Monthly Archives: August 2013

Confucian Proverb

“I see and I forget,
I hear and I remember,
I do and I understand”


This has got to be one of my favorite proverbs and in a lot of cases, especially for me it is very accurate. There are a lot of qualities that I value but overall I seek knowledge, wisdom and understanding. In some ways I have a lot of the above, but in others I have fractured pieces of each not necessarily lining up with each other which more often than not proves to be far more trouble than it is good.

There have been a lot of things that have meant a lot to me over the years that I let slide, and in letting them slide I forgot them.  As I work on reflecting back on things that have mattered to me; that I gave importance/power in my life and the overall sense that there has been some things that are missing I always felt like a dog chasing my own tail.  There have been many things that I have been told and I have seen but not completely understood but in actually working on them it has been helping to bring clarity.

Whilst I do not believe the addage there is no such thing as a stupid question (there is more often than not some things that are better left unsaid) I wholeheartedly believe in questioning situations, people, the world around me and even myself and the questions we ask and seek answers to define us as individuals so in this I will always continue to question.

If we do not learn and grow we become stagnant and it is a state of being that I have known for too long and something that whilst I have made some progress on will continue to be something that I work on. There is so many things we can do and learn and I wish to grow to be all that I can be.

A haunting dream

As far as dreams go last night was relatively normal and only the one that just stretched throughout my entire time asleep. That being said it has to be one of the most unsettling ones that I have ever had. I know that I sometimes go between relatively normalish dreams, odd and nightmares when I actually do dream and they are usually rather vivid but overall if something really unsettles me I usually have the ability to see it for what it is and just wake up, not last night though.

I didn’t even know that I was dreaming until I woke up in my bed and even then it took a little while for everything to sink in.

Old England whilst it would have to be one of my favorite times in history was also fraught with its fair share of problems partly due to a limited understanding and use of hygiene and sanitation which saw plauges be able to run rampant through not just the towns but also the countyside and last night focused rather centrally on that fact and one of the worst plagues in history no less, the black plague.

It was a smallish town not quite small enough to be really considered a village that was going through an outbreak, I remember walking down the main street looming into the eyes of the people there and although alive their eyes no longer held any hope and it was truly saddening. There was the stench of death everywhere, I remember being unblemished and those that still had fight left in them running up and grabbing me begging me to save them.

My insides screamed at me to get away as they were all infected and I was not but they were all people to ostracised by those around them left to their fate to a death in pain to be ultimately burnt like those before then and I couldn’t just walk away from them. In the end of course there was nothing that I could do to help them but as time went on I continued to not get sick.

I felt completely powerless and useless and to top it off those that had not yet died grew to resent me as I should too be sick but it never came to me. I knew I couldn’t leave a I would never be accepted in another village coming from the plauged lands so I was stuck there surrounded by death and misery of the people without hope of anything changing.

The experience was incredibly vivid from sights, smells and overall texture and throughout it I didn’t know it was a dream until I was back in my bed, quickly switching from I’m saved to realising what it was.

Overall it shook me fairly hard, I am no stranger to feeling miserable and dispair but it showed me that everything that I have been through is relatively pale by comparison and for that I am thankful. Also it may have been centuries ago in a different time and place but no one deserves to die alone and unwanted simply because they are sick, frail or not all there anymore.

To that extent compassion is also important, we can all be there for someone that does not have anybody else.

Beverley August 2013

Just what the doctor ordered

fireworks_blog

 

More and more lately I have been feeling the call to spend more time out of the city in the fresh air and tranquility that the countryside offers, I make a point of visiting the lake near my place very regularly to escape the bitumen and concrete of suburbia which is good for the most part and allows me to feel relaxed but it is still near a major road and as such there is the constant hum of civilized life to keep me company. This last week I haven’t been sleeping the best whilst nowhere near as bad as previous weeks sleep overall has provided what my body has needed to function but was not what i would consider overly restful so a trip out of the confines of the city was in order.

So Saturday I headed out to Beverley to visit my sister and her husband in their relatively new place and spend some time recharging my batteries if you will, it was sorely needed. It was also show day for the town and we got to go out and enjoy dinner from the food options that were there and sit back and watch the fireworks, and I got to have my first experience in attempting to photograph them overall I think they turned out quite well and I will add a gallery of them after this post.

Stopped off at a few places on the way back mostly park bays, I was planning on driving through one of the national parks on the trek back but the rain had set in by the time I had gotten there and as it was mostly not a real road I would have rather not get stuck out there but will be a place I shall visit sometime in the future as it had a rather nice feel driving along next to it and I am sure it will offer interesting trails with which to wander through and just get away from things in general.

Overall it was a weekend well spent, I got some decent sleep although not long as has proven to be more common but of much better quality and feel rested and ready to take on a new week. Thanks guys for always making me welcome at your place, it is really appreciated.

I hope that everyone has been able to have a pleasant and relaxing weekend.

State of the World

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/world/middleeast/syria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This and things like it make my blood boil and seriously makes me question if the human race should have any hope or right for the future. Granted I am well aware that a large portion of the world are not like this and the planet is filled with beautiful people who still instill hope in me for our species the fact that things like this can happen really make me wonder. What if this is a sign of things to come in regards to the future of our species, if people willing to purpotrate atrocities like these actually manage to gain more power and momentum in the wider society just where could we as a people end up?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke (assumed)

Personally I am a strong supporter of diplomacy, we all have to share this world and the resources it has to offer and in the end we all have different wants and needs and in the end it in my opinion and theory most of the time be possible to reach a compromise in which neither side is severely disadvantaged. In some instances the suffering of a people with no recourse does warrent militant action as when words fail and there is still injustice abound sometimes it takes force to institute change.

Irrespective of if this was an attack by the rebels to imply guilt on the current government or vice versa it is the methodology of a coward. It is important to have things that you believe in and are willing to stand up for, and in the end even die for if required but in my opinion there should be rules. The vast majority of the peoples in this world are innocent bystanders simply trying to go about their business or erk out a living for themselves and their family and not necessarily a part of either side in a dispute. They are not pawns on a chessboard or tools to be used to incite sympathy or damnnation no one has the right to decide their lives are any less important than our own.

The fact that the death toll included so many children makes this an even further unforgivable act. Children should be the embodiment of our hopes and dreams, a chance to learn from the mistakes of our and previous generations and are the custodians of what is to come; This act makes them nothing more than a statistic, a number in the death toll and sends a message that whomever did this is a coward and has no regard for the sanctity of human life.

It’s times like these I almost wish I could support an eye for an eye mentality of justice but I cannot in good conscience do so.

An odd night to say the least

Throughout my life I have always been a dreamer both in how I view the world and in the literal kind when I sleep, mostly when I was younger but it has made considerably more of an appearance throughout this year. Last night though was a rather odd one for me, I am used to vivid and realistic dreams of a wide and varied nature and more often than not they can be jumbled between chopping and changing through a few different things throughout the course of the night.

Typically though they are linear in nature, one will transpire at a time even when jumping between them however last night there was five as far as I could remember when waking up and the odd thing was they literally were all taking place at the same time, talk about being unhinged! I have always wished that I could be in multiple places at the same time, and have dreamed of it in the past but usually that is the limit of it and processing the information from simultanious inputs was somewhat as a challenge. Five though that was overwhelming to say the least, at first I thought perhaps I was fragmented between a few different things but they were more than just overlapping everything was coming through at once and unlike times previous I could not choose which one held the dominance.

Overall there was a re-occuring theme with them in that there was somewhere I needed to be that I am not currently and it was a place, meditating on it after waking up I at least know that it is a place here, and one I haven’t really given much thought to visiting in the past rather than a curiosity passing over destinations. So now I find myself looking at flights to Nepal, as for what I expect to find there; If anything at all I don’t know but there are callings that I have ignored throughout life and part of moving forward I have to let go of past mistakes and see what it is the future holds and funnily enough Nepal seems to be on sale at the moment.

Addendum

In the wise words of Master Yoda “Do or do not, there is no try” And to that effect I will be travelling to Nepal next month

Mistakes

In this life, or any life nobody is perfect to believe so of yourself is arrogant but whilst we all make mistakes what defines us is how we deal with them.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

It is easy to make mistakes, some small and insignificant and others having impacts not only on our own lives but the lives of others and once made it may often seem like there is no way out and lose sight of what really matters. If something is important to you be it a belief/ideology, family, job, friends then don’t let them remember you by your mistakes; Let them celebrate you for addressing and working through what has been done as you strive to improve.

In a lot of ways I am an idealist, one of the most powerful things I feel and believe in is Hope. No matter how dark the night may be and although it may seem as if it is lost, there is *always* Hope; Sometimes we have to make it ourselves and others we are shown it through the actions of others. But in the end it is our choice around how we wish to be.

Fear is a powerful enemy, don’t let it stop you from being all that you can be.

Care Australia – Women’s Empowerment

http://www.care.org.au/womens-empowerment


“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Today’s society seems to be driven by the moment and the concept of instant gratification, quick thrills and me, me, me and there seems to be an endless stream of distractions with which to occupy our time and spend our money on; Hell I know I have been guilty of it plenty of times. In a lot of ways we are very lucky to live in what is considered a “first world” country and whilst there are plenty in our lands that need a helping hand there is also a large portion of the world considered “third world”.  Personally I really hate the designations, we are one world and all citizens of mother Earth. And what is considered ‘beer money” to us can actually go a long way towards helping our fellow man who have no interest in the latest iPhone, or the war between X-Box and Playstation.

Helping others has always been important to me, whilst I do like my gadgets, toys and collectibles in many cases the money can be much better spent towards projects which actually need funding and help people out.  This is a charity / program that I have supported for some time now and thought I would share it with all of you. Typically when I am donating money to an organisation there are a few key criteria towards making my decision:

– Do I believe in the program (parted ways with greenpeace due to my personal dislike of some of their methods and how cash was used)
– Can I select which of their programs the funds will be used towards
– Will the bulk of the money contributed actually be used towards that cause

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” – Albert Einstein

As with a lot of charities that I have supported over the years I found out about this one and the project that I support on a Friday evening on my way home from work as I was heading into the city for a roast dinner. The principle behind this program is that women and girls can better their lives and the lives around them through having access to education and support and this leads to mothers being better able to protect their children from HIV, trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as further help in developing their communities.  Sounded like a good cause to me, and as I could select this program for where the funds would go and the bulk of donated funds actually are used on programs they became one of the charities that I support.

The world is what we make it, and although we are only one person we may not be able to change the entire world but we can change the world for people who need it.

New Discussions

I know the vast bulk of the people who read this blog are my close friends and family however I know I do also have a few external readers, if you have found anything I have posted interesting or wish to contact me I welcome discussion.

I can be reached at jbawden [at] jwb.id.au

Hope the day is treating you well.

Winterborn

There is a feeling deep inside
as dreary as a winternight
It darkens all my pride
and drives away the light

There is a feeling in my soul
it feels marooned and far too cold
I stand alone to face the wheel of time unfold

Darkness falls inside of me
and the sorrow’s growing day by day
And though my life’s a broken memory
there’s a door and there’s a key

Sorrow comes with silent tears
and the dawn still haunts my darkest fears
What have we both become throughout these years
There’s a serpent in all tears

There is a river in my dreams
that runs so wide, that runs so deep
And by its riverine
I still can hear you weep

There is a winter in my heart
so freezing cold and utter dark
It keeps me down and tears my sanity apart

Darkness falls inside of me
and the sorrow’s growing day by day
And though my life’s a broken memory
there’s a door and there’s a key

Sorrow comes with silent tears
and the dawn still haunts my darkest fears
What have we both become throughout these years
There’s a serpent in all tears

Darkness falls inside of me
and the sorrow’s growing day by day
And though my life’s a broken memory
there’s a door and there’s a key

Sorrow comes with silent tears
and the dawn still haunts my darkest fears
What have we both become throughout these years
There’s a serpent in all tears

~ Sirenia – Winterborn 77 ~


Sirenia is one of my favorite bands, I can’t think of a single song of theirs that I don’t like and this one in particular holds meaning to me as it serves as a reminder of a place that I never want to be again and that there is always a way out, if you are willing to work towards it or ask for help if it is needed.

We are more than the sum of our parts.

Many belief systems subscribe to a view of the continuation of our existence after death, or the rebirth into life anew so it can be said that we take experiences from the times we have walked before into our current life, and for those that do not we still collect memories and experiences as we move through our life but either viewpoint leads to a similar conclusion who we are is in part defined by our experiences and choices. Although to some extent I am a firm believer in fate and things happening for a reason this is also tempered by choice and it is our choices that help shape the world and ourselves.

The world itself is a truly wonderous place and anything is possible however it is also an intricate tapestry of light and darkness; order and chaos; good and evil; right and wrong and also us. Each of us is an embodiment of all of these things and the choices that we make are defined by who we are/our beliefs, the experiences that we have had and how we want to be and often it is easy to lose sight of this based on events that take place in not only our lives but the lives of those around us.

I am an optimist in regards to most things, experiences through my life however often tended to go to the other end of the scale and it was difficult to deal with seeing how things could be if people were just slightly different and actually worked towards helping each other rather than becoming more and more wrapped up in their own little worlds and over time it appears society has moved from help your fellow man to do no ill and finally to what is in it for me. It seems that we live in a world based on quick thrills and what is in it for me. It is also why I have a great deal of respect for organizations and some relgious people who have the strength to stay true to the tenants of their faiths and help in the greater world as they see that it is more than just about them.

I didn’t have that strength, well more to the point I didn’t think that I did and so I gave up. Given how important my beliefs and trust/strength of my convictions were to me earlier in life this was the start of an incredibly slippery slope downhill. Some things didn’t change I still tried to present that everything was fine to the outside world but inside I was dead and filled with sorrow, and although there were no tears as this song indicated there was still silent ones within and who I was and who I had become were seperated by a giant chasm that seemed impossible to cross, and I hated myself for being unable to have the strength to find my way across so I felt I deserved and sought anything that would further drown this.

But as in the song, there is always a door and in my case the key was actually rather simple it all boiled down to choice.

I don’t care if I fit in with the greater society or not, I will still trust and wear my heart on my sleeve as quite simply *that* is who I am. No matter the darkness that was within myself, or continues to run rampant throughout the world as a whole I will persevere because I am, and deserve better than that.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – Franklin D Roosevelt

I chose to isolate and withdraw within myself thinking that I was alone and that no one actually cared, but the truth of the matter is I have never been alone nor will I ever be. Nor should anyone in this world feel that way in my opinion, there are circumstances that may make people feel that way but in each of us is the ability to be there for others that need it and even something as simple as a smile for a stranger can go a long way. There was a note from a man that committed sucide off the golden gate bridge stating “If one person smiles at me, I won’t kill myself” *be* the person to give the smile, you may just save a life.

“To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.” ― Bill Wilson