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Vanity, Vanity, all is Vanity

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18 June 1664

Read Pepys full entry by clicking on date above

….Strange to see how pert Sir W. Pen is to-day newly come from Portsmouth with his head full of great reports of his service and the state of the ships there. When that is over he will be just as another man again or worse. But I wonder whence Mr. Coventry should take all this care for him….

The book of Ecclesiastes is not for the faint hearted or the complacent. It tells it as it is. Don’t worry, there won’t be any Bible bashing. I am just going to make a few observations and thoughts.

Why is there a need to make ‘me’ the centre of the universe. What sort of insecurity makes us think that if we juxtapose ourselves with other people and we will somehow come out the winner and the victor? we are all in this together and everything everyone does either makes the planet a better place to live in (more love and caring) or a worse place to live in (more so-called individuality, violence and even so-called stardom, one person expanding themselves at others’ expense). As someone said, “we are all members of one of another”. This is a brilliant and succinct statement which means that everything we do influences everything else although we do not see  the effect of what we do.

Does it really matter who gets the credit for doing a good action so long as the result stands on its own in terms of change in consciousness and diminution of force in other people. I believe we are in severe danger if we are in an ‘us versus them’ competitive situation. Peace of mind cannot exist with such a mindset. Is it not enough to get the warm glow of satisfaction knowing that you have made a contribution?

I could see it in another very simple way.

we Breathe in we breathe out
we receive we give
we win we lose
we destroy we build
we climb we fall

The whole universe consists of cycles so we are simply part of this.

 

 

Sleeping under the stars

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Due to the fine evenings we decided to sleep out under the stars. No tents, no protection, just sleeping bags or blankets.  It is a little bit surreal just lying down under a thin layer of protection looking upwards at all the vastness and realizing that we cannot see 99.99% of what’s out there.

Twinkle, twinkle Little Star
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star,
How I wonder what you are.

Lullaby or not, this rhyme does have a certain endearing quality. The only problem is that in mid-summer there is very little sky dark enough even in the so-called night to see much detail, and certainly on this occasion the stars did not twinkle. We saw one or two planes fly across at a great height with a barely perceptible  noise. Even slight sounds are amplified at night.

It is amazing how many noises there are in the garden in terms of movements, the cracking of twigs, rustling sounds. They are loud enough to make you jump or at least startle you. I would guess it’s pretty much impossible to get any sort of sleep in a jungle especially where many of the animals are nocturnal and each night is one big party.

I woke up at about 4 AM to find the blankets and exported pillow from the house wet with dew. It wouldn’t kill anyone but I didn’t feel comfortable with it so I retreated back into the house leaving Francoise to continue sleeping. In any event the sky was brightening so I knew I wasn’t going to achieve much further sleep so back into the bedroom, curtains closed, and into the arms of Morpheus again.

I would say the impact of sleeping out would be greatly enhanced in a country area where the stars would shine much brighter. At least the small excursion in our garden whetted my appetite for more.