Friday, March 30, 2012

The Mind of God Part 2: We Are All Judges

The Mind of God Part 2: We Are All Judges

To start I want to breifly address the issue of misguided terminology and the word faith once more, so that it's been stated as a part of this series. 'Faith', amongst other words, is, in my opinion, one of the most misused terms. I hear a lot of people trying to use "faith" as if it were tied down only to Religion. I'm sure a few of you remember me touching on this briefly in some old posts, but I think it's important to reiterate. Faith is trust in your beliefs. Belief is personal. Either you believe in this or in that, in some thing or in no thing, in Science or Religion, fact or fiction, we all have belief and because our beliefs are what we hold true to ourselves, we put our trust in their validity. We put our faith in what we believe to be true. Plain and simple.

Saying that Faith is a silly thing is saying that belief is a silly thing and it's time we end this war on the word "faith" because, though it holds association with Religion, it should not. It's a vital word that lends itself to a certain description beyond the simple word trust. If someone says "I trust you", that's pretty good. If someone says, "I have faith in you." That sounds even better. Both sentences mean the same thing, but one carries a certain emotional weight to it that the other does not. Trust and faith are the same, both connect to belief, if you have faith or put trust in someone, you believe in them.

Misguided terminology runs rampant amongst humans. Its sibling is of course, misinterpretation. Both lead to misinformation. The spread of this misinformation is what promotes and makes way to further misgivings and misunderstandings, and the more we break all these down we will see that there is so much being missed. That is the prefix afterall. And all of these things are the components of Judgment.
I think an essential step to understanding "The Mind of God" is working tirelessly, throughout your life, to do away with misguided terminology, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding to help not lead  to misinformation. A synonym to serve simpler purpose throughout this post would be the word "bias". Bias also being a synonym for "prejudice". Are you starting to see how such simple things are so incredibly connected, and how they lead to dangerous conclusions? No one wants to be prejudiced against (in their right minds at least), to experience bias, and to represent misinformation. But that is life. We are all guilty of degrees of these things from birth until death, of passing judgment onto others. To be completely pure of this is impossible, but we can try our damnedest to be us uncharacteristic of these things as possible. There is accomplishment in that. All of us are inevitably guilty of doing these things. If you believe you have never and will never judge another person, I can guarantee you've already done it and will continue to do so until the day you die. And it's okay. We're only human.

Misguided terminology is much of what I prefaced in Part 1, that because of certain influence, bias, misrepresentation, misunderstandings, we associate specific things with nonspecific things. Like when I say God, you may think Christianity or Judaism, or when I say Allah you may think Islam. But it's only because of thousands of years of specific Religious and non Religious influences that we are led to paint the face of various things or people onto the face of God. God does not have a face, you cannot picture God. God is humanized by our necessity to understood its mysticism.

Humans also seem to have an innate need and desire to classify, our instinct to judge. Social groups exist in thousands of species of animals, ours just so happen to be the most extreme and the most dangerous. Because of our need to classify, we need terms and basic understandings, or representations, of who these groups are, what they do, what they think and feel, and how we can classify them. In a Religious way, I am often asked, "What Religion are you?" I would answer. Then the follow up question is usually, "What denomination?" In other words, "That's too broad. I need to know what niche you belong to so I can get an automatic sense for who you are based on the doctrine of the denomination you belong you." Or, to simplify, "I need to know how to judge you based upon social stereotypes."

Religion is only one example and not even the greatest, but it is the easiest. We do this with our eyes more than anything. We classify based upon everything we see and then the things we hear. What color is your skin, what is your language, accent, clothing, shoes, hairstyle, do you have piercings, tattoos, small frame, big frame, pretty much everything you can think of. Some studies say that people pass judgment onto others within twenty seconds of meeting or observing them. That actually seems high to me. From personal experience, it seems like it would be something closer to five or ten seconds. But regardless, we all do it because we do; it's in our nature. But what we know of humans is that we are capable of going against that nature.

I'm baffled by the amount of times I've seen someone post something on social networking sites that says, to the effect, "Don't judge me, it says more about you than it does me." Then after scrolling down or briefly browsing through their page, I can usually find something within that same twenty second mark that refutes their desire to be treated fairly. They've judged someone else, said how stupid someone was, sworn at some public figure they disliked, shown negativity to another social group for being unlike them, and on and on. Politics are always a big factor. Left or Right. Red or Blue. I'm willing to bet that if I said I was a Republican I would lose a lot of credibility and respect from a lot of you. What if I was? What if I'm not? Does it matter? Why does my belief in something personal that doesn't harm you seem to upset you? Because we innately would not agree on many issues simply by me saying three words, "I'm a Republican."

I'm not. But I'm not a Democrat either. It isn't because I don't find merit in either platform, it's because I like to be me above all other things. Just as I say "I am a Christian" but do not have a denomination. You would then think, "Ah, non-denominational." But even that term has its own weight about it that lets you classify me. The most important thing to know about one another is that we all wish not to be judged and yet we do it regardless. We are all hypocrites. Accept this. No one is perfect. Again, it is impossible not to judge or classify or even stereotype, but the goal is to try your hardest not to do so, to be as kind, loving, and accepting as you can possibly be.

Because of this, we can revert back to the theory of Natural Concordance and Discordance (which drives nearly this entire series). We know what misinformation causes, what bias, prejudice, stereotyping, hypocrisy, and judgment does, it creates discordance. There is an inharmonious link to it because it distances two or more people and puts them at odds. But when we try to be less of all these things, try our hardest to be none of them at all, we're working to promote concordance. It's as simple as that. And all the shades of gray that exist in between.

Many Religious doctrines instruct their believers not to be Judges and not to judge one another, as that is God's job and not man's. Many of these Religious folk are often under fire for doing just the opposite of this, and seeming to place their wants and desires onto the shoulders of "God" and swear that what they judge has only been instructed unto them by "God." I put God in quotes here only because these people are doing what we all do, attempting to validate our potential faults by believing in them as divine truth and holding steadfastly to them. This is dangerous and ultimately wrong. As I've said before, God, Love, does not work on your terms, rather you must work on its. Because of the theory of Natural Concordance and Discordance, there exists, based on my definition of it, a necessity for acceptance and for the pursuit of wisdom and Love above judgment. I've heard lots of people say about others they don't care for, "I'm a pretty good judge of character". But they're not psychologists or psychiatrists, therapists, or doctors of any kind that would be deemed "suitable" to judging the human condition. And more importantly, they are not God. Anyone who says they speak on behalf of God should be taken only at face value. (Myself included!) If we "speak" on behalf of God then what we're really doing is communicating how we feel and utilizing God as our means of justification.

The knowledge not to judge may not exist in all people. Maybe some cultures are raised to believe judgment is a great and noble thing, but I doubt that it gets them very far. Remember, judgment encourages discordance and upsets the balance, tipping the scales in the favor of inharmony. If my hypothesis is that God is Love, and that Love is loosely defined in part as harmonious agreement, then judgment has no place here. Acceptance for being different, as it has been preached by the masses regardless of belief, is the answer. It seems silly to have to hear it again because you probably hear it several times in the span of a week. But, after today, seriously begin to break down your potential judgments, not just of people, but of everything. By sound, sight, taste, touch, and smell. You'll be surprised to find that you are in fact a walking, talking judge of all things living or not. It is our shared flaw. It is the dark side of the golden rule, the sickening need for "justice" which is a synonym for using "God" as a justification for bad means. We judge because we have been judged, we act against others because others have acted against us, we do unto others as has been done unto us out of vindication. The more your unfondness of others grows, the more you will become an unfond person, the more you judge, the more you will be judged, the more discoradance you create, the more discordance will be created in your life. But this is a bastardization of the golden rule, it is "Do unto others as you would have done unto you", create concordance as you yourself would like to see it done in your life, not the other way around.

Though it is in our nature to react sharply, remember that you are capable of reacting coolly. Because you become aware of the fact that you are, and always will be, guilty of casting judgment and of being a hypocrite, you can now work toward making it less and less. It will never vanish, but that is not the point. Just as world peace is impossible, it is in never giving up the fight for world peace that we find victory.

The blood within us all runs red, we are connected by a through line of what promotes concordance and discordance in the Universe. If you wish to be one who spreads harmony, become more aware of your self. The self is a tricky and subconsciously deceitful thing. You put blind faith in your self. Blind faith, as you know, is not as solid as pure faith. Blind faith runs low on justifications, pure faith seeks to constantly become more aware, more solid, and more justified. Blind faith is taught not to question, pure faith should questiong everything. Blind faith is stagnant, pure faith is always evolving.

The Mind of God exists in the purely nonjudgmental energy of concordance. The energy, matter, that makes up all things, God, as an energetic being of Love which seeks to promote harmony, is able to work in blacks and whites because God is not human. Because of this, God must understand the dangers of judgment, and would seek to rid the world of it because it begets prejudice, amongst other hateful and violent things.

A lot of people think it's good, healthy, and funny not to hold their tongue, that just because you have the right to free speech means you should use it unabashedly. Don't be like these people. Don't speak before you think. Don't tell others that, with your apparent freedoms and right to speak, with your wisdom and good judgment that you will remove the speck from their eye when you've looked past the log in your own.

I know what you're thinking (should be thinking) at this point. If I have acknowledged the existence of natural concordance and discordance, and attributed Love and concordance with God, then why does discordance (bad or evil) still exist? Why does not pure harmony exist because that is apparently what you claim God to be made of? And that, I will say, will be the topic of discussion next week, because it's an iceberg of a topic, and one that takes a great deal of care, caution.and compassion to understand.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Mind of God Part 1: Morality

The Mind of God Part 1: Morality - The Theory of Natural Concordance and Discordance

This is the first part of a sort of exploration into the nature of the God I believe in, The Mind of God, which is in essence the mind of humankind. Could it be possible that the existence of God isn't dependent upon specific Religious beliefs but rather the acknowledgment that we are all connected on a base, energetic level? And perhaps that energetic level is, in a multitude of ways, what God is. If my submission is that God is Love, then the base energy that connects us all is the energy of Love. I will say that these posts are longer than normal, and they may not be for everyone, but if there is something near and dear to my heart it is my spirituality; not my religion, my spirituality. I ask you to read on not because I want to convert you, but because I want to share with you my own beliefs, a great part of my heart, and give people a sense of the theories and ideas that come about inside this crazy brain of mine. Let's begin.

Subjective terms ruin a lot of things. Richard Dawkins, amongst others, makes one of the greatest arguments in support for the non-existence of "God"; that he is not needed to establish Morality.


Now that that's out of the way, let me clarify:

Stop pasting pictures onto the face of "God". Even the word "God" is subjective. Religion, of course, is pure subjection. Because of Religions in their many shapes and sizes, names, doctrines, and books you have become so beaten down by their rhetoric and their dogma that when you hear the word "God" you more than likely associate it with a Religion, usually Christianity or Judaism. If I said "Allah" your brain would be inclined to shift to Islam and the many Muslims we've even further subjected to stereotype.

That's the issue. Religion is subjection because it's subject to incredible stereotypes. Therefore God has received the same stereotypes. When people say "Jesus loves you" a lot of folks might think of the Westboro Baptist Church or fanatical zealots and there's no way that the Jesus of the WBC loves you the way they seem to try and have you believe. In fact, it doesn't seem like love at all.

When people preach from the Old Testament it's always a God of fear, that good things will happen to you if you follow a strict rulebook of what seems like absurd, angry, vengeful nonsense and that you must fear God! If God is equated by most all Religions as a parent, and you want to think of him as a Mother or Father or both, should you be afraid of your parents? No. You should Love your parents and vice versa. Fear creates vindictiveness, a following of the rules only because your wicked demise and incredibly cruel punishment are being dangled over you. Love means mistakes are forgiven, that life can be lived without always looking over your shoulder.

So right away, "fear" is a bad word. It's even four letters. So let's drop it. Get rid of it. God does not operate based on fear. If that's the God that drives you to act then I suggest you reaccess your relationship.

Even the word "God" doesn't mean anything but it does give us something to call whatever it is. We also like to think of him as a person, and even there I've subconsciously referred to God as "him", which isn't necessarily unfair, it's just not correct. God isn't a man or a woman and isn't in any way shape or form close to anything that resembles a human being. I've described before, in as broadly specific terms as I could, what I thought our souls were made of. Let me extend that to try and use as an example of what God is, more at least than the personification of a man or woman.

Have you ever seen a sunbeam shine so brilliantly that it seems tangible? That if you wanted to you could reach out and touch it, breath it in, bathe in it? A dusty mist of warmth and power and glory. That's what God is.

It sounds strange and vague, but the idea of this swirling golden energy is more representative of God I feel than is an old white guy with a long beard and a staff who wears a robe. That's a stereotype given to us by painters who didn't have the feintest clue as to how to represent such a force. Creating your own way of imagining God isn't bad, it's necessary, but forcing others to see God the way you see it is not productive and usually hurts your cause.

A very good friend of mine and I have had hours worth of conversation coming to the same understanding  of many things pertaining to morality and human nature despite coming from opposite sides. When I say "God", "Jesus", and "Holy Spirit" his mind thinks "bigotted Christians" and I don't blame him, though it is disheartening to know that so many people have such a reaction. I've had a lot of conversations with people who consider themselves Christian and it seems that they couldn't be further from it. If God is one word then God is Love; a force for good, and not a power that can be contained or used by men. My assertion isn't that there is a God who can be nailed down to the specifics of the Bible, the Torrah, the Qu'ran, or any other Holy doctrine, it's that there exists in the Universe, somewhere out there, a through line of energy from which all things are based. It is made of Love, goodness, balance, and because of balance it has a natural morality, and all that, and then some, is God.

Looking at the broadest "moral" and Political issues I hear in the day to day, I can assure you of a few things. God does not hate fags. God does not hate. Period. God does not vote, he is not red or blue. God is not fate, he is free will. If God seems to be negative, that the instances of the Universe are weighing down upon you as if he desires to torment you, that is also incorrect. If God is Love then that Love is not conditional but UNconditional. And true undoncitional love doesn't mean it works under the conditions of the bible or any holy book or the personal conditions of how you think it should work, it means it transcends any book that could be written and any assumption you could make. It also means that there is potentially no hell. Consequences to your earthly actions aside, if God loves unconditionally that means you can't really know what happens to an "evil" person after they die. It's not up to you, so stop worrying about it. Is there a hell? I don't know for certain, no one can, but it's safe to say that in life we should be as good as we can. Which leads us to morality.

When I say I agree with Dawkins that God is not needed to establish morality, I agree that the "God" he is referring to is non-existent. But that "God" is a subjective one, accurate only in connection with various Religions and linked to other subjective Religious terms. I don't believe in the God Dawkins and so many others disbelieve in. My God is very different. Isn't it strange that despite believing or disbelieving in God, morality exists regardless and we find ways to make scientific explanations for its arise? We want to believe that good is a Universal truth, as is bad. We want to say that not killing is one of the good universal truths, but the argument made for those brought up believing killing is good is an easy one made, and saying God exists simply because we have morals is simply not a strong enough argument, but it's vaguely close. Remember, "God" does not exist because we have morals, the subjective, subconscious image you have of "God", does not exist because we have morals. But something, this different view of God I'm proposing, does exist because we have morals, and here's why.

Why do morals still exist? Why have they ever existed? Though we want to believe that good and bad are real, they are still subjective terms. Technically all words are subjective terms created because we need them to represent the unrepresentable; emotions or feelings. And "God" is the same. A big white guy with a beard and a staff. How else can we represent the unrepresentable? If they asked Michelangelo to paint God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and he painted a big ball of smoke with sparkles, as if stars, raining down onto Adam people would think it was weird. It makes sense to depict God as an old man because what he really is, is something incomprehensible that will injure the brain if thought on for too long.

However, I claim that, subjective terms aside, morals do still exist and good and bad are still existing forms of energy that people pursue and both ideas show interesting evidence suggesting the continuing use of the words "good" and "bad" if only for the sake of easing conversation and not speaking in non-specific, broad, ethereal terms of sunbeams and magic. (Or painting pictures of balls of smoke and sparkles.)

The example needs to start from the ground up, literally. It's strange how many things have literal examples found in other organic or inorganic life aside from just humans. We begin with the natural actions of animals, their nature, and the nature on other biological life like plants. Because the bird drops the seed to the ground during flight the seed falls into soil, after the rain the seedling begins to grow roots and eventually sprouts. Because the sun shines and at times the clouds rain, the seed grows over time into a great big beautiful tree. Because of the natural existence of "care", the seedling is allowed to become a tree. All the elements are just right and in place for the tree to grow, and it does. Now if an animal ripped the seedling from the ground when it was just a twig, would it still be allowed to become a tree? No. And what is the ripple effect for losing the tree?

Without the interruption of animals, the natural care of the earth will grow the tree. Life is naturally promoted. If the conditions are just right, life flows and continues. If the conditions are wrong life ceases, the tree stops receiving water, the soil goes bad, the desert is uninhabitable, etc. The basic understanding of how biological life on Earth works, and how it worked before humans existed, helps us understand that there is a natural order and a natural balance. That natural order or balance, as basic as it can be described, is life. And even more basically, existence or nonexistence.

Many animals fight. They can be territorial, what have you, there are many reasons that animals fight and kill because it is in their nature. And still life goes on. Humans are, at least based on my observations, the only animal in existence capable of going against our nature because we choose to. If it's in our nature to kill, we are capable of resisting. If it's in our nature to run around impregnating random females, we are capable (thank God) of resisting. Not everyone does, but it is possible.

I think looking at things from a very removed point of view helps; there is, by nature, the existence of natural balance, natural concordance (agreeable harmony) and discordance (contentious dissention) in the Universe. If weather destroys the tree from a bolt of lightning, it is destroyed, that life is destroyed. This is natural discordance, that things can be destroyed simply because of the nature of the world and the Universe. And on the flip side, when the conditions are right, life on Earth and in the Universe is promoted, natural concordance.

When something is removed there is a lack of what it could have contributed to the natural order of things. Nature moves on, the earth does not fall simply because one tree is struck by lightning, but things are affected. If there was no bird the seed would not have fallen, if there was no rain or sunshine there would have been no sprout, if there was no seed there would have been no tree, and of course, if there was not another tree there would have been no seed. So if a tree exists purely to contribute to the earth in a way of concordance by providing food for animals and insects, shade, oxygen, many other benefits, or positives, then we must be capable of the same and its opposite.

People die and are lost due to nature and also due to the actions of other humans, but if we are in tune with what we are capable of providing not just to the earth, but to one another, the destruction of another human being is conjoined with the idea of natural discordance, the removal of positive potential. If we lose another human, their potential is lost, what they could have done for the earth is gone, and again we move on and the entire earth does not collapse but things are affected, other humans, the nature around them, etc. are affected. (The seed is not planted ergo the tree does not grow, but on a much grander scale.) Things are incredibly connected and the loss of something means a spike in natural discordance. Similar to ideas of the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory, like ripples in a pond. The pond may be smaller or bigger depending on the person, but someone or something, somewhere, is going to be affected by it.

If, on the other hand, we promote positivity, or like I mentioned earlier the idea of natural "care" (now better defined at natural concordance), we are promoting the growth of others as well as other living things like plants and animals. If we Love and strive to be positive or, to label it as we have been, to be good then we are promoting that natural concordance, the natural harmonious agreement or positivity of the Earth and the Universe. It is similar to the saying "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you". Someone like a dictator who no doubt values their own life but not the lives of their own people is obviously not following the golden rule and if they believe they are then it is an incorrect and warped version. They are willingly creating discordance in an attempt to gain more pleasure in their existence. But they are hated by the masses and people wish them dead, there are uprisings and slayings and mayhem because of those who kill others. From understanding that the essence behind the golden rule is how to promote peace on earth then we accept on a base level its truth, that it is generally right, and if we're positivie toward one another things tend to work out better than if we were negative. If we are willing to work in harmonious agreement then there is progress.

When you live with the knowledge that not killing or not taking the life of other living things can create a more natural harmony then I think we are acknowledging the natural existence of concordance and discordance. Or in simpler terms, the basic existence of good and bad.

And so our morals, our general sense of good and bad are defined by our desire or lack of desire to create harmony in the world. Concordance seems always the better option because when we evaluate our own lives the majority tends to reflect the golden rule and the desire to live, we are good to others because we want others to be good to us. We naturally believe, if only on a small scale, in the idea of karma. Even if it's just subconsciously, that perhaps what goes around comes around whether it be good or bad, we have an innate sense of wanting to receive goodness and not badness. And because there exists in nature before the arrival of any animal life form both concorance and discordance, our morals are derived from this natural through line. The natural balance of the Universe that exists outside of human involvement suggests balance exists regardless, and that balance is made up of an incredible amount of variables which, with the arrival of humans and subjective terminology, become our "shades of grey" when dealing with morality. The extremes of black and white are impossible in morality because of human nature, so too is saying concordance and discordance are the only two sides of the natural balance, it's simply the best terminology that can be used to suggest the natural existence of morality which is a byproduct of the natural order of the Universe and the natural order of existence.

All this considered however, we're only human, everyone has moments of nastiness or rudeness or anything, we make mistakes. But out of everyone on the planet how many of us are killers? If you want to really get down to the nitty gritty, we all are. We kill spiders and chop down trees and build houses over nature. Everything else in nature stands separate from the importance of human life. The life of a bush and the life of a human are incomparable. If someone said they loved their rose bushes more than, or even equal to, their child we would think they were crazy. And I think that's right to embrace. Humans are kind of special. However we should be a little more mindful in our daily lives of the importance of the things around us, what affects what. And to a higher degree, be this mindful of the people around you, more mindful of the natural harmony and balance that exists and discordance that can occur by removing components to the equation that seem like they're merely in the way, but somehow are and must be important, you just may not have the proper scope to appreciate their relevance. Perhaps the tree will never grow. Maybe you've heard the old proverb:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a nail.

That of course is connected to ideas like the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory, but those are thoughts for another day.

I think because our morals have been derived out of a historical necessity to create balance and seek ways to prolong human life and live that life in as much ease and pleasure as possible, and maybe we did so without realizing it, we actually mimicked the already existant natural "morality" of the Earth. That specific morality being the earlier idea of natural concordance and discordance. Therefore, morality exists without subjective terms or titles but rather as emotions and feelings that we acknowledge as being something everyone deserves, inalienable rights to put it simply. A desire for harmonious agreement over argument and conflict.

An essence technically cannot be labeled, but it must be because it needs a way to be comprehended. But my case is that morality, good and bad, exist naturally in the Universe as an energy, like protons and neutrons both being present in the nucleus helping to create atoms. This energy, this natural balance of the Universe that we represent in so many ways, yin and yang, night and day, concordance and discordance, etc. is real and I think important to acknowledge as being something that came from something. Don't insert subjective terms here, again, I'm not talking religion, I'm talking spirituality. God exists here, in this space of the never understandable.

Science is absolutely essential, but I've heard the argument too many times that we're only interested in studying and believing in what exists in our observable scope. To me this means we're turning a blind eye to the unobservable, and even further, to the admission that there will always exist the never-observable. If there is an answer to the question, the question why still exists, what came before always exists, so much so that when we just give up and say we're focusing only on what exists in our observeable scope we're quitting on potential hypotheses. It doesn't have to be everyone's focus, but to say God, in all its potential forms (not just subjective religious ones) does not exist based on what we know in our observable scope is to say you will only believe in something once it is enveloped in that scope, that when the time comes and science spreads its wings further, then it will be okay to believe in it. But for now, since science has not yet reached those new boundaries the best solution is to believe that is does not and could not possibly exist.

In Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" his greatest argument for why Morals can exist without God is because we have a beautiful thing called natural selection which has developed them over time. That's wonderful, I believe in evolution and also natural selection but the greater question still exists, why natural selection? Why us and not others? And if there are others why do we seem to be the greatest or most advanced? And what purpose do morals even serve? Surely if we understand what morals do it's that they slow us down and prohibit us from blindly acting based purely on our animalistic nature. And yet we have them, and we obey them because we generally accept that if there is to be harmony in the World, in the Universe, it requires being a good person. Concordance is desirable, discordance is not. My claim is that, because these two things exist naturally, outside of the human race, existed billions of years ago amongst only plants and single celled organisms, exist out of our atmosphere and in space, then can't we agree to disagree that maybe, just maybe, there's something going on out there that we can't ever prove with science, but can use science to reach a better understanding of what it might be?

That's the most difficult part in denying the existence, or possibility of existence, of something else out there, past the big bang, past metaphysics, inertia, and zero point energy. Since we can never prove with science 100% of all the mysteries of the Universe as being either God or not God, then the possibility exists regardless.

To end, I want to bring up a major theoretical question that I will be exploring bit by bit in further parts, but it is essential in introducing this "energetic" God I believe in and seeks to back up claims for the notion that God is Love and that it is Love that created the Universe. If concordance suggests the promotion of life, and discordance suggests the impediment or recession of it, does that give a potentially emotional explanation for ideas like the big bang theory? Can that give emotional purpose to the creation of Universe? An explosion of the existence that created all things, that was the first act of our known Universe, was an act of concordance, not discordance. It is expansion of life, an expansion of existence that pushes all things outward, always growing, like our ever expanding Universe. It is not a recession of existence. This energy gave way to all of that existence and to all of that life, and if concordance is agreeable harmony, which is synonymous with Love (Love defined as peace derived from agreeable harmony), could that mean that what instigated all things was, as simply as it could be put, the powerful, explosive energy of Love?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Mind of God Part 6: Jesus the Man

The Mind of God Part 6: Jesus the Man

To begin, I'd like to say that this is the last part of this series. It concludes the individual pieces of the whole of the exploration into the Mind of God. To all those who have been reading this each week, you are incredible and I Love you with all my heart. It takes a special kind of person to give a regular guy like me the time of day to share his thoughts with you, especially his thoughts on a subject such as this, and you've given me the time. Bless your buttons. So here I have saved the best piece for last. I'd like to tell you about a guy I know...

For some time now I've studied about Jesus. Since I was a kid I was brought up in Church and decided I wouldn't make the decision to be baptized until I was ready, and until all the apparent mysteries made sense to me.

Then I continued to grow and all of those understandings molded and morphed (as they continue to do and will do until my dying day) into a number of things. Most prominently now, from which I can never return, is the idea of studying and appreciating Jesus as a man and not as God.

To many, I have just uttered the gravest of blasphemies. For most Christians, there is little separation between Jesus and his Father, that they are separate but at the same time one, and that they belong to a trinity of power, the Holy Spirit being the essence of God, originating from God and entering into Mary in order to impregnate her as a virgin with child, who would be born of the Holy Spirit and grow up to become Jesus the Christ. So, because of all this, Jesus is of God's essence, he is technically God himself, yet he remains also part man, his own individual.

That's being very brief, but to those of you unfamiliar with it all, hopefully that puts things in some sort of simple context. The reason for my spending a piece specifically on Jesus is because, I can say, without reservation, that he is my best friend. I believe in him and in his ability to change the world, but doing it not by being God, but by being a normal man.

The question I raise here, that is so essential, is the crux of this entire series on the Mind of God, is what if Jesus was not divine at all? What if Jesus was just a guy? What if Mary and Joseph conceived a child together, naturally, and he was born as any other child is, not in a manger or under a star or with the gifts of the Magi? What if no voice of God every spoke aloud announcing "This is my son, whom I love, and with whom  am pleased"? What if Jesus was a man who decided that the only way to change the world was one person at a time, through deeds and examples, not by walking on water or bringing dead back to life, but by loving everyone he met with all of his heart, without hiccup or hesitation? What if, in what he was capable of doing, he was no different from you and I?

I think the reason there is so much hostility toward Christians today is because, honestly, a lot of them forgot who Jesus really is. There is ample historical proof that Jesus existed as a man, the biggest unproveable mystery is, was he divine? Though a lot of people doubt that he even existed, the Bible is credible proof that he did. Not in all it's magic and mysticism, but that accounts of this man were made by many people nearly 80 years after he died. Leaving that "magic and mysticism" aside, the Bible is a good historical document reflecting the times and the people and their ways of belief, and its mentioning and focusing on specific characters is cause, along with ample archeological evidence, to strongly suggest the existence of these important men. Again, they existed as physical human beings, but what is unproveable is the divine aspect of each of them, Jesus included.

And so it is perfect that the divinity is what we're going to set aside today. I think Christianity as we've come to know it is built too much on pure blind faith and little else, an unwillingness to accept scientific proof as explanation or to allow man the chance to acheive his or her own miracle or to do something great of our own volition, rather than chalk it all up to God and leave mankind devoid of significant acheivment. But I'm one who believes God and Science work hand in hand, that the more we explore scientifically, the more we are allowed inside the proverbial "Mind of God". Like I said, beyond the scope of our understanding and our ability to explore with science exists the never-understandable. The fact that the question "Why?" will always exist means that there will come a point when no human mind or scientific exploration can explain whatever it was that came before the creation of all existence. The big bang is not enough, zero point energy is not enough; if something exists then it had to come from somewhere. But where? And more importantly, why? We think the meaning of life is a daunting question, how about the meaning of...all of it?

In that vein, there is a new, or often unthought of, appreciation that can be found in the studying or observation of Jesus as a man rather than Jesus as a divine being or as Jesus the Christ. (Christ being the divine son of God.) My questions is that, if we are all connected to the base energy of Love that created all things, all connected to God, then technically we all share his spirit and in a way we are all, in a way, divine beings.

When I say there is a new appreciation to be had in studying Jesus as a man I mean that because there is a sort of courageousness and raw wonder at the idea that a man, not a God, would do what Jesus did regardless of his parental situation. Just think, if you are the divine son of God, and you are fated to sacrifice yourself as the savior of all mankind, then your life is without any other purpose. If Jesus was, as so many believe, fated to be this great sacrifice then I think his death is deprived, to a degree, of a certain uniqueness. If Jesus' life is God's ultimate plan with no room for budging, then Jesus is someone we cannot relate to. None of us can relate to God because we're only people. We can relate to God to an extent, to the best of our abilities, but if God is the energy that came before all things and over time gave way to the existence of humans, then obviously our relating to him runs dry at some point because understanding what and why God truly is, is like diving head first into the white hot understanding of the knowledge of the never-understandable. Thinking we can relate on all levels to God is like thinking we can launch ourselves into the sun, not get incinerated, understand first hand how it works, then return to earth and perfectly explain your experiences so it makes an equal amount of sense to every single person. In other words, it's not possible.

Because we are so naturally removed from God, yet connected on a basic level, if we accept the magical divinity of Jesus on the same principle as launching ourselves into the sun then our ability to explain him, his life, his deeds, and his sacrifice to others is impossible. The idea of divinity immediately disconnects people from Jesus because he doesn't appear to them as a man or as a relatable individual, he appears as a mystical, even fictional, half man half God who walks on water, brings dead people back to life, cures uncurable diseases, dies to prove a point, then brings himself back to life to remind you, and then floats away to heaven.

That sounds unbelievable and, honestly, a little crazy. But a most important point is that Jesus didn't walk around and look the way he looks in our current depictions, wearing white robes, washing his hair with high quality shampoo to give it that shine and volume and lustrous color, and he didn't walk around claiming to be the son of God, to be divine, and to be a prophet. If you study the words of Jesus (the book of Revelation aside, another MUCH later topic) you'll find that what he does and says is actually not crazy at all. In fact, his teachings are similar to so many pacifists that came before and after him that the best picture to paint of Jesus would be that he's just a nice, smart guy who "gets it". If the energy of Love that is God is a well that can be dipped into, Jesus not only knew where the well was, but he also knew how to get there, how to show it to people, and he brought several buckets with him that he used to collect its water and give it to the people. In the seventies terminology, Jesus was a switched on cat.

Now, if Jesus was driven fatefully by the hand of God, knowing all these things, it kind of reduces the specialness of him understanding all these things about God down to a 'big whoop'. If God just made it all happen because Jesus was magical and divine, then who cares? It's not so special because it's like he was cheating, right? He didn't do any work to discover any of this understanding, it was just given to him by God and he used his powers to prove to people he could do amazing things and that if they followed him they would have everlasting life. But again, God made it all happen, so Jesus just sort of lazily followed along the path God paved for him.

So ignore all his divinity for now. Today he is 100% human, and like all men and women he has the ability to make choices. As a man his life is not fate but free will. As a man he is not required to do anything but chooses to do things. As a man, through rigorous studying and observation he taught himself and learned all there was to know about how to be a good, honest, caring, loving person. God didn't tell him how to understand any of that, through Jesus' own power of choice he did it, he climbed that daunting theoretical mountain and when he looked down onto the world he thought, "Ah, I see it now." Jesus, in his dsire to understand what was out there, to understand the mind of God, found it. But he did so of his own will, of his own power. To me, that is so much more wonderful than blindly accepting his divinity and because of that, makes his sacrifice and all that he did in life so much more important.

There's a lot of history that goes into the Bible that people need to stop being so turned off by. If it turns you off, you've got to remember, these are not modern day men, these are the stories and retellings of information of men who lived thousands of years ago, told by men with no scientific (or little) way of understanding or explaining. Thus the best way to transpire events was as "miracles". So take it for what it is and break it down. I'm not saying that you should believe everything the Bible says, in fact you don't have to believe any of it if you wish (I take plenty of issues with it myself), what I'm saying is take it as you would these blog posts, as men sharing with the masses.

Pretend, here, that Jesus is your neighbor, your friend, the guy at work that everyone thinks is pretty swell, the guy who, even as much as you want to hate him for being so awesome, you just can't bring yourself to do it. And why? Because he's kind and he's true. Jesus journey began with him leaving his home and heading into a hostile world knowing that, should someone like he speak up and try to change the people's minds, try to teach them about Love of, rather than fear of, God that a lot of people will be upset. Jesus, from a young age showed incredible understanding of scriptures and of his Jewish religion, so much so that he shocked his own teachers and likely had them stumped. A lot of people like to point out the apparent contradictions of the Bible and Jesus was no different. His message is like saying, "Look, this God of fear, this wrathful, vengeful, spiteful being that you worship blindly isn't really who you think he is. He is Love. He wants you to love him, not to fear him." What Jesus did not set out to do was create Christianity. Jesus was devoutly Jewish. What he did mean to do, however, was the suggest a different way of perceiving God.

But as it goes with History, any who should speak out against the belief of the masses is surely eliminated. As they say, the nail that sticks out gets hammered in. Jesus stuck out. He was a master of rhetoric, an incredible public speaker, and a man whose knowledge of how to use language to illustrate his points was hardly limited. Using parables, stories, and examples of words only, Jesus illustated that our human nature leads us to do inherently animalistic things, like kill, cheat, steal, and lie. He acknowledged that fact and could not hold it against people because he knew that he himself was subject to the same flaws, the same nature, and capable of making the same mistakes. As opposed to floating through life like a Holy ghost, Jesus walked and climbed and traveled with his legs just like everyone else. As he even says, "I am here not to condemn the world, but to save it." Did he mean save it with his magical powers or save it by trying to lead by example that Love is the way to peace? That would be the latter.

When you look at all the miacles Jesus performs in the Bible, even bringing a dead man back to life, I think all of these pale in comparison to the miracle that Jesus simply had the guts to step out into a hostile world and do the things that many of us only think of doing. But he actually did them. He didn't simply make his donation to save the starving children and be done with it, he didn't just join a facebook group, or belong to a community, or write a book and stay at home. Jesus knew how to change the world and he got out there and he did it knowing full well what that the consequences for challenging both the Religious and Roman ruling establishments would lead to death. But if that was how it must end, he believed that perhaps his death would inspire people to rise up against corrupt Governments, against twisted Religions and systems. Though a lot of people may not think it, Jesus was, as the dictionary defines, just about as Liberal as one can get. He was a rebel and a man who hated nothing save for the thought that men would pursue discordance for selfish gains, to abuse and use the people of his country in order to rule over them, enslave them, and kill them for sport. He could not stand the fact that God was being abused by all of these men in order to justify their corrupt actions, that "God" was being portrayed as something he was not in order to control, in order to strike fear in the hearts of men. For Jesus, it did not get any more backward than this.

The reason a lot of people can say, "I think Jesus was a great man, but not divine" isn't such a character assassination as Christians might think. Consider how the miracles of Jesus came about. The central stories of the Bible that spell out the story of Jesus are the gospels, many of which were written nearly 80 years after his death. So it's not as if someone sat down right after the crucifixion and wrote the book. For almost a century, stories were passed around, by word of mouth, about Jesus until people decided to finally put it in writing. What happened in that time, as many speculate, is that the amazingness of Jesus reached levels beyond mere human. The way they talked about Jesus after his death was as if he was God, a divine being, the true son of God, and clearly someone so loving and wonderful, who did what he did could be nothing less. When people told their tales of the time they saw Jesus they would say, "I saw him! He walked on water, he cured the sick, he healed the blind, he brought the dead back to life!"

These are the things people would say about Jesus AFTER he died. That does not devoid them of meaning or importance but in fact it does the opposite. It suggests that Jesus was so amazing of a human being that the way people remembered him was that he could do and perform all these amazing feats, just to help people. What a guy Jesus must have been, that the way he is remembered posthumously is as miracle worker and as THE son of God. What an honor. Jesus did not ask for this or say it of himself, but the people were so affected by his life that he was remembered and spoken of as such. In life, Jesus was just a man, no different than you or I accept for his drive and his will to change the world through using Love as his example, and the way it changed people, the way it afected them, how kind he was to them, how he helped them, they attributed to him the aspects of divinity. So rather than feel upset by the apparent "lies" Jesus' life, rather than think the stories of him are nothing but a collection of fair tales, why not consider that because he existed as a human being, and was so wonderful in life, he became what we know of him now in death?

Jesus may not have been the first person for things to click with him the way they did, but he was certainly the first person with the guts to open his mouth and suggest these new interpretations. A lot of holy men of other Religions have come to the same conclusions of God that Jesus has. THe Buddha, Lao Tse, a lot of these people were connected to the same through line, were tapped into that energy that we can all seek to find. But Jesus sticks out, in history, as the only man to make a journey of it. Possessing the knowledge was not enough for Jesus, he had to share it, and he had to change the world to the best of his abilities, even if it meant dying in his desire to do so. It was worth it to him because when he saw people, he looked past that animalistic nature that also existed inside him and in everyone he saw what he saw in himself, God, and because he saw this he saw, most importantly, Love. In the hearts and minds of all men and women Jesus saw Love, despite how corrupted by the world they may have become. But before him, if anyone had similar thoughts and feelings, they knew that if they spoke up and said, "Hey fellas, God doesn't work that way." They would be killed. And look what happened to Jesus.

It's one thing to speak up for a cause and drop your donation into the collection plate, it's another to quit your entire life, give up all of your possessions, and dive into your cause head first because you honestly believe it's the right thing to do. Jesus did it, not because God told him to, but because he wanted to. That is utterly insane. It was not God's will or desire to change the world, it was Jesus'. Talk about the courage to do what's right. Jesus came to all these realizations about morality not because it all existed in his brain already or because it was just given to him, but because he worked his butt off to understand it all, and then came up with, on his own, parables, or stories, to make these moral ideas applicable and sensible to the average human being. Jesus understood that Love could save the world, that if he loved everyone with everything he had, if only starting the movement with twelve friends and growing slowly one by one, then maybe he could change the world and show us how to get to that well, could show us the way into the mind of God who gave us, not the ability to fear, but the ability to Love. Jesus understood that concordance is desireable, not discordance, that a propulsion of goodwill and care promotes harmony and peace, not an emanating of fear and strict rules that promotes negativity and needless sacrifice.

The importance and significance of his sacrifice is heavily dependent upon fate vs. free will. If he is fated to be sacrificed, it is, I believe, less significant. But if he has the ability to run and escape his demise or to choose any other way of life, to do anything else, and still he chooses to give his life regardless because the example proves a more important point, then what an incredible choice that is. The sacrifice and life of Jesus is more meaningful if he is choosing to do all these things, not guided by the forcing hand of God. The man aspect of Jesus is what connects us to him and allows us to relate to him. We cannot relate to and connect with a man who is half man, half God, all Holy Spirit. But because we can relate to Jesus the man, and acknowledge the Love within him, he has already acknowledged the Love within us. By drawing closer to him as a person, and not as a divine being, we are actually brought closer to God because we are given a better way of understanding him and relating to him rather than accepting that we can simply never understand God because he is magical.

When everyone told Jesus it was useless, he didn't quit. When they said he would be killed, he didn't quit. When they arrested him and beat him and strung him up to die, he refused to quit. Because what Jesus believed in was not Christianity, it was Love, plain and simple. Love, acceptance for being different, and refusing to judge our peers are some of the core elements of his teaching. It was he who gave us the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Even Jesus likely knew that that wasn't a revolutionary thought, others must have thought of it, but why had no one gone out into the world and tried to really show it to people. There was, and is, and incredible lack of Love in the world, and though it may seem impossible to change that, though world peace may seem unacheivable, Jesus knew that he could not quit, for it is not in acheiving world peace but in never giving up the fight for it that gives us victory.

This topic is, in my opinion (and my desire to write on it), nearly endless. I will not go on about it forever because I realize attention span and Religion don't often go hand in hand. But the point is, it may take some work, but if we can separate Jesus from Christianity, if we can view him as a Historical figure whose actions so shocked people and wowed them that the way they recalled it was as if he were walking on water, then clearly he was quite the guy. The divnity of Jesus does not devalue him, rather it aids in showing of what an incredible human being he must have been. Jesus did not know of you or I specifically when he died, as many like to say he did. He could not possibly have known of all the specific billions of human lives that would be born two thousand years after his death, but he did know that you and I would exist because he knew the world would keep turning. His death was, in his own opinion, a necessary example to show future generations to the nail when it sticks out. And as it is hammered in so he was nailed to the cross. (His torutre also is up to historical discrepency. Was it crucifixion or some other form of torture? The question is valid, and to be perfectly honest the form of torture itself is irrelevant to the validity of his cause. Jesus was put to death for trying to change the world. Period. It really doesn't matter if it was on a cross. The meaning of the sacrifice is unchanged.)

The point is, is that the Jesus I know, that many also know, is not a mythical or magical or fantastical at all in regards to his super powers. But because people attributed these abilities to him because he was so wonderful in life that clearly he must have been all those things, suggests how wonderful he was, and allows me to believe in his divnity because I believe in the divinity of us all. We all come from the same God, are all comprised of Love and are concordant beings, therefore we can and should find no problem in appreciating the divinity of Jesus because it bespeaks of his incredible humanity, a humanity that we are all capable of finding and using.

The idea of the divine Jesus cannot exist alone, on its own. Jesus the Christ, or the Messiah, cannot be without the most important component of him which is his humanity. Because Jesus was a man, without special power or ability (aside from his ability to understand the nature of the Universe and the nature of God), creates the foundation for Jesus the Divine. Without Jesus the man, there is no Christ; without Jesus the man, there is no practical God.

Jesus the man makes God real because he becomes less impossible and more probable. Now the most important questions comes, if we too are men and women, capable of the same actions as Jesus, how powerful can we be if we're willing to use the Love that exists within us? Jesus is just one man but has inspired billions. Now we are those billions. If we Love others, we are doing God's work. 

In the immortal words of the great Forrest Gump, "That is all I have to say about that."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"'The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?' ... 'I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the Gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.' Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph." - Lee Chong, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

"... And you are the mother
The mother of your baby child
The one to whom you gave life
And you have your choices
And these are what make man great
His ladder to the stars.

But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
Hold your hand

And I will tell the night
Whisper, "Lose your sight"
But I can't move the mountains for you."

Such a long preface. Sorry for that. Hopefully you made it down here successfully. Both that book and that song are incredible achievements in both beauty and art. The idea of "Timshel" struck me hard when I first read East of Eden. I've always believed that if we've been given one gift it is the gift of free will. (And of course Love, but they go hand and hand in my book.)

I touched lightly on the idea of "everything happens for a reason" a few weeks back, and I think one of the biggest reasons we settle on this is because it helps make us feel good. I would be out of line to say this saying or belief is wrong, because honestly there's so much mystical stuff going on beyond the realms of reason and understanding that we cannot truly know, but we can believe. I believe the Love that governs this Universe may have plans, but then again, it's not pulling every tiny little string attached to every tiny little person, plant, and/or animal.

I think everything does happen for a reason, but more as a result of the choices we've made. The idea that God is making everything happen is a little cheap in my opinion, and even unfair. That removes the significance of our free will. The ultimate idea of fate honestly means you're a drone and, essentially, worthless. No matter how much you would hope to think you're making conscious decisions, you're not. You're following a path that's designed for you, and if you turn right thinking you're outwitting fate because fate seemed to point you left, you're wrong and you were supposed to turn right all along. You can never win. If you do bad, it doesn't matter. Even worse, if you do good, still, it does not matter.

Fate is unkind. It lacks emotion and understanding. There is no personality to fate, no compassion, sympathy, empathy, or Love. Fate is a program and you play your part and that is all. It uses you and disposes of you as if you were nothing more than a snack, a brief thing that satisfies a temporary appetite until it moves onto the next life, and the next, and the next.

Fate makes the human race a flocking, yapping, worthless group of Nihilists who feed off and breed negativity. If there is a sound argument for this Universe being entirely governed by fate it is also a mad argument. And how often does a mad theory convince us it's a sound theory and lead us toward destroying our brothers and sisters? Too often as we watch History repeat itself.

Fate means morality does not exist (which will be a broader topic for a soon later post). If you believe entirely in fate, you'd best be prepared to accept the fact that no matter what happens in the world and in your life, if you complain, you're compaining against your belief in fate. If "evil" upsets you, it shouldn't because it was destined for this thing or person to exist.

You can begin to see what a difficult world it would be to live in if we accept all things were governed by fate...

But the plain and simple truth is, you make choices in life. If I can promise you one thing, despite being a man and showing no external proof of being divine, it is that you have free will. But of course all of us have some form of divinity, the ability to learn and come into closer contact with what mysticism guides the expulsion of the Universe. It is not religiously labeled and cannot be, nor will Science ever be able to give enough answers to answer the last remaining "why". And so in this agree to disagree that "maybe" is where you find complexity and, only because it seems appropriate to say, mysticism.

Now embrace the power you hold inside you, the power to be in control of your own Universe, of being that big bang, that force, that expulsion that makes the decisions of your Universe. Fate allows you to encourage your faults. If you do wrong, truly you were fated to do wrong. If your life is a failure, then it was fated from the start that you would live and die a failure. Stop acknowledging and giving credit to a bleek, depressed existence. When you were born you did not glow with darkness. What influences you may have received are out of your control and the past is the past and it cannot be changed, but the future is always yet to be written, and today is the day you make a choice. Will your own history repeat itself? Or will you disallow this and make a change?

Timshel means choice. Timshel is free will. When Cain killed his brother Abel and God says "Timshel", God is not saying Cain MUST or SHALT do anything, he is saying he may do anything. Triumphing over sin is not a command or a fate or an already made decision but a choice. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps in a life situation isn't ordered by fate, that's your choice. If the sign reads "Now is the time to better yourself", that means you've got to make the decision to do it. I can't do it for you, nor can your sister, mother, brother, or best friend. We "can't move mountains for you". You must move the mountain. And though it seems tall, massive, and daunting it is not impossible.

You can move mountains. If even stone by stone, shovel by shovel, you can move mountains. It will be hard and it will take time, but it can be done. The right thing is difficult, the wrong thing is easy. That's why we convince ourselves that our mistakes are okay, that we should continue making them, because it's hard to admit we're wrong and it's hard to change our ways. And so we fall into the cheap embrace of fate, because the burden that is the gift of free will is a heavy one, and makes you responsible for your own actions, and you know how well we deal with responsibility.

But we are here to help. The song says we can't move mountains for you, but it also says you are not alone in this. The Universe too echoes the same words. Once you decide to move the mountain, here we are; to help carry the stones and shovel the dirt and follow your lead. But the decision must first be yours. Enough of being out of sorts with your true self. Stop taking no for answer. Timshel is more than a word, it is a force. You are more than just a man or a woman, you are a miracle and one of a kind. You are beautiful, endless, unstoppable energy.

If you don't believe in Universal turths believe this: you've got one life to live. Period. Make it count. Afterlife aside, whether or not you believe in one, you've got one shot to make an impression on the world, to be somebody, to Love and to live, to laugh and to cry. Life will be over before you know it, don't accept a premature end. Life is not a war but you've got to fight as hard as you can to move those mountains, stone by stone, take down whatever wall is in your way brick by brick. You've got one chance to be you, to be the greatest you can be, working each day to make yourself even greater and greater still. But you're not going to be great if you keep telling yourself you are fated to be worhtless, that "thou shalt fail."

You are not worthless, I promise, and if I die saying it at least then you won't be able to argue with me. The only way you can fail is if you allow yourself to do so; you can't lose until you quit. There is nothing so great that you cannot overcome, but it takes today to make the choice to start figuring out how to do that. You've got the gift of free will, the power of Timshel, so don't accept what people say is fact, who people try to tell you to be.

Thou shalt do nothing. Thou mayest do anything. Go now and triumph in the face of adversity. Timshel...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sharing is Caring?

Sometimes we get ourselves wrapped up in conversations that we probably should not inject ourselves into.

I don't do it to get a rise out of people (maybe I do, yeah sometimes we all do), but I find that usually I can keep my trap shut unless I feel there's a point needing to be made that a whole mass of people have missed and seem to overlook, all in the name of humor and harassment, or to try and prove the point that one's opinion is right. It's usually the people who think they're right who will berate you with the supposed truth. Those who know they're right know when to keep their mouths shut.

Sometimes silence is golden. But it's as if there's this constant crusade today, that every single bit of information needs to be dumped into every single social network, and everyone's peers need to be "aware" of "the truth". If you disagree you are wrong or bigoted, left or right, sexist or racist. If you disagree with "the truth", you're usually any number of things you're probably furthest from in actuality. But you haven't been given the time to say otherwise because, in this other's mind, you're wrong.

Whatever happened to good old fashioned self confidence? Sometimes I'll read something and disagree with it. But rather than starting a fight I say nothing, because I realize the debate will get angry, tired, and stale and someone will probably develop a profound hate for me. And that's the key. Sometimes it's better to say nothing. If you know you're right, don't taunt the sleeping dragon just because you're sure you can beat him. Then you'll have a fight on your hands and you'll be thinking, "I should have just let him keep dreaming."

There is a taoist concept called Pu, which is appropriately explained in great detail in the very cute, easy read book called "The Tao of Pooh." Pu is the idea of "the uncarved block", a state of being that is reseponsive to perception and your own potential without being setup to be automatically prejudice. Being an uncarved block to me means letting no outside hands carve you. You are who you choose to be. (Re: last week's post.)

Pu looks to teach a way of life and of existence in which you are not weighed down by an overabundance of plain old raw knowledge, which I tend to agree with. Have you ever been in conversation with or listened to someone talk who's so full of knowledge, so book smart, yet they still somehow manage to come across as unintelligent. They're so smart that, in the long run, they know nothing because they have no experiences. Every way of life they know because they have studied it in the classroom and not in the world. They've learned all they need from books and TV and films, but not from actually being a part of those experiences. They can't relate.

Just because you've read it, and your opinion is in direct connection with the articles, or the books, or the documentaries, does not mean you are automatically correct. Neither does it make you an expert or ensure you actually know what it is you're talking about. Facebook gives us the option to "share" things, but we've forgotten the niceness of the word share, that it implies a give and take, a yin and yang, a harmonious balance. Sharing is caring right? Not anymore. Today sharing is trying to push your opinion onto others under the guise of caring. "I share this with you because I care about you. So you should read it and accept it as truth because I know what's best for you because I am right." The most guilty organizations of this are, of course, Political Parties and Religions in their many shapes and sizes.

There is a self centeredness created out of the delusion that we care, so we share. But we don't really share, rather we cram, we force, we try to persuade regardless of the beliefs of those around us. Why? Because we believe to our core that we're right. But each of us lack the life experience of the other. You are you and I am me, he is he and she is she, and none of us can be the other because we are we.

Maybe it's time we stop trying to convince ourselves that our opinions are "right" and get more comfortable saying that our opinions are worth something, worth sharing. And by this token we should be accepting that the opinions of others are worth something because none of us are worthless, quite the opposite in fact. We are worth everything there is.

The quickest way to harmony and peace on earth, if that's truly what you're fighting for, is not through trying to force others to come to your side, to coax them into seeing things your way because it is the only way. These things are achieved by accepting people for being different and appreciating them for that, and for sharing with them in the hope that they will share with you. That's balance. It's experience and because of experience, it is relevant knowledge learned not from a book, but from the World.

It should sting when we become aware that we've foresaken a lesson we learned when we were in kindergarten. More often than not these children are more in tune with the harmony of the Universe that we hope to see, more in tune with it than we'll ever be. Why? Because they are uncarved blocks. The kingdom of heaven, the truest ways of Love, belong to them.

Stop trying to be such an adult, teaching "important lessons of truth" to the "children" around you. Instead let yourself be a child, carefree and willing to share. Because sharing is caring.

Friday, March 2, 2012

You Are Who You Choose To Be

It seems more and more that we're living in a world of people telling you who you ought to be. So much so that you start forgetting what you're expectations are for yourself. You become so eager to please or not to disappoint or to accomplish the goals and tasks that others expect of you that you leave your personal ones by the wayside. After a while, you start to forget who you really are and live in the black hole of trying to exist as the person others think you should be.

These people are in your way. Run them over, tackle them, knock them down, or plow right through them. I don't care what it takes, you get those people off your back and out of your way. Now.

That's a metaphor of course! Don't actually hurt anyone in the process. But take back what's yours. Take back you. You are not who others expect you to be. You are who you choose to be. Plain and simple.

The most difficult times come when you strip away the layers of those around you, the weight of outside expectations, and you come to realize that you're not even sure if there is a real you anymore. There's just this shell of your former self that's cracked away and all that's left is this mysterious goo that represents nothingness. And you have no self confidence and you're not sure what it means to succeed and you get depressed and feel hopeless and worthless. I would never berate you for feeling this way, it's understandable. But you've had your time to sulk and now it's time to get your head out of the sand and realize you have a purpose. Even if that purpose is just to prove you have purpose to yourself. (Did I lose you?).

All this doom and gloom bull people try to feed you, this ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we're just a virus that lives then dies and we exist only for greed and selfishness and glory, yadda yadda yadda. Those guys have read WAY too many books, watched WAY too much television, and have lived their actual lives WAY too little. If at all. What do they know? Stop taking them at their word. Stop letting other peoples interpretations of life define your own. Get off your ass and get out there and live your life, you've only got one.

Fate is a fairytale and an easy manipulator. It's the excuse of excuses. "Maybe it's fate that I live like this." Wrong. If someone killed someone else and their defense was "Yes but it was fated that I kill that person", wouldn't you think, "That doesn't seem right..."

There's a time in life where we've all said it before, I know I have, "Everything happens for a reason." But honestly, not EVERYTHING happens for a reason. If everything in all of time was happening all for the same reason, that would be a terrible, awful, wicked reason and I would rebuke it and make my own reasons. And that's free will. That's what we have. That's our gift and our ability. We get to make choices. It's not the situation that defines who you will be, it's how you react to the situation. Fate means something else dictates our lives for us, it means something else is determining our choices and the outcomes for us, which means our existence it moot.

But your existence is valuable. If you've come to a place in life where you feel you're up against a wall, there's no door, it spans the length of the earth and reaches into space so there's no way around or over it, it would seem that that's the end. Not true, there's always one way. Break through it.

I said the phrase "everything happens for a reason" is untrue. But here's a cliché that isn't. "You can do it." Plain and simple. It's going to be hell finding a way, and it may seem like there isn't one, but it's when you think you're broken and defeated that a light will shine, and then you stand back up and you Hulk smash that wall into a thousand tiny little pieces. And the biggest shock of all is that you'll find the wall was made of paper this whole time. It looked big and seemed intimidating, but because you were too scared to try and knock it down in the first place you never knew it would be this easy.

Everyone else told you how scary the wall was. They told you how thick and dangerous and impossible it was to do anything about, and they told you to accept it and deal with it and move on. And you did for a while and it hurt like hell and you wished there was another way. But all those words that people say, that they demand you believe, that they insist they know better for you than you know for yourself, these are all paper tigers, or in this case, all bricks in a paper wall. Only when you shed the binds of the expectations of others and broke yourself down did you realize how to build yourself back up and achieve your own expectations, and how to just walk right through that wall.

You can do it. Seriously. Don't doubt it, don't shrug your shoulders, don't shake your head and say "Oh, I don't know..." Pick your head up, hold it high, take a deep breath, and do it. It's only a paper wall. And who are they to tell you that you can't do it? Who are they to tell you who you are?

You are who you choose to be.