Up in the morning…

feel ’round for my shoes
Lord you know I had
dem ol’ walkin blues

Gave a call to the temp agency I joined yesterday, told them I was available. Then it was the newspaper classifieds, Ground Force on t.v., and a coup of coffee. Nothing in the paper. Coffee was great. The day is partly cloudy but with the cloud cover of the past couple of days it seems like it is positively clear. I love them all, clear and cloudy days alike.

The day before, while sitting in the temp office awaiting orientation, I read several bits of “First Things First“. Last night’s post on chaos theory and the follow up discussion to it, briefly checked this morning, deals not so much with chaos theory, but determinism and free-will. Many of the posters in the Philosophy Cafe are much more articulate and specific in their references (“consider Hume’s argument of such and such as it is contrasted with Kant’s breakdown of Aristotle’s idea of blah blah blah”). When referring to acknowledged philosophers (someone who’s book might appear in that section of the bookstore) in this forum I must be a bit specific on one hand, but can be vague in the other (as they generally know what I mean). Yet the whole theme of the “chaos and identity” thread started by Biggie seems to me more akin to Spinoza’s argument against free will. What Biggie was saying, is similar to Spinoza in that we assume we have free will because we can choose right now whether to drink the coffee in the cup, or toss it out the window at a high velocity toward the man with the leaf blower. The choice is ours, and so we assume we have free will. We also assume a chain, causal nature ot the universe because we hear the leaf blower and we flip our lids and toss the coffee mug and we thus tell the police that we were pushed to do so because of the annoyance of the leafblower. A rubber ball bouces because it hits something to bounce against, a Newtonian clockwork universe.

Spinoza said (mind you, I am no expert on Spinoza… I’m still trying to read the smallest bit) that the situation we find ourself in, this moment, has factors in its creation. We are in the window because we woke up early due to a dream. What caused the dream? Why are we in this apartment building at all. What caused the leafblower to get up so early. What lead to the invention of the leafblower (demonic influence I am utterly convinced). The number of events leading to this one event are immense, the number of events leading to each of them is even more so. Stretch all of these events in time into infinity and the sense of free will disappears.

It is similar to the groundbreaking thought (personally for myself) when I was in Desert Storm. I had left Arkansas a conservative Mormon (but with a liberal heart) and I asked myself in all seriousness after reading some literature on Islam in Bahrain, what if my family had been born in Bahrain? Would my dad still be the Southern Baptist that he is now? Would I be a Marine? Would we instead have adopted the customs and beliefs of those around us? Why are these muslims around me so obviously misguided and wrong, where we are so right? I could find no answer at all. I’ve long associated 1992 with my birth of identity (upon reading The Vampire Lestat), but I made a great leap in philosophical sophistication during Desert Storm with my exposure to Islam. But perhaps I am too hard on my earlier self. For it wasn’t a cold heart that went to Desert Storm, or a closed mind that read Anne Rice in 92. I’ve always been curious about things and have always been sincere on the deepest level.

I remember praying for the holy spirit when I was a young teenager. Then the family was pentecostal. We stayed all night, even after the church let out, the preacher and my family were all around and we continued to pray. They said that something happened and I really really wanted to believe that it did. I prayed often to God for something to happen. But deep down inside I didn’t think what they thought had happened actually did. The same thing happened at church camp. Everyone congratulated me on speaking in tongues and I felt good, but I didn’t feel essentially different. So I guess that I’ve always looked deeply.

I am reminded of the PBS show on Islam that I watched a couple of nights ago. Wonderful show, particularly the thoughts concerning “one god”. Letting go all fundamentalist ideas and such, listen to the essential message here. It was Spinoza’s philosophy.

But I waste time here… I meant only to record the morning and then move on. I’ve got applications to fill out and people to see. I NEED a job something bigtime. I simply wanted to record a morning ritual. After the morning coffee and news program (or changing rooms or ground force on BBC) I place my coffee on the bathroom counter and take a shower. There I usually enjoy the water’s heat and sometimes sing. A Harry Connick Jr song, Louis Armstrong, or today it was Iron Maiden’s “revelations”. Achilles, my boy cat, always jumps up near the back of the shower and paws open the shower door. Strange, because he is afraid of the water. But when I take a shower he is always there and he starts talking to me.

meow meow meow meow meow meow meow.

He paws open the sliding door and peeks in at me. That is my cue to pet him. He loves to be petted around the head when my hands are wet. It slicks his hair back. He is a big, overly fat cat, and very fluffy and when I’ve finished petting him he looks like he has the head of a weasle because the fur around his head and ears is slick, the rest of his body is fluffy and dry. It is quite humorous to look at.

Having petted him, he is satisified, I conclude my shower, dress, and start the day.


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