by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Components of Human Nature, Human Condition
Today is my 50th Birthday. I now have a half-century of living that brings forth a contemplation of what is this life for. I am definitely on the other side of living. No longer am I building for a future as that future is now. My wife and I have accomplished the material and parental goals we set out for. Our children have launched themselves into their own lives and I am in the early stages of thinking of retirement from my career of almost 25 years. Yet the future does not look bright and how can it? While it is possible we have many healthy years to live, there is nothing more to attain for even if attained, the Lord of Death will take it. It is time to think more about what life means in the context of inevitable death. What I am witnessing is the the birth of death. From the middle of life, only he who is willing to die with life remains living. Since what takes place in the secret hour of life’s midday is the reversal of the parabola, the birth of death … ~Carl Jung; Soul and death, CW 8, §800. The things […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Components of Human Nature, Human Condition
Emotions are powerful experiences. They can have the subtle feeling of a gentle breeze or the violence and power of a hurricane. And its no coincidence that my analogies are references to weather. I see emotions being the equivalent to an internal weather system. They change and can be fleeting. Its for this reason I see emotions having an important role in one’s life, but should never be used to guide you. Emotions cannot guide, they are not a compass. They are more like a temperature gauge. So whatever emotions you experience you need to remember to 1) not take them too seriously since they will change like the weather, and 2) never use them as a compass but instead use your intelligence and wisdom.
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Facing Death, Human Condition, Stages of Realization
The late Dr. Donald Low made some news headlines when he requested in his last days the right to end his own life in a fashion that is legal. Whenever this issue gets raised, there are always two sides that gets formed to argue their position. And in typical fashion, the media establishment loves to embellish the issue to attract interest so it can sell its advertising. On the one side, we see people who are faced with their own death, arguing that they should have the right to request a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of medications to suppress their breathing and thus end their life in a manner that is considered to be more peaceful. On the other side, we see people who believe that life is sacred and any action that brings about death more quickly is unethical or immoral. In addition, there is a group of young disabled people who believe that this could lead us down a slippery slope of towards the euthanasia of people with disabilities. After all, if a person does not want to experience the chronic disability that is found in the final stages of one’s terminal illness, it can also […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Defining Life, Foolishness, Human Condition, Human History
Being intrigued by the title, I picked up this book to learn finally once and for all which side was right – Are humans a product of biology of genes or social environment? Spoiler Alert: Its both. As a society we have witnessed a longstanding feud between two camps – one set of people believes that genes and nature determines our destiny while their opponents insist that socialization and nurture is our sole determinant. Like the title suggests and as Ridley states almost immediately, it is both nature and nurture that affects human development. The two sides may have valid contributions to understanding human development, but neither side gets it completely right because of sectarian/institutional thinking. The problem is that we are all victim of a media that thrives on reporting the controversial and extremist positions of the Naturists and Nurturist camps. That debate has been an ivory tower battle that has spilled over into Pop-psychology books that teach parents how to parent, how to find a partner, etc. This book proves the level of inanity that academics can resort to. Ridley demonstrate how neither side got it right and how humans are both genes and social mores wrapped together […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Human Condition, Human Mystery, Religion
I was doing some research about chaos theory and cosmology and stumbled onto this wikipedia article about a new religion called Discordianism. The essence of its philosophy can be summed up as: “If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe.” Check out Discordianism, where chaos is just as important as order. Enjoy!
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Extrapolation, Free Enterprise, Human Condition
The movement to integrate peoples with disabilities into mainstream society is rooted in cultural awareness and technological advances that developed after World War II. What I find most fascinating is that the people who are the most physically dependent are actually messengers of a libertarian philosophy that generally runs counter to the values of the larger society. The Independence Living movement believes that everyone is entitled to live as independently as possible regardless of one’s physical capacity, each person should be enabled to exercise maximum control over their lives. It is not independence in a literal sense, but independence in a philosophical sense. The presence of people with disabilities provides a fresh perspective on how we can define what being a person means. People who are completely physically dependent are given control over their own lives to the fullest extent they can have. We have so much more to learn from their example – it can help us to understand life and liberty. The disabled community do not self-identify so strongly with their disability, but with what they are able to do. It is a magical transformation of perspective that all of us stand to benefit from. The hidden challenge […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Human Condition, Institutional Learning
Working in health care you work in a collection of systems. There is service delivery, information collection and dissemination, legal adherence, and even more. The administrators of the the health care system are always looking for efficiencies and ways to improve it so it can do a better job. While I cannot disagree with the nobleness behind this, they fail to understand the principle of GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. GIGO comes from the world of computer programming. There is a recognition in that industry that computers and programs are fundamentally dumb and they will only do what you tell them to do. If the user puts in garbage, then the user will get garbage back. The best programs cannot think for the user, they are simply tools. This has been lost on administrators and bureaucrats in health care (and likely elsewhere). The greatest system designed will not protect against laziness, incompetence, mistakes, and simple bad luck. This coupled with the gross deficiencies inherent in our socialized health care system, it is little wonder how Garbage In becomes Garbage Out magnified. Good system design has an important role to play, but like any instrument or tool, the user is […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Human Condition, Political Opinion
In Canada and other western nations, government provides allot of services to its citizens. All of this is funded by taxpayers. The biggest problem is that governments and its agencies spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that ends up creating further obligations on the taxpayer. The Canadian Taxpayers Association tirelessly works to make government more accountable and while they can be too ideological and short sighted in their criticism of all taxes, I do agree with their general view that governments are bigger than they should be. Taxpayers are the source for all government income yet not all taxpayers are created equal and like any ecological system, some species are more critical than others. I see there being four different kinds of taxpayers, each distinguished by their importance to the healthy functioning of the tax and government systems. Essential Taxpayers – Individuals and corporations that work in private industry. In addition to consumption taxes, they also pay high personal income taxes. These guys are the main funders of the tax system and without them no system is sustainable. Productivity Taxpayers – Individuals and corporations that work in the private industry but do not earn much money or profit. Instead their […]
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Defining Life, Human Condition, Meaning of Life, Quotations
I am convinced that personal responsibility is the single most important decision facing humanity. I see evidence of this in humanity’s relationship with the great spiritual masters such as Buddha and Jesus. Assuming that we accept the premise that these masters were also great teachers, we must ask if it is the teacher’s fault if the student does not practice what is taught. Buddha taught for about fifty years and was highly revered as a teacher. Yet despite all his efforts there has been, and will continue to be, people who cannot or will not take his teachings to heart. This proves to me that students have the birthright of personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility is the basis of every sound business, every helpful psychological system, and the every mystical tradition that the world has ever seen. It is simply the crux of everything.
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations2 commentstags: Change of Mind, Human Condition, Political Opinion
I used to be a socialist. My parents were once members of the New Democratic Party and I was indoctrinated in its principles when I attended University. My professors in Political Studies, Labour Studies, and Social Work routinely criticized our privately-owned capitalist market system talking about how exploitation was at its root. As a student I believed that to fix the world we needed to change the system and that Socialism was the solution. Yet, in my exposure to Rudolf Bahro, I realized that Socialism was fundamentally a materialistic philosophy. It did not recognize our relationship with the planet or between each other. According to Socialism, the purpose of life was for each of us to share as equally as possible the material wealth of the planet. I rejected Socialism by helping establish the Green Party in Manitoba since I was attracted to the Green philosophy that all things are interconnected. Despite the rise of green thinking Socialism remains a constant force in Canadian society. Canadians and Manitobans are proud of their publicly funded health care system, which demonstrates that the majority believes in Socialism to a limited extent since health care is easily our most socialistic program. I have […]