December 20, 2015

Physical Vs. Mental

It's so strange that it takes a person like me, who naturally doesn't enjoy much physical pleasure, to believe that the physical part of life is more essential, more decisive, thus more important than the mental part among our whole life existence. Most people don't realize this simply because they take their good physical health for granted.

November 19, 2015

Belief

Faith Happens
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Faith/belief should only be the guide of our acts, not our understanding of universe.

November 6, 2015

From Ignorance To Stupidity

English: Bust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum
English: Bust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are all ignorant in some ways but not all stupid. So what's the "line" divides stupid and wise? Socrates put it quite brilliantly over 2 thousands ago, but let me add something to it so it can cover both ends: those who admit our ignorance are wise, those who don't stupid.

November 2, 2015

Defending Weakness

It seems (to me) that in most cases, to ignore the obvious only serves one purpose - to defend our weakness.




November 1, 2015

Apology & Evolvement

Those who do not apologize will not evolve.

October 20, 2015

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Tragedy Unavoidable?

(spoilers)

Just finished reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the first Thomas Hardy I've ever read, will not be the last for sure. I wonder what made me to neglect this literature classic for so long. I watched movie "Tess" when I was a teenager, it somehow didn't strike me as hard as "Jane Eyre" or some other films adapted from literature masterpieces. Recently, for some obscure reasons I picked up the original book, found myself immediately drawn into the story.

There's not much I could say about this book that is not been already said by others. Tess - an astonishingly beautiful peasant girl, a "fine creature", yet unbelievably selfless even downtrodden, tries relentlessly to make a better life for her family and herself, ends up being hanged. Not even that, none of the miserable happenings befall her is her fault, but she endures them all nonetheless. The tragedy is simply beyond anyone can bare. Her ultimate sacrifice seems avoidable, as I myself already composed a dozen of different endings, however, I have to admit, what she does at the end - murdering Alec d'Urbervilles is completely understandable under context. Basically, Thomas Hardy just created a flawless tragedy, let his readers continue to moan for her heroine for centuries.

October 17, 2015

Science And Industry - Problems Or Solution?

English: Smokestacks from a wartime production...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Those who think science and industry are culprits for humans' misery in modern time just because of pollution and deadly weapons, forgot how miserably humans lived prior to industrial revolution, forgot that it was due to science and industry we could afford today's overloaded population. Sure, pollution and deadly weapons are bad, but unfortunately by getting rid of science and industry will certainly not solve the problem, instead, better science and industry will do. And of course, as population and science grow, new problems will be created. So to keep creating problems and to keep solving them, this seems to be a vicious cycle in which we humans are doomed, unless we stop our desire to live life.

October 6, 2015

Is It Really All About Perspective?

We often hear people saying "It's all about perspective", as if we are all equally ignorant, equally in the dark. While there's a grain of truth in this notion, I found it's not 100% true, because beside "perspective", there is are something called "dimension".

In this illustration two shadows on the walls are two dimensional shaped shadows (square and circle) resulted from viewing this cylinder from two 2-dimensional perspectives. The real "idea" of actually object - cylinder - needs to be seen from 3 dimensional view point, that is, not only looking at it from left and right, but also from "up" - a view point that breaks 2 dimensional surface.

September 27, 2015

True Morality

New Morality
New Morality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
True morality comes from those individuals who possess capability to resist cultural - or ideological - influences.

September 17, 2015

"Stranger Beside Me" - Ann Rule's Epic Tale Of America's Most Dangerous serial Killer

English: Ted Bundy in custody, Florida, July 1...
English: Ted Bundy in custody, Florida, July 1978. Florida Memory Project, Florida Photographic Collection, #N035653 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Some very light spoilers)

I had never heard of Ted Bundy's name before until I saw part of his documentary (20/20?) very recently. I was immediately fascinated by his case for one conscious reason: his look. He didn't look like a bad person, rather, he looked handsome, educated, sensitive and extremely charismatic. So I did a little research and found a book to read: Ann Rule's Stranger Beside Me.

This is the first true crime book I've ever read. I found it extremely riveting. And The most extraordinary part is the fact that Bundy was actually Rule's "good" friend for many years. They both worked as partners in a suicide support center Crisis Clinic in Seattle, WA., and built a warm friendship since then. As matter of fact, Rule had no slightest idea that at the time they worked together, Bundy already started his heinous killing. Rule had always believed him as a kind, friendly and intelligent young man with a bright future.

September 16, 2015

Overcome Weakness

The best way (or the first step) to overcome one's weakness is to accept - even embrace - it.

The Worst Misfortune

The worst misfortune one can get, other than natural disasters, wars, fatal diseases, is the misfortune created by the difference between what one wants and who he/she actually is - the greater the difference is, the more unfortunate one would be.

September 11, 2015

Two Things

There are two things that make one lost: lies and greed;
There are two things that make one intoxicated: alcohol and fame;
There are two things that make one chained: material possession and romantic love;
There are two things that make one awakened: truth and pain;
There are two things that make one change: time and hardship;
There are two things that make one free: wisdom and perspective.

(Translated from original Chinese text:http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6058fd120102vx4k.html)

1、有两种东西会让人迷失:一是谎言,二是欲望。 
2、有两种东西会让人沉醉:一是酒精,二是名声。 
3、有两种东西会把人束缚:一是物质,二是爱情。 
4、有两种东西会让人觉醒:一是真理,二是苦痛。 
5、有两种东西会让人改变:一是时间,二是苦难。 
6、有两种东西会让人释怀:一是智慧,二是心态。

September 10, 2015

Personal vs. Impersonal

We'd better live our lives in personal ways, but understand life through impersonal means.

September 3, 2015

Mistakes

A sick culture mistakes happiness for selfishness, indifference for callousness;
a shallow culture mistakes sternness for meanness, profoundness for depression.

Sternness or Meanness?

Maybe, one sign of shallow culture is mistaking sternness for "meanness".

August 25, 2015

Who Would Say "God Is Just"?

Is it true that it's always those who live in comfort would assert "God is just"? I don't mean that all people living in comfort would believe this notion but I can hardly imagine those who live in misery would think this way.
Just wondering.

August 22, 2015

Ignorance And Wisdom

English: Negative low tide at Ocean Beach in S...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The older we are, the harder we could admit our ignorance or stupidity, because we want to protect our "wisdom". Ironically, the true wisdom can befall us only when we admit and accept our ignorance.

August 20, 2015

What Is NOT True?

No Idea (band)
No Idea (band) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I suppose, that any concepts or ideas created to serve our subjective purposes, such as "justifying" our actions, validate our living conditions, even promote happiness or humanity, are NOT true. Based on this view, even humanism is NOT a truthful idea, but an idealism. The truth, pure objective truth, is neutral, even inhuman.

August 17, 2015

"Do You Still Love Me?" - Weakness And Selfishness

My Weakness Is None of Your Business
My Weakness Is None of Your Business (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I found there is a type of persons, who would always let others make choices for them. Or, if they know what to choose, they would "design" a complicated scenario to force others to choose for them. The "benefit" of acting like this is that when things don't go as they expected, they don't have to be responsible.

i.e., when they no longer love or like someone, instead of saying: "sorry I don't love you." or "I am sorry to say that I've been feeling very difficult to be your friend." they would say:" Do you still love me or not?" "Do you still want to be me friend or not?"

Weakness

It's a weakness not to be able to face others suffering, an even weaker weakness to deny the existence of such suffering just because one is not able to face it.

August 11, 2015

Does Kindness Require Intelligence? - A Few More Words On My "Wicked" "Wicked" Old Friendships

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If we agree that helping others when they are in need is one of most important ways to show kindness, can I propose, that it is impossible for those who are not able to "notice" the situations where others are in need of helps to offer helps, thus it is impossible for them to be kind?

In a couple of my previous posts I mentioned how I lost a few life time friends of mine during my middle age hazard. I also said I moved on, and I did. However, the recent unexpected visiting from one of these friends inevitably brought the issue back to table, and I just have a few more words to say, before I move on once again.

August 5, 2015

Why Regarding Unknown Illnesses As "Mental Disease" Is Offensive

English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromya...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since most people take modern medicine as "absolute" (by saying that I mean, people believe modern medicine can take care of all physical illnesses, except fatal diseases like cancer), they easily consider the cause of unknown illnesses as "mental". This is why we often see people try to "encourage" those who suffer invisible diseases to work "harder", to push through, as if they are mentally weak individuals. I still remember once a kind lady's first words to me after hearing my brief story: " be tough." I have to say, not only this is a wrong approach, but also offensive attitude toward those patients. Why, because one of primary reasons these people got so sick is precisely because they are mentally tough - so tough that they overdrew their energy, and their illnesses are nothing but the consequence of their mental toughness (physical energy overdrawn).

Wisdom

Photo of Wisdom Path
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think one kind of wisdom is to see extraordinary within ordinary, ordinary within extraordinary.

August 3, 2015

Intellectual Progress

English: Cover of Against Intellectual Propert...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ironically, every intellectual progress one makes, is marked by the acknowledgement of how ignorant/stupid one was prior to that point. Nothing more than that.

The Difference Between Optimism And Pessimism

Happy Baby! I can't help but smile every time ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One way to look at the difference between optimism and pessimism: the former takes misery, the latter happiness for granted.

Gladiatorial Game

Villa Borghese gladiator mosaic Español: (obit...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One kind of "glory" of human civilization:
"(At zenith of Roman civilization) Gladiatorial games were held from dawn to dusk. Contexts to the death between trained fighters (gladiators) formed the central focus of these games.... Gladiatorial games included other forms of ENTERTAINMENT as well. Criminals of all ages and bother sexes were sent into the arena without weapons to face certain death from wild animals. Numerous kinds of animal contests were also held. ..."
-Glencoe World History, p166.

July 30, 2015

Sign Of Narrow Mindedness

Sign of narrow mindedness: disbelieve something just because you don't understand it.

July 25, 2015

Difference Between Children And Adults

Costa Rica children
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Children are comfortable with their ignorance, adults are not.

July 17, 2015

Do We Really See What We See?

Long time ago, a young man paid a visit to a Zen master, asking for truth. The master welcomed young man by some tea: he poured tea from tea pot into tea cup. When the cup was full, he continued pouring, so tea overflowed. The young man asked: "The cup is full, why are you still pouring?" Answered the master: "You are right. If the cup is full, I would not be able to pour fresh tea in. Same as our heads, if they are full, now new ideas could be put in. So, do you have an empty head?"

This is a legendary tale in Zen history. In life I realized, so often our existing beliefs or knowledge would not only prevent us from learning new knowledge, as this Zen story implies, they also distort our observation. Some time we think we saw "fact", but we barely saw what we wanted to see. How I took this photo of gas light lamp is a perfect example:

One day I drove past an apartment gate I saw two gas light lamps hanging on each side of the stone gate wall. I decided to go back to take some pictures of them. In my memory, the frames of lamps were all black, and I was glad because the contrast between black lamp frames and stone gray background would make a perfect image. So I went back the second day with camera. To my disappointment, the lamp frames were not black, but steel gray, and they didn't make good contrast against background as I anticipated. I wonder if the dust on lamp surface make lamps looked gray, but after I checked I found that's not true, because it was rained earlier, the surface of lamps were perfectly clean. But why I remembered they were black? Then in a flash of moment I realized why: because all gas light lamps in my memory were black! That's why! That's how my "knowledge" distorted my observation: I "knew" gas light lamps were dark colored so I "saw" dark colored gas light lamps.

So this experience reminded me the Zen story of tea cup. I think the inspiration of this story is invaluable to human intelligence, that is, only when we empty our mind, put what we think we already knew aside, can we have fresh minds and eyes for truth.

July 16, 2015

"God Is Just" - A Truth Or An Excuse Of Selfishness

I say "God is just" is another convenient excuse for practice of selfishness, because if God is just, why do we have to help the poor? That's God's will!

Another argument for religious people on this subject would be, letting some people to be poor so others can help them is one of God's lesson, or "design", in order to let people to learn kindness. Really? How about those helpless, those who died in pain, suffering without cure? And is the lesson of kindness really worth thousands, millions sacrifices of life? Would those who were burned alive agree that their excruciating pain (actually I doubt "excruciating" is enough to describe how they felt) was a means used by God to educate others? If so, I would say this God is either unspeakably cruel, or incredibly dumb. Or both.


July 13, 2015

Selfishness

For the practice of (conscious or unconscious) selfishness, what is more convenient than being indifferent to others' suffering, is to deny the existence of it.

June 28, 2015

What Divides People?

It's not the difference among people but the fear of it that divides them.

May 6, 2015

Revisiting "Whispers And Lies" - A Masterpiece Of Mystery By Joy Fielding


If there is one suspense book that strikes me the most PSYCHOLOGICALLY, it's Whispers And Lies (referred as W&L below), by Joy fielding, one of my favorite contemporary mystery writers. I wrote a review years ago, but that's not enough. I even wrote an email to the author a while after I read the book and was thrilled to receive her kind reply. I also purchased a copy for my friend in China. How my friend enjoyed it I do not know (her English might be obstacle of enjoying the story thoroughly), but all these years, this book remains as the best psychological thriller to me, and that's why I purchased another copy recently, and re-read some of my favorite parts of it.

W&L starts slowly and gently, with the main character Terry Painter, a middle aged single woman and hard working nurse, interviewing her potential tenant of her cottage, the 29 year-old good looking Alison Simms:

"She said her name was Alison Simms.
The name tumbled slowly, almost languorously, from her lips, the way honey slides from the blade of a knife. ..."

April 15, 2015

Falling In Love With Photography

Life is full of surprises. At this moment that I thought I put art behind, I fall in love with art in different form: photography. I bought a DSLR camera, started shooting around during this love spring, and totally enjoy it!

In my past life I always liked to carry a camera with me during seasons, especially autumn and spring, but never thought to buy a good camera, because I never thought camera would make much difference. As an artist, I seemed to believe that composition was the most important element among almost any visual art forms. However, after purchasing this Canon EOS Rebel T5 1200d, a new world revealed before me! Technology does make difference: images look sharper, colors are more correct (which means more beautiful!), and I am able to take images during many different lighting conditions.

This is a new hobby to me, and I am very happy to explore this new world!




April 1, 2015

Put Art Behind - My New Art Webstie

Despite that I always know that art is not the best for me as a life time endeavor, and feel that art profession for me is overall like a very unhappy marriage which hindered many other interest of mine, I am still proud of what I've done in this field, professional or none professional wise.

Having not being able to focus on reading or writing for a while (due to my physical condition), I decided to re-organize my art works and put some of them into multiple art sale places to try my luck. I don't hold much hope on this task as I know art sale never is easy, especially, for a "retired" artist like me, who would not likely create many more works. I do this mostly just to put a big period mark to my past. I may paint or draw again sometime, but I am more than happy to move along, spend my rest of my life for something I wanted to do so badly but couldn't because of "art".

Goodbye art! No matter how many unhappy - sometime even miserable - moments we had together, I am willing to keep only happy ones in my memory, like how I remember Savannah.

My updated art blog (not completely done yet):
Mei's Art Works


March 21, 2015

Who Is To Blame?

Another of Leia in the tree sb900 used for lig...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Probably, so often the reason we (not all human beings but quite significant portion of them) don't like others' strange but harmless behaviors is not because we don't accept them by our moral standards, but because we are not comfortable about our own reactions. In other words, when facing some totally foreign or unconventional behaviors, we simply do not know how to react, so in order to prevent us from embarrassment of awkward reactions, we choose to blame others.

I myself is not completely from this ignorance, but at least now I know.

March 15, 2015

Childhood and self-esteem

Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey portret
Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey portret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(A re-post, slightly edited)

Agatha Christie said: "One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood."

If we take "love" - love in any form: romantic, family and friendship - as a proof of our life existence, love is certainly the most important aspect of life, because only if we appreciate our existence in the first place, are we able to fulfilled it. The more love we receive, the more meaningful and joyful we feel our life is. That’s’ why we all desperately search for love.

March 10, 2015

Focus

English: A lens showing the Sony Alpha mount w...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
An optimist focuses on positive side of reality; a cynic (or pessimist) focuses on negative; an objective, honest and courageous mind focuses on neither, but only the big picture, or whatever is "eye-catching".

March 3, 2015

Do You Play "Go" - A Game That Resembles Life?

English: weiqi-qi (go-qi) 中文: 圍棋的氣(以黑子為例說明,圖中 ...
English: weiqi-qi (go-qi) 中文: 圍棋的氣(以黑子為例說明,圖中 X 為黑子的氣。) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I first learned playing board game Go (Chinese 围棋, pronounce as Wei Qi) during my college years. I played a lot in my 20s, during which I had lots of free time. I was absolutely obsessed with this game. After I came to America, life as an immigrant became a survival struggle, I had no time for such luxury. Starting from recent months, as my general life condition gets better, I again indulge myself in this game.

The rule of the game is very simple: two opponents face an empty board with 19x19 grid (alternatives are 13x13, or 9x9, etc.), one side holds black stones, another white, place stones on board alternatively, each time one stone. The objective of the game is to occupy more space than your opponent when game finishes. Of course, there is certain rules of life and death, which means the stones on board have to stay alive, otherwise the space of dead stones would belong to opponent.

February 24, 2015

Stunningly Stupid Yet Disturbing Materialism Among Chinese Communities

A stack of Money/Picture of money (The followi...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last weekend while conversing with an acquaintance of mine about economy, I mentioned a person who I knew remotely, who saved $350,000 but soon lost majority of it in stock market. Right after I pronounced $350,000, my story was interrupted by this question: "What? 350 thousand you call it 'rich'"? I looked at him, knowing perfect why he presented such an out of context question, calmly looked at him in the eye and said: "$350,000 is a big number to me."

Of course, I didn't have to admit to him that I was "poor", since it's so obvious, but my point was to exhibit in front of him, that someone just didn't mind to admit how "poor" she was. According to current Chinese "fashion", it's utmost embarrassing to "uncover" your slim wallet. And I have to add, the "poverty line" set by these riches is very high!

February 22, 2015

Charlotte Bronte On Jane Austin

-----------------------------------
Charlotte Brontë on Jane Austen

I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s works—Emma—read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable. Anything like warmth or enthusiasm—anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstration the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood. Even to the feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition—too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study; but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores. She no more, with her mind’s eye, beholds the heart of her race than each man, with bodily vision, sees the heart in his heaving breast. Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete and rather insensible (not senseless) woman. If this is heresy, I cannot help it. If I said it to some people (Lewes for instance) they would directly accuse me of advocating exaggerated heroics, but I am not afraid of your falling into any such vulgar error.

 —Believe me, yours sincerely,
C. Brontë.
----------------------------------------------

I think this explains why I could not make myself into Jane Austin, though I tried several times.

February 19, 2015

The Profound Loneliness And Tenacious Reason Of Jane Eyre And Villette

Jane Eyre (1970 film)
Jane Eyre (1970 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I just can't get enough of Jane Eyre! Words cannot describe how much I love this book. Up to now, it sits undisputedly on the top of my favorite literature books, even on top of Les Miserable. Of course, I do not doubt the profoundness of Les Miserable regarding to human nature in general, but Jane Eyre is more special to me personally, as I feel related to "her" in so many ways.

Jane Eyre not only strikes me with her independence, as I put it in my previous post, but also with countless other aspects. For examples, her rebellious disposition - "I resisted all the way." (beginning of Chapter 2); her sharp inquiry about blind religious obedience, which is reflected in her friendship with Helen Burns; her unusually pre-matured intelligence, such as her quick learning ability, her art talent; and above all (even above her independence), Jane Eyre strikes me with her tenacious reason, which never gives way to her frail sentiment.

February 18, 2015

Dependence

It's OK to be dependent - as we are all humans and humans are social animals, which means we survive as groups, not individuals, but it's not "wise" to disappreciate the persons or things you depend on.

January 31, 2015

Stephen Fry On God

I admire his courage and intellectual sharpness, period!


January 29, 2015

Scientific Theory, Evolution (Quote)

English: This is a recreated vector image in S...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"...a scientific theory is not merely a best guess. It is a hypothesis that - through experiment after experiment, study after study, analysis after analysis - has yet to be refuted.

... evolution is not only a theory, it's also a fact. The key to understanding evolution is to recognize how it can be both:
As a fact: Evolution is simply genetic changes occurring through time in a group of individuals (a population, a species, and so on). Scientists know that these changes occur. They can see the changes, measure them; in many instances, figure out when they happened.
As a theory: Evolutionary theory seeks to explain what's responsible for the evolutionary process - in other words, what causes these changes. What scientists know today is that natural selection and genetic drift are two key forces driving these changes."

--- Evolution For Dummies, page 335-336, by Greg Krukonis, PhD, Tracy Barr,

January 27, 2015

Argument Is The Healthiest Thing In The World

English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies...
English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies debate at UNC in the New West building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have to just admit that I love argument*. I found dialectics is one of most charming art humans ever created. I also realized, my fondness of dialectics is one of primary reasons that many people stay away from me, and the reason for that, I found, is just that most people think disagreement is too unpleasant to handle.

January 25, 2015

Scientific Theories And Religious Theories - Are They Same Thing?

An engraving by Albrecht Dürer, from the title...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, near the end of my art class, a student asked me my opinions about religion and science. I was glad to talk about it, though obviously it's not the subject of my teaching. The discussion was interesting. I said that the difference between religion and science is that religion derives from our wish, science from facts. One of students immediately disagreed, saying science derives from theories as well as religion, and claimed that their science teachers told them so.

January 23, 2015

Why Is Art More Popular Than Literature?

Because it's easier and safer for us to pretend that we UNDERSTAND.

True of false?

January 22, 2015

How Can We Not "Offend" Anyone? Are We All Equally Guilty?

English: "How dare I, Mrs Reed? How dare ...
English: "How dare I, Mrs Reed?
How dare I? Because it is the truth."
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I consider myself a highly "self-principled" person regarding morality. However my principles are simple and fundamental, not emphasizes on behaviors, courtesy or any kind of superficial traditions, and they are not made by any other human beings but myself. In a word, I follow my inner voice.

My first moral principle is clear and firm: never do anything to purposely hurt anyone. Just like Jane Eyre, I learned kindness through my hardship: When I was bullied during my childhood, the pain I felt when I was savagely beaten, only "inspired" me to make resolution, that I would never exert the same kind of pain to any other persons. Yes, I learned that before I heard the name of Jesus Christ, or Buddha, or any other "Saint"'s voice. And I can proudly say that in my life I've never done anything purposely hurt anyone.

January 21, 2015

Monologues of Jane Eyre As (Once Again) An Outcast

Brilliant monologue and some excerpts from chapter 28, where Jane Eyre is again, an outcast, even faces the danger of starving to death.
-------------------------------
Not a tie holds me to human society at this moment--not a charm or hope calls me where my fellow-creatures are--none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me. I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose.

Jane Eyre - One Pair Of Feet Planted In Independence

(They say that Jane Eyre is a required reading materials for high-school students. So does this mean a high school student can have a decent understanding of this literature classic? I read it when I was 16 or 17, but what I understood back then? “None”(exaggeration I may. I loved the book and watched the movie 6 times!). Because over 30 years later I re-read this book again, it struck me anew, electrified me like no other books!)

Jane Eyre, an orphan, an outcast of her own kindred, a ward of abusive institution, grows into a well learned and highly intelligent young woman. She learned kindness through hardship, learned love through her hateful abusers. Beside all these qualities, she has an earnest disposition for independence, which strikes me the most. Jane RESISTS anything that imposes upon her without her consent, not only cruel abuses but also mellow sweet love. Nothing can stay her way to hinder the will of her own. Yet she is soft, kind, sensitive and forgiving.

January 20, 2015

Jane Eyre As A Begger - A scene Ignored By Screen Adaptations

When Jane Eyre leaves Thornfield with astonishing resolution, she drops the heavenly happiness behind, throws herself into an absolute unknown fate. She spends 2 days in a coach, which takes all the money she has, which drops her in middle of no where. In the following 2 days, she is nothing but a beggar - who is ready to give up her last bit of pride for a slice of bread.

Excerpts Of A Great Review of "Jane Eyre"

English: Portrait of Charlotte Brontë Русский:...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I only wish I could write a review that can truthfully reflect how I had been feeling these past several days of re-reading Jane Eyre, but I found such task is beyond my current English language skill. So to avoid putting myself in the risk of blaspheming a genius work I admire infinitely, I like to quote some words that I found from goodread, which are far more superior, and can do far better justice to this timeless masterpiece than any words I could contrive at this moment:

--------------------
...
Jane, you are not only the essence of womanhood at its best but the finest specimen of humanity - so refined, so just, so fragile yet so iron-solid. So full of scorn yet so humble. So elegant even in utter distress.

January 17, 2015

Susannah York And George Scott - The Best Jane and Rochester

To me (or to most Chinese people who were educated in 70s or 80s), the film adaption of Jane Eyre means only one: the one made in 1970, stars Susannah York and George Scott. It is the only one I watched, remembered and cherish since my teenage years.

The movie was relatively short, probably too short comparing with original, that's why I was disappointed the first time when I watched it. However, something dragged me back to theater, and after several times re-watching it, I had to admit, the power of the movie was almost equal to the book.

January 12, 2015

When Does Philosophy Begin?

Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt - particularly to doubt one's cherished beliefs, one's dogmas and one's axioms.
--- Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)

January 11, 2015

A Few Thoughts On "The Idiot"

After more than 2 weeks I finally "tottered" through over 600 pages of The Idiot. I first tried in Chinese translation, somehow could not stand it, then moved into English translations, jumped back forth between two different translations: one by Eva Martin, another by Henry and Olga Charliele. I found overall Eva Martin version was easier to read, but also bears a few "hard errors", which might not be such big deal (except one that made me very confused and I had to go to another version to clear it out). I checked on internet that the best translation should be the one by Pevear and Volokhonsky, so I ordered from amazon, decide that I will read it again, may be not whole 600 pages but at least some parts of it.

This is a book that I certainly would not take it "lightly", for it's philosophical profoundness. I personally feel related to the hero of the book, the prince Myshkin in many ways, though at my current age, I become more cynical than Myshkin in regard to this thing we call "human society". The prince Myshkin is known by Dostoyesky's readers as "Christ like", for me, he is nothing more than a pristine model of humanity, in contrast to most people (or majority of population), who are spoiled by qualities such as greed, ambition, vanity, etc.

January 9, 2015

Is Majority Always Innocent?

Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi, the founder of Hojjatie...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
People always separate "people" from "government", majority from a few "extremists", as if majority people are always innocent, and they are always victims of power classes. Truth is, any extreme religions, or any groups of religious fundamentalism, or any dictatorial systems, like those of in China, North Korea, LITERALLY can not exist without support of their majority of population. This is not to say that all those people are evils, but just that we cannot ignore a plain fact, which is how stupid we humans are, and how hopeless our situation is.

January 7, 2015

Can We Choose Our Emotions?

Emotions, especially the kind that are strong and destructive, such as rage, angry, feeling offended, are not something we can choose, or necessarily choose, but something we should learn to control.