Big Questions

As one travels through this journey of life there are some major questions that arise because of our consciousness. The really big questions. The great unknowns.

Some people may never spend much time pondering these things, to others they are of supreme importance. For me they are all absorbing.

Questions such as, Why is there something instead of nothing? - that's what is referred to as the first question of Philosophy from German Philosopher Gottfried Liebniz. That question alone is enough to contemplate without any others. There should after all just be nothing.

However other questions are equally profound and unanswerable also. The dimensions of the universe expand entirely beyond comprehension. What is the Universe expanding into?

I like to go out look at the milky way on a clear night with no moon. Then when one uses a pair of binoculars another whole myriad of hidden stars shows up.

Where does life come from? Where do we come from? What is the purpose of life? I know from some personal experiences that there is much more going on even in this life than we can possibly know or understand.

Can anyone contemplate the sun for instance and not think what an engine it is? or any star. Science finds out many things about how things work, and how things are, but it does not have the spiritual answers to some of the bigger questions.

I absolutely do not believe in the theory that everything suddenly appeared by itself from nothing. Nothing created everything? Watching the very start of the the big bang theory attempted to be explained on Discovery Channel by eminent scientists and physicists is truly absurd indeed, remarkably so. Always worth watching just to see how unconvincing this nonsense they struggle with is, how lost they actually are. They start of with words like might and possibly, then in the next sentence continue as if it were then an established fact.

The idea that life came from inanimate matter is another area I personally would struggle with.

Common Decency and Integrity

People are very much a product of their environment and upbringing.

Common decency can largely be summed up in the phrase 'consideration for others' or sometimes the word 'propriety,' which covers etiquette, civility, honour, integrity, honesty, uprightness, correctness, appropriateness, morality. Consideration for the well being of of others is always important, but it is most especially so if one takes on, or has any responsibilities towards others.

Where I grew up for instance there was a very, very clear distinction made between using any kind of falsehood or deceit and keeping to the truth. To willfully deceive using falsehood or only partial information was unacceptable to most and viewed as something similar to stealing. This was largely based on the great influence within that society of Biblical teachings and precepts.

A local saying in my Northern Ireland community was that 'you can protect yourself or your family from the strong man and even the thief, but you cannot protect yourself or your family from the liar.' How true that saying is.

Other things were clear in my society from New Testament influence. You never had anyone wait on payment for work for instance, they were paid when the work was done and not later. The person employed or doing a job for you would never have to ask for payment because they were kept waiting. Generally no one would contact someone to work for them unless they had the money already waiting, or some other mutually agreed plan was put in place.

Almost all values held could be summed up in what is known as the Golden Rule, do unto others. Some people held these values due to a strong theological influence, others from a strong intellectual sense and understanding of right and wrong.

There were also other sayings which reflected the strongly held values of that society such as humility. Humility and a real dislike for vain glorious boasting is normal in that society. One very true saying in this regard is "those that say don't know, those that know don't say." Another such saying was 'its nice to be important, but its more important to be nice.'

I dislike any kind of discrimination against anyone and consider it ugly, very ugly indeed. However bad ideas or any ideology opposed to the norms and values of a free and democratic society are not above criticism, and free speech in that regard is important.
'Old School' learning versus the 'entitlement generation' mentality.

When I learned Game Angling, fly-casting or fly-tying, or indeed any practical skill, it was considered as an apprenticeship. There was a long term learning curve expected and understood. You also learned best from others who really knew and gleaned knowledge from their experience. If that meant traveling to courses or noted overseas Instructors, then that's what you did if you were really interested in the subject.

Also fine tuning of specialised techniques can only occur when the basics are no longer an issue, when they are automatic and become effectively ones muscle memory. There are fine tuned techniques that can only be explored after the basics are automatic.

In Kyokushin Karate the discipline and long term learning is extreme. However great respect for all others and all effort or achievement involved is normal, critically all progress along the learning curve is respected no matter at what level it occurs. This is because everyone, no matter how skilled, had to progress along the learning curve from beginner. As the saying goes, I have nothing against beginners, I was once one myself.

When I learned fly-casting through an exercise system it was a similar discipline to Karate class type learning. Everything had to be built on solid basic technique. This foundation in technique learned through targeted exercises, in the instance of fly casting concentrating mainly on utilising the right type of leverage as you move the rod. The correct first class leverage as you make the correct rod tip path and rod position and angle change movements.

Every so often now I encounter people who seem to want to cast well within an hour or two. Some will tell me after a short time of practical and despite all the various faults they can't yet see, that they have it now. I told one such person that if he kept at double handed fly casting for the next few years, then he would probably start to really get it then.

I have occasionally seen that someone who has been given a basic exercise to practice, will after a only a few minutes start doing something else, if you ask them why they stopped doing the exercise they'll say "oh I got bored doing that." They simply never would have lasted on a course with Peter Anderson.

My mind then also reverts back to Karate class where there was a German Instructor, one who had learned off the Japanese directly for nine years. The discipline involved. Weeks, months and years of practice of the basics to perfect something. The idea of stopping or not keeping doing something you were told to practice because you felt like it, or making any decisions about any training yourself were simply non existent, you wouldn't even think about it.

Now I know you don't need that type of discipline for fishing fly-casting, but you won't master it really well with little or no concentrated effort either.

Any worthwhile skill may be really counter intuitive and normal muscle memories and tendencies have to be replaced to gain control. In Kyokushin Karate there is an astute saying which is, it takes 1000 repetitions (of correct form only) to learn something, it then takes about 10,000 repetitions for it to replace your muscle memory. I know that statement to be true. Mas Oyama takes this concept a little bit further in his quote below, but then he was no ordinary person.

The beauty about practical skills is the commonality of the basic technique carried into almost every cast, you learn one thing really well and find it is a basic and oft repeated component part of a cast. Also when you have learned something you only have to learn it once, you then carry it forward.

Isaiah 53 
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
John 4
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

John 8
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.