Sunday, April 29, 2012

Puck on... Acceptance

You own us?

Does that surprise you?

Yes, actually.

You think I’m lying.

I can’t say.  Just…

That you wish it wasn’t true, but you suspect it might be.

Something like that.

Well, can it be we found a truth you are not willing to accept?  I’m curious.  Will you try to argue out of this one?  Try to find some hole in my reasoning such that I must not be correct.  Because I must not be.  That would be, just, unthinkable.  To not own yourself is one thing, to find that you are actually under the ownership of someone like me, something like me, that’s something else entirely.

It does bring up an interesting point.  We’ve been talking, or I have at least, about how people do not like to accept truth.  You, of course, while recognizing the factuality of that statement, have been the champion of the opposite vein: that people ought to accept truth, no matter what.  And yet, here we are, at the testing point for that belief.

What will you do?  Accept the truth of my statement?  Reject it?  Try to debate whether or not it’s truth at all?  Perhaps you’ll do me proud and debate the very concept of ownership.  Oh, that would be fun.

You must forgive… Sorry, had something in my throat there.  As I was saying, you must pardon my teasing.  You actually have uncovered the real truth behind my original assertion.

People don’t want truth.  Truth is cumbersome.  Truth is difficult.  Truth is unseemly.  It asks things of you.  No, people don’t want truth.  Does it immediately follow then that they want lies?  But, of course.  People want lies.  But why, you might say?  Because they reject truth.

People want lies because people don’t want truth.  And if you reject truth, what other options are there?  There are only two sides to the coin.  There are a limited number of choices in a true-or-false statement.  You may prefer multiple choice, but that is not what you are given.

And make no mistake: this is a test.  And it is pass/fail.  So, what’s you’re answer?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Puck on... Ownership

But let’s step back for a moment.  Since you’ve brokered the subject of salvation, I don’t want to leave it until we’ve fully discussed it.

You said that people had the right to give up their life.  To surrender it, if you will.  But in order to do that, wouldn’t it require that you owned yourself?  I mean, it’s quite meaningless, outright theft in fact, to give away something you don’t own, without permission.  So, if you have the right to give up your life, wouldn’t that mean you owned your life?

I suppose.

Then that begs the question: do people really own themselves?

I think I see where you’re going with this.

Do you now?  Then by all means, lead the way.

You’re trying to argue that people don’t have the right to give up their lives because they don’t own them.

Oh my.  Well, I really shouldn’t try slipping anything by you with some well-crafted logical ploy.  You are far too quick.  You’re right.  Of course, the question is: am I?

I don’t know.

Embrace the ignorance, boy.  Doesn’t it feel good?  Like throwing off a heavy burden.  But I digress.

Am I right?  Do people really not own themselves?  As we discussed before, as regards your rights, namely that you have none, people come into this world against their will.  Though, I guess not so much against as completely to the absence of their will.  It’s one thing, after all, to go against opinion, it’s another to not ask for one.  But, in any case, you come naked, and you leave the same.  You can’t control your entrance, does it not follow that you can’t control your exit, either?

But you said-

I said to accept death.  Acceptance isn’t the same as control.  Quite the opposite.  Acceptance typically means you recognize you have no control.

So what does this all mean for your supposition?  Is it really true that you can lay down your life?  What say you?

Somehow, I think the answer is more complicated.

Really?  We were making salvation sound so easy before.  I wonder what happened?

I don’t guess we own ourselves.

No, you don’t.  We do.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Puck on... Salvation

Well, go on.  It seems so rare that you have something to put forward.  I’d hate to stifle you. 

We do have the right to die.


But not physically.  At least not only physically.

Whatever do you mean?

You said a right was something that we could exercise at the proper time and in the proper way.  That we can choose to die.

You can choose to accept your death.

No.  I mean we can choose to die.


No.  Not physically.  Spiritually.

I think I see where you’re going.


I wondered if you were ever going to catch on. You’re saying that you have the right to lay down your life.  To choose to surrender it.  To some higher power, I take it?


And that the right to die is in fact a right, as I said, though not in its inevitability but in the fact that every human is given the choice to do it or not.


And you call this “salvation.”


Bravo, my boy.  You’ve managed to unearth a bit of spiritual truth from our conversations.  You ought to be proud of yourself.  So, what does this mean?

I’m not sure I understand the question.

Hmm, had the answer for all of five minutes and still needs to be led by the hand.  What does this mean?  What are the implications?

I don’t know.  I mean, that’s what salvation is: our choice to give ourselves over.

To something beyond yourself.


You make it sound so simple.

I guess so.

Yet how many do, one should wonder?  How very many don’t.  What are we to make of that?

It’s truth, but sometimes people don’t want truth.

Precisely.  Sometimes people don’t want truth.  But what else are they given?  What other alternative do they have?  If they don’t want truth, what do they want?

Options?  Choices?  Themselves?

No, my boy.  Lies.  People want lies.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Puck on... Thinking

You seem quiet.  Have I upset you?

No.  Just got me thinking.

Dangerous, but not entirely undesirable.  The importance of thinking is whether or not said thinking is actually leading you anywhere.

Most of the time, humans aren’t thinking about anything at all.  When they are thinking it’s usually about nothing important.  If they are thinking about anything important, it usually involves a lot of wrong ideas about it.  And even if they are thinking about something important and they aren’t on the wrong track entirely, bogged down with misconceptions and outright lies, assuming they have even a modicum of rightness in their thinking they usually fail at one simple point: it’s invariably self-concerned.

I’d like to take credit for most of that, but I shouldn’t.  It’s really too easy.  You throw a few distractions here and there.  You humans are practically begging for it.  No, I understate, you are begging for it.  You are just begging to be distracted, to have those big, knobby questions put on the back burner or taken away entirely.  You don’t want to consider them, and if you are at all of the habit, as most of you are, you will pawn them off at the first chance and move on to something much less difficult and infinitely less important.

Then there are the real thinkers.  Or who call themselves such.  Who like to deal with the big issues, or the issues they consider big.  They are, of course, continuously astonished that no one else considers them important, and whatever time not spent with the issue is spent trying to convince people that it is an issue or complaining that most people “just don’t get it.”  Oh, how you love to feel superior.

As for that last bit.  The promising few who actually see how the world works.  It is their sin, the thorn in their sides that they always see it from their perspective.  I suppose they can’t be blamed.  (When has that ever stopped anyone.)  It’s altogether natural.  You naturally consider the universe through your own little umwelt.  The lens made up of all your little traits, memories, biases, experiences, habits, personalities and blind spots.  Most people don’t realize it, of course.  Even those that do miss the obvious: that if they have one so does everyone else.

One should wonder what would happen if everyone realized that everyone else was seeing the world their own way.  One should wonder if even one person fully came to terms with that fact.

“Muddling.”  That’s what a predecessor of mine would call it.  The linchpin strategy of my kind for you.  I must agree with him.  For the most part.  The rabble and horde need little else.  But the experienced hunter has many weapons at his disposal.  The expert knows when to switch from one to another.  Ah, but the master knows how to use them all at the same time.

Are you getting any of this?  We haven’t discussed it, but I do hate to repeat myself.

I’m listening.  I was just thinking.

So I observed.

And I think you’re right about death.

So glad to hear you’ve come around.

But not in the way you’re thinking.

Oh… this should be good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Puck on... Rights, pt. 3

A right to die?

Oh, don’t go misconstruing my words.  I can tell from your tone.  No, not in some Kevorkian-esque manner.  Ritual suicide, while mildly amusing depending on the circumstances, is no more desirable for me than you.  It’s the ending of the game, and a rather abrupt ending at that.  It’s the equivalent of flipping the table when you find you’re not doing as well as you would like.

Hamlet toyed with the idea but came to the conclusion that the risk was too great. 

“In death, what dreams may come…”

To die.  Perchance to find nothing.  Perchance to find everything.  Perchance to find something you did not expect, something you did not want.  Oh, why don’t you read the classics more?  You’d learn so much.

No.  No.  I’m afraid I must agree with you.  (Don’t act so surprised.)  Your right to die does not entail a right to choose when, how or if.  The problem is in your definition of the word.  A right is something you think you exercise based on your free will, something owed to you by the sheer fact of your existence.  But what exactly do you think you are owed?  Life, liberty, happiness?  These things come and go.  If they are granted at all, they are done beyond your power, though you rarely see that.

However, there is one thing that comes to all men equally.  One thing, which all men must taste and which is owed, in a way, to the fact of your existence.


Yes.  It is your right, by birth.  All men die.  How should you not call it a right?

But if suicide is not an option-

How then do you exercise it?  Oh, but you already know that.  You die.  It will happen sooner or later, so you needn’t worry that you’ll miss your opportunity.  You see, that is where your definition is wanting.  You think a right is something you always have, a tool or weapon you can wield to your desire, whenever you like or wish.  But that is not what a right is.  That is a freedom.  And don’t even get me started on that.  A right is something all together different.

Supposing you saw it less as a toy for you to play with and more as something granted to you to perform rightly, at the proper time and in the proper way?  Would not death be a right then?

But, then again, that would require a certain level of thought, of concern, of, dare I say, reason involved.  And when have you ever really considered your rights?  But we both know why you haven’t and why you would not want to.

Because once you ask the question, you have to consider the answer.  And that is what you are most afraid of.