Old Jules, what makes you feel good about being alive?
Acknowledgement of it by gratitude and forgiveness of everything it isn’t. Gratitude for that, also.
Old Jules, what is it like to be without hope?
It can be a place with a lot of quietude and satisfaction. Hope implies expectations and the antithesis of acceptance. For a person who believes expectations are a source of distraction from the better things in life and that acceptance is the fundamental goal for transcending this hostile reality being without hope is an accomplishment of major importance.
Old Jules, how do scholarly texts shape our understanding of the world around us?
Texts become doctrines. Doctrines bypass the need to reason, explain or question. Religious texts and scientific theory resemble one another in that regard. Each develops a priesthood and warrior partisans hiding along the roads to ambush new or opposing thought.
Old Jules, why are humans so superficial?
I suspect it’s hardwired, then reinforced by social conditioning. Which creates a filtering process resulting in the ‘greats’, the non-superficial among humans being purged through all manner of peelings off and classifyings if they pull it off successfully. The overall superficiality of humankind assures the ones who make it out and poke their heads above the general run will be tougher, more determined, and probably more able than those who were merely ‘above the normal’.
Old Jules, what things do you think we have no control over?
The minds, attitudes, activities and choices of other human beings,
Anything we can’t actually touch [as a practical matter] for the most part
Anything that’s already happened, which is a huge part of our consciousness and perception.