Musings

I’ve arrived at a place in my life where a tantalizing possibility has begun to arise:  those who practice discipline in a variety of domains can help others out, for they are strong.  They can solve others’ problems, for they are astute.  They can be compassionate when others are spiteful, for they are detached.  They can give of their wealth, for they have restrained their cravings. 

Lastly, they can inspire the low, for they were once low themselves, and have marked a perch in the annals of possibility.  

Discipline isn’t just something to keep me fulfilled.  It is a tool through which, if I am blessed enough to tap enough of my potential, I could potentially spread fulfillment to others.

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39 thoughts on “Musings

  1. In my field of botany, there would be no field if we didn’t help one another out. Even after 40 years in the discipline, I still need help from other botanists. Just this weekend I found a plant I could not identify and I have my go-to list of ‘wise folk’ who I know will help me. To others, I am the wise one. I sometimes sit in class and think, of the people here, no one will be alive, and yet, because of wisdom sharing, the knowledge will go on.

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    • You’re a botanist? Cool! Man, if you were around, I’d interview you for my podcast! I’m fascinated by the idea of plants and nature as psychological archetypes that can be used in storytelling, and I also think mycelium and fungi (of course the psychedelic variety but all of them really) are AMAZING! 🙂

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      • Yes, plants define our landscape and thus our lives. My personal belief is that someday we will think of trees as a sentient community … they are all connected and communicate with one-another through that mycelium complex. I am a botanist who is lucky to have practiced my field all through my career. And now I am retired, I write about plants and landscapes on fictional planets (with humans added for interest). Great life.

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      • Whoa that’s AWESOME! I’ve recently heard theories that the garden is archetypal in that the chaos of nature is harmonized by humanized function and desire for the order. I’ve also heard some really cool theories (probably wrong) that mycelium could have extraterrestrial origins, but regardless of that, I enjoy its behavior and the paradigms implied by it. Cool!

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      • Well, I had to look it up! First, cheese is basically coagulated milk protein, no mould in most types. It seems mould cannot grow in to hard cheeses like cheddar so you can safely cut about an inch away and safely eat the cheese. Mould can grow into Soft cheeses like Brie, so mouldy soft cheese should be discarded. Some cheeses like blue cheese have mould deliberately added and they are safe to eat. Who knew?

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      • Gotcha! My uninformed brain heard somewhere that blue cheese was mold and I think I’ve heard people say “cheese is mold” so my chimp-like mind was inclined to go for the simple answer and apply that to all cheeses. I wonder…why is blue cheese mold safe to eat, while the others aren’t? Did they ever cover that in your botanical curriculum?

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      • Closely related species can have very different characteristics. So you can eat Black Elderberries and get sick from eating Red Elderberries. You can eat potatoes and tomatoes but they are closely related to Nightshade ( poisonous). Carrots are great to eat while Hogweed (related) gives a nasty burn. Moulds are the same. I have had fun putting the poison/edible idea into the survival of my folks on Meniscus.

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      • Good to know, haha! I’m actually pretty scared of psychedelics. It’s been almost a year since I’ve done any, but I just can’t understand folks who do em purely for fun. The few instances I’ve done them, I try to employ the attitude “be careful what you wish for.” I’ve done salvia, cubensis, ayahuasca, and two different strength doses of DMT. I’ve heard weed can be psychedelic in a strong enough dose, but not only have I stopped eating it to preserve my REM sleep, I also have no desire to be high for days on end.

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  2. discipline comes from disciple the creed, the core of what is “right” and how to get there is the skeleton of discipline. adherence to an image of perfection, or even acceptance can serve good or evil. our world is full of cults each one with its disciplines and disciples. choosing or designing the cult is the most important act.

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  3. forgive them, for they know not what they do, it is a stirring moral direction, already exhibiting understanding, compassion, maybe even a glimmer of veritable wisdom – cheers, R ! chard

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    • I actually treat people who repeat the same theme of mistakes over and over as having no free will; I put controls in place to make sure they won’t harm me (or in worst case scenarios, others), and treat them kindly. I personally know the pull of catering to a dysfunctional belief because it feels good, and I remember how unpleasant it was to let go of dysfunctional belief, so I just try and be compassionate. No one fundamentally changes unless they truly want to anyway, so I figure it’s up to me to just adjust for them and wish them the best.

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      • if you think you are wiser than they are, I say, act like it, and scorn is not, by very definition, a valid response – cheers, R ! chard – psst: I have a motto – act, do not react

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      • I think “act like it” is a bit of generalized phrase; I would rather go with “demonstrate through action that you are more effective.” As far as act, do not react, sometimes the proper thing is to hold back and wait, especially in high degrees of ambiguity. I phrase it as “be strategically aggressive.” By aggressively serving my strategy, that means I can be nice to people (as that is often the most strategic thing to do when working with a group of people) or it means I can hold back and wait (if the evidence shows that there are rhythms of opportunity, then the most strategic thing might be to wait for the most opportune time). This requires a very honest knowledge of one’s intent, so that one can form a sound strategy to serve it, and then aggressively pursue that strategy.

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  4. you’re quite right about “act like it”, it is a bit terse – but “[a]s far as act, do not react”, as you say, “sometimes the proper thing is to hold back”, holding back, in my estimation, is also an act, often, indeed, the most effective “strategy”, if only to control one’s initial anger, revulsion, subjectivity, if one is looking for justice, instead of, ahem, power – cheers, R ! chard

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    • Indeed! And this is where I believe self-honesty comes into play, so that in especially ambiguous situations, one can know one’s own intent. That translates into sound strategy, which can allow and approve the sometimes counterintuitive action of “holding back.” This is actually why I think Dick Winters said the most important trait in a leader was honesty, but now I’m speculating.

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  5. you can tell when you’re lying to yourself, your soul is out of kilter, even by an itch, if you don’t, you’re not to blame for whatever indiscretion, if you do, correct it, else it’ll come back, believe me, to bite you later when you meet your conscience, and there is nothing, as a corollary, worse to bear than guilt, beware – cheers, R ! chard

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    • Well I definitely haven’t been able to in the past. And so while I consider my feelings a valuable reference and advisory tool, I verify what they imply through external results. I also strive to ensure that I do not wallow in self-flagellation, as to me, that’s as self-aggrandizing as braggadocio. This, for me, is a way to maintain my humility.

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      • humility is never to stop asking questions, that’s something else I learned from Socrates, and as I get older, I am cheered by the greater number of things I find, like a kid in a candy shop, that need an answer, however, even and ever, elusive – cheers, R ! chard

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      • Indeed! For me, the best and most fulfilling model of life is that of a game. Sometimes I need to play it to the hilt and be super serious, but at the end of the day, I can relax knowing that it’s just a game, and I can play again tomorrow.

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