Just thought I’d give you a preview. I miss the interaction over here so thought I’d just post a bit of what I’ve done so far.
I’m editing these Ask Old Jules questions and answers…. making them look good in print, making sure to fix formatting and punctuation… it’s slow work! I can only do about 10 pages per day. I had to sort through 13,500 questions and answers to pull out the most interesting ones.
NOTE: Evidently I can’t do a cut and paste from my Word document without it messing up the color here and adding underlines! They are not links, no matter what it looks like.
But the document I’m putting together will be correct, I’m just not going to work on it here. Sorry!
Hope you enjoy these. –Jeanne
Old Jules, what thoughts have you had recently that have blown your mind?
I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately, about how the past within personal memory seems concrete enough, but how it resembles a venturi as it approaches the present. About how the present is gone so quickly it mightn’t exist at all as a practical matter. Any attempt to nail down the present is doomed to failure because it’s gone before you can get a hold on it. I’ve been trying to build an analogy or model to allow a better look at the way I, we, understand time, or ignore it, and maybe arrive at a better grasp of what it’s all about, behavior of something in physics, particles or some such thing, with behavior that rhymes with the way time behaves in our minds. Because time probably doesn’t exist. Which should mean the “future” is as fixed as the past.
Old Jules, is it possible this could be hell?
I’m nearer 70 than 60 and my personal view is that reincarnation’s inevitable, that there’s no escaping it. Which isn’t the same as asserting this is hell. There’s a lot better chance of the last one having been hell, if we arrived here carrying a lot of anger, or the next one being hell if we do a bang-up job of screwing up our challenges during this one. But I doubt any of them are easy. This one sure as hell hasn’t been. I’m grateful for all of it, but everything else being equal I’d rather have something new and different next time around.
Old Jules, the pursuit of life existence is the search for happiness and fulfillment. How do you get it?
You’re making it more complicated, more difficult than it needs to be. First off, the statement, “The pursuit of life existence is the search for happiness and fulfillment,” is an attempt to doctrinalize your life, your existence. It’s a hypothesis. An assumption. A conjecture. You have no way of knowing whether it’s true, and yet you’re trying to build on that imaginary foundation. Look for the video “Jessica’s Daily Affirmation.” She is demonstrating how to find happiness.
Old Jules, what can Philosophy do for me?
Philosophy stands as much chance of doing something for you as any other pursuit you’re likely to find. Which is to say you’re unlikely to find anything that can do anything for you. If you want to find something that can do something for you you’ll have to reach inside yourself and if you find anything that doesn’t slither out between your fingers like a broken raw egg, cultivate it. Call that philosophy if it pleases you.
Old Jules, do you agree that women get unhappier as they get older and men get happier?
Women get unhappier, those of them who do, because they never learned to live with themselves without the belief they need someone to carry them around like a turd between two sticks, send them flowers, candy, do moonlight walks with them and be worried when they pout. Women who come to that understanding with themselves are strong, self-sufficient and don’t become unhappier with every circuit of the star.
Men, on the other hand, have definitely become more pansy-assed than they used to be. Weaklings for the most part, because they try to live life like a spectator sport.
Old Jules, why do you believe in God?
To “believe in” God is to have an opinion involving belief and disbelief, with belief drawing the short straw. God isn’t about “belief.” Not about old words written down by savage tribes in the Middle East, scholars in Asia, remembered by once-aboriginals in OZ or the US. To “believe” is a statement of uncertainty.
God’s about certainty, not belief. Mixing God up with doctrines and beliefs tends to confuse things and create an environment where “belief,” instead of knowing, thrives.
Old Jules, what should I do with my life? What should I be?
Do whatever you think is best. Any choice you make will carry you into a river of other choices. You can always choose to drift, to paddle, to swim, to gorge your thirst at any point along the way until the choices run out. Whatever you choose now isn’t a permanent decision, it’s just an opportunity to dig some challenge out of your life experience. Any challenge will do.
Old Jules, do you believe in having a positive attitude towards life?
I don’t believe it’s possible to have a positive or negative attitude toward life in any sense. Positives and negatives in that context are apples trying to compare themselves to oranges.
Life is boundaries, fences, boxes we place around ourselves, our thoughts, our perceptions and our emotions, and how much we allow them to encompass.
Old Jules, what would happen if all but 20 people suddenly vanished from the planet? If no two of them were located within 1000 miles of the nearest other they’d each learn to live with themselves pretty thoroughly.
I’m a hermit anyway, and too many decades around the star to care much one way or the other. If I happened to be one of them, I’d do my best to avoid the others until my time ran out. I’m not much impressed with humanity.
Old Jules, describe one historical event that we can or do use as an analogy for making sense of contemporary life?
We pretend preventing it happening again is our justification for projecting power all over the globe by military force (and pretend it’s also the reason for constricting the sphere of freedoms of the US citizenry).
Old Jules, why is life so unfair?
Because we personally sculpt the concept of fair around what isn’t.
Thanks. These are some real gems.
Thanks for the post, glad you are back.