For the last couple of weeks, I have been renewing my tools, which on the whole, is more work than fun. Not only did I purchase the Kindle, but I have also bought a new laptop, after five years. If I could, I would use the same tools for at least twenty years. Once I was able to get away with that. But in this computer age, even if some of the better tools manage to keep on working, there are so many technical changes over time, that it really doesn’t make much sense to keep on with the old devices. Unfortunately, the move from one computer to the next, means transferring a lot of files, and installing programs that I had on the old machine, and the frustrations accompanying the learning about the new computer and the new operating system. I had to learn and test the techniques that have emerged in recent years. I have a tendency to become a little obsessive when engaged in that sort of a move. Fortunately this time, I didn’t wait until the old laptop failed me completely. That made the move easier.
But I did buy two more external hard disks, and did find that some of the old programs I am used to, do not sit well on my new computer. So I had to find new solutions. All kinds of thoughts run through your head when you’re involved in work like that. In fact, it is very much like moving from one house to another. You find certain old objects that bring back memories. You think about the impermanence of life… Sometimes you have an opportunity to do soul searching.
One night, after a particularly intense day, I had a dream. It was in fact, a memory; something I had filed away in a bottom drawer of my mind, and now, reappearing in my dream. My father was telling me about how his father, my grandfather, had lost all his money, and much of his possessions in the great inflation after the first world war. While going through some old tools and documents, I had been thinking of my own losses as a result of the move from analogical to digital photography. And I suppose one thing had lead to another. While thinking about the dream, it occurred to me to write a blog post about money. Then, weighing that, and how to explain my attitude to the subject, I thought it best to first tell you a little about Tao.
My thoughts kept pulling me along, and I started wondering whether it could all fit in one blog post. As it is, I sometimes worry that I’m too wordy. I don’t know how much patience a blog reader has. That’s one of the reasons I sometimes just post pictures. If anyone wants to comment on that, I’d be very pleased to hear some ideas on the subject. How long should a post be?
So to begin, lets start out by examining two major categories in our understanding of the world. We might call them the physical and the spiritual. Having met a great variety of thinkers on the internet, I know that some people are put off by the mention of spiritual, and won’t accept anything that can’t be measured by scientific tools and gauges. If that’s the way you feel, I beg you to indulge me. I promise not to ask for any faith that you don’t feel on your own, within yourself. And since the very word ‘spirituality’, brings to mind spirits and ghosts, I would remind you of the term, ‘the spirit of adventure’ or the ‘sporting spirit’.
Our language, Hebrew, is a conceptual language. Its vocabulary is built on roots. The root words of materialism and spirituality are rain and wind. If we think about rain, we realize that condensation of the humidity in the air changes that humidity, which is unseen, to something physical that can be weighed and measured, water. And so, rain is a prime example of materialism. Wind, on the other hand, is the movement of something we don’t see. Were I to sit in my house, and look at people outside through a closed window, I might think that it was just as hot outside as I was feeling inside my home. But if there was a nice breeze blowing out there, those people might feel more comfortable than I was feeling in the static air. One has to feel wind blowing in order to be aware of it. And the wind itself is not material. It acts on material things, blowing one way and then another. It is a force, but it is not material. A strong wind can move you from your path. Even a mild wind can propel a vessel at sea. All the words for ghosts and spirits, and spirituality are built on the root ‘wind’ in our language. just as materialism is built on the root ‘rain’.
Well, I’ll leave you to think about that till next week, when we’ll continue our discussion. Eventually, we should get to the money. To be continued.