Wisdom & Inspiration

Mama Liberty's picture

The Power of Why

Gregory is a truly exceptional young man. I have had many marvelous conversations with him over the last few years, and I hope he can gain the recognition he deserves among those who think rationally. This is his latest at Everything-Voluntary.com.

The Power of Why
by Gregory V. Diehl

[snip]

Sunni's picture

Time to Turn the World Around

Long past time, actually, but all who venture here know that. All who’ve ventured here over the years also know that the drumbeat I’ve marched to most consistently has been that of personal liberty, as contrasted to economic and political freedom, although as I recently observed, they cannot always be neatly categorized.

When I first got online and began exploring pro-freedom sites, I was very fortunate—I somehow came across Greg Swann. His ideas and the words he chose to convey them were oxygen to a sputtering spark inside me. If I have helped anyone understand the importance of individual liberty, if my words have helped bring eudaimonia to another’s way of being, then he deserves credit as well.

Today—not at all coincidentally—Greg has released a new book, Man Alive! It is short, it is available in its entirety at that link, and it is another heady hit of oxygen.

I have much more to say about the book and how it has affected me already, but that can all wait. For now, I want to thank Greg for—yet again—creating and sharing something that has resonated with the very fiber of my being... and again, at an enormously critical juncture for me.

Please, go read Man Alive! It truly is that important. I welcome any comments, questions, and/or observations you care to make in response.

Sunni's picture

“The Appeal of Anarchy”

I’m finding some interesting, er, artifacts as I sift through stuff I’ve been carrying around for years. One thing that caught my attention last night is a copy of Fifth Estate’s spring/summer 2005 issue. I believe it was an essay—the title of which I’ve used for this ramble—that sparked something within me.

NonEntity's picture

There will never be a time when it is not Now.

I’ll get it later is the photographer’s worst enemy. We ended up returning via a different route, and I wasn’t able to get the photo I wanted. My first lesson learned: never ever think “I’ll get it later”.

This comes from an article on photographing disaster scenes. In this case he (Neil Creek) was shooting the devastation of the recent fires in Australia, but no matter...

NonEntity's picture

OH ... MY ... GOD!

Just when you thought life could not POSSIBLY get any better... I just came from the grocery store wherein there was on display, for my and other potential consumer's consideration........ a Lindt Gourmet CHILI infused chocolate bar. Say WHAT??? Yes. You read that right, Chocolate AND Chili in one convenient package. Damn but it was good.

I claim no responsibility for what anyone may do with this information.

- NonE

NonEntity's picture

Title field is required. (!) (Can you tell I don't do authority well?)

The arrogance we humans have regarding our position as "holders of the light" of intelligence, morality, and general top-of-the-heap stuff quite amazes me at times. This article just blew me away. Read it. It'll tickle you if nothing else.

The female California two-spotted octopus swam to the top of her tank, disassembled a valve with her powerful arm, and released at least 200 gallons (757 liters) of seawater into nearby exhibits and offices.

- NonE

NonEntity's picture

Communication, Thought, Expression, Comprehension

I just ran across a post on a blog about the work of Lynn Margulis. We've had some discussions here regarding the precision with which words "should" be used, and I found this particular post to be relevant as it discusses this issue as it impacts research itself. Jorge, you may find it of interest. I also wish to say that it does not necessarily form an excuse for any shortcomings I may have in my own communication skills, I just thought it well written and important to consider.

NonEntity's picture

Customary Law

The idea of Customary Law has been informing my thoughts now for several years, since first I read in Bill Bradford's (R.I.P.) "Liberty" magazine about the Somali Customary Law.
Today at Lew Rockwell's place is an article by Lila Rajiva which really bears reading as it reflects upon the very nature of law and how humans behave in social settings.

NonEntity's picture

It's really easy!

It's really easy to make a fool of myself. Really. I do it on a regular basis. (I'm sure this is not news to any who have been paying attention!)

But I must say, it's fun and enriching to do so, and that is why I continue this pursuit.

NonEntity's picture

Okay - TOP THIS!

So I'm in the line at Safeway this afternoon. I bought two pineapples, 2 bags of cranberries, a small bag of fresh string beans, and a honeydew melon. I had this stuff on the belt. I look behind me, and the lady next in line is loading her stuff on the belt behind my stuff. She had a pineapple, 2 bags of cranberries, a small bag of fresh string beans, and a honeydew melon. Now, I will admit that I had TWO pineapples and she only had one, but.... come on now. Has that EVER happened to you? EVAR?????

Happy F'ing Holydaze!

Sunni's picture

Good Things Are All Around Us

I know this. Good things are always all around us. It’s true despite the economic uncertainties I have been entirely too focused upon of late. It’s true despite the weather, despite how wealthy or impoverished one is, despite how healthy or ill one is.

It’s just that we often focus on getting from one point to another, from one condition to another, from one goal to another ... and in the focus on the getting, we forget about the being. Being present to our lives as we’re living them.

Yesterday, I was very pleasantly reminded of a very good thing—an intriguing person with whom I’d become acquainted at the Freedom Summit when I spoke there a few years back. That was an abundance of goodness all by itself, but there’s more; he offered an essay for my consideration for publication here. It is so beautiful and profound (and timely) I simply couldn’t say no.

I hope you enjoy Time Is Money (not) as much as I do. It’s by NonEntity—yes, he of Strike the Root fame. (As is the custom on guest essays, comments are welcome here rather than on the essay page.)

I see more good things ahead, too. Short term, more blackberry picking with the snolfs today, and longer term ... well, the possibilities abound. I see a few more clearly than others, but all will be shown in time. Thank you, NonEntity.

Sunni's picture

Quotations Used in the Sidebar


Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.—David Frost

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.—C.S. Lewis

First say to yourself what you would be: and then do what you have to do.—Epictitus

[E]verything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.—Viktor Frankl

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.—Gilda Radner

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.—Epicurus

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.—Jonathan Winters

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.—Confucius

The future depends on what we do in the present.—Mahatma Gandhi

Why should man bother himself so much about salvation, unless he has a feeling of being doomed?—Lin Yutang

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.—Amy Cuddy

With people too, you constantly think, “If I’m nice to people and treat them well, they’ll appreciate it and behave better.” They won’t, but it’s still not a bad way to live.—Neil Peart

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.—Napoleon Bonaparte

Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.—Robert Louis Stevenson

Life is not fully lived by retreating into one’s shell.—Me

Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.—Nelson DeMille

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.—Friedrich Nietzsche

Do not accept what you hear by report, do not accept tradition, do not accept a statement because it is found in your books, nor because it is in accord with your belief, nor because it is the saying of your teacher. Be lamps unto yourselves. Those who, either now or after I am dead, shall rely upon themselves only and not look for assistance to anyone besides themselves, it is they who shall reach the topmost height.—The Buddha

You’re perfect just as you are—and you could use a little improvement.—Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, rather than a second-rate version of somebody else.—Judy Garland

If you give up on yourself, then you’ve already lost.—Sensei M

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.—Aldous Huxley

Know yourself. Know what you can do. Know what you are willing to do. Know the price you are willing to pay.—NeoWayland

Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person you will pass on the street today, is going to die. Living long enough, each will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything we love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?—Sam Harris

Autonomy is impossible as long as one is driven by anything.—Gabor Maté

We can’t change the future for the better unless we live the present moment well.—Merry

The surest effect of exalting government is to make it easier for some people to drag others down.—Jim Bovard

At 68 I’m every age I ever was. I always think of that. I’m not just 68. I’m also 55 and 21 and three. Oh especially three.—George Carlin

[W]e are not smart enough to decide which pieces of knowledge are permissible and which are not.—Carl Sagan

None of us would choose to be Sisyphus; yet in a sense, we all are.—Charlotte Joko Beck

We think too much and feel too little.—Charlie Chaplin

Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.—Anaïs Nin

Whatever you’re doing ... make sure it’s worth your life to you.—Amy Racina

We are part of the earth and it is part of us.—Chief Seattle

When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.—Zen Master

The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.—Stephen King

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.—Aristotle

In our country, the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Freedom and independence are waiting for us to get over the ego trip.—Pat the Pagan

There are four questions of value in life ... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.—Johnny Depp

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.—Mohandas Gandhi

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.—Kurt Vonnegut

Results should not be too voluntarily aimed at or too busily thought of. They are sure to float up of their own accord from a long enough daily work at a given matter.—William James

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.—Muhammad Ali

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.—Daniel Boorstin

Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within.—Miguel de Cervantes

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.—Winston Churchill

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.—Vincent Van Gogh

Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.—Samuel Adams

It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence.—Upton Sinclair

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.—Benjamin Franklin

School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned.—John Taylor Gatto

How strangely will the tools of a tyrant pervert the plain meaning of words!—Samuel Adams

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

[Y]ou only have 12 notes. Do what you want with them.—Eddie Van Halen

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.—Leo Tolstoy

It is hard to change and grow if we are stuck in the same potted soil depleted over the years, regardless of how much light and water we get.—Pint of Stout

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.—John Maynard Keynes

What I want is a matter of desire and emotion — but what is best for me is a matter of exploration, discovery, reasoned choice, and action.—Peter Saint–Andre

The universe cannot show you anything which you’ve intentionally chosen to block from your reality.—Steve Pavlina

Tradition is the greatest enemy of progress, and consensus the greatest enemy of truth.—Mike Gogulski

Ideas are forces; our acceptance of one determines our reception of others.—G.H. Lewes

Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart.—Lois McMaster Bujold

The key to freedom is accepting my own autonomy as an individual, and respecting the autonomy of other individuals, with all of what that means — whatever that means.— B.W. Richardson

When the situation is as bad as it is, the tiniest improvement can make you come away feeling like you’ve won the lottery.—Wolfie’s momma

It takes the best part of a lifetime to find out what you don’t want.—Isabel Paterson

The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.—Max Born

To rely on coercion to achieve progress is like relying on bulldozers and steamrollers for routine transit.—Jim Bovard

Success is the sum of a lot of little things done correctly.—Fernand Point

The plan, the direction, and the focus come from me, not the tools.—NeoWayland

Life should be more than just the passage of time; it should be the enjoyment of time as it passes.—Lobo Tiggre

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.—Edmund Burke

Love flowers best in openness and freedom.—Edward Abbey

I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.—Thomas Paine

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.—Robert A. Heinlein

[F]reedom should be fun!—Mike Hoy

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.—Epictetus

Sunni's picture

In Lieu of a Full Response

I’ve been thinking about Joey’s response in our ongoing conversation about getting free and personal freedom, but have been too busy and/or distracted to write a proper response. As a placeholder—and foreshadowing—I will quote from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. The context is Prof. Bernardo de la Paz speaking to Wyoming Knott [emphasis in original]:

“... I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

Any товарищи got a problem with that? ;-)

Sunni's picture

Comments on This Statement About Love?

I recently stumbled across a quotation I’d written on a slip of paper some time ago. I didn’t record any reference along with it, so I don’t know where I encountered this statement by Ferdinand Protzman on love. Since reading it, it’s occupied a fair amount of space in my mind ... but I can’t really compose a well-crafted summation of my responses to it.

Anyone who cares to share their responses is welcome to do so in the comments. I’ll join in, as I can: much of my day will be spent in the kitchen, making truffles and caramels. Here’s the quote:

Love can alter people’s lives in positive ways .... It can also break their hearts, crush their spirits, and kill them.

One thing that occurred to me is that we never know where our loving someone might go; even when love starts out as a positive thing, it can lead to enormous pain.

Sunni's picture

Kirsten on Compromise in Relationships

In a very good post on quitting (the comments on it so far are good, too), Kirsten incidentally offers this bit on compromise:

By compromising again and again ... we ended up with lives that were tolerable but nothing close to what either of us really wanted.

Oh boy, can I relate ... and many thoughts and questions spring to mind as a result, but I’ve a lot of things to do today, so it’ll have to wait for another time.