cry, completed following Zuurdeeg’s untimely death by his colleague and friend, Esther Cornelius Swenson, my undergraduate college professor.

They were those rare Christian philosopher-theologians whose work crossed the solid line between the philosophical rigors of empiricism and linguistic analysis, on the one hand, and the depths of existentialists Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, and Marcel and their precursors Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard.

Every day I start out with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee and read the newspaper. What a way to start a day!!! “Don’t give me no bad news, no bad news, no bad news!” But most of the news that’s printed is just that: bad news.

But good news reporting is a…

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