Water is essential to life but water can be noxious to a living being if it is taken from a contaminated source. This is the same with spirituality. We can inadvertently contaminate our own spiritual wells with qualities of doubt, fear, arrogance, boastfulness, divisiveness, hate, condescension and judgment. It is bad enough when these sediments slip into our own spiritual wells but it is far worse to take water from that same well and share it with others. So be ever so mindful of what seeps into the waters that fill your spiritual wells. You may unknowingly contaminate a whole village.
Whenever I think about quiting, to give up on my own dreams and succumb to the hum drum, I think about this elderly West Indies lady I met back in college. She was waiting on public transit to come pick her up from after classes and I was just waiting for the rain to let up so that I could get to my car. She was gitty and full of joy and in a polite moment of chit chat, she informed me that she was 57 years old and that she was graduating come May with her Associates. I offered her my congratulations. She went on to tell me how she came to this country with two children in tow and a aging mother. That she worked a full time job, cared for her mother and her children and had been taking classes in the evening whenever she could. It was her dream to get a college degree and after 13 years of taking classes here and there, while working full time and caring for her family, she was on the cusp of achieving that dream. I was genuinely happy for her. I never knew her name and I don’t recall ever seeing her after that brief encounter but I always remember her whenever I get discouraged. In a world where we want things to happen yesterday and we don’t have the patience for tomorrow, she stands as a testimony that we shouldn’t put time limits on our dreams. That no matter what we should keep working towards them even when our efforts seem miniscule. Eventually with time all those little efforts will add up to achieving our goal.
This maybe off topic…or maybe not, from what I typically post about; art, nature and the like. And I maybe late to the game on this but as an artist who is fond of the notion of humans as being a part of Nature and that we should reconnect, stay connected and sustain our natural environment, I find this move towards connecting the world of humans with machines in more varied and intimate ways a bit jarring.
Like I’ve mentioned before, the internet is a rabbit hole for me, I start on one topic and fall into another, which is how I stumbled across IBM Watson; an emerging cognitive platform that can understand, reason and learn. Such technology is obviously groundbreaking and you can’t deny the innovation behind it. So maybe I’m being a bit of an alarmist and jumping ahead of myself without giving much thought to how this could impact us in a positive way. Maybe we can use this technology to help build a more sustainable environment for our growing global population. But I admit, I’m very much influenced by Taoist philosophy, there’s always a negative lurking somewhere behind a positive, no matter how small, so I wonder what are the potential non beneficial aspects that such a technology could lead to? How can something like this, in any way, possibly undermine our lives if we don’t explore every thinkable scenario that such an innovation could lead to both beneficially and non beneficially to humans and all of life?
Here are a few clips from Youtube below for more insight. Let me know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments section. Welcome to the Cognitive Era.
The rabbit holes you tumble down are numerous when it comes to the internet. It starts with one thing, that sparks an interest in another thing, that leads to another thing and before you know it, time has gotten completely away from you. For me, it begun with mushrooms, then there were snails and then I was on to lady bugs when I begun to wonder “Who could live in this world?”
Fairies that’s who. I had completely forgotten about those mythical little beings that populate the hidden world of my backyard, that was now slowly recreating itself within my imagination and quietly urging me to share my drawing table. So on I went to look up fairies.
Oh my goodness!
I didn’t know there were so many different kinds and that they take on various forms. From gnomes and sylphs to imps and brownies. As it turns out “fairy” is used more so as an umbrella term rather than a reference to any specific kind of fairy. Even elves are fairies. So Legolas is a fairy. 🙂
I went on and tumbled deeper into this magical little world only to come full stop in a fairy garden. Fairy gardens? I never knew there was such a thing. How could I not know? As a lover of little things, herbs, plants and gardening. How could I not know about these little houses, miniature trees and dragonfly wings? Peeking out the window at my winter covered backyard, oh how now I wish this snow would quickly give way to Spring? I have a new canvas to play with.
We know neither when or where we will meet our end, therefore it is a waste to spend the time we do get living less than authentically.