Uncommon Sense

April 25, 2021

The Meaning of Life, Part Whatever

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:42 am
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If you have read this blog for any length of time you know my thoughts on “the meaning of life,” mainly that meaning is something we create, rather than something given to us or something we find.

Just to cover all of the bases, I decided to open myself up to a feeling of purpose, of meaning from outside of me. I tried not to force anything, like a source or even a meaning, I just opened myself to the possibility and went about my business.

Both my partner an I are long in the tooth (she is 67, I am 74) and have mastered taking care of one another and ourselves fairly well, and our children are launched into very nice lives, so what other meaning might present itself?

And then it came to me, apparently our meaning in life at this stage of our lives is to make her dog happy. When I see the two of them together playing and the dog is happy, I am happy. When he wants a treat or to be petted, I oblige and am happy to do that. He seems happy to be with me, also, although he has a bit of a licker problem. He likes to lick my chin very, very much, even early in the morning before I have shaved, so I assume he may just be cleaning his tongue off, but he seems to want that and I am happy to oblige.

Never having been a “dog person” through much of my life, maybe I missed the meaning in my earlier life of making my cats happy, can’t really tell.

Considering how much Americans spend on their dogs, maybe this is the meaning of life much of us share. So, is this meaning god-given? If so, it would have to be Anubis or Set if Egyptian, Fenris, or maybe Hecate, or the Morrigan (I am part Irish, you know), or, oh, in America it might just be Coyote, the trickster god. If so then this “meaning” we perceive from the outside may be a trick on our meaning seeking natures.

The search goes on!

PS I just realized that dog is god spelled backwards . . . a sign do you think?

December 12, 2020

How Does He Know?

Filed under: Science — Steve Ruis @ 11:03 am
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We live in a high-rise condominium. There are two banks of elevators on opposite sides of the hallways that serve the entire building. Since they are two opposite two, if you go up to our floor in one set, you must turn left to get to our unit. From the other set it is a right-hand turn. I have cataloged a set of visual cues as to which way to turn when exiting the elevator, and even with those I take a wrong turn on occasion.

But this post is not about me.

When we take our dog, Jack, for a walk, we come back up the elevator. Jack does not enjoy the ride in the “shaky room,” so he is the first off when we get to our floor. When the door opens he is the first through and turning left or right before he even gets out of the door.

And he never turns the wrong way.

Does he have, like pigeons, a small set of cells in his brain that allow him to know compass directions? What?

Any ideas?

A portrait of Jack, in progress

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