Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ecclesiastes

Is it you sprout a piece of memory here and there, now and then?

It is hard to chew on the adage in Ecclesiastes that “all is vain” on the premise that we are doomed to die anyway.

How many generations mankind needed to suffer and struggle in order to climb down from trees and then walk on two?

How many generations did mankind need to sprout a piece of memory here and there before fabricating a hand tool?

How many generations before this hand tool was mass-produced?

How many generations to communicating verbally?

How many genration to learning to write?

If pain is far more powerful than life, love, dignity, and loyalty then, how mankind specie managed to barely survive over a million of generations?

Even in the last century, life expectancy was no longer than 40 years:  People died of normal diseases (small-pox, measles…), and all kinds of pains lingered for many years without effective pain killers or any convincing remedies (think of the favored blood-letting method).

What happened that, in just the last four generations, mankind moved from fabricating tools into this world of instant communication facilities, including images and video, and in “streaming” platforms?

Certainly mankind’s brain must have changed, altered, and added a few pieces of hardware to make this qualitative jump!

When scientist throw numbers in the billion and trillion of neurons and synapses in the brain then, you know that efforts are lacking into investigating any additional thousands of neurons and synapses in every new generation.

Certainly the hardware of our current brain has changed in many ways and it is urgent to know how, how much, and why.

Mankind had been observing and recording data from time immemorial since he mastered the written languages, but mostly, mankind has been pondering and working on premises that could not be validated or experimented with (namely measuring the variables).  Galileo said:” measure what can be measured and then, learn to measure what could not be measured”.

In the last four centuries, scientists have been analyzing simple data of simple experiments (mainly, one independent and one dependent (or data) variables and then matching data to a simple equation.)

Then, in 1920, scientific methods for designing complex experiments could be performed because a method for analyzing data was available to scientists: working on the variability of errors (after controlling for consistent errors or confounding variables).

This method might not be that convincing, but it was something to start with.  After the invention of computers, a paradigm shift occurred that says: “collect data and let data talk and reveal the relationships among variables or factors.”

Since then, all kinds of statistical programs have been written to mine abundant data, analyzing them, jugling with far many interrelated variables (interconnection), and then interpreting them.  Instead of cause and effects relationship we frequently hear of correlations.

Fast digital communication and efficient transmission of data and studies have allowed scientists to select vast amount of research studies and data and then evaluate a trend in any subject matter.

Thus, scientists felt inclined to accepting results and conclusions on theories and hypotheses based on the excuse that research studies are peer-reviewed and professional publishers must have validated the reliability and accuracy of data and information.

We have reached a stage that many scientists don’t even bother to using statistical analysis methods or validating experiments:  They are confident relying on the already acquired “scientific evidences and procedures“.

The second qualitative jump is creating sophisticated precision measuring tools and precision manufacturing facilities based on digital computing.

The generations of the 40’s and 50’s had the most exciting and tougher times of all generations:  They lived to witness a halucinating quantity of new inventions that they barely could fathom or use in timely fashion, conmmensurate with the quick stream on the market of new inventions and products.  Any problems using the consumer products? No problem:  We will ponder on these difficulties (after hundreds have been injured and harmed.)

Do you think I went into a tangent?

Let me refocuse on the intended purpose of this article.  Is it too tough chewing on the adage “all is vain in this life?”

Large communication and transmission highways to connecting with people and trends have been established.

First, this mentality of marketing products and services has strengthened the concept “You cannot succeed unless the masses rally to your product.”

Thus, catering to the vast majority of the population is the first step toward other more impotant advances into reducing pain, suffering, famine, and poor economic statuses.  Every one has to be able to afford certain consumer products in order for companies to outpace competitors.

If hungry people can have facilities to communicate and acquire the ability to connect with this illusory world of their’s then, at least hope of being integrated to other populations can come to the rescue of this wretched life.

Forget ethics, moral, and political rights of the downtrodden.

If they can be saved from famine and pain for economic reasons then, invest in poorer States and the poorer classes.  At least, this attitude cannot be vanity under any twisting of the mind.

Note: you may read my previous articles:

Vanity of vanities?

You may have heard this saying written in Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

“Vanity of vanities” sound excellent; “all is vanity” must be necessarily wrong.

It must be tough chewing on this adage “all is vanity”; simply because we are doomed to die?  A million generations of pain, suffering , and struggle to survive just to generate vain outcomes all the way? Not a single virtue to save and cherish?!

All is vanity means:

1. “Thinking that you have reached an advanced stage for being wise is necessarily vanity.  

2. Thinking that there exists an absolute truth is vanity.  

3. Thinking there is an absolute set of virtues is vanity.

4.  Saying “I know that God exists” is vanity.  

5. Saying “I know that God does not exist” is vanity.”

Logically, if you know for certain something about God, you should be able to transmit your knowledge and explain what is that you know:  How faith can be a matter of knowledge?

Thinking that sciences have answers to everything is vanity.

Thinking that only faith can save you is vanity.

Thinking that you are a better person than your neighbor is vanity.

Ecclesiastes goes on “There is time for crying, a time for laughing, a time to feeling sorrow, and a time to dance…”  It goes on “Praise joy: there is happiness in eating, in drinking, and pleasure in making love and loving throughout all the days of your vain life.”

How can we know we are happy if we didn’t experience pain?

How do we know we have joy if we didn’t experience suffering?

The main difference between a sad-faced and a jovial person is that the unhappy individual is still highly disappointed that his moments of happiness were cut short.  The longer the disappointment the less likely good luck will come around.

Nonetheless, you agree that living in joy, with full knowledge of our shortcomings and its vanity, is so much fulfilling to the universe surrounding us than stepping out with a dark gloomy face.

What doesn’t kill you might strengthen your desire for joy and happiness. Learning the wise saying: “believe in whatever you wish; as long as you know that it is just a belief” can save us from dogmatic tendencies. Tell us your statement, explain it to us, but don’t try to enforce it on us.

It must be tough chewing on this adage “all is vanity”.   After millions of generations of rough survival processes verging on extinction in many occasions, it must be tough on mankind specie to accept that everything he has done, desired, or dreamed of was plain vanity.  Something else must be missing or not interpreted well in that description of mankind style of living.

I contend that there are two major philosophical attitudes: One is based on subjective perceived frequency of observation and experiences in life; the other is founded on the quality of experiences.  Both categories are subjective and not necessarily reliable scientifically in appreciation of frequency or quality and also not necessarily applied behaviorally.

The first category of attitudes says: “We feel that the string of bad events and frequency of pain and suffering far outnumber the occasional moments of joys and happiness.”  Thus, religiously, it is advisable to appeasing the devils (taking for granted that the Good God is not affected by much prayer and behavior of servitude), and socially, it is advisable to embracing what life offers and stop battling with the odds (stoic attitudes).  Normally, feeling healthy for many years, especially when we are young, goes unnoticed and does not stick in our memory.  Bad occasions retain our memory and last for long time; thus this feeling that bad luck is chasing after us.

The second category says: “We all will experience inevitable humiliation, pain, and suffering, so why focus on the sad events and experiences?  Let us focus on how to increase the chances for joyful and happy instances to the hilt.  Consequently, avoid strong attitudes and getting involved in matters that do not affect your current life-style (epicurean attitudes).”

“All vanity” is mostly of the first category but of the worst kind:

Why forecast and make plans for the future and better oneself?  It also adopt the concept of the second category, and also of the worst kind: Do not attempt to plan and work for additional moments of joy and happiness: just focus on the present conditions and take full advantage of what the present is offering you.

I think forecasting is one of mankind desired abilities, no matter how we learn to live, enjoy, and appreciate the present. Mankind desires to know what causes and, lessen and tone down circumstances, of pain and suffering.

For my part I like to turn the table upside down:  If I consider the improbable odds of being “who I am” and how improbable I came to exist I should be proud to have a huge vanity for existing.

I could have been a stone, a grain of sand, a chemical element, a plant, an insect, born somewhere else, never survived birth, never survived to be 5 years old…

I was unbelievably lucky to be existing, and whoever don’t appreciate my vanity, this constipated individual can go to hell.




February 2023

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