The Good Husband

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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sue hindmarsh
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The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:50 pm

In a documentary about the 1987 London Underground fire, a fireman tells how he was overcome by heat and smoke. Unable to move, he believes he is going to die. He accepts his fate knowing that he is leaving his wife well taken care of and the mortgage paid. He doesn’t die, and lives to tell his story.

Duly he will be considered by his ilk as a saint for being such a good husband - though not by me, I felt like puking. How mediocre can you get! He’d obviously given up on life a long time ago. If his only thought at death was about having paid off the mortgage, then he might as well never have been born.

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Cahoot
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Cahoot » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:16 am

“Rosebud” ...

He said it was his only thought? If so, sounds like death’s proximity put him into a state of dharana.

It sounds like he was saying that his mind was at peace, and he gave a reason why. To do all that one can for a beloved, no matter who that is, can be a source of peace. Actions born of love.

To be at peace. To die at peace though the world is seemingly chaotic requires being at peace. A well-informed peace of mind. What better purpose of spirituality?

A paid-off mortgage is no small thing, and to have the final thought be of a protective nature towards the beloved ... Good Man. Had he died his wife would have had a home. Without worries about shelter, a less stressful circumstance for her. An opportunity for her to then discover, or reclaim, peace of mind. He gave her a great gift.

But I get your point, Sue Hindmarsh. Reducing the meaning of a lifetime down to a paid-off mortgage (or a red sled) does, on the surface, sound shallow enough to puke. Or poignant enough to weep. Or ho hum. Depends on your pov.

And of course, a home is not required for peace of mind, for either the fireman or his wife.

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sue hindmarsh
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Cahoot,

You sound in two minds: you describe the husband as a “good man” for his efforts to secure his wife’s future, but also see my point that the husband’s life could be considered a “shallow” one.

It appears to me that your confusion comes from a misunderstanding of the importance of the spiritual. For one thing you conclude that “peace of mind” is the “purpose of spirituality”. But one’s peace of mind is a transient thing, dependent on circumstances. For example, had the husband not finished paying off the mortgage he’d be at death’s door worrying about how the wife would keep up the payments. Spirituality is absolutes, an example being that all things are transient. If this had been the husband’s dying thought, then perhaps his life would have had some meaning, but instead his were shallow.

You also mentioned something about “depends on your pov”. My point of view is that the husband’s last thought is mediocre. He showed no knowledge of the spiritual. His only offering is as an example of how not to live – though in that, he has plenty of company.

With your last idea about a home not being required for peace of mind, you give another example of the transient nature of the concept of 'peace of mind'.

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jupiviv
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:49 pm

Cahoot wrote:To be at peace. To die at peace though the world is seemingly chaotic requires being at peace. A well-informed peace of mind. What better purpose of spirituality?
If the peace of mind is based in delusion, then it's not the spiritual sort of mind. Most suicide bombers are probably also in a state of calmness before they blow themselves up, but that is not a spiritual state of mind(at least not according to how I define the word "spiritual").

Personally, I think the man is lying. It's precisely because he lived that he can express his thoughts before death. He is probably too afraid to even think about what really went through his mind.

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Cahoot
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Cahoot » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:22 pm

Hi Sue

Peace of mind is the constant.

Jupi mentions delusion. Delusion obscures the constant. To that I’ll add that actions intended by attachment to delusion, whether or not one knows this is going on in their life, perpetuates delusion.

Circumstances, mortgages, meanings, the assigning of importance, judging the worth of another life, opinions about spirituality, the physical body and other perceived forms ... these are the transient.

The fireman may not have been spiritually inclined, though he likely had a spiritual experience. Death comes to all of us, don’t you know. At least, death of form as we perceive it.

They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Think that's true?

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sue hindmarsh
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:38 pm

Hi Cahoot,
You wrote:
Peace of mind is the constant.

Delusion obscures the constant.
Your ‘constant’ therefore can’t be all that constant if delusion so readily disrupts it.

Maybe if you define what you think “peace of mind” is it will clear up the ‘constant’ issue.
To that I’ll add that actions intended by attachment to delusion, whether or not one knows this is going on in their life, perpetuates delusion.
Yes, whatever the attachment, your actions will express it.
Circumstances, mortgages, meanings, the assigning of importance, judging the worth of another life, opinions about spirituality, the physical body and other perceived forms ... these are the transient.
“All is transient” - an absolute and therefore eternal.
The fireman may not have been spiritually inclined, though he likely had a spiritual experience.
I think Jupiviv’s on to something when he says the husband was probably lying about what his dying thoughts were. The good husband may not have been such a good husband after all. His last thoughts were probably more along the line of how angry his wife was going to be when she discovered his stash of porn hidden in the garden shed; or, that he was really pissed off that he wouldn't be given the chance to have a drink of the good scotch he'd been saving for a special occasion; or,...
Death comes to all of us, don’t you know. At least, death of form as we perceive it.
That’s another thought the husband could have had that would have made his life not a complete waste of time: death is an illusion.
They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Think that's true?
I don’t know about in foxholes, but they are definitely thin on the ground.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Cahoot » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:13 am

Peace of mind can be called unconditioned awareness.

I agree that peace of mind cannot be disrupted.

However it can be obscured by attachment to delusion, as mentioned. A disruption caused by conditioned attachment to delusion can be that which obscures. For instance, fearing the inevitable death, or fearing what is perceived as death via changing form, or fearing any other inevitable, is a delusion that obscures peace of mind.

The imminence of the change called death can remove what obscures peace of mind.

Whether or not the fireman can accurately assess and communicate this, or if the event happened at all, are matters of speculation subject to varying degrees of probability. The mediocrity of his life, if he is lying, or if a reporter put words into his mouth to push a propagandizing fairy tale can be inferred, though inferences are based on evidence of one sort or another. Evidence such as what one knows of events, of human nature, firemen, women, beliefs, and so on.

Inferences can also be influenced by conditioned attachments to delusion that obscure unconditioned awareness.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:58 pm

Cahoot wrote:Peace of mind can be called unconditioned awareness.
What do you mean by "unconditioned"? If you mean something like "uncaused" then I would say there is no such thing.
I agree that peace of mind cannot be disrupted.
It can be disrupted, just like a cup can be broken.
Peace of mind is the constant.
It is the constant only if you define it to be *everything*, in which case it wouldn't be awareness.
Jupi mentions delusion. Delusion obscures the constant.

Yes, delusion prevents us from becoming aware of the true nature of everything(or it "obscures" it as you say), but delusion itself has this nature.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:16 pm

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:I think Jupiviv’s on to something when he says the husband was probably lying about what his dying thoughts were. The good husband may not have been such a good husband after all. His last thoughts were probably more along the line of how angry his wife was going to be when she discovered his stash of porn hidden in the garden shed; or, that he was really pissed off that he wouldn't be given the chance to have a drink of the good scotch he'd been saving for a special occasion; or,...
That's not what I meant, although that may well have been the case. I was talking about something a bit deeper. I've never faced death myself, but I can imagine that if a man were to sincerely think about death, i.e, about the prospect of being no more, then the first question that would arise in his mind would be something like - "what am I?" Since death is that which is clearly not me, it clarifies the thought of the "me". That is essentially what religion is about - the nature of our own being.

Of course, this thought probably occurs only once or twice in a man's life, if ever. In a woman's life it probably never occurs at all. Anyways, even if the fireman had this thought, he's probably too afraid to have it again let alone talk about it to his loved ones or the media.

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Blair
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Blair » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Cahoot wrote:there are no atheists in foxholes.
there are no god believers on the moon.

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sue hindmarsh
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:39 pm

jupiviv wrote:
I was talking about something a bit deeper. I've never faced death myself, but I can imagine that if a man were to sincerely think about death, i.e, about the prospect of being no more, then the first question that would arise in his mind would be something like - "what am I?" Since death is that which is clearly not me, it clarifies the thought of the "me".

Yes, it would have been quite something if at that moment he had considered the nature of existence. I conclude that he would not have done so, with my thoughts why that would be in the end paragraph.
That is essentially what religion is about - the nature of our own being.
When you say “religion” I can’t imagine you mean the average garden varieties that only exist to titillate the ego. Perhaps a reader of say, some of the Buddhist texts might be drawn to consider the true nature of the self, but that too is very rare.
Of course, this thought probably occurs only once or twice in a man's life, if ever. In a woman's life it probably never occurs at all. Anyways, even if the fireman had this thought, he's probably too afraid to have it again let alone talk about it to his loved ones or the media.
The husband was just that: a husband. If he had ever considered the nature of reality he would have done so when he was young. He married, and then any thoughts that could upset his comfortable little world would have quickly been pushed away. Submerged in the world of Woman and he, for all intents and purposes, became a woman. Thoughts to do with reality could never touch his mind again.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Alex Jacob » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:52 am

Submerged in the world of Woman and he, for all intents and purposes, became a woman.
But in your case, unless I am mistaken, you started off this way!

When David Quinn married you, and then impregnated you, you had a child and you are a mother. What is your child's name? Did you care for him? Did you love him? Or did you just stare down at the little body and just say 'lump of flesh', 'nothing', 'not-mine'? I wonder if you just got up and walked away?
Thoughts to do with reality could never touch his mind again.
Could I infer from this that you, Sue, have not had a thought that actually had to do with 'reality'?

That would be, of course, an ironical reading!
Ni ange, ni bête

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:02 am

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:When you say “religion” I can’t imagine you mean the average garden varieties that only exist to titillate the ego.
No I don't, although that is the stated goal of every religion. Some religious people do think about such things, but their thought is severely stunted.
The husband was just that: a husband. If he had ever considered the nature of reality he would have done so when he was young. He married, and then any thoughts that could upset his comfortable little world would have quickly been pushed away. Submerged in the world of Woman and he, for all intents and purposes, became a woman. Thoughts to do with reality could never touch his mind again.
Men try to become as unconscious as possible through women, friends, work etc., but they generally tend to possess a solid core of masculinity that is very hard to eliminate. It may occasionally come to the fore in their lives, especially in situations like the one which the fireman was in.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Cahoot » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:26 am

Jupi wrote:What do you mean by "unconditioned"? If you mean something like "uncaused" then I would say there is no such thing.
Consider that the awareness accessible by a Pavlovian dog has been conditioned, so that when it hears a sound, it has a discernible response. Awareness has been influenced by the arbitrary association of that particular sound with that particular physical response.

In the case of awareness accessible by an UnPavlovian dog, unconditioned awareness would be: at the sound of the bell, no urge to spit.

What do you mean by “uncaused”?

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:44 am

Cahoot wrote:What do you mean by “uncaused”?
Something that exists inherently, without being caused by that which is not itself. Any finite thing is caused, be it an enlightened being or a dog.

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sue hindmarsh
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:57 pm

jupiviv wrote:
Men try to become as unconscious as possible through women, friends, work etc., but they generally tend to possess a solid core of masculinity that is very hard to eliminate.
The “solid core” takes what form?

What sort of things could eliminate it?
It may occasionally come to the fore in their lives, especially in situations like the one which the fireman was in.
I agree that the way one faces the concept of death shows up our strengths and weaknesses.

What strength (or weakness) do you see in the fireman’s situation?

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Alex, you appear to be taking a census. I’ll go along since you’re so interested.

Name: ‘as above’
Age: 53
Sex: Female
Status: Single
Children: Two - one female aged 30, an artist & one male aged 20, a student. Both live out of home with their partners.
And I don’t think about mortgages.
...
That’s it.

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Cahoot
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Cahoot » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:35 am

jupiviv wrote:
Cahoot wrote:What do you mean by “uncaused”?
Something that exists inherently, without being caused by that which is not itself. Any finite thing is caused, be it an enlightened being or a dog.
Considering scientific evidence that atoms appear to interact, the postulate that a finite thing is caused by that which is not itself invites inquiry into the nature of separation, and the nature of the boundary that delineates separation.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:30 am

Cahoot wrote:Considering scientific evidence that atoms appear to interact, the postulate that a finite thing is caused by that which is not itself invites inquiry into the nature of separation, and the nature of the boundary that delineates separation.
The boundary of a thing is that which is not itself, and thus the thing itself is completely devoid of a boundary. Conversely, the thing is the boundary of that which is not itself. So here is separation, but this separation is itself unity.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:45 am

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:jupiviv wrote:
Men try to become as unconscious as possible through women, friends, work etc., but they generally tend to possess a solid core of masculinity that is very hard to eliminate.
The “solid core” takes what form?
Consistency of thought, action etc.
What sort of things could eliminate it?

Potentially, an infinite number of things. When I said "very hard to eliminate" I was speaking relatively. The rationality of men is harder to eliminate than the rationality of women or children.
It may occasionally come to the fore in their lives, especially in situations like the one which the fireman was in.
I agree that the way one faces the concept of death shows up our strengths and weaknesses.

What strength (or weakness) do you see in the fireman’s situation?
If we are to believe what he said, then the fact that he was thinking about his wife and paying off the mortgage even when he realised he would die shows a certain masculinity. He was aware of the fact that his life would have consequences. Other than that I can't say, because I don't know enough about him.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:41 pm

Jupiviv,

Adding to your description of the “solid core of masculinity” is the ability to think past your own self/ego. That’s how the masculine mind is capable of degrees of consistency. It is also one of the reasons the rationality of man, as you say, is harder to eliminate than the rationality of women or children. And having a mind that can look back on itself, able to consider consequences and make judgments, is a prerequisite for spirituality. The fireman’s masculinity doesn’t appear to be of a spiritual bent, but I agree it is there in the way he showed consideration for his wife’s future wellbeing over his own.

Possessing a masculine mind comes with responsibilities. Using your life to its full potential is the goal. The fireman’s life may well have been as I said in my first post, steeped in mediocrity, but the shame of it comes from the fact that he obviously has the potential for a life lived more towards the rational. So many people do, but those “infinite number of things” potentially keep them stuck in the worldly mire.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by jupiviv » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:16 pm

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:Adding to your description of the “solid core of masculinity” is the ability to think past your own self/ego.
Indeed. You can't think consistently if you are being interrupted by selfish desires and fears.
The fireman’s masculinity doesn’t appear to be of a spiritual bent
Masculinity(rationality) is spiritual to begin with. However, it exists in differing degrees, as you said.
but I agree it is there in the way he showed consideration for his wife’s future wellbeing over his own.

I don't think he's a "good" man in the sense of being truly selfless, since he probably considered his wife to be a part of himself. It was a relief to him to think that at least that part of him would continue being happy and secure.

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Tomas
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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Tomas » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:08 am

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:In a documentary about the 1987 London Underground fire, a fireman tells how he was overcome by heat and smoke. Unable to move, he believes he is going to die. He accepts his fate knowing that he is leaving his wife well taken care of and the mortgage paid. He doesn’t die, and lives to tell his story.

Duly he will be considered by his ilk as a saint for being such a good husband - though not by me, I felt like puking. How mediocre can you get! He’d obviously given up on life a long time ago. If his only thought at death was about having paid off the mortgage, then he might as well never have been born.
Heck yeah, what a deadbeat. Rescuing others even though he may be burned much less, die. What a fricking loser! Geez, this lowlife personally pulled out 7 survivors. Unfortunately, 31 didn't make it out alive to kiss their son, daughter (or the ground) goodbye.

Damn, a good husband sacrificing this one life so that others may live another day.

...While Sue was watching the docu-drama eating popcorn she thinks about .. the hidden stash of vintage porn...

See the 3-minute video of the firemen (and a few good husbands) sitting and laying about.

-King's Cross fire 1987 news footage-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj21xNbNKBQ
Don't run to your death

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by sue hindmarsh » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:47 am

Tomas,

This thread is in celebration of the masculine. The men and women who are employed to fight fires show a degree of masculinity that is most obvious.

The fireman possesses the seeds of masculinity, but that potential needs to be nurtured if it is to mature. Allowing the mental space to do so is impossible when you have dedicated your life to a wife, children and paying off a mortgage. His job too requires a high degree of dedication.

Knowing first the truth about existence makes working out what to do with your life very simple, for then you know where your true potential lies. You may then decide to work as a fire fighter, marry, have children and a mortgage, or not – either way, you will know the consequences of your actions.

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Re: The Good Husband

Post by Tomas » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:32 pm

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:I think Jupiviv’s on to something when he says the husband was probably lying about what his dying thoughts were. The good husband may not have been such a good husband after all. His last thoughts were probably more along the line of how angry his wife was going to be when she discovered his stash of porn hidden in the garden shed; or, that he was really pissed off that he wouldn't be given the chance to have a drink of the good scotch he'd been saving for a special occasion; or,...
On the first underline regarding Jupiviv, isn't Jupiviv a girl?

The second underline I was led to believe that you said she found some porn or why would a fireman care about porn on his potential deathbed? Or was that your imagination running wild?

The third underline is when a fire alarm sounds you risk your life sober or if at a dinner party with a couple martini's and the beeper goes off you respond by "duty calls". The battalion chief will determine whether you are fit to fight or not so. It wouldn't matter too much responding to a pickup truck fire as plenty of hands would be on scene. But an apartment fire with several screaming tenants waving at their windows the chief would send someone else in to do the rescuing.

Hardly any time to muse about some porno...

But then, you've never been under the gun?

Other than delivering two healthy children :-)

Happy Valentine Day, Miss Sue...

PS - The girlfriend (of 45 years) said I am permitted to blow you a kiss-kiss
Don't run to your death

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