Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Life Lessons and Philosophy Learned from Kill Bill and Hattori Hanzo


Something random...

I know in my heart that Crom, the Force, the Most High, J.C. Soul Brother Number One, the Four Winds, Gravity, and the various other life forces and entities that govern and direct our lives are real.

I am a secular humanist. I am also not a fool. Perhaps, I have read too many philosophical treatises and science fiction novels over the years? Have I listened too closely to the lessons of Brother Bruce and movies such as Kill Bill and gleamed truths that are not contained therein?

We must meditate on our decisions; we must also live in the moment. To what do we owe our regrets? Ought we not to follow through on our first, best, destinies?

To point. The movie Kill Bill is a portrayal of people who cannot help but to be themselves--they are ruled by inexorable destiny.

Thus, a philosophical question, observation, and conundrum.

I have come to realize, during these last few weeks, that I have been so focused on what I perceived to be bad luck and misfortune that I have been unable to see and acknowledge my good fortune and blessed opportunities.

Are we/us/you that myopic? Or I am alone?

When I am processing important thoughts and decisions that have already been made, I retreat to my best "Kosh voice" from Babylon 5: one can be cryptic and also transparent in the same instance.

"Over-sharing" can be a good thing. What philosophical musings or random observations do you have to share on similar or related matters? Life lessons to offer?

16 comments:

DanF said...

As the Dali Lama says, "Be kind wherever possible. It is always possible." Now... There are times when I fail miserably at this.


The universe is large and will survive without us for many more billions of years. By contrast, the earth is impossibly small and wondrous. Enjoy what you can when can - no pressure from the universe.

chauncey devega said...

Wow. You have given me something else to read and meditate on. I have been trying to get back into reading and meditating on Lao Tzu as well.


Did you ever get to read any of Dr. Sarno's work on healing back pain? I too have chronic back pain, certainly not as bad as yours, but his book was invaluable.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Shobogenzo is my favorite book. Written in 1200 AD by Eihei Dogen who traveled from Japan about 3000 miles into China to get to the essence of Buddhism.


I looked into Dr. Sarno and I think I mostly found exercises for combating back pain as well as a thesis that a lot of back pain is psychologically induced. My pain is definitely real at this point, whether it was mostly psychological before is pretty moot.


I take a lot of core strengthening classes as well as yoga flow. I'm trying to get into a meditation habit, I mostly try to be present no matter where I am and sort of wash my thoughts and experiences with each breath.


I started making green smoothies every day with a lot of anti-inflammatory foods like kale, beets, spinach, lettuce, pineapple, blueberries, etc. My inflammation has reduced considerably, but the muscular problem is still there.


Lots of core exercises, I also go to a chiropractor. I did acupuncture for a while and that reduced the pain throughout my body as long as I was getting regular work. When I stopped having a job after my son was born I couldn't afford it anymore.


I'm applying for teaching jobs. I may get an adult Civics position to teach people for the US citizenship test. Crossed my fingers.

zazen99 said...

I sometimes think our complex frontal lobe is more a curse than otherwise and we look for complexity where there is none. For me its instantly "centering" to recognize how very fortunate I am to be alive now, in this place, at this time in history, to witness the marvel that is this planet and this universe; and to love. I think Carl Sagan said it best: "For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."

anonymous said...

I have come to realize, during these last few weeks, that I have been so focused on what I perceived to be bad luck and misfortune that I have been unable to see and acknowledge my good fortune and blessed opportunities.

Mr. Devega know that you are loved, and that you are fulfilling your life's purpose by sharing your knowledge with so many of us. You are not alone in how you feel sometimes. I try to remember to be thankful for being alive.

chauncey devega said...

I think that you would be a great teacher! What a wonderful thought--sending positive energy your way.

chauncey devega said...

How kind. And what a sincere sentiment. I left out the context for that realization, I tend to have my moods--don't we all, or maybe it is my Virgo way--but in doing my self-assessment and reflecting these last few months I was not pleased with where I found myself in relation to my peers, friends, and others. Of course, that feeds on itself.


I was out on my of my late night sojourns and almost got goaded into a fight with a drunk ign't who was trying to provoke me, and also harassing women at the local pub. The security didn't do anything because they didn't know if he was a gang banging ign't. Likely was. Once they got him out out there I told the barkeep, who is good folks, that said fool could easily have gotten himself killed by provoking people the way that he did.


Innocent people could have been hurt too. Your security needs to step up.


I then said without premeditation that I have too much to live for to have to worry about getting killed while getting a beer and fighting a thug.


Hearing those words was sort of an epiphany that jarred me out of my dark mood. I thought, yeah, I do have some good things going on that many would envy even if my situation is not where I thought it would be when I drew up my life plan years ago.


Again, thank you for the kind words.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Thank you. You're very kind. I have a couple of things going against me, but I won't dwell on those. If I get the interview, I need to be prepared.

SabrinaBee said...

Too many times lately, I can't help but be cynical. But, I also recognize when I have drank too deeply from negativity and will tune out. I mat go weed, I may read a book, I may engage in online games, or take several days worth of walk down the communal path, in my town. All are things I enjoy and am grateful for.

Even when I am online, griping, I inherently know that there is little I can do in the present, nothing I can do about the past, and even less about the future. A huge chunk of me is accepting of that. I don't believe in a God but, I believe in goodness. I believe that because I don't, it makes me more accepting of reality, and less likely to excuse things, like bad behavior. Either in myself or others.

I think that is my philosophy.

kokanee said...

Good stuff Myshkin. I'm rooting for you whether it's job prospects or a pain free life. Buddhism is by far my favorite religion too.

kokanee said...

We've done these life lessons before.

1. No regrets. Successes and failures in the past have made you who you are. Don't regret your past but chalk it up to life lessons learned.

2. Life is neither determined by fate nor luck. Life is probabilistic. I'm a secular humanist/naturalist as well.

3. Success often comes at a price. If you are selfish and ruthless enough you could get ahead but is it worth it? Becoming a Scientologist is like selling your soul to the devil, for example.

4. Love really is the answer.

5. Make every day count. It could be your last.

6. The game of life isn't about living the longest or dying with the most toys. It's about quality of life. Americans need to eat better and exercise more to achieve better quality of life. That means less processed foods and meat and more whole-food, plant-based diet. Fiber is often more important than the nutrients in the food.

7. Life is a constant battle between what we want to do and what is expected of us.

8. Keep in better touch with your friends and family. (For me.)

9. The East was a great movie! (joke)

chauncey devega said...

I have to cosign all of this--especially number 8. I have half brothers and sisters that I/we don't talk to. I keep saying "well, they need to call me". Years have gone by. I tell myself that I will call them on the anniversary of our father's passing from this world. Yet, I don't do it. Maybe next year.


What to do?

Buddy H said...

Chauncey, your writing and thinking is first rate. Don't blame yourself if you're not where you want to be professionally; it's not you, it's the times we live in. Your talent will take you far, it'll just take a little longer than it should.

Matt Taibbi is launching a new publication:

https://firstlook.org



It might be a way to expand your audience.

Bob Macias said...

From Wiki (thanks!):


Newspaper sports columnist Mitch Albom recounts the time spent with his 78-year-old sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, at Brandeis University, who was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Albom, a former student of Schwartz, had not corresponded with him since attending his college classes 16 years earlier. The first three chapters incorporate an ambiguous introduction to the final conversation between Albom and Schwartz, a brief flashback to Albom's graduation, and an account of the events Albom experienced between graduation and the reunion with his professor. The name Morrie comes from its meaning in Hebrew (mori מורי), which means "my teacher."

Albom is a successful sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press despite his childhood dream of being a pianist. After seeing Schwartz on Nightline, Albom called Schwartz, who remembered his former pupil despite the lapse of 16 years. Albom was prompted to travel from Michigan to Massachusetts to visit Schwartz. A newspaper strike frees Albom to commute weekly, Tuesdays, to visit with Schwartz. The resulting book is based on these fourteen Tuesdays they meet, supplemented with Schwartz's lectures and life experiences and interspersed with flashbacks and allusions to contemporary events."

kokanee said...

Channeling Obi-Wan Kenobi, "You must do what you feel is right, of course."

joe manning said...

If we critique conservatism to the exclusion of promoting secular humanism the right has won. Keep sight of the fact that humanity necessarily potentiates toward self actualization and magnificence.