Existentialism For The 21st Century

“Is our technology changing what it means to be human that much?

This is a question without a definitive answer … so far.  Futurists claim we are already cyborgs (we have glasses and pacemakers and use Google instead of memorizing things) and are going to keep changing, while leading sociologists of technology like Sherry Turkle point out that this often has more in common with malnutrition than evolution:  just as eating junk food will keep us alive but not make us healthy, social networking and modern media are a cheap substitute that doesn’t really fulfill our needs as human beings.

New Existentialist Eugene Taylor has suggested that trying to deliberately “advance” the human species has been tried many times before, and always failed. “

This is from a very interesting article on the subject.  Well worth the read.

What are your thoughts on how technology is changing human society & the actions/thoughts of Individuals?  Do you think Empathy is something we can teach, or are (as the author suggests) times of solitude also important to help humanize ourselves?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment space below.

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The Onset Of Spring…

Though the snow has only recently melted, I desire to see green hills & trees.  Spring is starting to arrive & with it comes the new hope for the year.  While at New Years we often make resolutions, to me – it seems easier to have a sense of hope & energy to achieve your goals in the springtime.  With new life budding all around us, undertaking new endeavours feels good.  So dust off your list of goals & zero in on one of them.  Something you want to achieve before the Summer Solstice.  Something that will move you along your existential path.  Something that will be fulfilling.

I have already chosen mine.  I want to complete the final stages of production for my recently recorded album.  That is my goal this spring.

What is your goal?  What would you like to achieve before the start of summer?  Leave me a comment below & inspire the rest of the world.

Until next time, Blessed Be.

February Distracions…

I know it has been a long time since I’ve posted something new. I’ve been busy writing songs for February Album Writing Month. It is an online songwriting challenge where participants must write fourteen songs in the twenty eight days of February.  It is a challenge I have been participating in since 2010 & I find very inspiring.

Now that FAWM is over, I plan on getting back into blogging regularly here at Sacred Knowledge.  But while you wait for my next post, check out my FAWM output from this year.  Leave me a comment below & let me know what you think of the songs.  You can also check out my entire catalogue of albums, live recordings & singles at my Bandcamp Site.  Let me know what you think.

Until next time…

Back To The Future…

Do you remember, in Back To The Future 2 where Marty McFly rides that hoverboard?  Remember how you thought: how cool is that?  And you know how you feel every time you watch a sci-fi movie & see vehicles & other mundane items hovering over the ground.  I always think:  man, that would be just awesome if we could develop that sort of technology.

Well guess what:  We Have The Technology.

My best friend e-mailed me a link to an American company that has been developing this technology.  I watched some videos & was blown away.  Yes, I know this technology is in its infancy.  But the mere fact that a working prototype hoverboard has been developed is amazing.  And this company, Hendo, wants people to help them develop the concept further.  Watch this video & see what I mean:

Cool, eh?

You can find out more on their website: Hendo Hover   And if you have any comments of your own, just leave them in the handy form below.

When Sickness Overtakes Thee…

cough_medicine_2_children - JPEG

At the best of times, a deluge of inconsequential thoughts forced upon it by mundane responsibilities & distracting sensory input clouds the mind.  This over-powering absorption of input takes away from the Individual’s ability to focus – especially the ability to focus on what is Truly important in one’s life.

The challenge of focusing is made that much more difficult when one’s body is in the throws of sickness.  Whether one is sick from a cold, flu, chronic pain or some other ailment – it is that much harder to concentrate & keep one’s goals in the forefront of one’s mind.  As such, when the Individual is sick – especially if she suffers an ongoing condition such as cancer or chronic pain – the Individual must work even harder to stay on her Life’s Path.

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Thanksgiving…

Now up here we celebrate Thanksgiving a month before our American Cousins – mostly because by the time November comes, so has the snow. As such, Thanksgiving for us Canuks is on Monday & it is a great time to get together with friends, family & acquaintances in order to celebrate the gratitude we all feel for what we have achieved.

What am I grateful for? My family – including my lovely wife & growing son. My health (tho, I am fighting an autumn cold at the moment). All the things I have learned thus far in this lifetime. My friends (who inspire me & keep me on the right path to my goals). And last – but not least – the opportunities I have been given to better myself & progress along my Individual Existential Path.

Thank you everyone for helping me along my way. I hope in some small way, I too have helped you along your own Individual Existential Path.

What are you grateful for? What would you like to give thanks for? Let me know using the comment section below. Or simply tell me about something you’ve learned in the past year that has allowed you to progress.

Until next time,
Blessed Be…

After the rain…

The day out on the island was hot & muggy. Time was spent meeting new scouters & sharing our experiences & woodland skills. Meals were shared as were many stories. A good time was had by all & I think we all walked away with new knowledge.

But as the sun began to lower itself in the sky. My companions all left – one boatload at a time. Until I was left alone with my thoughts & my own woodland lore. My first task was to recce a spot to sleep for the night. Upon studying the map of the island that hangs in the cabin, I picked an area on the north shore – near what is referred to as “Skinny Dip Beach” (because Scouts of old would skinny dip at this spot). And so, I set forth along the trail – watching for poison ivy which riddles some spots on the island – seeking out a spot to bed down for the night. Once selecting a spot with a view of the lake, I returned to the cabin & hiked my gear in. Then I setup my camp, enjoying the solitude & the faith I have in my own skill.

The night was still hot – for as I sat next to my small fire I felt as if I was sitting in a sauna. As I ate my supper, I contemplated the beauty & serenity that surrounded me. The sun was setting, as too was the crescent moon. The silver sickle following in the path of the golden disc… a potent image.

The night was quiet. The lake was calm. Peace, paradise & serenity filled me. A perfect moment.

The next morning the weather turned. The winds blew strong from the south & with it came cooler & wetter air. The rain fell, soaking my tent. It wasn’t much fun striking camp – but something you get used to if you’ve ever spent a lot of time outdoors. I made it back to the cabin & began to plan my solo canoe trip back to the mainland. Listening to the weather on the emergency weather radio in the cabin, I watched through the window as the rain slowed & then stopped. A glimmer of sun poked through the clouds for a moment – an omen foretelling me of my only opportunity to cross the lake without rain.

As quick as I could, I loaded up the canoe & paddled for shore. The wind was with me as I left the dock next to the cabin. However, as I rounded the north point of the island – passing my campsite from the night before – I turned into the wind. I made short sprints from island to island – using the granite shores that rise up out of the water as a windbreak. At last, I reached the landing, unloaded my gear – put the canoe in its berth – & returned home.

The adventure, the moment, now in the past.

Tell me about your own adventures – either in the wild or any other journeys of solitude you might have undertaken.  What did you learn about the world & about yourself?  Please leave me a comment below.

Until next time…

A Quick Thought…

If everyone simply sat back for one moment each day & contemplated life, their Individual place in it & where we would like to be going – if we really took the time to contemplate such important matters – perhaps the world would be in a better place right now.

So take a moment to yourself today & think about existence & your place in it. Think about where you would like to be in a year, five years, ten years, twenty five years & fifty years from now. What is your life going to look like then? Hold those images in your mind & think of them everytime you are faced with a decision.

Reflections On The Limits Of Human Knowledge…

Dead_crow_4 - JPEGDown the hill from my home, I came across a dead crow lying in the road.  I was driving on my way out of town and there it lay – peacefully & undisturbed in its post-mortal slumber.  The image is burned into my mind.

I have always felt a special affinity for ravens & crows.  The myths & archetypes of my ethnic & cultural backgrounds have always placed these birds in a special category amongst animals.  They are intelligent & this prompted my ancestors to associate them with knowledge & wisdom.  Indeed, they are symbols of the very quality I seek.

To see one dead, lying upon the concrete roadway of a modern human town, the symbolism & the archetypes spin through my thoughts.  One could see this as a representation of our modern life – how humanity has set aside the pursuit for wisdom (the crow) for the pursuit of material & economic progress (the roadway).  We find the bird dead upon the concrete, a victim of the very technology our human knowledge has created.

On the other hand, we could dig a little deeper & think about the limits of human Knowledge.  At times, the dead bird reminds me of how little we do Know & understand about the world, our place in it & the reason for existence itself.  Its passing from this world makes me think of how much there is beyond the mere physical that our collective & our individual Knowledge has yet to discover.

Maybe our modern pursuit of progress can be turned into something worthwhile for all of humanity.  Maybe we could pour our collective creativity, wonder & urge to explain things into figuring out what is truly important.  Maybe we can concentrate more on what makes us happy & what makes our lives feel fulfilled & concentrate a little less on material wants & all those things society tells us we need.

I know this is very idealistic.  Yet, when we think about how little we know about ourselves, about the world & about this universe we inhabit – it seems abundantly apparent (to me at least) that our priorities as Individuals need to be re-examined so that we do not become like the crow: a missed opportunity for knowledge found dead on a road.

Let me know what you think.  What sorts of thoughts fill you from this musing of mine?  What archetypes & symbols do you identify with & what do they make you think & feel?  Let me know in the comment section below & thank you for reading my musings.

Passion and Truth

An insightful analysis of Truth versus the obsession with being “right”. An excellent blog post by a fellow blogger & Truth-seeker.

jonathanhockey

For many years I have believed myself to have a special access to certain truths about the world. Whether this belief is right or wrong, certainly I was wrong to think that knowing this truth is itself enough to give it authority. Authority comes not from what you know, but in how you use it in application within your own life.

I see a lot of debates between people sure that they have the correct view. Or maybe they are not, maybe, even worse than such a dogmatic certainty, they are merely cynically playing along at a game of arguing for the sake of it, to pass the time. Either way, the assumption seems to be that the truth will ultimately speak for itself and it will speak in our favor. It is a form of truth that is mixed up with the obsession with being “right”. To be in…

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