Also thought that I would share this, whilst I’m here.

http://www.theschooloflife.com/assets/Uploads/Ten-Virtues-For-The-Modern-Age.pdf

I especially agree with the ‘politeness’ bit. If there’s one thing I hate it’s people being rude and then saying ‘Oh, I’m just being honest…’

Bugger off!

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39 thoughts on “

  1. LOVE the School of Life, and de Botton is terrific, and not just for his name.
    Ok, I’ll work on number 1 and 6 today. πŸ™‚

  2. Yeah, so will I! Humour is the thing that will save us all, you know. I love de Botton too – I love his shiny shiny head. I really fucking fancy him to be honest, ha. x

  3. He’s just got something about him though, right? Like he’d be able to solve all of your problems with one neat, nicely summed up speech about Epicurus…. x

    • Yes! Have you seen him in person? He oozes charisma and braininess.

      • No have never seen him in person – though I would like to. Charisma is right – and that counts for a lot. He also has a very lovely face, and when he was young he was a real sort. Although he went to Harrow, which is a shame πŸ˜‰ x

      • Where did you see him, by the way? Was it at a lecture? x

      • Yes, he came to Melbourne to promote Religion for Atheists and did a fantastic lecture which I went to – here it is http://wheelercentre.com/videos/video/an-evening-with-alain-de-botton/. He signed my book all nice and squiggly “For Jo.” *swoon* He must do that kind of thing all the time in London – get in there! Also, the School of Life is worth checking out, they had a Summer School farflung campus here last year, I went to a couple of things and they were great fun with very interesting people and good coffee and muffins. I’m sure de Botton would lurk about TSOL in London a bit. πŸ˜‰

      • Ah you lucky thing. I know he did some lectures in Cambridge a while back but I was way too mad to attend.
        I’ll watch that lecture later on when I’ve taken my sleeping pills – I may end up having some kind of epiphany. All I need now is the coffee and the muffins.
        xxx

  4. Are you an atheist by the way? It doesn’t matter to me of course, I’m just wondering. I’m not an atheist – but only because I’m too romantic to be an atheist. Ha. x

    • I am a devout and rampant atheist. I believe the world and the universe is more than magic enough, you just have to open your eyes properly to see it.

      I don’t believe in a Mr God in the Sky or Hell or any of that stuff.

      • Yes, my friend Daniel is the same, and Dee was too. Like I say, I’m a little bit too romantic to be a complete atheist – though I don’t agree with organised religion. I just personally enjoy feeling that there is some rhyme and reason to our existence. I put it down to crazy religious delusions I’ve had whilst I was manic. I know they’re a part of my illness but it’s hard to shake them off. I have to believe that the people I’ve lost are somewhere, just to keep me going. But logically I know it isn’t really possible.
        I suppose I’m nearly an atheist, but not quite πŸ™‚ xx

  5. I love how you said ‘devout and rampant’! xxx

    • Well, it is true! I think it is dangerous to believe in an afterlife in the sky, it makes people not value this life and this world we have here enough.

      • By that I mean pollution, people being nasty to each other, no respect for the environment etc. I think we humans have a dangerous tendency to think we are extra-special in the grand scheme of things, and we are not. I think religion tends to set us up to think we are extra-special.

  6. I only ask about it because it’s something I’ve really wrestled with, and I admire those who are firmly in the atheist camp. I think it takes a lot of guts to look reality in the face and not cling onto a fantasy. (And I am perfectly aware that it’s a fantasy of sorts.) I’m a big Christopher Hitchens fan, and he really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I think I’m closer to atheism than religion, but it’s taking me a while to come to terms with things. x

  7. I see what you mean. But I don’t think you need religion to have the people you’ve lost still somewhere around. For me, of course they are. Science shows things never just disappear with a click of the fingers (that’s more a god thing surely?), things just change. Constant flux and all that. I know some people find religion reassuring, but I find science far far more reassuring. You know, we probably actually think the same thing we are just using different words to express it. πŸ™‚
    People we have lost have certainly not just disappeared, but I don’t think they are in the sky or in heaven or ghosts, we just carry them along with us and the world, this world under our feet, does too.

    • Yes, that’s exactly it – we probably believe the same things but are expressing it in different ways. Because the way I look at it – I remember being in Cornwall and looking at the sea, and thinking ‘well Dee could be in that sea, his atoms could be anywhere, which means that he could be everywhere’ – and some people would see that as logical, and some would see it as divine. I don’t believe in heaven, or ghosts, but some part of me wants to romanticise that feeling. And when you romanticise it, it can feel Godly, or divine, or whatnot. I’m probably not explaining this very well because I’ve had a bottle of wine, but y’know πŸ˜‰
      I don’t particularly believe in God, but perhaps I believe that the world is magic and Godly, which sometimes makes me feel like I’m not an atheist. If you know what I mean πŸ™‚ I also don’t really believe in this new atheism stuff where people take the piss out of very religious people, because I think that as long as you’re keeping your religion personal and not letting it fuck up others, you should be allowed to believe whatever you like. xxx

      • I agree with everything you say here 100%. So yes, same idea, different ways of expressing it. For me, of course Dee could be in the sea. In terms of matter, in terms of energy, and in terms of memory. I think that is entirely logical, in fact, I can’t see it any other way.
        For me, yes the world is magic and godly and that is enough, the world is enough. And I am most certainly an atheist.
        I was that little mousey shy kid at primary school that wouldn’t be able to hold back asking Bible teachers how dinosaurs fitted into their whole god created the world in 7 days thing. Hehe. They could never give me a straight answer.
        Oh and to clarify, I think Jesus most probably existed and was an awesome dude forgiving and open to everyone. VoilΓ  my religion for atheists. πŸ˜‰

  8. Yes I’m nearly an atheist but not quite there yet. In fact, I think it’s just the ‘new atheism’ I’m not on board with. I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe in heaven and hell, and I think that the bible is a horrible nasty piece of literature that says some good things and a fuckload of bad things…so perhaps I am an atheist, really. But it’s good to have conversations with people like you because I can get my bearings more and understand what it is I truly believe in. It’s very important to keep analysing how I feel about such things. It’s important to come to a firm decision. That’s why I admire those who have come to a firm decision!
    Because I have such an interest in science, it’s always been a bit of an albatross to hallucinate angels and things. It muddies the waters. I think a lot of my manic hallucinations/psychosis have influenced the way I feel. At my core, I know the whole religion thing is a crock of shit.
    Historically it’s very difficult to argue that Jesus didn’t exist, but I’ve always said that Socrates is my personal Jesus! xxx

    • I don’t think people need to necessarily come to a firm decision, but I think it is a subject worth thinking about. πŸ™‚ People can believe what they like as long as it doesn’t cause them to disregard THIS world – that’s when I probably would get rampant! πŸ˜‰

      • I think I’d love to come to a firm decision! I’d love to know exactly what I believed and be able to fight for it. My friend Dan is a ‘rampant’ atheist, he has no time for anyone who has any religious leanings at all, and he certainly has no time for my witterings! But even though I don’t believe in his view that all religious people are morons, I still envy how sure he is about it.
        It’s certainly a subject worth thinking about and I think about it a lot. Because you’re right, and Daniel is right, and Dee was right – religion causes people to disregard this world. A lot of evil is done in the name of religion. It’s hard to fight for religion when there are so many reasons to despise it. Religion is most of the time – bad. However, being moved by the world and the universe can sometimes feel so big, it inspires you to call it divine. I think this is the area I struggle with.
        Phew! This has been a most enlightening conversation! x

      • The world and the universe is big, mind boggling, that is WHY humans invented religion. To try to explain that feeling. Being an atheist doesn’t mean you can’t feel the world that way. It just means you choose not to start inventing a Mr God to explain that feeling.
        For me science and stuff being inexplicable and not being a ‘religious’ believer does not detract from that feeling of awe and mindbogglingness at all. Au contraire!
        I must say, thanks to my dickhead foot for being sore, that means I didn’t go to work today and instead got to have this lovely conversation with you, sir. πŸ™‚

  9. Yes, I agree. What it really boils down to is language – and how you begin to explain that ‘mind boggled’ feeling. I wish I was the kind of person to experience something and then explain it logically, but sometimes I’m just unable to do that. I suppose it’s down to the individual and how they’ve learned to describe and communicate their perception of the world. I remember being a small child and looking at a newt in the swimming pool and feeling overwhelmed by how perfect its little body was, and because my parents were religious it made perfect sense to thank God for this tiny creature. These things stick with you, they become part of you, awe becomes something you thank God for. It’s a strange thing, but I’m sure I’ll figure it all out someday! I no longer thank God for awe, but instead I don’t know what to thank! Darwin of course πŸ˜‰
    I’m glad you didn’t go to work – it’s been a lovely chat, I’ve really enjoyed it πŸ™‚ Although I did have pretty much this exact same conversation with Dan about a week ago! You damn atheists! You’re everywhere! Taking all of the De Bottons of the world! xxxxxxxx

    • Well, I’d see the newt and think, wow the world is amazing. You say ‘god’. It’s just words for pretty much the same idea and feeling. πŸ™‚
      Must be late there, don’t forget to go to sleep!

      • I’m just about to take my sleeping pills and drift off into noddington. By the way – A few days ago I told my sister that ‘a lady who grew up in a kiwi orchard’ told me to get a cleaner, and she looked at me like I’d gone crazy πŸ™‚
        xxxxx

      • Hehe! And then she said, “that kiwi lady is right!”
        πŸ˜‰

      • I did get a cleaner! That’s why she was asking me, she wanted to know why I suddenly got myself a cleaner. Although it turns out to be a very difficult arrangement, because in order for my cleaner to clean I must de clutter. Nothing is ever easy…. xxx

  10. Oh, except I’m not really a ‘lady’, more a ‘girl’. πŸ™‚

    • The word ‘girl’ makes me go all funny. I swear to God I’m more heterosexual than I let on! xxxx

      • Pah ha!

        The decluttering/ cleaning will be worth it. Cleanliness is next to godliness apparently.

        But then, I’m terrible at housework. And am an atheist. Maybe that is why! xxx

  11. I have a cat called Lucifer. Godliness is nowhere near me.
    I’m dreading going back to that flat and being faced with mountains of idiocy. And the mere fact that it’s called ‘work’. House WORK. I don’t want to do work in my house.
    Right, I must sleep or else I’ll be insane tomorrow. It was a pleasure talking with you, girlie. xxx

  12. And it’s ‘fais’ not ‘faits’. Goddamit. x

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