In life there are few true absolutes. Absolutes are supposed to be keys to open the locked doors to happiness and tranquility and serve as basic guidelines for people to live by so they can have what is deemed a good life. A great example of an absolute is The Golden Rule. This concept is a crucial point in many of the world's major religions (Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism). The simplicity of The Golden Rule is what makes it so complex and often times misused or misunderstood. When properly implemented, a person might find a certain joy in treating other people the way they themselves want to be treated. I often wonder how something that appears so easy to execute is so difficult to accomplish in reality. I often wonder what it is in man's nature that prevents us from expressing brotherly love on a consistent basis and obtaining a peaceful co-existence. What makes us skeptical, selfish, arrogant, hostile and greedy? Why do we tend to find it easier to fight than to walk away and find peaceful solutions?

We all have theories about the true nature of man. Some say we are products of our environments. Others claim genetic make-up holds the answers to why and who we are. Many people believe God or some higher power creates each of us and leaves us with free will to stumble and learn as we travel the path that leads to positive growth and righteousness. A pragmatic or secular person believes experience is what molds us into the very unique people each of us are.

One only has to look at any family in which each child is raised the same way, with the same set of rules and circumstances to see how individual and unique each of those children become. Somehow I think we are a product of many factors with no one factor outweighing another. Certainly one can see how environment plays a crucial role in our general outlook on life and development. Genetics may predispose us to certain things, but our free will allows us to decide whether we will succumb to some genetic trait or not. For many people religion or some major philosophical ideology is a strong factor influencing the choices they make throughout their lives. But what exactly is it that makes one person suffer, withdraw and become bitter while the same incident might make another person stronger, more compassionate and more determined to overcome obstacles? Carlos Castenada once wrote "We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." I believe Carlos Castenada was a wise man.

Gratitude statement: Socrates once said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." I'm thankful for having a life worth living for my life has been nothing, but an ongoing self-examination since I was a child.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


  1. i no longer believe in castaneda's teachings, but you can't argue with his quote that you posted.

    it is amazing how we can take matters in life which are so simple and turn them into something that not only makes our own life miserable, but those around us as well.

    i'm as guilty as anyone. pass the peyote, please. i believe years of it's use might make me a wiser and better man.

  2. What makes us skeptical, selfish, arrogant, hostile and greedy? Why do we tend to find it easier to fight than to walk away and find peaceful solutions? - Biology and evolution.

    Casteneda of course, turned out to be an awful person, but I did enjoy readings his early books back in the day.

  3. Jnuts and Laoch, I stand corrected. Mr. Castenada may have been horrible, but even horrible people can have moments of wisdom. Now, pass the peyote, please!

  4. I concur, some of the nastiest people have come up with gems.

  5. Now I'm going to have to look up Castenada... just to satisfy my curiosity. I find it funny how the people who don't follow the Golden rule are the ones who stand out the most. oxox ~ Babe