LIFE–AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE (part 2)

In part 1 I wondered about life, and how it can be defined. If you have read it (or other posts I have written), you will have seen that I took life to be connected to religion, but that is only because in my early life it was connected to religion. I had no idea what hell was, but I had been told I would go to hell if I did not obey God’s laws, or, in different words, if I committed a sin. Apparently it was a sin to break a law made by god. But everywhere around me adults were breaking god’s laws. They couldn’t seem to do hardly anything except break what I was told were god’s laws. But God told different people different laws. And it seemed he told some people it was okay to break his laws, as long as they went to something called “confession” and told someone else about all god’s laws they had broken, and even man’s laws too, if what I was told was correct. Then along came even others who I was told had been god’s chosen people, but they had not believed him when they refused to agree that he had sent his son Jesus amongst them to save them from burning in hell. They didn’t seem to know why they would burn in hell because they already worshipped god for himself, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for god, so he unchose them, and chose Roman people to be saved and worship his son Jesus as well as him, and he even added someone called a holy ghost to be worshipped too, though no one could ever tell me who this holy ghost was. But, they said, they also worshipped the virgin Mary too, even though god had not told them to worship her also. But near as I could decipher, the virgin Mary was given to women to worship, because they needed their own god…

But enough of this! I think you get the picture I am trying to draw with words instead of crayons or paints. Life centered around god, and those who believed the same all believed they were god’s chosen children. Since even I could see this was impossible, I had to figure out if any of them were right. So I started talking to different people about my conundrum,  and no one would explain their ideas of why god would make life so confusing, but they all tried to convince me their group was the correct group. So, as a last resort, I had to decide were they all wrong, or were they all right? I was too confused even to do that…

But, by this time, I was going to school. And the school I went to told me only the protestants were right, and even though there were all kinds of protestants, they were all more right than anyone else. Then, just to confuse me a different way, they told me the biblical version of creation was not the real story of creation. Some teachers said it was kind of right, while others it was kind of wrong, and still others who said it was all wrong. What and who was anyone to believe was true? Everybody seemed to know, but almost nobody seemed to agree.

And then suddenly someone said everything in the bible was a lie, and that it was just a story made up by men. I could almost believe that, but I was still too afraid of going to hell if I did, so I asked why someone would say that? Then I heard an altogether different story, that it wasn’t the bible that was wrong, but rather the people who interpreted the bible who were wrong. Oh my aching head! But, someone else told me, there were things that happened that weren’t in the bible, but should have been. One person told me the story of Jesus* going not into the desert for 40 years, but right through the desert to a country called India, where he studied under teachers of the great Buddha, who had lived many years before Jesus went there, but had taught others what life was really about. Then Jesus crossed back through the desert, and returned to the land of the Jews, where he tried to teach those people what he had learned. Only, nobody believed him, even though they wanted to believe him. So he changed what he had been taught by his Buddhist teachers, and made up his own stories based on his learning. Some people found his stories easier to believe than Buddha’s stories, and that was what they came to believe.

Och, it is time to end my story of what happened to me to start me on my path away from god, but I hope you can see what led me away. There were just too many things to believe, so one day I started to believe nothing. Rather, I chose to find out about life, and everything else not by listening to others, but by exploring my own self, and seeing what was in me. That decision was probably the most important decision I ever made in my life. And it was not one I decided on in the spur of a moment, but it was one that grew inside me as I grew around it. I was in high school now, and I was learning so many things there that most of the things I learned as a child no longer made any sense.

But, it seemed, I could not even trust what I was learning in school. Forget about religion, and how each religion wanted people to all believe their way was the right way, school wanted us to all be a different “same way.” School wanted us to all become little cogs in the machines of industry and economics. School wanted us to become identical little cogs in the machinery, and some of us didn’t want to become cogs, identical or not. And it wasn’t just me, or those of my friends who agreed with me, but there were young people all over the modern world who didn’t want to become cogs, and so we became something else. There were many labels put on us a a group, even though we didn’t start as a group, but first we were longhairs, then we were beatles, then we were monkees, and suddenly we were freaks and hippies. Amongst ourselves we were freaks, but in the world-at-large we were hippies, and we loved being hippies. And as a hippie I went through some experiences that showed me life was so much more than anyone had ever told me it could be. Life had been about growing up, getting a job, getting married, having kids, then growing old, and dying. For most people,  that’s what life for them had been about for ages and generations. We didn’t want life to be like that, and so we changed what we believed,  and we led our lives differently…

* – Jesus, as far as I am concerned, was a fictional character, but that is just my bias speaking. There could easily have been such a real person, though the miracles he performed seem to me more mythic than real. This is just my opinion.

 

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Author: rawgod

Still a Hippie, and proud of it. Have my BSW, now retired. Would have preferred to be a Dr. of Philosophy, but the university I went to wouldn't let me study my own philosophy. Your gain, their loss. I live on the edge of society with my partner, five cats, a broodmare, and a three year-old filly who might make her racing debut this coming summer or fall. Remember the name, Tricksy T Clanton.

18 thoughts on “LIFE–AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE (part 2)”

  1. I loved your fresh, fascinating post — what I was able to read of it. My eyes are old and still less use to reading a monitor than a book. So it was a bit difficult for me to deal with such long paragraphs.

    They were, of course, proper and all — just that much shorter ones would have helped me to finish your post.

    Thanks for listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, Paul. I was thinking directly onto (virtual) paper. Can you not change font size on your machine? There should be a way.
      Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the eye problem. Is it rectifiable?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think the place to look is under “themes”. I was able to change fonts on my blog under themes.

        It’s just aging, RG. Not rectifiable, except to get thicker lenses.

        Thank you for your kindness in being concerned.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “School wanted us to all become little cogs in the machines of industry and economics.“
    I teach physics and occasionally math and engineering in school. The community of teachers are quite interested in teaching kids to evaluate information, formulate thoughts, and look for evidence. We also teach kids about the realities of what it would take to reach their dream jobs, including social skills and communication. Above all, we position kids to learn for themselves.
    Despite the factory-like bells and the regimented schedule, the school life is more like a place for kids to learn about themselves and each other.
    The depth od creating the space depends very much on the depth of the adults. There are many free spirits who become teachers to inspire kids – many. I cannot denegrate humanity into a lump term of “sheeple” – every one is sparkling with potential to be a unique and powerful expression.

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    1. Most definitely, but what does learning physics, math, or even engineering actually result in? It results in a job in the material world. And why do kids learn physics, math, or engineering? To make more money than those without these skills. It does not matter what you believe you are teaching your students, reality is what students are trying to learn. And this is not only true for the phtsical sviences. I myself have my Bachelor of Sovial Work. I accomplished this in my late 50s. Most of the students I studied with were interested in getting a good job. Yes, they wanted to help others, but their starting salaries after university were discussed much more often than how they were going to help their future clients. I had quite a few discussions with my profs, many who were younger than me. Their favourite students were the one over 30, they dhowed more caring and compassion than younger students. Even still, they wanted their students to get the better-paying jobs. Money, money, money, it is what runs the world.

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      1. Not sure what you are trying to say… you mentioned how school are like factories, and I suggested that students are being taught to think for themselves… in my classroom, a lot more is touched on than the discipline… in many other classrooms too…

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        1. What I am trying to say is that no matter what the teacher intends to teach, it is the student who determines what is being learned. I know you intend well, that you try to teach students to become individuals, but how do you ensure you are accomplishing your intentions? Teaching does not depend as much on what the teacher teaches, no matter how good or bad a teacher is. Teaching depends on how much or what a student is willing to learn. Good teachers help, of course. Poor students are almost always poor students.

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          1. Have you heard of free will? It is this odd thing where people come to this planet and get to choose their responses to absolutely everything…the teacher provides a stimulus, and the student exercises free will in response. Everything appears messy, uncontrolled, even chaotic. The teacher only has the responsibility of being clear. It is the nature of this realm to allow others to discover. It is the difference between a classroom with rigid rows of students taking dictation vs. a noisy classroom of students exploring an activity. You ask them questions to check what they understand, and you gently steer them to clarify and articulate their thinking….

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            1. Yes that happens, but I wish it happened much more than it does. Free will gives us the ability to make choices, but if ego is in control it is usually making the choices for us. Ego does not like for us to use our free will. I believe you said something similar yesterday; ego will put up a helluva fight to retain control. So to exercise your free will, you must understand what you are fighting, in order to make your choice freely. Few enough people understand what they are fighting, or what they are fighting for. For a young person that is even harder. Believe me, I want free thinkers to win. But I also have to be a realist in admitting we are losing this fight, and will continue to lose it as long as the end game for education is employment–the higher paying the better.

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              1. I agree with you about realism. However, no one is necessarily losing. This plane is about learning to see through the egoic mechanism, and each soul that opens is progress – millenea in the making. All is well RG 😀 nothing wrong with making money if one enjoys what they do. That is also fertile ground for blog posts

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                1. Enough to live on in our economy, no problem. Enough to have more than you can spend in this lifetime–way too much! When one person is hoarding what other people could use to stay alive and healthy, I cannot condone that. That is destructive. Obscene, actually.

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  3. If one was to ask me, the living beings in our universe are slowly learning how to come to terms with ego, and how to open spirit. This is not just a human task, but a life task. Every being has spirit, and spirits are the parts of us that progress. The thing is, there are three levels of progression, in my experience: physical, mental, and spiritual. Spirituality informs all levels, but the spirit cannot do much until the ego is tamed, and the mind is opened. Then all connections become visible. This is about the simplest way I can speak to my own experience, but there is great complexity behind this simplicity. It can be comprehended on the spiritual level of life, but it cannot be easily described in English. At least, I would need a book to even try, and I would forget to include things that would need to be included. My mind can grasp a lot, but not as much as my spirit feels the need to tell.
    As for what is spiritual progress, again I can see more than my spirit can explain. The biggest thing, for me, is understanding why I cannot explain. Part of this is understanding that there is no known goal, because knowing the goal would invalidate the journeys.
    Imagine you are Christopher Columbus, however he really spelled his name. You set off on a journey knowing you are going ro reach India. When you find land, as you expected, you call the inhabitants Indians. Yet even when your error is discovered, you still insist on calling these new people Indians. You want so badly to have reached your goal you are willing to tell one of the biggest lies of all time to hide your mistake. You call the land the Americas after your good buddy, but you insist the occupants are Indians. 600 yesrs later this same lie is still being repeated. Indians are from the Americas, not from India. How absurd!
    But this is only half the lie. Whatever else you did do, you failed in your goal. You thought you knew where you were going, but you went somewhere else instead. The Columbus example starts to fall apart now. The Americas interrupted your known goal, India. But what if Columbus did not know where he was going, but he still went anyway, and succeeded in discovering what no European knew was there. How would that have changed the history of the last 600 years? Of course, we can never know, what happened is what happened.
    So here we all are, on our journeys not only to discover our spirituality, but also looking for the goal, or purpose, of life. First of all, how do we know life has purpose? In all the time life has existed on this earth, we have never seen an actual purpose. At best purpose is like time or borders, we can only see them by the influence of human ingenuity. They are human constructs, without physical reality. Purpose has no physical reality! Or does it? Through first the story of evolution discovered in the fossils from the distant past, we can read parts of the story of life. All life started as one-celled beings, or things that became one-celled beings. All life consisted of one-celled beings for millions or possibly billions of years. Then came two-celled beings. For a long long time, the most advanced beings on earth were two-celled beings. Until three-celled beings appeared. At what point life started to become multi-celled beings, with every cell contributing to the life of the whole organism, I don’t if anyone knows. But we know there was advancement, or progression. And progress shows a drive to purpose. While we might not know what the true purpose of life is (although we can have our suspicions), we can reasonably assume live has purpose.
    But here I need to say that which many will disagree with: we on earth, or anywhere in our universe, cannot know the purpose of life! Why not? Because life itself does not know yet what it’s purpose is. As long as chaos exists, and chaos still exists, no one can know the true purpose of life, only that it is searching for one by every means possible. Whether we look at physical life, mental life, or spiritual life, there is a drive to find purpose. And until we find it, it cannot exist.

    So, without really having said anything at all, I have given you what my experience has given me of what is really going on. We, the beings of this cosmos, are looking for the purpose of life, even though we know it does not exist. And that purpose is the most important thing that life will ever discover.

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    1. Oops, as I said, I would probably forget half the things I wanted to say. DNA was another part of the story of life. We can use human DNA to tell part of our history, but we can also use it to trace it back to earIier species. If we had the know-how, and the equipment, we could probably follow our DNA right to the DNA of the earliest one-celled beings. Can you imagine the stories that search would tell us? I can! They are amazing!

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