The Spirit of Christmas…. Trees

Once upon a time I believed to celebrate Christmas properly, I had to have a real Christmas tree. But why? What is so important about a real tree that each and every year, leading up to the Christmas season, a billion trees will have their lives cut short to satisfy some whimsical need to have a dying tree all dolled up in its funeral best to celebrate an event that happened over 2000 years ago, maybe!

For some, this celebration lasts a month or more, while for others they decorate their tree on Christmas Eve, and undecorate it on Boxing Day. For this a life was taken? This writer can no longer condone such action by remaining silent! Stop killing softwood trees for your viewing pleasure. Buy a human-made tree, and use it over and over and over. Save lives, don’t spend them basically uselessly.

Do you know that the average lifespan of a softwood tree like pine or spruce or hemlock is anywhere from 100 to 1000 years. A perfect tree that can overcome disease, bug infestations, and avoid fires can live for 5000 years. The average lifespan of a Christmas tree? 7 to 10 years. That is like killing human children before they reach puberty. Why are humans, Christian humans and their offshoots to be precise, so protective of human fetuses then so spendthrift with the lives of nature’s children?

And for what? What does a real tree have that a fake tree does not, except an agonizing and prolonged death in your living room or den. If you require the death of a tree to celebrate the birth of a man 2000 years ago, I think you are one sick excuse for a human being.

You may think I am crazy, or a scrooge, and you would be right on both counts. I am crazy about life, and hate that it can be cut short so wantonly. At least when we cut short the lives of living beings for food, we make use of them by eating their bodies. (I would much prefer we let plants and animals die naturally before we harvest them, or as in the case of fruits and nuts and berries just pick the seed pods and let the main body survive, which is ideal!) I do not like that we kill to live, but I cannot fight that.

I can fight to save the lives of a billion trees a year that are not harvested for food, but for useless (to them) celebration.

Please, think about the tree before you buy another real Christmas tree. You are wasting its life for your pleasure. Is that really the kind of person you want to be?

Maybe This Post Will Get Published…

I have started so many posts of late, but as you know, it has been a long time since anything got published. There are a couple of main reasons for this:

1) If I don’t finish it at one sitting, I lose all enthusiasm for whatever topic I was writing about, or

2) I just plain forget halfway through what I was trying to say, or what point I was trying to make.

So, really, this post is more of an apology to you, the readers, than anything else. Is it Alzheimer’s, or some other form of senility? Is it just the world is so screwed up these days that I wonder if it is worth my effort to try to communicate with others? Or is it just laziness on my part–I get bored with myself so easily these days? I really don’t know the answer.

Or maybe it’s Covid, but I really don’t think much of Covid, it is not a worry for me. I am not an anti-masker, though I occasionally forget to put my mask on, as I did today as the convenience store. I know Covid is not a hoax. I am just resigned to the fact my immune system has-been non-existent for so many years I catch any bug that comes within hailing distance of my lungs, and I will probably get this bug too. With my medical record, if I get it, most likely I will die. No big deal. I used to chain-smoke, knowing that would kill me someday. My choice of how I would die. I even smoked while running around a quarter-mile track trying to stay in shape. Yup, I knew I was killing me. Then I woke up one day and never smoked again, ever. No withdrawal symptoms, no cravings, no nothing. I didn’t even know I was considering quitting smoking. It just happened. That was 35 years ago. Now the odour of stale tobacco makes me sick. Well, so does fresh tobacco stink, but the stale stuff makes me wonder how I ever put that shit into my lungs.

Actually, quitting smoking was a spiritual thing for me. Life became more important than death. Not that I was afraid of dying, I dealt with that contigency when I was 19. That was when I had my LSD experiences, which I have written about elsewhere on this blog, and learned that life itself is eternal, not in a christian or religious way, just in a natural way. And certainly not in an ego way, ego only lasts along as the body does. Spirit is forever. So at first I chose to choose my manner of death, lung cancer. Then 17 years later, I chose life over death.

But probably I am digressing from whatever it was was trying to write about today, which was just to actually publish a post despite my own inability to do so of late.

So, no, I am not dead. No, I have not caught Covid. No, I have not stopped blogging, yet. I just haven’t been able to complete a post. Now, today, I have,

Time Out for some Awe-Inspiring Photos.

Here are two pics taken in my back yard. The second one I get to see every autumn, and it makes the other seasons worth living through just to see this for a few weeks every year.

The first pic is total serendipity. I awoke at dawn the other day. My eyes opened onto this image coming through my bedroom window. I grabbed my tablet and ran outside to capture it for posterity. I hope you enjoy them both.

ANOTHER COMMENT LEFT ON A BLOG POST, This time belonging to a so-called Capitalist

*All following quotes are from the post to be found at https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/25195780/posts/23338

*”The low rate of infant mortality is a product of data manipulation.” Please explain to this 70 year-old socialist who has lived his entire life in Capitalist Canada, (the wannabe-USA’s little brother) how a dearth of traffic causes a low rate of infant mortality, and how THAT can be considered data manipulation? Methinks Lawson and Powell, and you, M. C., are the real people trying to play fast and furious to compare applecarts and atomic bombs! which cannot be done. “Why has Cuban socialism, like all other centralized socialist economies, failed? The authors present with great clarity [prestidigitation] the essential point….that socialism, even if run by benevolent despots and populated with workers willing to work for the common good, could still not match capitalism’s performance.” Again, you are comparing oranges with bikini boobs and bottoms where L&P&MC are the beer-drinking boobs as alluded to above. Who said Cuban Socialism has failed, and by what authority? Cuban Socialism has been working–by Cuban standards–for nigh-on 60 years without a citizen uprising, without income inequity, without racism and bigotry, without mass shootings, without pollution, without poisoning most of the potable water available in the nation, without getting into senseless imperialust [spelling intentional] wars, without massively-huge drug problems, without prisons so overcrowded with convicted criminals that judges have to pronounce lighter sentences just to clear their dockets so they can keep up with new arrests, without nation-wide unrest and protests, without BLM and cops run amok, daily rapes (#WeToo) and murders, without 2nd Amendment non-gun-control concealed-carry AK-47 laws and vigilantism do I really need to continue rubbing your noses in the stoopidity [Spelling also intentional] you call capitalist success and performance? What dodo-damned world are you living in? If you wanted to make some kind of point with your readership, you certainly chose the wrong example to prove your point on how much better off a capitalist nation is compared to a socialist nation. I spit on your and your drunkard buddies’ assessment of our world.

And, by the way, just because Hitler called his political system “national socialism” does not give it legitimacy as a socialist nation! It was, and forever will have been, nothing but ugly and racist NAZIISM!

TALKING TO ROBERT?

Robert–Reminds me of what wise old king Solomon once said, “there’s a time for everything under the sun” etc. – from Ecclesiastes 3. He goes on to include things like laughter and sorrow, war and peace…

rawgod–I don’t think there is ever a time for war. Having “god,” or Solomon, suggest war is okay is anti-life.

Robert–So war against the Nazis is wrong?

rawgod–The nazis starting a war was wrong. If Hitler had not started the war, if he had not been “given the power” to start that war, there would have been no war.

Robert–So you deny “god”‘s existence when convenient, and blame Him for “giving the power” when convenient. Does God exist in your mind or not?

rawgod–I never said the power came from god. The power, in this case, came from the German people. You want to belive in your god, Robert, that is your right. I do not believe in your god, and that is my right.

rawgod–To restart. Robert, you said, “So you deny “god’s” existence when convenient, and blame Him for “giving the power” when convenient. Does God exist in your mind or not?”
First, I do not deny your god’s existence when convenient, I deny his existence, outrightly, completely, entirely, for eternity. THERE IS NO GOD, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
But thank you for attemting to put words in my mouth that I would never speak. No god or other all-knowing, aĺl-powerful superbeing exists in my life, not just in my mind. Where did you read that the power Hitler took to do what he did came from your god? That power, as I said, came from those German citizens who were either blind to his intentions, agreed with his intentions, or did not stand up to prevent his intentions from ever happening.
In fact, I find it pretty astounding that you could think your god would grant anyone the power to do not only what Hitler did, or any other mass murderer has done since the beginning of life on earth, whether 6000 years ago, or 6 billion years ago. No one should ever have such power! Yet how many times has it happened in just the last 150 years, not the 4.5 billion years life as we know it has existed. I know some names of mass-murderers in the last 150 years, but actually lets go back to when Columbo arrived in the western hemisphere. Pizarro in South America; the leaders of what is now America who tried to commit genocide on my ancestors whom they called inhuman savages, giving them the right to slaughter them in the name of christianity; Canada, same thing; Hitler; Stalin; Pol Pot. They murdered on larger scales, but America has had how many postal shooting, and school shootings, and crowd shootings, terrorist murder plots, etc? Even Trump, who ordered the murders of Kashoggi, and Soleimani. These (above) are all people who were given the power, or took the power upon themselves, to destroy other living beings. I will only mention the murderers of the Dodos, or the buffalo, in passing, except to say those people who slaughtered the bison for their skins, leaving the meat to rot on the expanses of the prairies, billions upon billions of completely unnecessary and useless murders, all of them by mass muderers. (The ones who slaughtered the Dodos did it for the sheer fun of it. Dodo meat was inedible. What was the purpose of that?) You want to put all these murders on the non-existent shoulders of your all-powerful all-loving god? You should be ashamed of yourself, but if that is how you choose to live, sobeit. It’s your right.
I choose to blame the murdering people themselves who did these deeds, and lay some of the blame at the feet of the nations, the cutures, and the societies who bred them, including the religions who blessed their works. Funny how both sides of many conflicts claim their god’s approval in what they did, when they both worshipped the same god. And you wonder that I chose to stop believing in such deities, and theities? Who is the insane one here?
How, Robert, did you ever come to the conclusion the power I spoke of was coming from your god. Those were not my words, but it WAS your assumption.

I know you want me to appear to your friends and fellow-belivers as the flip-flopper, but I am cherry-picking nothing, while believers in the “One True God” cherry-pick the bible for those parts which they choose to accept, and ignore the parts they don’t like or believe. (Why else are there so many denominatons of so-called christian religions?) You are doing exactly that in this conversation. You opened the discussion to “beliefs of convenience,” sir, not me. Don’t get all upset over your opponent for using against you the weapons you brought to use against him.

Meanwhile, you used them under false pretences, not arguing against what I said, but against WHAT YOU CHOSE TO BELIEVE I SAID. Do you think I am just going to sit back and let you walk over me and be the good little boy you want me to be, or are you going to fight the fight you started, instead of running and hiding behind your mother’s skirts, and the fatherly robes of your religious leaders? I’ll tell you right now, you can only lose this fight, because you are dishonest, and you choose to obfuscate, but mostly because you do not know anything about your chosen enemy. This is the problem with the so-called war between theists and atheist, “you choose to believe what you have been told about your enemy,” while I, whom you think is your enemy, and while I may not be a friend, though I am not ruling a friendship out, I am just a living being, hoping you will give me the respect you demand I give to you, whether you deserve it or not. At this point you do not. You, as I was saying, think you know me. I do know you, to the extent that I used to be you. As a child, I believed all the things I was told, even as you still do. I believed there was a God, because I was told there was a god. I even believed that this god loved me, though he/she/it never told me that, always I was told by someone else, someone representing this god, but never by God. So, eventually, I asked, “Where is God?” I was given such answers as everywhere, in churches, in my heart even (how could anyone but me know what or who was in my heart), and the most common answer of all, in Heaven. What did someone in some heaven know, or care about little young me here on earth? He didn’t speak directly to me, he wasn’t willing to meet with me, have a conversation with me, or take a walk with me–not even through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He never even bought me an ice-cream cone. Well, nor have you, Robert. (Is this where you got the idea, as expressed in your “next” comment, that I am “raging” against your god? Where is the rage? I find no rage here. Just reasoned discussion. If you see rage, or hear rage, or read rage, then you have a very pleasant, but wrong, image of what rage really is. Rage is never pleasant, to the ragee, or the rager. Yup, you seem to be wearing your rose-coloured glasses.)

Back to where were we, all I get from you are meddling, accusations, lies, and challenges, and I get no respect. You would rather believe the lies other people tell you, other people who do not know me either, than come to the horse to learn what is in his (my) mouth, than to listen to my truth. As I said, I’ve been you. I know how you operate.
Finally, now that I have calmed myself down from the outrage I aĺlowed you to make me feel, I will continue. But, first, tell me, please, Robert, if other people tell lies about you, or try to diminish you in front of your friends, how does that make you feel? Outraged? I don’t doubt it.
So, do you wish to continue this discussion, person to person, not theist to atheist, or even theist to atheist but still person-to-person, I am more than happy to oblige. (You agreed, so the conversation will contunue here, where other people can participate if they feel the urge.)

Robert–For someone you don’t believe in, you seem to have a lot of rage towards “god”. And for someone I thought was pacifist, to talk of a “war” between atheists and theists seems a bit strong. I would rather a conversation than a war, but I’m happy for to visit and comment on your blog, and I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. I come in peace, not war! Robert

rawgod–Please read what you write, sir. Everything you have written above is a question, or a negative statement about me. You misinterpret me, on purpose I am sure, to try to enrage me, to make me lose my cool and say something else you think you can jump on me for. I quote, “And for someone I thought was pacifist, to talk of a “war” between atheists and theists seems a bit strong.” “War” is but a synonym for conflict, it does not mean battle with weapons of destruction. How could you take my words, “so-called war between theists and atheists” and turn them into “talk of a “war” between atheists and theists.” That is an intentional misquote. You cannot even respect my intentional order of word placement. Atheists have no war with theists, but theists feel the need to war on atheists. You fear us, because we refuse to believe as you do. That creates doubt in your mind. How can anyone not believe in something so obvious as your god is to you? WHAT IF… No, don’t go there. There is no what if. Of course god exists. My mother wouldn’t lie to me. Would she? I mean, there is no Santa Claus, but, she wasn’t lieing, she was just enhancing my belief in my right to be entertained as a child. I mean, I always knew she was the Tooth Fairy. It was just another one of her many names. And she told me many stories about princes marrying princesses. She never once mentioned princes marrying princes. But I’m not a prince, I’m just her son. No, she never lied to me. Did she?

Where did you hear me “rage” against your god, Robert? Please send quotes. I raged against you, for believing lies about me, lies “other people” told you. But you’re not god, are you. At another time in my life, after I had stopped believing in religion but while I still maintained the possibility there might be a god, I would have said, yes, you are god. All of us are god. But that was another time, in another place. In my “now” world there is no place for god, or time for god. I am too busy being me.

As for thinking you can hurt my feelings, you don’t have the power, or the right to hurt my feelings, without my permission. For awhile I allowed you to make like you hurt my feelings. This was necessary, for I needed to TRY to show you how you were disrespecting me, but that was a waste of ten minutes of my life, because you will never understand how you are disrepecting me. I am an atheist, you have to disrespect me, or I might start to become human to you. Only Christians are human, everyone else is a savage beast, so to you I am a savage beast, yet one who can reason and even use the same language as you, written and spoken, but that is meaningless. I am a savage beast.

For now I will let you go on thinking you come in peace. You need to have some fantasies, after all. Take care. I will await your response in my “comment” area, and if I can figure out how to add it right into my post, I will do that.

For now, Robert, adeiu, and sweet dreams.

TEN COMMANDMENTS, AS ORIGINALLY CHIPPED IN STONE

If you believe in the One God, please stay away for your own spiritual well-being. 

1. Thou shalt have no gods before me. After me, I don’t care. I’m Number 1.

2. Thou shalt have no graven images of me. Do you know what I look like? I don’t know what I look like. I haven’t invented the mirror yet. Maybe soon.

3. Thou shalt not take my name in vain. If you want something, ask for it. If I want you to have it, I will give it to you. If I don’t think you need it, and I’ve pretty much already provided you with everything I want you to have. Forget it. 

4.  Remember the Sabbath day. In English, that’s Saturday. Not Sunday. Not my day. Saturday, that day belongs to me. Keep it holy. 

5. Honour thy father amd thy mother, if you know who they are, and if they deserve it. If they don’t, screw them.

6. Thou shall not kill another living being, of any kind. Unless they are a Gentile. You can kill Gentiles, if you think they deserve it. Be careful, I might be watching. And I might disagree.

7.  Thou shalt not commit adultery. If you are married, keep it in your pants. If you’re single, wear a condom. I cannot protect you against those kinds of diseases. By the way, if it aint born yet, it aint born. Read the recipe.

8, Thou shalt not steal. Everything already belongs to me. If you need it, just take it. Otherwise, leave it for the next person. 

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against me. Remember, I am your neighbour, wherever you are. And I know the truth. Do you really want to test me?

10. Thou shalt not covet that which is not yours. What you have came from me. It was meant for you. Don’t get greedy.

If you belueve in One God, please stay away for your own well-being.

A Bitter Gertrude Reblog: Diversity Training Will Not Save You

I copied this post today because I thought it spoke well to the present race situation, not only in the USofA, but all around the world. Also, because Bitter Gertrude does not allow comments on her blog. I know I wanted to comment, and I am sure a lot of her other 6125 followers did too.

But first, she said:

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Every company, every school, every nonprofit is scrambling to hire a “Director of Diversity” or relying on their current one to navigate them safely through this crisis. Nearly every organization has felt the need to respond in some way. White-run organizations– including police departments all over the country– are promising further “diversity training” for their staffs. The problem is: Diversity training doesn’t work.

Why it doesn’t work is not the fault of the DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] professionals working in the field. Quite the opposite. The problem is how we– especially white people in positions of power–approach the issue of racism. We think of it as “a problem” that can be “solved.”

White supremacy is not a workplace issue that a diversity specialist can “solve” for you. It’s a systemic cultural issue that manifests in the workplace [and society] in the same way it manifests everywhere else.

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A group of young Black people wear masks that say “I CAN’T BREATHE” as they attend a protest in Chicago. Photo by Nam Y. Huh.AP. Source: “Do the Work: An Anti-Racist Reading List” by Layla F. Saad.

Upper-level management is almost entirely white across the US, and white people don’t think of ourselves as “racist”– we think racism always lies somewhere else, with someone else. We think of it as a relatively simple issue– we’re “not racist,” so Jerry in Legal can just stop being racist by following a few simple guidelines and the problem will be “solved.”

We think this issue is about how individual white people treat individual people of color, and while that is absolutely one aspect of this, it’s not everything. You can fire a racist cop or a racist politician or a racist investment manager, but the replacement is just as likely to be racist– intentionally or unintentionally– if you don’t address the underlying issue of systemic white supremacy, and you can’t do that if white people aren’t willing to do the hard work involved.

Diversity training is an invitation to begin that work, not a “solution” to racism in the workplace or otherwise.

White people– especially white liberals who consider themselves “woke”– imagine diversity training will be our moment to stand up and denounce the racism of those bad people somewhere else while our Black colleagues clap. The moment we realize that this work demands examining our own complicity and the ways in which white supremacy has shaped us as white people, we react defensively, even angrily.

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What white people imagine diversity training will be like           (Pictured: A white woman with blond hair and a bright blue dress [Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones] is held aloft by a crowd of people of color dressed in earth tones, all reaching for her.) Let me tell you two brief stories about diversity training.

I once worked in an extremely liberal workplace in an extremely liberal area. The org, despite its progressive identity and location, had never done any DEI work in its history, and there were some resultant problems. Three women of color & I co-founded its first DEI committee. I believed most of these progressive white people would embrace the journey ahead and we would Get Things Done. I was spectacularly wrong.

Most white staff were defensive; several were openly hostile. Many were offended at the very idea they might need diversity training. One of the worst offenders flat-out refused to attend; in staff meetings, others crowed about their hostility to the trainers (“I really got her!”) or pointedly stated that the “ideal community” was “homogeneous.” White leadership protected and defended the bad behavior. Eventually, the hostile work environment forced all four of us out.

What a child I was. This was before Robin DiAngelo’s book [White Fragility] came out, and I was still under the naive impression that progressive white people would “be better.”

Those employees (with one exception) sat through those diversity trainings. They sat through every single one. And it did almost nothing. The average retention there of Black staff is two years.

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You may have already heard my second story: A few days ago at a protest, police in San Jose, CA shot their own diversity trainer at point-blank range with rubber bullets for daring to try to stop them from continuing to fire on peaceful protesters. They illegally aimed for his groin and ruptured his testicle. Witnesses captured the moment on camera, confirming that the trainer was standing, hands up, in broad daylight, speaking calmly. And they shot him.

I don’t doubt that this man, Derrick Sanderlin, is an excellent diversity trainer. What I doubt is that the cops who shot him had any interest in taking that work seriously. Yet the SJPD, just like the org in the first story, just like almost every company and organization in the nation, have “diversity” listed as part of their mission.

“Diversity” isn’t the same as “equity.” A “diverse” culture can still be a white supremacist culture. Whatever you think the presence of Black people will do for your org, it’s not going to happen if they know you’re hostile to their truth.

A universal truth of teaching is that you can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to learn. Diversity training  is useless if white people are not willing to accept that we’ve been just as impacted by white supremacy as people of color. We have to be willing to accept that our culture relentlessly produces and promotes racist ideas, and we have to be willing to fully accept that people of color are far more adept at identifying and defining them. And while this post is about racism, please remember that the same can be said for women and sexism, [LGBTQ2S and homophobia,] trans people and transphobia, people with disabilities and ableism, and so on for all marginalized groups.

White people must listen and believe when people of color identify for us the impact white supremacy has had on them. After that, cleaning up our mess is our responsibility. People of color, diversity trainers, and anyone else can suggest solutions all day long but it’s our individual responsibility as people– not just as working professionals– to act on those solutions.

Overthrowing systemic white supremacy is a revolution that starts in your own heart and mind. It’s a lifelong process of anti-racist work. Each new day will bring a new realization of a racist concept you have been taught that you need to confront, examine, and work against. That feeling of defensiveness is your clue that you’ve hit paydirt. Whenever there’s a discussion of race or racism, and you feel defensive, you’ve found an area that needs work. It’s your job to stop yourself from reacting defensively and do the anti-racist work required.

There’s no Certificate of Completion. That Certificate of Completion you got for doing your workplace diversity training is nothing but an invitation to reconstruct your own humanity, and that work will never be done.

The work is all there is. It’s one foot in front of the other, and you will fail. We will fail. But we must keep trying. To pretentiously quote Samuel Beckett, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

The stakes could not be higher. Lives [and people] are counting on us to do this work, and those lives matter.

[As the boy’s sign above states: ALL LIVES MATTER!]

[Anything in square parentheses above are my additions.]

rawgod’s commentary:

As I said above, Bitter Gertrude has stated the problem well, but it is still not enough. Systemic Racism, otherwise known as Organizational Racism, is almost entirely INVISIBLE to white people. To start, show me a white person who does not believe that people of colour can cure racism without white leadership? (This has already been disproved in apartheid South Africa!) There are many reasons why this is believed to be true, 1) because it was white people who explored the world, killing aboriginal people wherever they were found, enslaving them, raping them, and whatever else they did; 2) the richest nations in the world are white (not noticing they made most of their wealth off the backs and bodies of people of colour; 3) most white nations have more stable and less corrupt governments than poorer nations with lots of people of colour.

That is just a start. And the main gist of those three ideas is that people of colour are not able to govern themselves, they have little power compared to white people, and because white people will always win armed confrontation between races. Those ideas, built right into whites from their earliest days, even though few realize they have them, are what systemic racism is all about. Whites just believe they are better.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some white people who realize these racist ideas, but if they encounter these kinds of treatment of people of colour, they keep their mouths shut if they are alone. They know how dangerous white people are, and they don’t want to involve themselves in other people’s problems. As Bitter Gertrude said above, not confronting the problems is not being anti-racist, it is being covertly racist. Whites too fear racists. They have a lot to learn.

1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary | Swine Flu Pandemic | Deadly plague of 1918 – YouTube

Dear Readers, the above video is not about spirituality, at least not directly. It describes the so-called SPANISH FLU of 1918-1919 that devasted the entire world. I won’t ask you to watch the whole thing, though I will leave it up to you. The ending is almost prophetic.

Reincarnation Revisited

Life

In order to even try to understand reincarnation, I think we have to understand what life is. I know I have said it before, (The following is entirely my opinion, belief, and experience!) life is not just some unkown or unknowable energy force existing in our universe. Life is the universe. Life is the cosmos! Unfortunately most living beings take life for granted. They are alive, life is but a journey from birth to death. It is that, to be sure, but it is so much more. It doesn’t just start with a germinated spore, a fertilized seed or egg, it pre-exists the spore or seed or egg. It is the raison d’être of the cosmos.

I realize this is an insufficient statement for most deep thinkers, you want proof of life. But unlike the human idea of a god which can never be seen or otherwise known, we experience being alive every day of our lives. We just don’t think about it per se, we are satisfied to have it, and do it, without having to acknowledge it. Why should we, it has been with us every moment since our births. Big deal, eh? But it is a big deal, and that is why we must learn to acknowledge it. Not worship it, just acknowledge it. And feel it in your body, because you can feel it. You know you are alive.

Yes, I have failed to meet the burden of proof. We cannot measure life, we cannot pull it out of ourselves, we cannot literally point to it. But we can measure its absence when it leaves us. Its corollary is death, and we know when a body loses life. That body no longer functions. So if we know death, we must also know life. What do you think?

Death

If life is a big question mark, even though everyone and everything that has ever lived has experienced life, then what is death? At first glance, death is the taking away of life. In fact, if life appears from nowhere, death should return one to nowhere. That is logical. But life itself is not logical, is it? Can life really appear from nowhere? Who knows? But when you start to think about it, when you start to look at the realities of life, little clues begin to pop up that make us wonder…

Life itself comes in many forms, from viruses and bacteria, to plants, to animals. Each of those come in millions or billions of varieties, just on this Earth alone. And for now I am not going to discuss life as it may or may not exist on other worlds, we have no actual experience of life on other worlds. On earth, all life has the same building blocks, called cells. DNA, RNA, nucleii, cell walls, etc. I am not a biologist, I have limited knowledge of these things, and the molecules and atoms that make them up. But, basically, life as we understand it starts at the cellular level–in that we are all the same. Cells live, cells die. We are made of cells. We live, we die. We have at least that much in common. To say it another way, death ends our physical lives on Earth.

The Middle Ground: Reincarnation

Is physical life all there is? Many people believe life is only physical. Science can only look at the physical, what you can see is what you get. Religious folk, on the other hand, believe life is more non-physical than it is physyical. They, especially Christians and Muslims, believe in eternity, a perpetual life spent in Heaven or Paradise. But to what end? The idea of reincarnation actually predates the idea of heaven, and in its own way eternity lovers owe their beliefs to the concept of reincarnation. To be “born again” is to reincarnate, but through bad translations and lack of imagination, in my opinion, the concept was bastardized, disfigured, reworked until it came to mean one physical life, in which if you were “born again in Christ,” you got to advance to eternity. The rest of us, well, if they were not born again, or if they never heard of Christ, were condemned to an eternity in hell–a place of great suffering and pain. Not very charitable or hospitable of these neighbourly Christians or Muslims, I would have to say.  Nor of their compassionate God! For a forgiving father figure, he turns out to be nothing but a tyrannical dictator.

My own journey away from religion began when I first came to realize that no matter what people thought of themselves or how good they “believed they were being,” maybe one in a million, if that, would end up in heaven. Especially if, the gods knows how, God knows every thought a person has, people keep on sinning whether they have been born again in Christ or not, showing they are not worthy of heaven, ever. Hell would be everyone’s eternal destination. So either there is no heaven or hell, or God the father is one true prick, without a gram of compassion in his entire being…

Most times when there are two extremes of thought, the actual truth lies somewhere in the middle. So what lies partway between science and religion? My answer is reincarnation. (I am not saying this is the only choice, but I believe it to be a good choice. My experience in a few week period of my life, which I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, led me to this belief. For me it was real, and therefore true, but I am not asking anyone else to believe me. I am only asking you, the reader, to hear what I am saying.) If there is a reason for life, not even a purpose, just a reason, then reincarnation makes a lot of sense. And it explains something I have never heard anyone else ask: Why are so many people so different from each other, while still maintaining  similarities in thought and disposition to many others, but never all others? But we are all macrophysically the same, are we not.

Reincarnation is a series of movements from knowing very little about life to knowing a lot about life. Each time a life becomes incarnate, it has the opportunity to regress, to stay virtually the same, or to progress. We cannot generally tell by looking at a living being if any of these three conditions is present in an individual–we have no idea what they may have been like before. Yet certain people we feel are older than others, having more wisdom than others, or more life experience. Why is that? And though I do not see this next feeling as often as I see the older being feeling, some people seem to be extraodinarily young. They are excited at anything new they see; they tend to believe anything absolutely anyone tells them. Even as adults they are very much like babies. Trusting, undiscerning, easily hurt, but quickly recovering. Young beings. Very young beings. Inbetween the young and the old seeming people, no matter their physical age, are the greatest numbers of people, people who act like many others, think like many others, and believe like many others. These would be those beings who have lived many lives, but have not yet determined if their lives have value. This is arguably similar to each individual as a whole–growing from a baby through teenagehood to adulthood towards seniority. And though these similarities exist, still there are so many different kinds of people who face life in so many different ways that others can see their individual characteristics. Let us call that our personalities.

Even those who believe in reincarnation differ greatly,  Some look at it through religious eyes, while others through other kinds of eyes. I myself see it through experiential eyes–there are those that fight who they are, while others accept who they are. Literally, there are millions or billions of people alive at any time who are similar yet different, while others are just different. Everything seems to depend on experience, but still different people react differently to different situations, and different stimuli.

I am not saying this is evidence of reincarnation, but it could be….

So why don’t we remember past lives, or past learnings? Well, some of us think we do, but so few find it easy to believe, especially here in the west, that the majority reject it out of hand.  In the east, where reincarnation is taught at a mother’s breast, the concept is much more acceptable. But no matter, there is still very little of what the scientific or religious communities would take as evidence, or beliefs, that reincarnation is a hard sell. Many want to believe it, for it takes the onus off living a saintly life this incarnation, but not so many actually do. Like heaven, it is a nice concept, not a sure thing.

So why can’t we remember? Can you imagine how complicated life would be if we could remember everything from past lives? Life would be unliveable. But, in my opinion, that is why we do not remember. Everything is built into us, all we have to do is need it, and it is there, already inside us.

This attempt at writing about reincarnation is woefully inadequate. I do not feel good about even publishing it. But I look at it as a start. Having got something down on paper is better than never having anything on paper. From here readers can ask questions, make comments, ridicule me if they like. But it is a start for communication. I hope you can appreciate my dilemma…

Going Home

Hi friends,

Just thought I would drop a quick note to say after 15 days of being wildfire evacuees, we are leaving for home soon.

Gail, the cats, and I are safe and sound. No structures in our town burned, so we have a home to go back to. Unfortunately, other communities were not so lucky. However, no human lives were lost. The toll of other living beings is uncountable.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your well-wishes, and kind, caring thoughts.

Not sure when I will next be writing, but I hope it will be soon.

rawgod