Monday, June 9, 2008


For most of my life I have spent a lot of time thinking and reading about the existential questions. Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Is there life after death? What does the word God mean? What is ultimate reality? what is the nature of consciousness? - the questions are endless. The answers are partial, and scratching the existential itch continues unabated.

The photograph above is of a sculpture by the early twentieth century artist Marcel Duchamp. To me it symbolises the conundrum of existence. What is the meaning of what we see here? These are familiar things, a stool and a bicycle wheel. Placed in their own contexts of riding on and sitting on we can make sense of these objects. When juxtaposed in an incongruent way we are puzzled and confused. They remind me of other incongruousness. Young innocence and painful death. The good dying young. The fullness and richness of life ending in death. The pain of love. Evil so often seeming to triumph. Injustice and suffering. What does it all mean?

For me life up to this point it has been a very rich and meaningful one; full of happiness as well as suffering just like most people. But the ultimate questions remain. What have you learnt? what are some of your partial answers?


VenDr said...

You're asking all the interesting questions. I'll be back on a regular basis

parua bay primary school said...

Good stuff Alden what a great blog. Welcome fellow blogger!

Alden Smith said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I set up the blog for a number of reasons. It is a great form of ICT inservice for those of us involved in Education. Having a purpose and a focus means you start to use the technology that can sit on the shelf a bit. You are driven to sort out the technical issues. But perhaps the main reason is that it is another form of communication. We are social animals us humans and we like to talk and share and think and ponder. I have found commenting on other peoples blogs a great way to organise my thinking, a great way to put into words the stream of conciousness that assails us constantly. Also I think that blogging is a journey of sorts, a journey down the highways and byways of ideas and issues of concern and interest. This blog forms a journal of sorts of my ongoing thinking.

Alden Smith said...

If you want to comment anonymously that function is now turned on. Comments are welcomed. I am still finding out how to steer this ship, things like sizing pictures you want to post, how DO you do that? I think I need technical advice but until I find it I shall keep my hand firmly on the tiller - look out for the gybes!

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of materially successful
people who are not spiritual. And, there
are plenty of spiritual people who are not
materially successful.

But that does not make them mutually
exclusive by any stretch of the imagination.

What's this really mean ?

How you envision and explore yourself and
your world is so much more a part of how and
what you manifest than being "knighted" by
a spiritual teacher for having a certain
level of new age spiritual knowledge.

So, if a seeker -- somebody who demands the
most out of the experience of this physical
world -- isn't LIVING what they know, or
practicing the secrets they have access to,
what's the point?

We either get results, as humans wanting
more out of life, or we don't.

Yes, you're manifesting all the time, just
like everyone else.

The only question is, are you doing it
consciously or unconsciously?

When you're taught to consistently do it
consciously, you employ the almost genie-
like power of intentional creation --
you purposefully bring forth WANTED people,
events, things and conditions into your
physical experience.

Alden Smith said...

The question of whether we 'manifest' consciously or unconsciously is interesting and the answer I guess is yes and yes. We have free will but we are also influenced by our society and family context, our genetic makeup and what Freud and Jung et al would call the unconscious mind. Psychologists tell us that something like 80 to 90% of communication is non verbal, in the same way (but in what percentages I don't know) I think we are influenced by the unconscious mind.