Category Archives: Philosophy

Anything related to philosophy

Becoming individually responsible

Liberty comes with responsibility.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester which are often only found by chance.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester which are often only found by chance.

I support individuality, but individuals in expressing their individuality do so with responsibility if it impacts other people and this planet.  I came across a spider and its web in my garden, I took another route so to avoid harming the web; this in my opinion is a good example of individuals acting responsibly.

An irresponsible plane passenger nearly killed a child who lives near my town of Colchester by eating peanuts despite multiple warnings not to do so.  In the media report the child had a severe allergy to nuts so that even their smell would cause a life threatening reaction.  At least three clear warnings were given on the aircraft to all passengers to not eat nuts, but this passenger knowingly refused to heed the warnings, nearly killing the child.

The weather in Colchester has encouraged a large number of edible puffballs to grow three months early in a certain place.  The puffballs look like large white soccer balls, one that I foraged last year to eat.  To my dismay people are kicking these puffballs to pieces for a few moments of mindless entertainment.  The responsible individual would give the puffballs a purpose either by foraging them for food, or allowing them to follow through their life cycle to seed themselves.

Step outside of time

Time is an illusion.

The sun gives us a sense of time, but it is not time, we have created an illusion of time in our heads.  It is possible to step outside of this illusion by seeing it for what it is, a fantasy.

The sun gives us a sense of time, but the sun is not time, we have created an illusion of time in our heads. It is possible to step outside of this illusion by seeing it for what it is, a fantasy.

Look about you.  The last time you were there compared to now, has anything changed? It is likely you may discover something has changed, even if it is only the clothes you are wearing or how you have positioned yourself.  You will compare a memory of what was to the picture you see now, and you will note change, a sense of time.

The clock near me measures change, a series of regular ticks, and three hands that move about a clock face measuring out time.  That is all these clocks measure, a set beats against numbers relative to something in motion.  My ancient ancestors the Celts measured their year by nights, and by the cycles of the moon; they defined the start of the new year in the North of the world at the Winter Solstice, because to them their world started out of darkness.  An individuals sense of time is relative to their position on the planet, since objects in motion they measure time against such as the sun behaves differently to them, for instance some parts of this world the day and night is always equal, but in other parts it is mostly night or day.  On Mars the solar day and the solar year is different to that of Earth, because the motion of Mars is different to that of Earth relative to the Sun.

Individuals make the error of seeing time as something external to them, perhaps as a dimension, or as a force that is acting upon them.  What we measure and perceive as change gives rise to a perceptual error of a sense of time.  Now in your environment you will likely notice that it has changed compared to your last memory of it, or a memory of months or years past; this overall sense of change is due to changes of the individual parts in your environment acting either in their own agency or their interactions with each other.  Even now as you move about your environment you are changing it, you are moving particles of dust and air around, small changes that over many days will become large noticeable changes. The agency of change in your environment comes from the parts themselves rather than from an external agency of time acting upon them.

At any moment all that exists is present, everything has no presence in a subjective past or future, it all exists in the now rather than anywhere else.  Since all that can and does exist is in the now, time travel to a past or a future is nothing more than subjective opinion, a fantasy, a fiction that has no reality in nature.

Are you able to step outside of the illusion of time, becoming liberated from its subjective illusion? How does that feel? What now is your sense of reality?

Becoming a caring source to others

 Find your internal source, it will ripple change into the world.

I like to be close to water when I need to think.  This water source and its bridge in Colchester was an inspiration for the Liberated Way logo.

I sit close to running water when I need to think. This water source and its bridge in Colchester was an inspiration for the Liberated Way logo.

I share Celtic reverence for sources of water, springs that erupt out of the ground, or sources of the great British rivers.   My ancient ancestors considered water sources as sacred: the ancient neolithic structures such as Stonehenge cluster around the source of the River Avon; the cave paintings of Chauvet focus upon a vulva-like cave opening from which a spring emerges with a stampede of painted animals on the walls, born out of the source into the world; Colchester’s Balkerne Gate springs once had a temple to the three Roman mothers; near Colchester at St Osyth is a memory of an ancient female spirit of a spring transformed into a Christian saint.

Sources of water to my ancient ancestors was the source of all things, all the animals the hunter gatherers hunted came from this source, and returned to it.  Prosperity (health, happiness, abundance) came forth from that symbolised as the sources of water.  Water sources became the focus of legend, stories and reverence of nature spirits.  All things came from, then returned to this source. The Tao Te Ching (40) says:

“The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao’s mighty deeds.

All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named);
that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).”

Until a few hundred years ago a major water source for Colchester ran between the Roman walls and the hill of St Johns Green known as the Lose Brook. Aptly for its name, this water source is lost. I plan to locate the centre of my business near to a water source like the Lose Brook. I will find such a water source, uncover it and bring it back into use. Just as I focus on caring for living things or business customers, so the source of the strength of the business is a social contract between society, nature and the business tied together and centered into an authentic tangible narrative of a spring. Out of this centre ripples all the business processes into the internet and the world. The ever-present spring at the heart of the business will remind me of my social contract with nature and society based on values such as sustainability and localism, and woe anyone who forgets it.

Each individual must find their own internal source, for it is the source of their strength. Personal and human prosperity or ruin revolves around the source, forgetful people will suffer only ruin, those that remember will have harmony. The Tao of the Tao Te Ting, or the Logos of Heraclitus is this source, symbolised by the spring, well or fountain. You must first find your internal source, merge with it, become governed by it, stay centered on it, then the ripples of positive change you make into the world will come out of it.

My view on charity giving

Sadly people are taking advantage of people’s good intentions.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their "inmates" whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their “inmates” whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.  Dickens Oliver Twist story exposed the scandal.

In the Colchester square the smiling face offers a leaflet, “for you!” he says.  I take the leaflet, but it is held tightly, wheeling me in to the grinning face like a fish.  The charity salesperson is selling a worthy charity called the World Wildlife Fund.

Welcome to cynical capitalism, salespeople as predators on the good intentions of human beings for emotive causes.  Should I donate to the charity via these salespeople they will keep 90% of the donation, the charity will get practically nothing.  I politely tell them I am not interested, I stay silent about where I would like to shove their leaflet, which they keep.

Anything of a charitable nature is via my business, which as its CEO I am the ultimate decision maker.  For legal and business reasons I have policies and processes in place to assist in the decision-making, activity and recording of charitable donations.  I have a localism policy which means the donation must relate to something in Colchester; the donation must benefit the business in some manner such as its brand or products; the donation must translate into a tangible result such as the planting of trees; the donation must meet values such as sustainability, liberty and opportunity policies.

One charity I might consider partnering with in the form of corporate sponsorship is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which has broadened its scope to dealing with other wildlife and the land.  The RSPB runs many nature reserves around the UK including a small nature reserve near Colchester. This potential charity donation ticks all the boxes such as localism, sustainability and branding, so this is where I might donate to.

I argue that people need to become wise to the fund-raising activities for charities, checking that donations are properly used and administrative costs are low.

Wisdom comes out of calm

Better calm than violently angry.

I need to be calm when photographing in nature.  Had I lacked calm, this butterfly would have fled, then I would have no photo of it.

I act with calm when photographing in nature. Had I lacked calm, this butterfly would have fled, then I would have no photo of it.

When I deliver to my customers I encounter dogs at the gate.  The difference between losing an arm or getting to the door with a friendly dog in tow is calm and wisdom.  The dog is the guardian of the gate, I befriend the dog or I never enter the gate.  Most dogs, especially the wolf-like dogs, can communicate with their eyes.  I can tell instantly the intentions and mood of a dog before I enter a gate by looking at their eyes.

In dealing with dogs, including all animals, acting slowly, calmly and relaxed means the animal is less likely to respond with fight-flight response.  I seduce dogs by conveying feelings to them with my eyes.  I can place a thought in my mind and it will convey in my eyes straight to the dog with dramatic results.  I act slowly, focusing all my attention on the dog; I think friendship, happy to see the dog, calmness; I will eventually have that dog either running for a ball or licking my hand.  Had I at any point felt fear, anger or coldness towards the dog, the dog would have picked it up in my eyes and reacted negatively.

My attitude towards dogs, and everything I do, is it is better to act in harmony with my world than impose violent control upon it.  Nature is my teacher, and calm is one of its teachings.  Calm is the sister of patience and tolerance, letting nature flow at its own pace and in its own way.  When I planted acorns, I was unable to force them to grow, they acted in their own timing, at their own pace.  I am like a parent rather than the master of eight strong oak saplings.  I provide my saplings with opportunity through water, sun and good soil; protecting them from caterpillar and fungus; they follow their own nature in becoming fast growing little trees.

The mind that has no calm is like a drunken person, it has no wisdom, rushing from one crisis to another, lacking the anchoring of wisdom, the drunk does stupid actions and ruin is the drunks ultimate reward.  When a cat comes to me inviting me to stroke it, I gain opportunity to find my inner calm in a world of war.  Calm provides the metaphorical nutritious soil for which planted acorns grow into oak trees, but the reverse is rocks upon which nothing grows.

Finding calm in the storm

Find calm in living things amongst stormy chaos.

Living things in nature offer an opportunity to step outside of the storms of human society into a calm.

Living things in nature offer an opportunity to step outside of the storms of human society into a calm.

Human society encourages you to become anxious, always in a state of panic. The adrenaline constantly runs like an angry river, the constant demands of electronic devices, deadlines and noise.  The news is always ugly, full of fear and worry.  Human society is a constant raging hurricane of angry fear.

Randomly a cat runs up to you.  The cat demands your attention, to draw you outwards from the storm to a world of calm.  Looking around yourself you notice a world of calm, the birds sing, the light calm breeze, the distant sounds of happy children playing.  You realise the illusion you have become trapped in has become dispelled by a living creature that has no understanding or care about the angry world of human society.  You are calm, as the cat enjoys your company.  The cat has pulled you out of the storm into a calm centre.

The rise of localism

Globalism and central control is coming to an end.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self-reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

The first of a series of debates on Scottish independence from the UK took place yesterday, the vote for independence takes place next month.  The campaign for Scottish independence is part of a larger paradigm shift away from globalism to localism around the world.  Cornwall, Wales, Mercia, Yorkshire and Wessex are all campaigning for independence in the UK.  Even in my town of Colchester we want to take back control of highways from external authorities.

The European elections this year resulted in a surge in anti-EU nationalistic parties doing well.  UKIP which wants the UK to leave the EU was the clear winner in the UK in the European elections.  The UN is increasingly seen as ineffective in the face of international crisis, often used by a few powerful nations, and ignored by practically everyone.  Israel recently expressed the contempt nations now have for the UN by bombing UN schools in Gaza.

The USSR has broken up into small nations, as has Yugoslavia.  Sudan split into two and Georgia into three nations.  There is talk of California in the USA breaking into six states, and a growing but still small movements for other states breaking away from the Union altogether.  The fighting in East Ukraine is as much about local Russians wanting to determine their own future as the international games of chess between the superpowers.

Flanders is seeking to break from Belgium; Catalonia and the Basque Country want to break from Spain; the city of Venice wants to break from Italy; Quebec is looking to break from Canada; Kurdistan and many other Peoples are seeking to form their own nation states out of the chaos of Iraq, Syria and Libya.

New forms of local currency such as the Totnes pound and electronic currencies such as Bitcoin challenge the bankers. Until recently my local council Essex Council was talking about creating its own bank for local people.  Corporates such as Starbucks are considering creating their own currencies, in effect becoming their own banks.  Multiple non-banking payment systems such as PayPal are now part of internet commerce.  In the face of sanctions Russia has created their own version of VISA for citizens to pay their bills.

The internet has helped to break up the power of information monopolies where the citizen blogger is as effective as a journalist in the New York Times.  The internet places greater power in the hands of the individual on the local level.

Water, energy, food and debt are the four great forces now driving the world politically, economically and socially.  The many chasing a diminishing amount of resources drives people to fight or conserve their resources.  Huge growing public and private debt is destroying nation states, driving the momentum to think local rather than global.  The Greek economic crisis drove local people back to the land, to become self-sufficient, and create systems of trade outside of the global financial system.

I support localism, and I designed my business with localism in mind.  The growing international crisis will force people to become local, sustainable and self-reliant.  As the money runs out nations, communities and individuals will quickly learn that it is down to themselves to live or die.

Playful nature

See the fallen leaves in wind, the fluttering butterfly, nature plays.

Amber my garden fox apparently is into night-time gardening, playing with some garden gloves.

Amber my garden fox apparently is into night-time gardening, playing with some garden gloves.

Early this morning, I found a garden glove mysteriously abandoned on the lawn.  I discover the contents of a box scattered across the ground in another part of the garden, the second glove amongst them.  The mystery is likely Amber my garden fox.

In myth the fox is a mischievous playful spirit, to the fox everything in the world is a potential toy to play with.  A fox used my tent as a plaything one night, chewing through the guy ropes so that the tent fell down on me in a rainstorm.

Fox sliding down a conveyor belt in Germany. (Copyright is Duncan Usher.)

Fox sliding down a conveyor belt in Germany. (Copyright is Duncan Usher.)

In the UK Daily Mail is the story of a young fox that put to good use an abandoned conveyor belt in Germany. The face of the fox shows a creature having fun.

Everywhere in nature you see play: the wind upon the fallen leaves; the butterfly fluttering from flower to flower; the flickering flames of the fire; the actions of growing plants; the playful interactions of wild animals in their environment.

The playful child

The great philosopher Heraclitus provided for the world a series of cryptic statements of his observations of the patterns in nature.  In one of his fragments he said:

“Eternity is like a child playing, playing chess, the kingdom belongs to the child.”

Heraclitus considered that nature was the result of two major forces: war and the logos.  Heraclitus used fire and a child as symbols for the logos, a pattern that determines motion and self-organisation of everything in nature. The logos plays like a child, playing its pattern against other patterns, so that the result is the sort of paradoxical random yet self-ordering world we inhabit.

Nothing is deterministic, just common.

Between random chaos and the playful child playing out patterns according to its own child-like way, nothing in nature is deterministic.  Determinism is a human delusion, humanity can only use inductive empirical observation to base truth upon common repeating patterns, with a reservation that a pattern is only common, but may do something completely different next time.  Heraclitus says that the logos is often hidden, and manifests itself in war, being unexpected and surprising.  As I write this article Pebbles my cat positions herself unexpectedly under my seat, I tread on her tail; a kitty yelp as she runs off; playful logos and oppositional war surprises me and the cat; I restore harmony with my cat using cat treats.

Our DNA are like counters in a game.

Scientists have recently discovered that only 8.2% of the human genome is active, the remaining 91.8% of our DNA is so-called junk DNA.  Your DNA is a pattern, a narrative of your entire ancestral history from your first ancestor in the primeval soup.  Each gene in your DNA is like a game counter, some in play, most currently sleeping but ready to come into play at any moment.  I believe that current theories of evolution are missing something; I believe our DNA is more intelligent than we currently think, that there is a childlike intelligence in DNA that plays chess with our genes, testing patterns against our warlike environment.  Only a playful child could bring about an outcome of turning a T-Rex dinosaur into a chicken.

Harmony of the opposites

War is the manifestation of two opposites.

The bee and flower are a perfect example of harmony through opposites.

The bee and flower are a perfect example of harmony of the opposites.

I define war as the manifestation of two opposites.  If you move you encounter opposition of air resistance and gravity, this opposition is war.  You might comment that there is difference between a bomb blowing up people and you facing the wind as you walk to work; they are the same because there are oppositions in play.

Heraclitus considers that the patterns that repeat over time are “common” and it is worth basing our ideas, attitudes and behaviors on what is common than the children’s toys of blind opinion.  In nature war is common, and in human society war is also common.

All things in nature are good, only humanity breaks nature into subjective judgements of good and bad.  Fire is neither good nor bad, but it is common and will either provide you with warmth on a cold day, or burn you to death in a house fire.  War is common, being the manifestation of opposites your heart muscles work in opposition to each other so that you might live, but an opposition of a bullet to the heart would kill you.

Harmony is the result of those that work with the common in nature.  When you face the opposition of winter you put on warm clothes, when you face the opposition of summer, you put on less clothes.  The difference between human species and other living things in nature is that we choose to hold opinions and follow strategies in direct opposition to the common patterns of nature.  There is no harmony for the fool who goes naked in a winter snow storm.

To work with war in order to achieve harmony, the first action is to drop blind subjective opinions that war is good or bad.  War is as common as fire and should be treated as a force in nature like fire and breathing.  All living things excluding humanity treat war as common and work with the oppositions of war along the path of least resistance towards a harmony.

Humanity is the fool for creating needless war.  If I believed and acted upon the idea I could get all I wanted by stealing it, I would create a great deal of war from those I stole from.  If I trade for anything I needed then there would be less war.  In situations of war the wise employ strategies that work with the oppositions, I was a fool when camping in a storm, and nearly died under a falling tree.

In closing I shall comment briefly on the example of the recent fighting between Israel and Palestine.  One of the complex reasons for this oppositions resulting in war is the unity of opposites where each side seeks to deny the existence of the other, so that an existential crisis arises where a side is forced to fight or end in oblivion.  When two sides share the same existential space where neither can withdraw to another space, the strategy is either going to be total genocide of one side or be doomed to failure, thus the path of least resistance must be something other than bombs and bullets to achieve a harmony between two opposing sides.  If two sides of the heart can find a harmony in the opposites thus creating life to the whole, so there is a hidden answer in the current opposition between Israel and Palestine, but only the wise will see it.

Harmony, War, Peace

Harmony is good, war is necessary, peace is delusion.

This stump is all that is left of my soul mate the "Castle Tree" that had survived lightning strikes but a storm last year killed it.  When it fell I gathered the last acorns about its fallen branches and planted them from which eight beautiful children are growing under my care. In nature there is no peace, just war, and out of war harmony.

This stump is all that is left of my soul mate the “Castle Tree” that had survived lightning strikes, but a storm last year killed it. When it fell I gathered the last acorns about its fallen branches and planted them, from which eight beautiful children are growing under my care. In nature there is no peace, just war, and out of war, harmony.

In a series of posts I am going to explore my viewpoint: harmony is ideal; war is natural and necessary; peace is bad and delusional.  This viewpoint is controversial whenever I raise it in either my own posts or comments on other people’s blogs because modern society has become conditioned to see war as bad and peace as good.  It is the causes of war, rather than the wild beast that is war which is the problem, since war is a force attempting to resolve two opposing points of view, an opposition that arises out of greed, the need to control and human hubris.

I was thinking about my initial post on this subject of harmony, war and peace last night in my tent, then a buzzing came into my ear, a mosquito.  I turned on my torch to begin battle with the mosquito and revealed in the darkness a huge spider that looked like the only venomous spider in Britain, called a false black widow watching above me.  I was not prepared to share my tent with this spider for health and safety reasons, so I went to a great deal of trouble to catch and then release the spider alive far from my tent.  I never found the mosquito.

Nature teaches you the hard way to fight and struggle.  By the nature of who we were the spider and I could not share the same space safely, so war was a natural and necessary outcome, peace was a delusion.  I fought the spider and captured it, there is a state of harmony when I let the spider go safely somewhere else.

Hippy universal love is an illusion in nature, for it will force you into situations to fight.  On another night there was a mosquito in my tent, one that by its nature wanted to harm me, and in that battle I killed it.  In caring for my oak saplings I face tough choices when caterpillars attack them: I could not let them kill my oak saplings; was it unfair to let the caterpillars starve to death or be the agent to allowing them to infect other trees?; could I risk giving them to the birds as food with the possibility they could navigate back to my oak saplings? I killed them. The screaming buzz of a hoverfly caught in a life-death battle with a spider next to me; I set my heart to stone; in matters that I have no direct involvement I do not play god; the life of one creature means the death of the other.  This is how it is in nature.