Monday, 6 June 2016

Random musings

photo: Mcwiz
Every so often, I find that I accumulate a number of ideas that do not justify a blog post, let alone a series. These include events in my life; ideas about things; and general observations. I'm starting to think that if I don't clear them out from time to time, I might be limiting available space for new ideas. So random musings will appear here from time to time. I suppose that must make them, collectively, a series after all, but they will be neither be scheduled nor numbered.

The most important recent event is that I now have a new computer with Windows 10. I was going to start saving for one but when my friend Robert heard that my main computer was "circling the drain" rather too rapidly he kindly loaned me the money for a new one right away. I picked a Calgary Memory Express build as they are essentially "home made" and thus far more expandable than name brands. I picked the cheapest one that had enough oomph for good quality high definition video streaming as I am not too much into modern games. It is not expandable enough for my planned future machine to run Oculus Rift virtual reality mind you, but I did not expect to get anything like that right away. That one will really be "bleeding edge". My son in law will be helping me to build it. I spent quite some time, last night downloading and installing applications previously purchased and my old machine is on the recycling pile waiting for the hard drive to be removed first.

I  do like Windows 10 and it only gave me about half an hour's frustration when first using it. I also signed up for the monthly Microsoft Office which comes with a free terabyte of Cloud service (One Drive), so now my files lists get sent to my tablet where I can download them if I wish. My other computer (XP and gutless) is mainly used for old applications such as Fauve Matisse, which never could be made to work on the 64 bit Windows 7. I just realized and discovered, though, that I can install DOSBox on Windows 10 and then install Windows 3.1 in that. Afterward, I can install all of those programs into Windows 3.1 because that is what they originally ran on, "Install" is perhaps too grand a word as the programs run from a single folder with the exe file and so it is just a matter of pasting in the folder and then entering out the registration number (if it has one) into the application when it opens.

Yesterday, I went to Calgary's "Dog Festival". Officially, it is called the Lilac Festival, but people started bringing their dogs and it became a custom and also you would be really hard-pressed to see an actual lilac there at all. It is a long street market with entertainment added. Tristan greeted all the dogs he encountered, but when I bought a hot dog, I bought another smoked sausage without the bun just for him. We found a shady place to sit down for lunch but Tristan refused both the sausage and the water I offered him. I realized that he was stressed from the crowds there (and the other dogs looked about the same, too). So we went to a nearby well-treed dog park which was quiet. He ate the sausage, drank the water and played in the Elbow River.

Procrastination is a funny thing. In 2006, I decided that I needed a break from writing my book on the Gundestrup Cauldron, so I wrote a novel. Now that I have just published it as an Amazon Kindle book, I have joined Goodreads with the idea that other Indie authors would have many tips about promotion and sure enough, they do. This was just after I thought that I should really get busy with the Gundestrup book again. I just realized that is another form of procrastination and I should really tone it down a bit. I wondered about what other projects I have taken on could also be classified thus. Perhaps even this blog! The blog, though, does give me both new ideas and new ways of presenting the old ones. It also improves my planning, writing and even eliminates "writers block" through its strict, virtually ritual scheduling. I am thinking that I will both work on the new book and blog about its production as I do so.

There are a few things scheduled before I do that, though: most important is my series on T. E. Shaw (formerly T. E. Lawrence or "Lawrence of Arabia"). Also yesterday, I finished reading the last book I needed for that research: Marie-Louise von Franz's The Problem of the Puer Aeternus. I think I now have a good grasp on T. E.'s psychology. A few people had expressed the idea that he was an example of the Puer Aeternus, but I have concluded that this is not the case and that only certain aspects of it were expressed and from a completely different cause than is ascribed to the Puer Aeternus. I had thought, before reading the book, that I would only need a few quotes from it, Although I found those, I found so much more that supported my hypothesis. The series will start this week (as soon as I have finished some necessary preparations) and it revolves around an unpublished document from one of T. E.'s friends about T. E's Service in India for the RAF, perhaps one of the most contented periods of his life after Arabia. The document was generously given me specifically for this research by my friend Kyriacos Kyriacos who lives in the same general area of London where I grew up.

Another post or series will be titled "Coyote Mom" and will feature a currently ongoing saga about a woman and her family in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Other than this "teaser" I am keeping tight-lipped about this amazing story, but I predict that it will become very popular. It has certainly touched me and I am really looking forward to writing it.

The latest addition to my Jung eBook library is volume 8 of the Collected Works: Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche. I had two of the contained works in paperback, but this volume has much more. Here is a current favourite passage from The Significance of Constitution and Heredity in Psychology, (pp. 110-111):
"There is still another factor, of which those who are engaged in investigating the constitution take no account at present. This is the fact that the psychic process does not start from scratch with the individual consciousness, but is rather a repetition of functions which have been ages in the making and which are inherited with the brain structure. Psychic processes antedate, accompany, and outlive consciousness. Consciousness is an interval in a continuous psychic process; it is probably a climax requiring a special physiological effort, therefore it disappears again for a period each day. The psychic process underlying consciousness is, so far as we are concerned, automatic and its coming and going are unknown to us. We only know that the nervous system, and particularly its centres, condition and express the psychic function, and that these inherited structures start functioning in every new individual exactly as they have always done. Only the climaxes of this activity appear in our consciousness, which is periodically extinguished. However infinitely varied individual consciousnesses may be, the basic substrate of the unconscious psyche remains uniform. So far as it is possible to understand the nature of unconscious processes, they manifest themselves everywhere in astonishingly identical forms, although their expressions, filtered through the individual consciousness, may assume a diversity that is just as great. It is only because of this fundamental uniformity of the unconscious psyche that human beings are able to communicate with one another and to transcend the differences of individual consciousness."
So all of the above clears out some of the clutter in my own consciousness, but I'm sure it will start to fill up again right away.

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