Art of Wondering

One man's attempt to lead an enriched life in a mundane world.

Seek, Discover, Soar!

The world can easily beat you into dull submission if you let it. The constant exposure and focus on stupidities and senseless distractions doesn’t advance life in any meaningful way. It deters us from growth, improvement and happiness. In the blink of an eye years have passed, nothing has changed, joy evades us.

Discover an alternate road to living. Make a conscious decision to seek another avenue. Put down the social media distractions; curtail the numbness of television; operate outside the soulless day-to-day grind. 

Find your passion, your purpose, your joy.     Embrace the Art of Wondering.

Mural: Inspiration is Everywhere

Dispatches From Elsewhere

A fascinating limited television series launched at the beginning of March 2020 titled Dispatches From Elsewhere. It consisted of ten episodes and aired on AMC weekly on Mondays until the end of April. The show was produced by Jason Segel and featured four primary characters who all lead lives of various levels of mundaneness, fears, challenges, distractions and lack of direction. Sounds a bit like most of the population, doesn’t it?  These individuals – Peter, …

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Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Scientific “Correctness” vs. Scientific Progress

I came across the following brief 8-minute video and accompanying article shortly after my last post on Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.  The writer does a very good job of eloquently explaining how scientific “correctness” impedes scientific progress, thereby dovetailing and supporting the very behaviors (and dangers/risks) that are outlined in Kuhn’s book. In this context “scientific correctness” refers to the scientific establishment’s adherence to the dominant paradigms at the exclusion of all other …

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Microscope photo by felixioncool from Pixabay

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Thomas Kuhn (Science Doesn’t Work The Way You Think It Does)

How does the general public think Science operates? How is it performed? How does it progress? How do working scientists assist and enable progression into revised and new theories over time? The Misconception Most laity and fans of science typically think of science this way: It’s an objective search for truth and reality of all things in nature and the universe. It adheres strictly to the Scientific Method and yields results leading to welcomed changes, …

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2017 Solar Eclipse - Photo by Drew Rae from Pexels

Total Solar Eclipse – August 2017

Since I just posted about this week’s Lunar Eclipse, I may as well also post about our 2017 Total Solar Eclipse experience. The United States was treated to a rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse as it traveled across the continent on August 21, 2017. I promised myself when I was a kid while watching the 1970 eclipse on TV, that I would make a point of directly experiencing the totality of the …

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Total Lunar Eclipse photo

Total Lunar Eclipse – January 2019

Sunday night January 20, 2019 we were treated to relatively clear skies in Louisville, KY for a total lunar eclipse.  I stepped outside into the frigid cold before midnight to have a look just prior to, and into the time of totality.  What a beautiful red hue this magical orb took on! It was called a “super blood wolf moon eclipse.” I don’t yet have my recently-purchased (used) Meade LX200 Classic 10-inch telescope up and …

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Michaelangelo's Creation of Man, Sistine Chapel - image from Pixabay.com

W. Barry Bizot, M.D. – Modern Renaissance Man

Recently, while reading the local newspaper’s obituaries I came across an entry for a certain W. Barry Bizot, M.D. I didn’t know Mr. Bizot, but his obit touched my soul with who he was, and what he represented. His life resonated with me. Mr. Bizot was a modern day Renaissance Man. His obit writer even noted him as such. I only wish I could have known this individual; to have befriended him and been inspired …

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Montserrat, Spain

Montserrat, Spain

On our recent trip to Spain we made sure to visit Montserrat outside of Barcelona.  Most recently featured in Dan Brown’s book Origin our traveling crew felt we had to include it on our itinerary.  We were not disappointed.  In fact, it was one of the highlights of our trip. What made it so special? The history – It’s an operating monastery and abbey since 1025 AD The uniqueness – Home to the Catalonian “Black …

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Einstein - Intellectual Int

Intellectual Integrity

What Is Intellectual Integrity? Do you have an internal desire to uncover truth – real truth? Do you care about the accuracy of your knowledge, beliefs and claims? Does it bother you if you might be professing knowledge that’s wrong? Does reality matter to you? Do you feel the pursuit of truth deserves a thorough, honest approach and analysis? If so, then you definitely resonate with the concept of Intellectual Integrity. Intellectual Integrity has everything …

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Energy in the forest

Live an Aesthetic Life

Aesthetics “Officially” speaking, Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty and artistic taste. But you don’t have to be a philosopher to bask in the benefits of living an aesthetic life. Simply having a sensitivity and appreciation for beauty is a good start.  Slow down; pause; observe.  Note and appreciate those things that give you pleasure and inner satisfaction when you experience them with your senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, …

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Wonder: From Emotion to Spirituality by Robert C. Fuller

A little over a year ago I listened to a podcast on ArtOfManliness.com entitled The Power Of Wonder wherein Brett McKay interviewed the author of a book (Robert Fuller) on the topic of Wonder.  It was particularly interesting since this topic fascinates and inspires me and it’s difficult to find references of any kind on the subject. (Not to mention that it’s the titled-focus of this web site.)  So after listening to the podcast I …

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El Escorial Library - Spain

El Escorial Library

Our trip to Spain this month found us visiting some incredible sites.  One of our notable visits (for me, at least) was the Monastery and Royal Palace of El Escorial in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial; specifically the Royal Library. Biblioteca del monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, by Xauxa Håkan Svensson, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The library consists of several rooms (most of them no longer used), however, …

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Linderhof Palace, Bavaria

Romanticism

What is Romanticism? Ask anyone on the street what “Romanticism” is and you’re likely to get replies that include:  beautiful flowers, surprise gifts, elegant date nights, heartfelt love letters, tender gestures, etc. – – essentially, anything that generates romance between two people in a relationship. While that concept is nice (and important) it isn’t the same definition of “Romanticism” as my focus in this article. Specifically, I speak of Romanticism as a state of mind; …

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Stack of rustic books

The Benefits Of Being An Autodidact

What is autodidacticism and what can it mean for you being an autodidact? “Stack of Old Books” by Austin Kirk is licensed under CC BY 2.0 What’s an autodidact? Autodidactism is the process of self-learning, also called self-education.  An autodidact is a person who chooses (on their own) to identify a subject of interest and then learn everything possible about it; preferably researching and studying it in an objective manner.  It can be pursued as …

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The Biltmore Library

Biltmore Library

One of my favorite places in the world is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, grandson of Cornelius “The Commodore” Vanderbilt. Completed and opened to friends and family during Christmas 1895, it’s the largest private residence in the United States, and is still owned by descendants of the family. George Washington Vanderbilt by John Singer Sargent Public Domain, Link The “house” is a gorgeous châteauesque-styled mansion …

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What is “Mundane”?

What do I Mean by “Mundane”? I use the word “mundane” frequently, and realized I should probably level-set on its meaning. So . . .  what exactly is “mundane”? From my perspective and life-philosophy, the mundane in life is bare minimum “living.” It looks something like this: Work, eat, consume, zone out on media, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Do the same thing day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year. It’s about just getting through the work day, then escaping …

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Image: Man with arms raised to sunset oover a body of water

Growth and Self-Actualization

If you resonate with any of the messages presented to you in the writings on this site, you’re already of the mindset of someone who knows the importance of Growth and Self-Actualization. But what is it exactly?  Why is it important – at least to some of us who are driven beyond the normal and mundane? Growth Personal Growth is the desire to self-develop yourself; to become more than you are today; to discover the …

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Your Purpose and Mission in Life

Why should anyone be concerned with identifying their Purpose and Mission in life?  What good is it?  Will it really make any difference with living life in this hodgepodge world of the mundane and chaotic? What’s the difference between Purpose, Mission and Vision?  Do I need big goals to have a Purpose and Mission?  Or is it the other way around?  Is this some kind of useless, fuzzy-bullshit, corporate or new age stuff? Hang on, …

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SpaceX – Engineering and Technology Awe & Wonder

What an incredible achievement by private enterprise that inspires and strikes me with awe and wonder . . . (video starts at 8:00 minute mark) I just love the way SpaceX does their launch coverage: allowing a huge crowd inside mission control, young energetic people to describe what’s going on, people of both sexes working within mission control, and video cameras mounted everywhere showing you live what’s going on, before and throughout the actual launch. …

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Astroturfing – a Slick 21st-Century Manipulation of Fake Support

On the heels of my segment on Propaganda, it makes sense to also share this methodology of modern propaganda called “Astroturfing.” What is Astroturfing?  Essentially it’s the attempt to create an impression of widespread grassroots support for a policy, individual, or product, where little such support actually exists. I stumbled on this excellent video by Sharyl Atkisson, an ex-CBS investigative journalist who apparently still holds the ethics of journalism in high regard (a rarity in …

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Propaganda – An Introduction

My last article on Social/Cultural Conditioning naturally leads into a discussion about Propaganda. While Social Conditioning is concerned with the life-long process of molding people’s thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors to what society and peer groups want them to be, propaganda can be viewed as the continual fuel to keep those minds and emotions in line.  And specifically, to condition people to follow the desired directives of those in power “selling” the message. Most of us, it …

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Conformity

I could write a long article about Conformity, but really … what could be more convincing than this representative example? (video: Brain Games – Conformity (Waiting Room) ) If this is video link is no longer active, check the Wayback Machine here: https://web.archive.org/web/20170808041524/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9O9SokTTA8 Peer Pressure We are pressured and convinced through a lifetime of social conditioning to conform, get along, go along, agree with, regardless of the rationality. This isn’t complicated. You will have a …

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Social Conditioning

Related very closely to the concept of Groupthink is a process called Social Conditioning .  However, where Groupthink relates to cognitive issues in a small group, Social Conditioning is concerned more with broad social implications – typically nationwide. Definition: Social conditioning is the sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. Manifestations of social conditioning are vast, but …

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Groupthink

In a continuing series of articles regarding barriers to Proper Thinking let’s address Groupthink. “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”  – Walter Lippmann What is Groupthink? Wikipedia:  “Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation …

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Dogma

What is Dogma? Dogma is any ideology that demands of its followers unquestioned loyalty and faith.  Faith in its doctrines . . . in its leaders . . . in its proclamations.  Behind its ‘scripture’ may stand elements of truths – some of which can (and are) useful at times.  However, it demands no questioning of its current tenets – particularly by laypersons and “outsiders.”  Violators of this edict are either ignored and/or ridiculed and …

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Sleepthief – Afterthoughts

A beautiful piece of music from Sleepthief: Afterthoughts featuring vocalist Lauren Edman. Heavenly . . . . .  Ethereal . . . . . (Featured image by James L. Patterson)

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Values – Personal Core

What Exactly Are Values? Value can fall into several arenas: Economic – the material worth of something compared to the monetary price paid. Utility/Importance – something held in high regard due to its usefulness or importance to you. Aesthetic – this could technically be a part of Utility/Importance, above, but has a more specific relation to art, beauty, harmony and nature such that it elicits a pleasurable experience for the viewer. Personal-Core/Ethical – what’s most …

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

I saw this on a car’s bumper sticker today: “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” It definitely struck me and resonated with what I continually try to focus upon.  Always question your basic beliefs and assumptions.  Objectively (truly objectively) look at all points of an argument or belief.  Use the Clinical Attitude whenever possible. Embrace intellectual integrity and be willing to admit that beliefs you’ve held for many years may be wrong when you’re presented with …

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