Author Archive: jackcollier7

Expectations Are Not Reality

If you expect nothing you cannot be disappointed.

In the morning the Sun will rise, I will get on with Life as best as I can, and around 12 hours later the Sun will go down again.  The weather men say that here in Southern California it will be warm and sunny tomorrow.  I fully expect and believe that these things will happen.  Based on everything I know these are reasonable expectations.

However, along with most people I have ever met, I am also prey to many unreasonable expectations.  I expect everyone to be polite and courteous.  I expect everyone to always act with temperance, reasonableness, self-control, and self-discipline.  I expect my Government to act for the benefit of the majority of the people.  I expect to go on improving in body, mind, and spirit.  I expect my ‘friend’ to share my enjoyment of life and fall in with my desires.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.  –  Bruce Lee

These above are not really expectations; these are wants, needs, and things I would like to happen.  And you know what?  In the broad scheme of things, what I would like matters little to anyone but me.  In the broad scheme of things nobody cares what I want, need, desire, and expect.

Nobody and nothing is perfect, and yet, deep down, I expect some things to be perfect; especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships.  That’s never going to happen.

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they truly are.  –  Donald Miller

Some say that if you accept that your glass will never be more than half-full then you cannot be disappointed.  And that, Life is nothing but pain, toil, sweat, hardship, and difficulties.  All I know is that there are some things I am not prepared to accept.

If nothing changes, then nothing changes.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  –  Einstein

We may have wants, needs, desires, dreams, and expectations, but none of those ephemeral things will ever happen unless we work toward them.  And, the first thing to do is to leave behind us the stuff in our life that just doesn’t work, will never truly work, and will never come up to our expectations.  Why go on flogging a dead horse?

If any of you have ever attended a 12 step meeting, or even otherwise, then you may be familiar with the Serenity Prayer.  I have my own version;

Grant me the courage to leave behind the things I cannot change,

The strength to change the things I can,

And, the wisdom to know the difference.

This presupposes that I am in control of my own destiny – but if I am not, then what is the point of it all?

We are each entitled to have expectations.  The mark of a truly enlightened person is that they act reasonably if their expectations are not met.

Part of being reasonable means having sound judgment.  It is always my hope that my judgment is sound enough to tell me what I should just leave behind, and what I should try to change.

I expect that I will get it wrong a lot of the time.

jack collier


Opportunity may only knock once…


The Earth Is A Sphere

You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself.  –  Galileo

Actually the Earth is an oblate spheroid; but as it has only a third of one-percent variation from a perfect sphere, to all intents and purposes the Earth is a sphere with a diameter of 7,918 miles.  Taking into account the atmosphere, mountains, and ocean’s, this planet is a gigantic billiard-ball coated with the thinnest film of moisture.

In the fourth century Before Christ. the Greek philosopher Aristotle postulated that the Earth was a sphere; based on his own astronomical and other observations.  In particular; the stars in the Southern Hemisphere differ from those in the Northern Hemisphere, the shape of the Earth’s shadow as the moon waxes and wanes, and the way a ship slowly disappears over the horizon as it sails away.  Aristotle probably based his theories on the earlier work of Pythagoras from the sixth century BC.

Both Pythagoras and Aristotle were ‘proper’ scientists / philosophers in that they would not accept that something was true just because the majority / a lot of people said it was so.  A properly educated man goes out and finds the truth, no matter what some may say.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.  –  Aristotle

Pythagoras is credited with the proof of many aspects of geometry, but there is no evidence that he mastered the spherical geometry needed to properly navigate long distances on Earth.

However, by the 16th century enough was known of spherical geometry for the ship Victoria to circumnavigate the Earth between the years 1519 – 1522 under the command of Magellan and then Elcano.  With today’s modern technologies an aircraft taking off from anywhere, and flying in any direction, will, without changing course, end up back at the airfield it took off from.

This is only possible because the Earth is a sphere.  You cannot circumnavigate a flat Earth.

Many other things we take for granted are only possible because the Earth is a sphere; gravity, long distance travel, satellite navigation, national television, long-distance telephone calls, space travel, night and day, the season’s, oh…. and did I mention gravity?

Why is it then, that some people stubbornly cling to the mistaken belief that the Earth is flat?  Leaving aside that there is a fool born every minute, these ‘Flat Earthers’ point to the evidence of their own eyes, the world outside my front door looks flat – therefore the Earth is flat…QED. By that argument I could say that because I have once met a fool, all men are fools – and because I once met a slut, all women are sluts.

(Actually this is a tenable argument known as The Theory of Mediocrity.)

Some say that all men are fools.  And that all women are sluts.  All I know is that all things are true some of the time, in the same way that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I am prepared to believe in some Very Strange Things; the interconnectedness of all things, spooky connections between people, extraterrestrial civilisations,  that the past, present and all possible futures run concurrently….  But I am not prepared to believe in; the literal truth of the Bible, nor that the Earth is flat.

I am of the opinion that people who truly believe in those two things, (the Bible and a flat Earth), are closed-minded and have never been outside of their own county.  But then, I am myself opinionated, judgmental, highly educated, well-travelled, and well-read.  I also strive to walk the warrior’s path with sincerity, honesty, humility, and courage – every single damn day.  Which makes whom the better person?

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not a temporary act, but a life-long habit.  –  Aristotle

Outside of my garret’s door is a path.  I can walk along that path, and if I go far enough in a straight line, then in a couple of years I will arrive back at the garret again.  This is only possible because the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are Not Fucking Flat.

No matter who wants to argue otherwise.

jack collier



a clever charlatan can fool some of the people all of the time


Scenes on Sunday – Flowers

Every flower is love blossoming in nature.

jack collier


I am nearer your heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on Earth


Perfection Is An Illusion

It never rains in Southern California.

Last night it rained here in Orange County.  It rained hard, it rained for a long time, and it was decidedly chilly; which is a change from the perfect weather I’ve come to expect here.  In SoCal I have come to expect perfectly blue skies and perfectly warm sandy beaches.  But then, nothing is ever truly perfect,  not even you or I, and it is our own imperfections that make us who we are.

Each person is unique, and each of us bears the scars of our past, suffers the stresses of the present, has hopes and fears for all possible futures.  Each of is a kaleidoscope of conflicting thoughts, emotions, and character traits.  All of us has character defects and personality problems to one degree or another.

Each of us has been hurt, suffered, tried and failed, and had Pyrric victories.  Each of brings into the present physical, mental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wounds from the past.  Right now all of us has difficulties to overcome or tolerate.  We may have emotional, financial, medical, relationship, or spiritual problems; or all of those and more.

But then, we are not perfect.

There is no cure for imperfection.  There is no mileage in blaming others for our pain, problems, and thwarted desires.  And, yet we do blame our partners, lovers, ‘friends’, employers, the government….. for our own imperfections.  We become angry, depressed, frustrated,  impulsive, jealous, judgmental, and sometimes dangerous.  We criticise and blame.

Why do you look at the mote in your brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the beam in your own eye?  –  Matthew 7.5

Some say that Life is difficult and painful.  And that it is only through suffering that we can ever hope to achieve enlightenment.  All I know is that it has been my own wants, lusts and desire for instant gratification that has caused my problems and pain.

The way to freedom from suffering and pain is through self-control in body mind and spirit.  Striving for perfection is to chase a wraith… an illusion.  Better to strive to grow, to develop and evolve, to be a ‘better’ person today than we were through all of our yesterday’s.  Better yet to walk the warrior’s path with grace, honour, honesty, and openness towards an enlightened future.

I strive each day to be more accepting, less judgmental, more honest and open, kinder and more understanding than I was in the past.  I try each day to be fitter and healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

But then, I am not perfect.


jack collier


if I am not careful I can become Mr. Hyde


View from a window seat

Air Travel Is Hurry up and wait.

But sometimes there are some great views.

View from the aircraft flying from San Jose to Orange County.  How cool is that?

jack collier


Marmaduke will like the picture



au revoir England

Life is a journey ~ enjoy the ride.

At 06:00 Greenwich Mean Time (UTC) this morning a car is picking me up to take me to the airport.  I fly out of Newcastle upon Tyne at 09:35, and eventually land at John Wayne airport in Orange County, California at 20:32 local.

Last evening I had some strange misgivings about this whole vacation.  Ah well, I can always spend a few weeks on a long solo road trip.  I do like to spend some quiet time just looking at the sky.

This was the view I had from the garret early this morning.

Here it’s a nice day right now, but we’re due for some brutal weather soon.  Mostly, I’m glad that I’m not going to be here to suffer through it.

My teddy bear, Marmaduke, so wanted to come along that he tried to hide in my bag.  I’m sad for him that there just wasn’t the room this trip.


jack collier


maybe next time Marmy


The Earth Is Not Flat

You cannot hide the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Some millions of people aver that the Earth is flat ~ there are books, Facebook pages, groups, magazines, religions, societies, Tweets, websites, and YouTube videos devoted to the idea that the Earth is not a sphere.  And, do you know what?  On a day-to-day basis, the ‘Flat Earth’ concept works perfectly well ~ going from here to my local store I don’t have to take into account the curvature of the Earth.  If I can triangulate a position I can ignore the curvature of the Earth and treat the triangle as though the world was flat.

But, and here’s the thing, tomorrow I’m flying from England to California, and if the navigation system in the aircraft is programmed to think the world is a flat plane then I’m totally screwed.  In any event, I’m pretty certain that we will be flying a great circle course over the North Pole, and that wouldn’t work if the Earth was, indeed, flat.

On a clear day in California, standing on the shore, looking out over the Pacific Ocean, one can actually see the curvature of the Earth at the horizon.  The ‘Flat Earthers’ have a lot of explanations and arguments against that simple observation ~ but then, by definition, a flat earther is out of touch with reality.

Just because a lot of people believe something does not make it true.  Just because a charismatic guru / leader / speaker / teacher says something does not make it true.  Just because your religion has a specific article of faith does not make it true.  Just because your counsellor / priest / therapist, or your ‘higher power’ says something does not make it true.  Just because your ‘group’ collectively agrees on something does not make it true.  Just because I write something here does not make it true for you.

You have to grow from the inside out.  None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.  There is no other teacher but your own soul.  ~  Vivkananda

Nothing is real except that you are a spiritual, emotional, thinking, physical being ~ and the things you believe in may not be true, but they may be very useful to you.  Only the insane do not try to make sense of the world.  We attempt to give meaning to everything we encounter, and every experience we have.  As an adult this gives us an habitual way of thinking, a rule book, and a map of our own world ~ mostly these serve us well and allow us to survive and thrive in a complex environment.

Reality is merely an illusion. albeit a very persistent one.  ~  Albert Einstein

But sometimes our internal rule book, our reality, and our map of the world is wrong, untrue, limiting, imprisoning, and dangerous.  This particularly applies if our map of the world has been unduly influenced by others ~ or if negative events in our past have twisted the way that we view the world and the people in it.  (And, that applies to 99.9999% of the people on this planet.)

You are creating your next moment based on what you are feeling and thinking.  That is what’s real.  ~  Doc Childre

Most of us have within us the capacity to transcend who we are today, to become a ‘better’ person, to achieve things that we thought were impossible for us.  Mostly we need to change our rule book, to reframe our internal map, have an open mind, be prepared to take another path, in order to change and grow.

I know that’s difficult ~ for some it’s impossible.  But, if you have taken the time to read this post, and the time to try and understand it, then you have it within you to truly walk the warrior’s path with grace, honour, and your eyes on the far horizon.

Which is curved, because, like the sun and the moon, the Earth is not flat.

The truth is out there.


jack collier



If you didn’t laugh you’d cry.

The News from England is utterly depressing.

We have a pretty serious argument with Russia over the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter, just a stone’s throw from the 13th Century Salisbury Cathedral.  Some of our left-leaning politicians seem to support Russia over this atrocity.

We have very serious arguments among ourselves over the fateful decision to leave Europe, (Brexit).  Alongside that we have continuous disagreements with the European Union over just about everything.

Up in the North, (actually south of where I live), there are ongoing scandals about the grooming of young white girls for sex by much older Asian men, (mostly Moslems).  Because the fear of seeming to be racially prejudiced the police and everyone else with official responsibility has been turning a blind eye to this for years. (Not just in the North ~ Asian men all over England have been engaged in this disgusting criminal practice for decades.)

Meanwhile, anyone from outside Britain with anti-Muslim views, who wants to take advantage of our freedom of speech laws and actually talk about it here is banned from entering the country.

One of best-loved comedians, Ken Dodd, has just died.  One of his one-liners; ‘I haven’t spoken to my wife for 18 months.  I don’t like to interrupt her…’

And, the weather here is about to get worse… again.  Cold, gales, grey skies, rain, thunderstorms.  What fun.  I’m glad I won’t be here to see that because I fly to Southern California in 2 days.  Sadly poor Marmaduke won’t be my travelling companion on this vacation.  I’ve decided to heed my own advice, (borrowed from hordes of previous travellers), take half as much luggage as you think you need and twice as much money.  Leaving England right now will be such a wrench, (irony).

England, this Sceptred Isle, this other Eden, this precious stone set in the silver sea.  ~  Shakespeare, Richard II.

I won’t be following the news at all while I’m in California ~ I don’t want to be depressed while I’m on vacation.


jack collier


the beaches of Orange County


They Cut Down All The Trees

Life without trees is life without Love.

The street where I live is under serious redevelopment, which involves making a tremendous amount of mess.  It also means that the contractors have cut down all the mature trees which used to line both sides of the street, and surround the old church, (which is now actually an art gallery).

Perhaps the redevelopment is a good idea, and the place will look much better when it’s all finished, but cutting down all the trees is just urban vandalism.

Where I live now looks as though urban riots / a small war has just been through there.

And, the old church / art gallery now looks utterly bereft.  All such a shame.


jack collier


As you can tell,

it’s still raining cats and dogs here.


Scenes on Sunday ~ Orange County

When you are tired of California you are tired of Life.

Orange County in Southern California is one of my favourite places in the world ~ say right up there alongside Tuscany in Northern Italy.  I’m visiting SoCal next week, but here are some pictures from my last trip there.







jack collier

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