Thursday, July 16, 2009 this possible...?

I like this, but I do not know if it is just an ideal pointless dream!

"If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world." (Chinese Proverb)

Looking around at the world, and at the nation, it really does seem as if there is little peace in the world. Working backwards one realises that it could actually be true that there is little light in the soul of people...everyone is too busy making money, getting somewhere, moving up the ladder, keeping up a stylish life style...that there is no time to cultivate our souls.

But then again, maybe I am just a Puddlegum! Or as a few people tell me, I am prone to always see the glass half full!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Other people...

Have you heard the phrase in common parlance "he or she gave someone hell"?

In his fascinating play, "No Exit", Jean-Paul Sartre puts a startling line on the lips of one of the characters. Three people arrive in hell - a small room. They then realise that each will soon become the source of torture to the other, not by intent or desire, but by mere personality and behaviour. "Hell" says one of the characters, "is other people".

Sartre explains that the statement “hell is other people” has always been misunderstood:
"It has been thought that what I meant by that was that our relations with other people are always poisoned, that they are invariably hellish relations. But what I really mean is something totally different. I mean that if relations with someone else are twisted, vitiated, then that other person can only be hell. Why? because…when we think about ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, … we use the knowledge of us which other people already have. We judge ourselves with the means other people have and have given us for judging ourselves. Into whatever I say about myself someone else’s judgement always enters. Into whatever I feel within myself someone else’s judgement enters. … But that does not at all mean that one cannot have relations with other people. It simply brings out the capital importance of all other people for each one of us. (From the Imago playbill)

Conversely, is it not true, as well, that heaven is other people. As 1 John puts it, the person who loves is born of God and knows God, for God is love.

So both heaven and hell can be - and I certainly do think they are - other people! What a sobering thought.