meaning

106 How to blend self with other

Are you ready for an upbeat, witty observation of happiness? Today’s article is not scolding anyone for anything. It is celebrating our mutual existence and thanking you for joining me here. From a self-centered infant who tends to be a self-centered adult comes a sincere appreciation of you, the reader. My story encourages you to positive relationships within the human family, where you enjoy the oneness of the many.

99 What is so good about heaven?

Heavenly relief You know the song, “Is there Mogen David in heaven? If not, who the __ wants to go?” There is a reverent way of looking at the lyrics. They anticipate that heaven is a pleasant sensation akin to the effect of mild intoxicants. The very question suggests that both items are favorable and asks assurance that they will be enjoyed together. There are countless portrayals of heaven as the place of rest—but nicer than the grave. They appeal to the human sense of overwhelm. We seek an end to stress, relief from external pressure to perform. I compare …

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96 The precious dignity of people

Faithfulness means people I’m proud of this blog’s publication schedule: Tuesdays and Fridays—no misses since February this year. On the other hand, my support services (email notices and school supplements) have suffered delays during unusually busy times. When I was gone, did you miss me? Of course not! You didn’t even notice what was missing. That contrasts strongly with my mood today, Black Friday. I did notice what was missing. Several pressing purchases made good use of the online specials. However, that enjoyment did not fill yesterday’s missing ingredient: people. Fortunately, most of the immediate family joined the Zoom call. …

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85 Is it material?

Word play When I was in grade school and had a cast on my arm, boys in the class alarmed me describing the machine that cuts off the cast. They said it cuts through the plaster but does not cut through material. Always the scholar, I reminded them that plaster is a material. By the word material they meant cloth. Today we continue playing games with the word material. To a lawyer, the word means “pertinent to the current case.” A philosopher differentiates between material and spiritual well-being. I combine the meanings to assert that materialism is not material to …

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46 Difference is essential to meaning

After my contracts course in law school, Professor Levin taught an exam review session. I was uncomfortable because his position was quite different from mine on almost every issue. Later he posted grades and returned the test booklets to us. He had given me the highest grade in the class–not because I agreed with him, but because I had covered every issue. Using Professor Levin’s philosophy, I give you questions, not answers. If you stay with me, you are the one who changes the world. Separating “us” from “them” is the road to destruction. It is the macro version of …

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27 Humans’ Needs = the F.I.S.H.

Before starting this blog, I was writing Ernstraud Magazine sporadically.  That climaxed on February 11, 2019 with an analysis of humans’ needs.  The acronym there was the FISH, meaning Fundamental Ingredients Sustaining Humans.  They are important enough to list again here, in order of urgency, as measured by how quickly people die if they lack the ingredient. As the urgency goes down, the importance might be going up; the complexity does. The FISH Physically we consume these items Clean Air Clean Water Nutrition and Exercise Safe Housing Healthcare (we stay healthy as a group) Valid Education (see the prior issue …

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