February 22nd, 2012

Science overturns view of humans as naturally 'nasty'

Until just 12 years ago, the common view among scientists was that humans were "nasty" at the core but had developed a veneer of morality -- albeit a thin one, de Waal told scientists and journalists from some 50 countries.

But human children -- and most higher animals -- are "moral" in a scientific sense, because they need to cooperate with each other to reproduce and pass on their genes, he said.

Science overturns view of humans as naturally 'nasty'

This comes from showingup viasabrinamari and i thank them both for sharing it.

But a lot of people, including some social and natural scientists, have believed this for at least the last sixty years.*
No, we are not fallen angels.
But we are also not beasts dressed in pretty clothes,
and i pray that we never will be (though we often act like it.)

* Remember those studies of empathy in babies and Harlow's experiments with baby monkeys?

Nirmala: A lasting marriage

A lasting marriage
when devotion has claimed you for its own
no longer any chance to stray
a brief fling with illusion no longer satisfies
the truth demands utter fidelity
with no possibility of divorce

All pain must be faced
and embraced as the true countenance of
your beloved

All fear must be met
and recognized as the thrill of tasting
the unknowable

All joy must be surrendered
and acknowledged as a gift with
no giver

This union only requires telling the truth
even when the truth shatters your dreams
even when the truth leaves you emptied out
even when the truth reveals your counterfeit existence
then there is no other possibility
    than happily ever after.

Nirmala: A lasting marriage

Nirmala's five poems at Poetry Chaikhana are about words and silence, paying attention, and truth (which is everything else).
It was hard for me to pick one poem to represent him.  Did i pick a good one?
This one feels a little sharp and bitter compared to others but maybe that's the mood i'm in.
Or maybe that's the nature of truth from the point of view of the unenlightened.
No wonder we turn from it so often
to our many flirtations with illusion.

Ash Wednesday

There are no ashes on my forehead, nor are any religious observances planned.
But my mood is reverential and rueful.

Dianne is (among other things) giving up sweets, and i will support her for both our sakes.  (We are diabetics and overweight.)

I am into the practice of compassion right now so my lenten vows will be mercy related.

I will not write nor speak about politics.  Doing this makes me angry and hateful
I will watch my physical health and do what is necessary to maintain it (love for myself)
I will meditate (as a first priority) each morning on the four immeasurables.