Monthly Archives: August 2011
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
–Bill Hicks, Revelations (1993), courtesy Wikiquotes.
I’m not a fan, not because I dislike him but because I wasn’t much aware of him when he was alive. From what I’ve read and some short clips I’ve seen, I certainly wouldn’t agree with many of his beliefs, and in his last years he seems to have pushed edginess to the very brink of obnoxiousness, if not all the way over the brink. Still, he had talent, and this quote is quite nice–reminiscent of the Hindu concept of līlā; and certainly a good prescription for the world.
Usually thought of as “creepy music”–not its original intention–the Toccata and Fugue in D minor is a favorite of mine. It’s best heard on an organ, of course. I’ve never much liked orchestral versions of it, such as the one at the opening of the original Fantasia. This rendition, on a Chapman stick, though, is somehow compelling. Enjoy Bach in a different way!
God, the Exalted, gave the angels intellect without desires, He gave the animals desires without intellect, and He gave both to the sons of Adam. So a man whose intellect prevails over his desires is better than the angels, whilst a man whose desire prevails over his intellect is worse than the animals.
–Ali ibn Abi Talib, Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.60, p.299, no.5