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.

Watch “Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs” on YouTube

Sorry folks, but apparently this link has been broken. But if you can get to see it, I’m sure you will not be wasting your time, or money.

rawgod

If you care about the human race, and the planet we live on, this is a must-see movie. It is 100 minutes long, so you probably need to block off a space of uninterrupted time for it. Pop corn not recommended, but a Snarky Snippet scratch pad might be. Towards the end of the movie, if not before, kleenex are a must! I think it is GP, but the theme is definitely aimed at adults. If you have kids, especially sensitive kids, pre-watch it so you can decide if you want them see it it now, or when they are older.

My only advice, if you are a greenie like me, be prepared to have your socks knocked right off your feet, and the blinders off your eyes. And feel free to leave a comment after you’ve seen it.

rawgod

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

TEACHING OTHERS–WHY? part two

I must apologize. I wrote part one of this post quite a while ago, and had part two almost complete in my mind–but life interfered, and I never wrote it down. And then I forgot about it! In my mind it was written and published, and it was only today when I needed it that I discovered it was not there. How much of it I will remember I do not know, but this is only worrisome to me, because I know my failure. To you, the reader, who know nothing of this, you won’t even notice.

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Just to be clear, this post and its predecessor are not aimed at schoolteachers or college or university professors. Those people are paid to teach our youth things they will need to help them get by in life. Mind you, I do not always agree with what they teach or how they teach, but that is a wholly different matter. This post is aimed at people like philosophers, which I consider myself one, preachers, gurus, and anyone who thinks they have something to offer this world that can help the world become a better place. Needless to say, I am writing this to myself, because I am hoping to offer my experience at the uselessness of trying to teach anything to anyone.

First of all, we really do not want anyone to teach us anything. We know it all already. And if we don’t know it all, do we really need to learn something we are getting along fine without. After all, our parents brought us up to live in this world, and, yeah, they made mistakes, but there is no parenting manual that works for every situation. It’s just life, and we make it up as we go along. So get out of my face!

But we wannabe teachers ignore such proclamations. We know something that will make life easier for others, or better for others, and despite what others think or believe, we know we can help them. Right! Right? Wrong…

How arrogant of us! Over 37 BILLION people in this world, and we are the ones who know best what is good for everyone! You know what I’m saying. You’ve felt it. If you haven’t felt it why are you trying to teach anyone anything? You believe in yourself, right? You know what you have to offer. You are going to save the world.

You are not going to save the world. No one is. No one person can. Farbeit for me to disillusion you, disappoint you, and dishearten you, but as much as you would like it to be able to, your idea cannot work for everyone. There are too many cultures, societies, nations, types of government, philosophies, religions, political parties, too much of anything, for my, or your, idea to work for everyone. To emphasize this, there are too many individuals to get everyone to believe any one thing. And if you cannot help everyone, what is the use of trying to teach anyone.

For some it is teaching what someone taught you, and you are but another teacher in a long line of teachers teaching the same thing, generation after generation. You are convinced that what you are teaching is helping others even as what others taught you helped you. Or, you are someone who was not helped by what others taught you, and you discovered all on your own something that helped you, so now you want to teach others what you know helped you, because it can help them too. Forget it!

FOOLS!  WE ARE ARROGANT FOOLS! You know nothing. I know nothing. All we are doing is hoping someone will believe us, about how we see the world, about how we can save the world. Because if someone believes us, then we know we are making a mark in this world. We know we are not crazy egomaniacs with visions of megomolania. I used to be a crazy maniac, with visions of megalomania. But now I know I am just a fool, a person utterly honest with myself, wanting you to be utterly honest with yourself too. I know nothing. You know nothing. And that is the way life is.

I am not trying to say I have nothing to offer, or you have nothing to offer, but offer it, and forget it. As I said in part one of this post, you cannot control what you say once you’ve said it, nor can you control what someone hears in what you said. No language is perfect. Whatever language you speak, whatever language your reader reads, you cannot guarantee the reader is reading what you are saying. I’m sorry, but that is the truth. You may think they are agreeing with you, they might tell you they are agreeing with you, but really they are agreeing with themselves. They are agreeing with WHAT THEY THINK YOU ARE SAYING, and you have no way to control that. Yes, you may have used the best words you can think of, in the best language you know to say them, but  only you know what you are truly trying to say. No one else!

Take a look at some of our most famous human teachers from the past. Moses, Abraham, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Paul of Tarsus, Martin Luther, and all the ones we are missing. Notice who this list is missing: Africans, Australians, Pre-Columbus Americans (South and North), all kinds of Asians… What is the one thing everyone on or not on this list have in common–every one of them failed! All! Not just some… If any one of them had not failed this world would be a much better place to be. What is it you have that not one of these teachers had? Not a damn thing.

Now, if you have gotten this far in my little rant, and you think I have insulted you all I can, please let me disabuse you of that idea. Let me ask you a very important question, one I had to answer for myself a number of years ago: What makes you think your words are so important that no one before you has never thought of them before? I know I thought that about what I wanted to teach the world. I believed it to my very bones. Yet when I tried to tell people, no one understood me. Did anyone even try? I don’t know how to answer that! They told me they tried. Some told me they succeeded. But when I heard them repeat it to others, I finally understood my failure. What was so obvious to me was not at all obvious to others. Like a game of Telephone, or Rumour (same game, different name), the meaning changed. And each step it got farther away from me, the more it changed. It did not take long for the meaning to be entirely lost, though the names stayed the same. It was an exercise in futility. And had anyone been there to tell me this, I would not have believed them. I knew I was different, that what I had was special. I still feel that way, all these many years later. But I am enough of a realist to admit that I failed in my intention. I didn’t change the world one whit.

The worst part came for me when I listened to myself speak. Telling others what to do, or how to believe, deprived them of their own humanity, their own belief in themselves. It was easy to think most of them didn’t know how to think, that my thoughts went so much deeper than theirs. But even if that was true, their thoughts were still as important to them as mine are to me.  They wanted to be heard just as much as I wanted to be heard. For themselves they were right, even as I was right for myself. Truth is relative. Belief is relative. Thoughts are relative. Ideas are relative. PEOPLE ARE RELATIVE!

 

People believe what they want to believe, as long as they want to believe it. Encouraging them to believe what they do not want to believe, what they are not ready to believe, does not change them deep inside. ONLY THEY CAN CHANGE THEMSELVES, WHEN THEY WANT TO CHANGE THEMSELVES, WHEN THEY ARE READY TO CHANGE THEMSELVES, and anyone who wants to deprive them of their own journey is a fool, and a bully. How did you get to where you are? Only you can answer that. How did anyone get to where they are at? Only they can answer that. The best we can do is talk to others. The worst we can do is try to teach them. They deserve the right to be who they think they are. If they are right, for them, congratulations to them. If they are wrong, they will change themselves. I believe they have all eternity to find themselves. How long are you willing to allow them?

A REQUEST TO ALL (A)THEISTS. PLEASE…

STOP WRITING WITHOUT RESPECT!

Most atheists know what it is to be theists, we had no choice but to be brought up in religious societies. This was the world around us. As we grew older, and were able to make our own choices, we chose to leave those religions. But that does not mean we forgot what lIfe as a believer was like.

On the other hand, few believers were brought up as non-believers. There are some, of course, but generally that was a family decision, not a societal one. There are very few truely atheist societies in our world. Choosing to leave behind family beliefs and take on societal beliefs is much easier than the other way around. One is joining the larger group, the other is choosing to be a group of one. There is no such thing as a group atheistic belief system. People develop their own beliefs prior to finding others who believe similarly to them. Not the same as them, just similarly. No two atheists believe exactly the same, because no one tells us how to become an atheist. It is a personal journey.

So what I am requesting is for theists to stop writing about who you think atheists are, write about yourselves. Whatever religion you profess, and there are many to choose from, write what you know. That way you seem wise. Write about what you do not know, and you open yourself up to looking like a fool.

As for atheists, please let us keep the peace. If a religious writer is writing about their own religion, please give them the freedom to do so. This is a matter of respect. Give them respect, and maybe they will return it. In time, the maybe will disappear. However, if a religious writer does persist in writing about atheists, and openly showing they do not understand who atheists are, then it is your choice to challenge the fallacies they try to promote. They are saying they do not respect us enough to find out if what they are writing is true, or just a continuation of what they want to believe is true. Correcting their errors, if they persist in spreading them, gives us the right to challenge them.

This is all a matter of respect. Offer them respect, and if they accept it, and return it, please leave them be. If however they choose disrespect, and keep on writing their falsehoods, it is your choice to correct them if you so desire. Please, though, do it with respect. As for theists, please challenge those atheist writers who offer no respect to you.

These are my thoughts, take them for what they are worth to you.

Thank you for reading my request.

 

Death is not Optional –But What If

An Afterlife Was?

Hi friends. I’ve been trying to write this post for some time now, but I just can’t seem to write what I want. It all seems to come out crap. So, after much trial and tribulation, I decided, maybe you folks could write it for me. If you are willing, or even merely motivated to add your own thoughts.

What I would like to know is, if you could choose your own afterlife, would you? Or would you choose immortal death (a death you could never come back from, unlike gods or superheroes)? You have full reign to design any afterlife you would like to go to, or live in. One life to live, possibly forever, or reincarnation if you so desire, a ready-made afterlife such as any world religion might offer, or something that no one but you could ever imagine. Explanations are totally up to you. In fact, anything you want to write is okay with me, as long as it is relatively inoffensive in word if not in deed. So, in other words, if you could be your own god,  what would you design for yourself?

For myself, I would go along with my own philosophy, and incorporate a form of reincarnation. Why, because I do not believe it is possible to learn all about life in one lifetime. Nor do I think one could learn everything one might need to know by living in only one state of reality. I would create for myself a series of incarnations that would build upon each other spiritually, and do it on different levels of life in order to cover all possibilities that could eventuate. It would not be my ego-being that reincarnated, but rather a spirit-being that retains life-learning, and continually adds to it. Being “human” would only be one level of reality, preceded by living as other species of life, and being followed by changing into other forms of life. And even though I am the one creating my own afterlife, I would never write a scenario for a next incarnation until the last incarnation was complete.

This would give me an eternity of living and learning, always filled with new experiences and life-lessons. This is the kind of afterlife I could easily die for. What about you?