Monday, March 31, 2014

Thoughts 4

Thoughts 4

The one thing that stands out is the use of what to us was a starting place and a stopping to tell time: a cycle of the moon, sun, the rotation of the earth. Later, man added hours, minutes and seconds for which we had to have a place to start and a place to stop for us to compare. Of course these standards we have devised do not have a starting and ending spot; just the appearance of them.

In measuring of other things such as length, weight, and volume we have set standards. In early history man used his body for length; forearm, finger and hand. There were probably other body parts or other things used that we are unaware of. Volumes were measured by filling containers with seeds of a certain type and then counting them.
As science and technology progressed we had a more precise method for us to use for measures. Actually, as measurement became more specific it allowed science and technology to advance so there was a reciprocation of improvement among them. The one thing about any measurement was the setting of standards.

Weights and measures may be ranked among the necessaries fo life to every individual of human society. The enter into the ecomical arrangements and daily concerns of every family. They are necessary to every occupation of human industry; to the distribution and security of every species of property; to every transaction of trade and commerce; to the labors of the husbandman; to the ingenuity of the artificer; to the studies of the philosopher; to the researches of the antiquarian; to the navigation of the mariner, and the marches of soldiers; to all the echanges of peace, and all operations of war. The knowledge of them, as in established use, is among the first elemenst of education, and is often learned by those who learn nothing else, not even to read and write. This knowledge is riveted in the memory by the havitual application of it to the employments of men throughout life.”
John Quincy Adams
Report to the Congress, 1821

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thoughts 3

Thoughts 3

Thinking about time I realized that the concept of linear time is a construct of the human intellect. Physicists tell us that time is spatial not linear, but if you break a cup we can not reverse time to make the cup fly back together. We remember the past but not the future. So there is a direction to time.

Henceforth, with the Einstein revolution, time itself, not just its measurement with clocks, would be understood as something essentially relative to the motion of the observer and his or her frame of reference, as something in its essence related to the speed of light. *

I wondered how our idea of time came about. Some of my thoughts were that early humans might have needed some way of letting others of their community know when to expect them back from a hunting trip or a consultation with another tribe, clan, or family. There could be many reasons for marking off time. How would the early humans proceed? Maybe they would point at the sun and hold up two fingers, because they had no words to communicate two days. They may have indicated the moon and moved their hand in a circle which could mean a full cycle of the moon. Whatever happened we know that they used the movement or the apparent movement of the heavenly bodies as a way of telling time. Our day is based on the apparent movement of the sun around the earth. Of course, we know today that it is the earth spinning on its axis and not the sun moving. Even though the sun is moving within and with the galaxy. The week, fortnight and month are based on the phases of the moon. The year is based on the changing of the seasons. The seasons change because the earth's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the plane of it's route around the sun. All of these movements start at one point and supposedly return to the same point. The sun rises in the east seems to travel west and disappears to rise again in the east. The moon goes from a starting point; say no moon (new moon), cycles to full moon and back to new moon. The seasons would seem to naturally start with the rising of new life; spring. Mature in the summer and fall. Then die in the winter to be born again in spring. Maybe this is where the concept of cyclic time came from. We know today that nothing returns to the same position. Our galaxy is spinning on its axis, plus moving in a cluster of galaxies in relation to other clusters and so on. All that being said, the celestial bodies that make up our solar system never return to the same place. Even a pendulum does not return to the same place.

I have wondered about the reality of people living in these conditions (or time?). They were as intelligent as we are, they were just uneducated in the way of modern man. In some ways my friend was like that. The different concepts that we use to function in life and use in technology had not been born.

In trying to coordinate the different movements of the heavenly bodies man has had to change some of the timing; adding days to months to arrive at spring the same month each year, incorporating leap year and other adjustments to keep time correct in our system. Actually, there are 13 cycles of the moon in a year. I don’t know exactly why we have 12 months in a year; it may have something to do with the number 12 being considered spiritual and/or the number 13 being unlucky. A whole book could be written about the history of how the ideas of time have been developed around the world.

There is an underlaying process of motion and forces from which time emerges, however what we perceive as time is mostly an illusion. Our memory creates the illusion of the past. Conscious perception of events gives the feeling of present. Future is a mental construct patterned on memory experience of the past.  Concept of time emerges as our mind tries to make sense of the world around us which is filled with continuous change.

* "A World Without Time" by Palle Yourgrau   page 43

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thoughts 2

Chapter I

Sometime in the mid 1980’s, I met a Native American who originated from a tribe in northern Mexico. I don’t remember the name of the tribe or his name, but I remember him quite well. My friend was illiterate. Not functionally illiterate, but totally illiterate. He could not read or write anything. He could not read a clock to tell the time of day. He could not work the simplest mathematical problem but he could speak five languages: Spanish, English and three Native American. He was not stupid. He was just uneducated. While we were together he told me about a lady friend he had loved. Love is my word not his. He called her his lady. When he talked of her there was great sorrow in his voice. He told me the year she died and asked me how long she had been dead. It had been just a few years since she died. He knew his birth date, but did know how old he was.

He lived on the streets getting by however he could. Coming and going, sleeping and rising when he wanted. Here was a man who had no concept of time except possibly the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon and the changing seasons.
After we parted, I happened across him one day while he was scavenging. That was the last time I saw him.

I thought about this man a lot. One thing I thought about was how he saw the world; what was his reality like? If he had money and tried to spend it, he would have to trust that the change he received was correct. Did he go through each day knowing how much “time” he had until dark by the position of the sun in the sky? What about how he could tell when to get some warmer clothes. We know by the time of the year, but he could not read a calendar. He could see the changing seasons but he could not tell the years as they went by. He could not count: 1,2,3,4,5. Did he have linear time as part of the reality that he lived, or was it the concept of cyclic time that I had read about. Maybe he had no concept of time at all.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Thoughts 1

Introduction to Thoughts

Several years ago I was sitting in my living room and the thought occurred to me that I had learned a lot over the years through reading, talking with others and observation. Why? I have a huge curiosity and want to understand all that I can even though I am an expert at nothing. What good is it? I enjoy learning. Is that enough? No! Doing it for my personal enjoyment is okay, but if I can use this information to stimulate others then that is what I would consider enough. Since that time in my living room my actions have been ultimately directed toward putting on paper some ideas that I hope will stimulate people to ask questions about our concepts, about ourselves and life in general.

What I am going to try to do is to convey as much as possible, some of the reality that I live in and some concepts that I am trying to incorporate into my reality. Any ideas that I include will probably have been originated by someone else. I will not be able to tell you whose thoughts they are, because I read them, use them in my life and never make note where they came from. I think deep down inside of me I want to think they are my ideas. There have been times in the past when I had a great revelation and thought that something new had been born through me to find later that the concepts had been around hundreds sometimes thousands of years. Probably I had read them someplace and later the idea came back into my mind as if it were mine. When I can, I will let you know where I came upon the ideas (foot notes). I owe a debt of gratitude to some men and women, yet I have been so egocentric that I cannot remember who they are!

In years past I frequented a hole in the wall bar that had a dance band on the weekends only. Through the week an old man came and played the piano at night. He was blind. Because he received no pay, the people in the bar would buy him beer while he played. As he played he would get drunk and lament the death of his son. He was an accomplished piano player. The number of songs he knew and how he played them made me think he may have been a professional musician most of his life. He did not play the songs in the original form and he had no original piano licks. He combined the styles of many other pianists and made his own style. That is what I hope to do with this under taking; combine the ideas of others and make something new.

My homes have been in Mississippi since the day I was born and I have mainly earned my living working with my hands. Putting those two things together makes me a “Mississippi Redneck”. Being a redneck I have been known to make a mistake or two. That being so, if you find a mistake in my logic or a misuse of someone’s idea please let me know. I will ultimately (after I get over being hurt and/or angry) be grateful for any constructive criticism I receive.

I will use masculine pronouns to represent both male and female. Will Durant in the first volume of The Story of Civilization attributes the beginning of civilization to women. It seems to me there is a good chance that a lot of ideas that make up how and what we think came from women who did not get the credit.

Thank you to all the people I have known. You all influenced me. Some more than others. Some opened my mind to areas that before were alien to me. Some opened my mind to ways of being that I wanted to emulate and some to ways I have tried to avoid. All have swayed me one way or another. Sometimes the ones I met only through books changed me more than the people I met in person. The passing of peace, kindness, and knowledge is surely the reason to be alive. So thanks to all for passing that to me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


By Kent Lambert

The dream of life,
The total sound of the coming Dawn.

The Dawn of mystic travel,
The Dawn.

Away and down the abyss of time forever. . .
Ever. . .
Ever. . .

The Dawn of eternal love,
The Dawn.

We mount the task,
As if a whore.
( Joy unfold! )
Civilization beckons,
Barbarians behold!

The Dawn of cosmic unity,
The Dawn.

Time of fruition,
Time of soul,
Listen body,
To the untold.

Travel. . . .
Through the oneness of eternity.
Feel. . .
We shall make it, death and maternity.

Beware the pitfalls coming down (I aim to please),
Destroy our energy,
Destroy our soul,
Destroy the time with a godless tease.

Come, I feel fine,
Time is yours,
Time is mine,
Time to make love,
Time to shine,
Time to do whatever’s on your mind.
The Dawn is here,
The thoughts of old,
The energies of our soul.

We’re on the same team
The threshold of a dream.