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Posted on 18 Feb 2012 14:05:12 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
"Minstrel In The Gallery"

The minstrel in the gallery looked down upon the
smiling faces.
He met the gazes --- observed the spaces between the
old men's cackle.
He brewed a song of love and hatred --- oblique
suggestions --- and he waited.
He polarized the pumpkin-eaters --- static-humming
panel-beaters --- freshly day-glow'd factory cheaters
(salaried and collar-scrubbing).
He titillated men-of-action --- belly warming, hands
still rubbing on the parts they never mention.
He pacified the nappy-suffering, infant-bleating
one-line jokers --- T.V. documentary makers
(overfed and undertakers).
Sunday paper backgammon players --- family-scarred
and women-haters.
Then he called the band down to the stage and he
looked at all the friends he'd made.

The minstrel in the gallery looked down on the
And threw away his looking-glass - saw his face in

Jethro Tull

Posted on 18 Feb 2012 15:11:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Feb 2012 15:12:39 GMT
Sombrio says:

sitting here in the beautiful sunny morning!
Santa Barbara, listening to
Donovan singing songs
about love, the wind and seagulls.

I'm 32 but feel just like a child
I guess I'm too old now to grow old

I'm alone in the house because she's asleep
in the bedroom.

She's a tall slender girl
and uses up the whole bed!

My sperm is singing its way
through the sky of her body
like a chorus of galaxies.

I go into the bedroom to look at her.
I'm looking down at her. She's asleep.
I'm standing here writing this.

* * * * * * * * * * * Richard Brautigan

Posted on 19 Feb 2012 08:24:29 GMT
Withnail says:
It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

WT McGonagall

Posted on 19 Feb 2012 09:26:12 GMT
Withnail says:
Chocolate Jesus
Tom Waits

Well I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way
I know Jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more
I fall down on my knees every Sunday
At Zerelda Lee's candy store

Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2012 11:01:41 GMT
gille liath says:
I love that. I remember reading it as a class, in sixth form Eng Lit. We'd been down the pub at dinnertime. In my slightly tipsy state, I found it so funny I collapsed into an hysterical fit of the giggles. I got some funny looks from Mr Plummer but, good man that he was, he didn't say anything.

Wise choice, btw.

Posted on 19 Feb 2012 17:16:04 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz

Posted on 19 Feb 2012 17:38:28 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
...'our brains process sound faster than light even though light moves faster than sound so our brains are constantly shifting reality so the world syncs up. Only when someone is 30yds away do we see and hear the world exactly as it is. That's when your brain and sound and light are in perfect harmony. The rest of the time we are living in a world of lies. Lies are what make the world make sense, ergo the truth hurts.'

Patrick Jane
The Mentalist-Redshirts

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2012 21:45:43 GMT
nephran says:
Has he written any books.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2012 22:03:03 GMT
Spin says:
M: What? Does one "hear" ones thoughts? The recognition and awareness of ones thought is slower than the process of thpought itself? So I thought I wanted a cup of tea nano-econds before I realised that I wanted a cup of tea? In truth, ones thought is faster than light-speed because thought relies on more than one, solitary electrical signal. The mind is the result of the entire body, not just the brain. The particles of the body do not rely on photons.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 06:17:03 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
Being as he is a character from a TV show I doubt it but given American's penchant for cashing in with merchandising it's possible.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 06:22:45 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
It's a quote that amused me, not some statement of scientific veracity.
Do you realise that from your statement you imply that any amputee has impaired thinking?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 09:37:21 GMT
monica says:
In addition, scientists have in fact found, repeatedly, that minute muscular movements initiating an action, like getting up to fetch a cup of tea, precede conscious thought of that action, like 'I think I'll get a cup of tea'. Surprising (except inasmuch as it shows that as always Spin has no knowledge of what he's talking about), and leading to some depressing implications about free will.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 09:44:19 GMT
K. Moss says:
Hi Monica.

You are quite correct, this does seem to be validated research. However, I don't think you need to fear for your 'free will'. The fact that certain, simpler, more repetitive minor tasks may be initiated prior to conscious thought is not at all the same thing as the daily decisions we have to make about issues which require a sifting of data, or a consideration of the moral implications of an action. It is hardly surprising if the body's perception of a need ("I thirst") precedes the more conscious volitional aspects.

Hope you are keeping well.

Bests, Kevin

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 10:14:40 GMT
gille liath says:
Why should it have any implication about free will? It only shows that your will is not always at the level of consciousness - not always formulated into words.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 10:41:18 GMT
K. Moss says:
Hi Gille.

I think it may have implications for 'free will' if you are an atheist with a pronounced determinist persuasion, or perhaps have sufficient doubts about your own qualities as an autonomous, responsible individual, who behaves deliberately or volitionally.


In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 10:53:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Feb 2012 10:55:40 GMT
gille liath says:
Hi Kev.

I could only see it as a problem if you thought 'free' had to mean a) in conscious awareness of the options, b) uninfluenced by any outside (or sub-conscious) factors.

But obviously there's no hope of Free Will in that sense, whether you are an atheist or not. In fact, I think of all the concepts discussed on here, this is probably the one that requires the most blind faith...

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 10:58:05 GMT
Withnail says:
"I think it may have implications for 'free will' if you are an atheist with a pronounced determinist persuasion" - I admit freely that I am at the outer reaches of my knowledge set here, but I can't think of when an atheist would ever believe in determinism.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 11:11:15 GMT
gille liath says:
Why not? I should think a lot do, even now - quantum mechanics is taking a long time to permeate into the popular consciousness. Determinism is what you get if you take Newtonian physics to its logical conclusion. Besides, I think we probably have an in-built bias towards it. We naturally look for regularities in nature, that help us to interpret our environment.

In any case, I can't see how random particle behaviour gives any more succour to the idea of free will than determinism does.

Posted on 20 Feb 2012 11:12:12 GMT
monica says:
Good points all. I suppose I tend to think of 'will' as being a conscious determination, whereas 'motive/motivation' could be unconscious.

Does anyone ever drink a cup of tea because he's thirsty? I drink coffee because I need the caffeine and tea because I'm in the mood for a cuppa; it hadn't occurred to me that people might drink either because they were thirsty. . .

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 11:18:27 GMT
K. Moss says:

I'd really just prefer to call you 'Withnail', as I'd got used to that. It wasn't long ago that we had a cluster of regular atheist posters suggesting that this very piece of research supported their suspicion that 'I' or 'we' are merely behavioural constructs to help us cope with the fact that, in a ruthlessly deterministic universe, we are merely billiard balls on a giant green table, pinging off each other.

Like you, I'm conscious that I am paddling in the shallows of a very large topical lake, but I can see that there is a particular atheistic mindset which would prefer not to see ourselves as unique individuals, capable of deliberate, volitional acts of both good and evil - but rather as passive, functional units in the big game of genetic recombination and newtonian physics, where we initiate nothing original, but merely participate in a chain of events over which we have no control.


In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 11:19:29 GMT
gille liath says:
Yeah, it's more a way to structure your day really, isn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 11:24:14 GMT
gille liath says:
Attitudes like that are ironic, really - because the people espousing them, whilst calling themselves atheists, haven't shaken off the old (rather superstitious) idea that what constitutes 'you' is some mysterious abstract entity beyond physical causes. It's what philosophers call a category mistake: if you're a materialist, what constitutes 'you' is precisely the outcome - and orchestration - of all these lower level processes. And if you're a theist, I'm not sure it's much different.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 12:08:47 GMT
K. Moss says:

Agreed. It's actually just a variant of the old paganism.


Posted on 20 Feb 2012 14:25:05 GMT
nephran says:
What's going on here?.I doubt whether any of you give much thought to doing anything in your daily routine..I have to think very carefully before i go outside because of what's going on inside my head..It's nothing to do with any god (S)..Do you think about,breatheing,blinking,no of course not..Your brain as learnt to do that stuff automatically,Stop this nonsense and move onto something more relevent like..Am i going to have Ratatouille or tinned tomatoes with my fishcakes tonight..

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 14:54:25 GMT
Withnail says:
I'd go baked beans rather than tomatoes.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  87
Total posts:  2874
Initial post:  13 Feb 2010
Latest post:  3 Sep 2013

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