Saturday, November 01, 2008

Remember Y2K? Simply put, that's when the computer age was suppose to implode or something of a catastrophic nature was to take place. Hype? Must be , because it failed to come to pass. While hindsight is said to be 20/20, it continues to be a mystery to me, and , I'm sure a couple others, how we fail to heed the lesson of the past.

The new millennium was purported to be the end of the world too. Same as it was in 1900 and 1800 and Ad infinitum. Why folks were building shelters and stock piling them with provisions for a hundred years. Excuse me folks but these were not idiots or mental deficients who were behaving thusly, no they were normal, intelligent human beings; just like you and me: well me anyways.

What do you think? Will the world as we know it cease to exist in the year 2012? Some say the Mayans predicted it so. December 22nd, 2012 e-mail me and let me know. OK? Good, thanks.

Btw, Do you believe in the lost continent of Atlantis? Plato did, or so it is said here.

Years ago I bought a book titled the Mysteries of the Unexplained from Reader's Digest. Not to long ago I took it to the dump. Why you ask, well simply, it scared the crap out of me. Lots of stuff I would rather not have been privy too. Some times I find my self quite susceptible to suggestion. The suggestions in this book were too much for me to bear. Some of the stuff made the Bible's Revelations seem like a childrens story. I've encountered enough mysteries without delving into these further.

What about Edgar Cayce? Have you heard of him or his prophecies? Have you read his story "There is A river?" Cayce is credited with the notion that California will one day break off from the mainland and sink into the ocean, leaving Nevada as the west coast of the USA. He also believed in reincarnation and wrote extensively about this. My mother, a life long believer, and researcher in the the fields of the paranormal introduced me to Edgar Cayce and "There is a River," back in the 1970's and I read each and every book about him and his prophecies and branched out to read material by Jess Stern, an author who wrote about Cayce and others of similar bent. I've since rejected his presentments but there was a time when I believed fervently.

The point of all this, and there is a point, is that we as a species are fascinated, enthralled and curious about things we can't explain. But beyond that, we believe unproven theories and suppositions whole heartedly. This unfettered believing is, in itself a mystery to me. You?

Now add to this "believing" mystery, different chapter, same book, the human trait of gullibility.

Many of you, (many? come-on rel, M-A-N-Y don't ever read your blog anymore! Ok, ok, Of those visitors to this blog, some may have seen this picture in varied guises on the internet. But what you didn't know was that this cute impish character is a portrait of me, good ol' rel when I was 18 months old. I don't look much different today. My head is bigger, making my ears look smaller; not much,but some. My hair is a little thicker, but not much and completely white now. Oh and I have a mustache to hide that adorable upper lip. That's easy enough to believe now isn't it? It's even easier to believe because it's true. Would I lie to you? For what reason?

Where was I? Oh yes, the mystery of intelligent people being gullible. Interestingly enough, I think it's something that we want to be. Sometimes we want to believe things that logic would tell us can't possibly be true. There are times when I've allowed myself to be duped, or sold a "bill of goods" because I wanted what I was hearing to be true so I bought into it and when I found out later that the deal was too good to be true felt disappointed and resolved never to be that stupid again. Until the next time.

Of course not everyone who tries to sell us a "bill of goods" is successful. I mean, come on, how stupid do you think I am? No, it takes a good sales pitch, by a good story teller to convince us to accept something that given proper and adequate attention would be an obvious waste of our time and money. But hey, I want to be the first to have that gadget among my friends, or hmmm if everybody else has one I guess I'm the odd man out if I don't get one. Besides just think how important I'll be, look, appear to everyone. Yessiree, you're right, I do need that doodad and thanks for bringing it to my attention. How much did you say that was? Whew, a little steep don't ya think" You've knocked 1/2 the price off? Well why didn't you say so? You didn't want to flatter me? Hey no sweat bud I'm immune to that kinda ploy. Here let me write you a check now before I forget. Cash? Sure, of course I understand. hold on a sec. while I go to the ATM.

It's a sad thing, but sometimes we want to believe something so much that we will suspend our logic, our critical thinking and hear what we want to hear because, simply, we want it to be true.

That to me solves the mystery as to why we fail to learn from the past. Not just our own past faux pas but from the lessons history has layed out for us in spades if we but take the time to research.

It's ok to believe in fairy tales, and make believe. They provide us with escapes and entertainment and occasionally life lessons to be learned and heeded. I've been a life long reader of Fantasy, sci-fi, legend and myth. Favorite characters for me are Ivanhoe, King Richard the Lion Hearted, Robin Of Loxly, and Friar Tuck. I believe in Santa Claus and Tiny Tim. I believe in Merlin and Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. I believe in Luke Skywalker, and and space travel and Dune and The frontier series by Issac Asimov. Robert Jordan has entertained me with the Wheel of time for years. But when I put them on the shelf that's where they stay until my next visit. I don't make them part of my real time life.

Here are some more mysteries that puzzle me:
  1. Blame; Why someone else is always at fault when things don't go well.
  2. responsibility: Why some else is responsible for my well being.
  3. Sharing. Why taking from me (stealing) and giving to others is seen as sharing
  4. Truth; Why breaking promises is ok for expediencey. Why lying is overlooked as part of life.
  5. Character; why it's ok to besmirch someone else charater just because it's cool or the "in" crowd is doin it.
  6. Religion; Why mine is ok but yours isn't.
  7. Golden rule: When did it get changed to: do unto others before they do unto you?
  8. When did bullying become OK?
  9. When did life become a game show?
  10. Mysteries/ There's enough mysteries in the newspaper to fill a library.
  11. Insanity: Why do we keep doing the same thing and hope for a different result?
  12. Hope: As Alexander Pope said; Hope springs eternal. Maybe it's better not to examine the past, especially when politicians are concerned. One could easily become a cynic.

Food for thought on this precipice of change:
  • Bill Clinton waited until a week before his 1st inauguration before openly reneging on his promise to cut taxes for the middle class.
  • Clinton and Obama both promised to raise taxes on "the wealthy." Both widened the definition of wealthy to encompass more tax payers.
  • Regan reneged on campaign promise to uphold women's rights.
  • 1988 "read my lips; no new taxes" Bush #1.
Remember that old adages become old adages because their truths stand the test of time.

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

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Blogger Epiphany said...

Well, I'm inclined to believe that some people feel powerful when they can incite a climate of fear - as with the 2012 predictions. Of course there are going to be earth changes. We live on an evolving planet. That's not to say I don't believe we should do our best to take care of her.

For those ...people... to label someone the "anti-christ" presupposes too much to address here.

Rel, I think what it boils down to is that we only have control over ourselves, personally. The best we can do is live our lives in a way that is true to who we want to be on various levels. Though, I cannot wait for 12/21/2012 to come and go in an uneventful way. Which I'm absolutely certain will be the case.

10:09 PM  
Blogger KoffeeBean said...

You're eyes are NOT that shape!!!:)
Much to think about in this piece. The mysteries of humans. Yes, it would be great if we all could live the best we could, and control only ourselves- but unfortunately someone else always seems to want to control us or lead us down a different path. And many of us do seem to be fairly easily duped! Good intentions go flyin' out the window. But, we do have to have hope- hope that tomorrow will be better.

8:17 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

oh rel,, it is all so disheartening

and then i go to work and watch the idiot people that are all hyped and truly believe that "their candidate" is going to make it all better...

i can be accused of being anti social,, but even i wonder from under which rock these people have crawled?? does no one know anything about history?? does no one research anything ?? doesn't anyone care if they are being led thru life with a ring thru their nostrils??

i wonder sometimes if i am the only one that can see it... and then i come here and i am comforted once again in knowing i am not alone....

9:29 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Oh, Rel, I am on overload after this one. But, frankly, unlike most folks, I have zero curiosity about unexplainable phenomenons, and about anything that I can't see or touch. I am not much interested in astronomy (i.e. space and planets) either. That's why I basically hate science fiction and the occult.

I still haven't figured out how your post led to broken presidential campaign promises. Of course, I know that my candidate will not be able to keep all of his promises. But I do not believe that he's a wicked liar either.

I liked your post, though.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

When I lived in California there was some big fear that California would fall into the ocean that year. Nostradamus made some prediction that everyone took to mean that California would be gone in I think that was 1986. Anyway, it obviously didn't happen.

If the end comes in 2012, then I'll have had a good run for as long as I could.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

The list of books/favorite characters there is a carbon copy of my list, almost.

The Mayans say that the world will end in 2012; and the calendar that they made over 2000 years ago is only off by 30 seconds right now. That's pretty good. I'm okay with it ending, if it does. I'm curious about what comes after that.

There are infinite ideas out there, Rel, and not one can be proven. Some are disproved by time, but that's as much as we get.

Understand the ideas and beliefs of others; to understand them and their behaviors.
Keep an open mind and an open heart.
Keep your own ideas and beliefs sacred unto yourself, if they are the foundation of your life.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

11:37 AM  

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