Mark Johnson (of “Metaphors we live By,” written with George Lakoff) gave this excellent talk destroying the notion that meaning is something ethereal and disembodied. Instead, the body is the yardstick for meaning. This talk turns much of traditional epistemology upside down.
Johnson opens the talk with a Billy Collins talk titled “Purity.”
I offer these quotes as a hypocrite who strives to live less in the world of things. I found many of these on a site called Tentmaker.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. –Thoreau
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. –Mark Twain
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. –Pliny the Younger
Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.— Thoreau
Possessions are usually diminished by possession. –Nietzsche
The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury. –Charlie Chaplin
Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. –Thoreau
The man who pets a lion may tame it, but the man who coddles the body makes it ravenous.– John Climacus
The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance. –Malcolm Muggeridge
All earthly joy begins pleasantly, but at the end it gnaws and kills. –Thomas a’Kempis
You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. –Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.–Mahatma Gandhi
Thousands upon thousands are yearly brought into a state of real poverty by their great anxiety not to be thought of as poor.—Robert Mallett
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. –Jim Elliot
The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world. — B. C. Forbes
A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.–D. Elton Trueblood
Learn to live a life of honest poverty, if you must, and turn to more important matters than transporting gold to your grave. – Credenda
That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. — Thoreau
I’ve soured on Sam Harris over the years, but I still find him to be highly articular and engaging.
In recent weeks, some friends have indicated that I look absorbed and even anxious, even though my life is filled with joys and possibilities. I have been told that I have tied myself in knots, and I have heard, “You need to get out of your own way.” For the umpteenth time, it has been suggested that I consider meditation in order to clear my mind.
You can learn about meditation in many places. I’ve read articles and even a book on meditation. Today, I stumbled across this video by Sam Harris, who has long been an advocate of meditation. The fact that he is also well versed in cognitive science caused me to be interested in his approach to meditation. This is a 26 minute guided meditation. I found myself surprisingly able to hang onto the process and to escape some of the things that have been distracting me as I viewed this video. I’m going to come back to this several more times, while I continue to explore personal meditation.
I just finished running a 5K in downtown St. Louis, finishing at 26:12.
My concern is that there are people running the race who have runners’ physiques–they have long legs and they glide like they aren’t even touching the ground. An even bigger concern is that some of the people they allow to enter the race are able to run much faster than me. For instance, the man that won my age bracket finished in 19 min. It’s not fair that they let people like that enter the race. Even worse, the race was filled with morning people–They walk around annoying owls like me by being chipper at 7am. I’m going to propose that they begin their next 5K annual race at 10pm, that they screen out all of the larks, and that they ban all of the people who are unfairly fast.
Last night at an art gallery, I met a woman named Jan, who mentioned that her middle name was “Rambo.” Guaranteed conversation piece. I bit. “Any relation to the Sylvester Stallone movie?” She explained that her great great great . . . . grandfather was a neighbor of William Penn, and was somewhat famous for developing the “Rambo” apple, quickly a prized species that can still be bought today.
Fast forward to recent times, and I’m quoting from Wikipedia now: “According to author David Morrell, the apple provided the name for the hero of his novel, First Blood, which gave rise to the Rambo film franchise. The novelist’s wife brought home a supply of the fruit as he was trying to come up with a suitable name for the protagonist.” Who would have seen that path from the name Rambo to the movie character.