LIFE–MY BELIEFS the abridged edition

Life! What is it? We all know inside of us what it is, we would not be alive without it. The best dictionary definition I can find reads: The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction,  functional activity, and continuous change preceding death. Does that definition work for you? It does not work for me. While I agree with it wholeheartedly, I find it descriptive,  but not definitive. To me it describes what we can do with life, but it does not get to the roots of what life actually is. This inability to express what life is instead of what it does is probably why I have spent most of my life from the time I was born until this very moment as I write this post to try to discover if I can better define what life is, or if it is even possible to define it using the English language, which is my mother tongue,  and the only language I can use with any confidence.

Why? Because I have a need to know (or at least die trying).

As I have gone through life I have watched myself, other people, animals, plants, and thought long and hard about bacteria and viruses too. To the best of my ability, I think those four categories cover all known types of life on earth. And the bacteria and the viruses can probably be combined into one-celled organisms, but since not all viruses are complete cells a lot of scientists do not believe they are alive, or, at most, are a pre-cellular type of life. I, however, am not going to deal with such tiny limits for the purpose of this post. Viruses live and die, so for me they are living beings. In fact, viruses, if we can believe those who study them, are the most plentiful type of organic material on our planet. Second are the bacteria, with plant and animal cells coming in last, probably in that order. So does this help tell us anything about life? I guess it depends on how you look at life.

Most humans are happy to go through life content in the knowledge that they are the highest form of life on this planet. After all, we can imagine things,  we can create things, we can use both spoken and written languages, we can build things (particularly tools), and we can force our will on all other things, to name just a few of the advantages humans seem to have over other life forms. But all those things are human-centric characteristics . Can we really judge our position in life by comparing all other living beings to our own specific abilities? I think we cannot. Yes, we do have one of the most complex physical metabolic systems in the world, we have opposable thumbs and fingers, we have large and convoluted brains (in every sense of that word), and again we can force our wills onto our physical systems, but still we are talking about human-centric attributes. How we judge other forms of life is almost always by comparing them to us. What if we were to compare ourselves to them? We would be inferior in as many categories as we would be superior. But is life really a competition? Survival is a competition, but again the survival techniques of animals like the chameleon and the stick-bugs, and the survival ability of the shark and cockroach all put us to shame. Be are not the be-all and end-all superior lifeforms that we think ourselves to be. And while we make life a contest between humans and other species, does it really have go be that way? I say no! There is no reason we cannot all get along together, and support each other, as the living beings we all are.

Does this really have anything to do with what life is? I think that answer is yes, but I need to throw a twist in here that most of you will not see coming.

What if I were to tell you that we humans, one of the most complex beings we know of, are not really who we think we are? Yup, rawgod really is off his rocker, insane to the nth degree. But before you cart me off to the inane asylum, let me tell you who I believe we are. We are group minds, the mental embodiment of all the cells in our bodies. Remember, and think about it, single-celled beings–animals, plants,  or microbes–are all living beings. And the average human being has about 37.2 trillion (that is 37,200,000,000,000) cells in it. Science is quite clear about that. And that is not counting the almost 40 trillion bacteria that live inside us, and the uncountable number of viruses (life-supporting, life-enhancing, life-hurting, or life-destroying) that also live in our bodies. We are walking universes, and so are all other complex-bodied beings. What are all those tiny and /or microscopic living beings doing inside us? Just sitting around with their feet up on ottomans and watching TV while we, the group minds, do all the work? No!

No! No! No! No! No!  They are all trying to work together (not counting destructive viruses and bacteria) to keep us alive and living! And we should be using them as shining beacons of cooperation and compassion to learn from. Life lives on life lIves on life, to be sure, but life also relies on life relies on life to persist and continue to persist. And we need life to exist, for without life nothing can be known to exist. And we cannot know life without life. We cannot know love without life. Simply put, we cannot know if there is no life.

But there is life. We are Life.  Every living being in the universe is life. Yes, the universe. And it is  completely necessary to live together and work together in order to sustain what we have, but could so easily lose!

Ah, it is time to calm down, and get back to our original question, what is life? If you can concede me that all single-celled beings are a part of life, we can now look a bit harder at what life is, at least in my mind. Life is a spark of energy, one that exists at the cellular level. And because it is energy, those sparks never die. We, the group minds, die, in a manner of speaking. As each cell in our bodies die, so do we. But the sparks,  being energy, change into a different state that cannot exist on our plane of existence. Our physical reality is real, but it is not the only reality there is in the cosmos. The universe we live in will exist as long as there is life to know it. Should life ever end totally in our universe, it will subjectively end also. While objectively it may still be there, it will be of no consequence to any living being. So end of life in this universe = end of universe. But the cosmos, that place of living beings, will still survive, because (in human terms at least) it will always have some kind of life to be aware of it. We humans may not be there, but the sparks that are inside us now, will always be.

But I doubt at this time you are interested in cosmology. Probably you are most interested in life here on earth, more specifically human life, and still more specifically, your life, or if you will, the possible 500 trillion lives that make up your life.

You are special, you know, though you may not know it, or even feel it. You are special because these 500 trillion lives chose you to drive the bus for them.  They are completely in your control. Before you read this, you thought your responsibility was only for yourself,  a total of one living being. But, if I am correct, then you are actually responsible for a minimum of about 500 trillion living beings, give or take a billion or so. But does it stop there? I don’t think it does. Taking responsibility for yourself cannot be an isolated occurrence. Responsibility is a two-way street. In order to survive, we also need to depend on others, and those others need to depend on us. We have to interact together with other humans, with the animals from who we obtain protein, with the plants from whom we obtain our vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, etc. We even have to depend on insects to pollinate our plants to help those plants grow seeds, or to make different foods like honey. We have to depend on microbes too, they help us digest our foods, expel waste materials, as well as in food processes such as baking bread, or making yogurt. These are just the human interactions, everything else also interacts with all the others in ways we might not even know or understand yet. Life cannot survive without life. But everything, and I mean everything, can survive without us, without humans, and human intervention. What does that say to us? What does that say about us?

But, as usual, I digress. Our world is teeming with life, but it is only through teamwork that it all comes together. And teamwork is one of the things humans must learn.  Right now we are only team players with those we choose to be on our teams,  at least that is what we seem to think. But, in our global economy, we are actually teaming up in some ways with almost everyone, whether we admit it or not. We have no idea of the race, nationality, religion (or non-religion), gender,  sexual persuasion, or any other distinguishing feature of those who grow our food, provide us with raw or manufactured goods, various services, or provide us so many of those things we now use and enjoy daily. Would you stop eating a particular food if you knew it was supplied to you by a gay, white, female, buddhist from North Korea? Or would you stop wearing your favourite article of clothing if you knew it was designed by a oriental muslim, sado-masochist ex-criminal man who was born in Cuba? I doubt it, in answer to either question. Yet if you ran into either person on the street, would you say “Hi, thank you for what you made it possible for me to enjoy.”? I highly doubt that too, though you may have some choice thoughts about even sharing a bit of space with them for even a moment. Teamwork! That is what life is all about.

Life is a particular type of energy, a special force that science mostly ignores. Life is a spark within us, something that every living being in existence has. And it is a spark that starts at the cellular level, and grows from there. But the funny thing about it, life is like a pregnancy, you either are alive, or you are not. The division between life and death is an instant. One second there is life, next second there is no life. Yes, you can sometimes see death happening, as when someone is slowly dying, but still, when death comes, it is undeniable that has happened. But, since life is a form if energy, it can be restarted,  occasionally,  with the addition of more energy. Whether it is manual energy,  as in CPR, or electrical, as in defibrillation, it is possible to restart life. It is also possible to keep life going mechanically, or chemically, as in life support. You can keep a body alive when it would die without that support.  But sometimes even that is not enough, because keeping the body alive does not ensure keeping the mind alive. That right there is a clue to tell us that life is NOT a physical energy or force. If the body can be maintained, can be kept alive, AFTER the mental ability of the person inside the body is gone, then they must be two seperate things. So suddenly (as far as this essay is concerned) we have two types of life, physical, and something else. While physical life is obviously important, it is the other kind of life that is the valuable one. But what can we call it?

Thanks to the internet,  we have at hand a whole list of words that refer to an energy or force that is differentiated from physical life. We have mental energy, psychic energy, psionic energy, and life energy/life force. In other languages we have words like chi, qi, or prana. The first list, the ones in English, do not exist, according to our scientists, because “they cannot be measured. ” The last list, the feign words, cannot be adequately expressed in English for us to know whether they actually mean what we need them to say, because while they sound good, they are energies or forces that “have to be awakened” in us to be used, so it sounds like they are more of a super-energy,  or super-force, that have more to do with consciousness than with life itself. So, I would like to coin the word mind-life to express the idea of the energy or force that makes a living being able to make the body usable.

Some people might question whether a microbe, or even an insect or a plant, could have mind-life, but that is asking a question that is virtually impossible for humans to answer at this point in our evolutionary process. As of this present time, we believe the difference between human and most other species is sentience, or the ability to think. We know that we are sentient, but we really have nothing to compare ourselves with. We believe whales and dolphins, for instance, are sentient, but it could be a different kind of sentience for all we know. Nor can we say without sureness that any lifeforms cannot think. What do spiders do while they are waiting for the signal that says food has arrived in their web?  What does a turtle do while it is withdrawn into its shell waiting for danger to pass? And even more significantly, what does a male penguin do while it sits on its egg(s) for six months or more while the female is off resuppling its body with food off the coast of Antarctica? Do they just sit there doing absolutely nothing, not even thinking, waiting for instinct to kick them back into motion? I cannot accept such an idea. Nor can I did put it, of course, but truly it makes no sense to me. They have to be doing something, and some kind of thinking is what makes the most sense.

So now we have life and mind-life. Basic life, or physical life, we know can exist without mind-life, though it is not common. But can mind-life exist without physical life? Not as far as we know. But physical life without mind-life is has no real purpose or value, as far as we understand life. There is of, course, potential value, or potential value in this latter situation, if the physical life could somehow be revived by adding mental force to it, but to the best of my knowledge, once a living being has been proven to be brain-dead, mind-life has never been restarted.

When some people talk about what I am calling mind-life, they use words like vitality,  and animation. Particularly medical people, and scientists, use this kind of language when dealing in life or death situations. Those can be very expressive words, but do even they describe life?  I think they might describe life in very particular situations, but I for one do not feel comfortable with them. While talking about physicality, as in

 

You have 7.6 billion siblings to be responsible for, because they are all humans. That makes about approximately 282,720,000,000,000 000,000,000, or 282.72 sextillion (or maybe septillion, my mathematics is a bit rusty) lives connected to human beings alone. We could go on to add in all the animals, plants, free- floating bacteria,  and unhosted viruses, and we don’t have the words for that kind of number, nor do we have the minds to conceive of such a number. And we haven’t even entered earth’s oceans yet. Earth is teeming with life, and we need to team with it.

 

Some Poetry About Life–and some about writing poetry

unadulterated shit (Owned by Donald Smith of St. George, New Brunswick, who loved this poem so much he paid me $25 to buy it in about 2001. MY 1ST OFFICIAL SALE!

i sat beside a mountain brook
and wrote a book
and when i read what i had written
i was smitten by the
inconsequentiality
of reality

the words did not make sense
and the plot was much too tense
for the mood and for the tone
which had shown the anti-idealism
of surrealism

so i threw it page by page
into the water which did rage
with laughter at each word
till a bird flew by and read it
and shit on it

a poem of silence

silence
noises unheard
not one word
no peep nor cheep
nor footstep creep
nor bleep!

alone
no one home
but me
does anybody be?
i cannot see

to be alone with silence
is to be alone
in the universe
not knowing for sure
if anyone else exists

this could be frightening
and border on insanity
but not necessarily so

silence can be:l,
peace of body
peace of mind
peace of soul

just me
and the universe
in cosmic harmony

be

a ball of words

sometimes i wonder
is it really worth it
to spend my time on rhyme and verse
to curse the world and all its faults
to praise the beauties i can see
and then i answer
it is
to me
even if not to anyone else
for myself it does wonders
to calm a confused mind
and straighten out my head

moments like these
are ever so rare
in our galloping world
that to curl myself up
into a ball of words
is a pleasure
of uncommon delight

the miracle

pictures are worth a thousand words
but poetry is worth a million
so on i write
into the night
cringing in fear
with insanity near
breathing new life
into words as old as death

isn’t it amazing
in all the length of time
humanity has spent upon this earth
someone can still combine
words into lines
that never before have graced
the printed page

miracles

are all around us

if only we had

the presence of mind

to see them

epitaph at birth

please
allow no man
to be my teacher
for he cannot live
mine life for me

therefore
allow me not
to be his teacher
for i cannot live
his life for him

but
let him help me
where he can
and i shall help him
wherever i can

because
we are brothers

let us remain that way

following my desire

like an eagle on the wing
soaring ever higher higher
trying to capture sun and stars
following my desire

like a mole beneath the earth
burrowing blindly through the mire
digging deeper than before
following my desire

like a leaf cast off by tree
like a snowflake softly falling
sliding down then gliding up
seeking rest — yet stalling

so i live my life each day
to opposing goals i do aspire
learning good exploring bad
following my desire

enigma

why do i see
divinity
when everyone i meet
sees mere humanity

is this a cursed blessing
or
is this a blessed curse

like a near completed puzzle with
just one piece to go
but the last piece doesn’t fit
that’s how i feel

i cannot fit myself into
the puzzle of this world
no matter how i stretch and strain
this enigma lies beyond my brain
to remedy

significant language signs

bark
goes bacon in the dead of night
awakening my neighbours
who pound on my door
who pound on bacon
whom i see nevermore

propound a baconism
if you know one
(i don’t
sorry
i didn’t mean to wet your appetite
or rain on your purr-aid)

a pound of bacon
for breakfast
a bunch of bananas
for lunch
and for supper a steak
with roast potatoes
mushrooms
and you

you are my night
if i were a woman
would you be my knight
i mean if you were male
wearing mail
i might add

twenty-two plus twenty
makes forty-two
but even douglas
doesn’t know the question
from adam’s
garden of eve

words
have no meaning
but the meaning i give them
when i write them
down

and if i believe that
you’ve got some prime property
(canada grade a bacon?)
in florida
to sell me
but i have no money so
i can’t buy that

so why do i continue to string signifiers one after the other (as if they were words in a sentence {You’re Guilty!}) in a vain attempt to communicate my thoughts to some imaginary being called ‘reader’ (providing they get past an even more imaginary being called ‘publisher’) whom i cannot be sure exists and who has no conception of me (that was my mother’s job)

i am a person
or
at least i was
until i wrote these words
at which point
i became
a poem

and that me immediately vanished
vanquished
by the ticking of the clock
ripped asunder
by the tickless time bomb
squashed
as under the foot of a flea
who got swept down the gutter
of gravity

imagine the coincidence
the play i saw last night
concerned gutters
kate and annie
maggie and polly and ellen
(they made a lot of offal jokes)

is that what inspired this crap
crepe-paper pancakes
inedible solid liquid
indigestible
barf

a lunar tune

to crash wildly
through jungles
of green
grass
to chase wildly
butterflies
on dewy
days
changing streams
in the middle
of a
horse
changing screws
in the middle
of a
dick
to follow
after none
but those
you don’t know
to fathom
the heights
of green
seas

Letter to a Theist

Dear Readers,

Today as I was reading The Common Atheist’s post on 2.4 Billion and 1.6 Billion and no Bliss, I came across this posting on Three Paradoxes of Atheism by Neil Shenvi, or NAShenvi, as he calls himself.. He is a Chemical Theorist, and quite obviously, a theist. I was intrigued. You know I HAD to read that post. Not only did I have to read it, within just a few lines I HAD to reply to it. Only, there was no place for commentary. So I went to his attached website, and still had to search for awhile to find a way to contact him. You know, of course, I am not computer literate. Even moreso, I am NOT WordPress literate. But eventually I came across his email address, and following is, almost word-for-word (I corrected a few small errors I missed while proofreading):

His full quotes are in red, his broken into pieces quotes are in magenta:

********************************************************************************************************
Dear Neil,
May I kindly enquire why it is you have a website and a blog on Word Press, yet you choose to make claims that cannot be publicly addressed since you do not leave a space for comments. You have an idea of “atheists” in your mind, obviously, yet you seem to know little about who atheists are. I am one. I have my own idea of a cosmology that does not include a superbeing of any kind, but does include a very strong spirituality that connects all living beings together. Yet, as I say, I am an atheist. How can this be?
It is mainly because we are not a group, nor a club, and especially not an anti-religion. NO TWO ATHEISTS think the same. Yes, there are those who try to stand up and speak for all atheists, but they can only represent themselves. NO ONE ELSE! Does that surprise you? It should, because like most people who are not atheists, you are likely so bound and boxed into having strength in numbers, you have probably misplaced the knowledge that the strongest number in the world is 1. No two atheists think alike, or even pretend to think alike. Atheism is a belief in one’s own cosmology, and no one else’s, therefore you are misled from the get-go. You cannot truly fight atheism as long as you believe atheism is a quantitative philosophy. IT IS NOT!
Yet you say we believe… Please allow me to correct that statement, because WE do not believe anything. The best that can be said is “I believe!”, or “in my opinion (IMO)…” Had you looked at who you are really dealing with, you would have known this. But it seems you have taken the easy way out. As a chemical theorist I would have expected more of you, but maybe you are too busy with chemicals to understand what words mean, and who people are.
But please, let me answer the charges you have levelled against atheists, such as “it is very hard for atheists to explain why seeking the truth is intrinsically good or why we are obligated to seek it.” My first thought is, why would I try to tell anyone “seeking … is intrinsically good,” when “seeking” is not something everyone does, so it is not “intrinsic” to anything. Millions upon billions of people on this earth seek, or rather desire (which is the correct verb in this instance), to be left alone, to live their lives as they see fit. No one, as far as your argument is concerned, has proven seeking to be intrinsic to anything. It is but an unproven assumption, intrinsic to nothing. But allow me to expand your statement one step, “the truth is intrinsically good.” Goodness has its root in the word “god,” so to a believer such as yourself, the truth is intrinsically god-like. Don’t  you think that is a rather fatuous statement? You are applying your belief system where there is no call to do so. God has not been proven yet, though nor has he been misproven. The point is moot. For now we will have to agree to disagree, because we are getting into an area that has absolutely no meaning in my vocabulary, so again, IMO, I cannot argue for either side. So, let us expand your statement once more, “seeking the truth is intrinsically good.” This, I presume, is part of your argument, though it is stated as an “a priori” truth,  or “truth is truth.” But is it? My truth is not your truth, and your truth is not my truth. So, either truth is relative to the beholder of the truth, or it is non-existant. There can be no “truth” when two people hold the same “truth” to be different. Truth either lies in between the two positions, or it lies nowhere at all. You can expound your belief all you want, that is your privilege. I won’t bother expounding anything because, as I said previously, the words are meaningless to me. They are beyond argument.
Ah, at last, we come to the crux of your statement, which is “it is very hard for atheists to explain why.” I could rejoin your argument with its counter, “it is very hard for a theist to explain why,” but why bother. Ring around the rosy, a pocketfull of posy, husha, husha, we all fall down! Not I fall down, not you fall down, but WE fall down. We fail to make headway from either side to the other side. We both end up looking like (biblical) asses. Yet you seem to think you have scored some points… And you may have, if like Trump you believe all you have to do is state an assumption is true and it will become truth. But that is not how the real world works. You must either prove your side, or disprove mine. You can do neither. For my part I just ignore the entire claim as meaningless, though I feel it is my duty as a living being to point out your so-called “facts” are fantasy. You really ought to check them before you try to make them true.
And finally, “or why are we obligated to seek it.” You may be obligated to seek out truth, I am not. If I choose to seek out truth, relative as it may be, I do so for my own edification. And when I find my version of truth (I much prefer understanding to truth, it is so much more meaningful to me), I may tell it to some others, but I do not offer it willy-nilly to everyone, but to only those who are looking for it. And, I ask deliberately that no one believe anything I say unless it is meaningful to them in some way. I will never again say, “Here is truth, believe me when I tell you. I KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS!” I do know what “my” truth is, I have no idea what your truth is.
So why do you feel obligated to find out “why?” Why is such a spurious question. Any two year-old understands that. At first s/he really means it, but soon the child learns it irritates the adult, and so continuously asks “why?” There needs to be no why. Because it is there. Because I made up the question. Because I want to learn. Because I want to understand. Take your choice. But that is what why is, a choice to know or not know, to understand or not understand. You ask, Why? I answer, Why not? I could tell you why if I wanted. I doubt you could tell me why not.

“The paradox of atheism is that the atheist, while usually committed to living a life consistent with reality, cannot bear reality as he believes it actually is.” Say what? To transliterate from theist to atheist language: the self-contradictory absurdism of atheism is that I who am living a life consistent with reality (as I find it), cannot bear reality as I believe it to be.
Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, My! I must shorten that statement to make it even pretend to be understandable: I CANNOT BEAR TO FACE WHAT I BELIEVE IS REALITY? Please, give a person some intelligence, even if only that of a two year-old child. Since “what I believe to be reality” is something that I choose it to be, why would I construct a reality that I would not want to be in? The insanity of that thought is incredible! My reality allows me to be joyous, to smile, to laugh, to cry, to scream “I am alive! And I love it!” My reality does not require that I suffer, that I be in constant pain. My reality allows me to be in control of life as I know it, not to exist at the whim of some other being. Truthfully, Neil, you think an atheist cannot bear to live? I am appalled. I am human. Why would I want life to be anything but what it is? I, for one, do not want any other life. Thank you for asking.

“I am not asking whether atheists can do good. Rather, I am focusing only on the impact that atheism has on our moral motivation.” Dear sir, it is no wonder you do not understand atheists, in particular, this atheist. What have I to do with “moral motivation?” Morality is for theists. I am an atheist. I have no need to be moral. I have no need for motivation. What I am is responsible to all living beings. What I am is self-obligated not to intentionally hurt anyone, not to take life needlessly or frivolously. To help they whom I see need help. To soothe those I see are in pain. To succor those who are destitute, and I can give help to.
And I do this not through motivation, or through any sense of morality. I do it because I care. I do it because I can. I do it with compassion. And I do it because “I CHOOSE” to do so, not because I am told to do so.
What you call morality I want no part of. No one but me can tell me what is right or what is wrong, because there is no right or wrong. There is only life! And life is what I share with every living being, including you.
But I don’t believe you will care about me, because you have no duty to care. You might care about my soul, but believe me, you would be wasting your time. I have no soul. All I have is me, my life, my spirit, and Life itself. And that, sir, is why I am writing you today, because I care that you are working with fallacious facts, unbelievable understandings, and a need to be correct in whatever you write. Be honest with your readers, Neil, they deserve nothing less.
Thank you for your time.


rawgod

LIVE YOUR LIFE EACH DAY TO CREATE MEMORIES YOU WILL NEVER FORGET, OR REGRET

A Philosophy for All Living Beings (the NEW Part 2)

“Like social workers, people from all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, all physiologies, all psychological types, all social communities, and all spiuritual communities, or lack of any acceptance of all or any above states and biologies of being, may choose for themselves what they want to believe, or even not choose to make a choice. All reactions are welcome, and all choices are acceptable. There is no right or wrong. There only is.” (quoted from the end of Part 4, or the real Part 1)

But, is that true just for humans? I must ask you, Do you really thing we are the only beings who count in our portion of reality? What about the whale, we know not it has sentience–or consciousness. What about the orangutan, possibly humanity’s closest relative? You will give me those, maybe, but certainly nothing else! Why not? Our scientists appear to have proven that the octopus, that alien creature that lives in the sea, with eight legs just like a spider, can have some sort of sentience. One octopus can watch a fellow octopus find its way through a complicated maze, making all kinds of mistakes, until she completes the maze, just once. The second octopus seemed to know she was in a maze, because she kept fighting to get out. Now put the first octopus in a second maze exactly the same as the one the second octopus went through. How many mistakes do you think he makes before he escapes the maze? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? How about, not one? He watched the other octopus just once, making all kinds of mistakes, yet he zipped through the maze like he had done it a hundred times. Will this count as sentience for you. The first octopus had not only to learn what a maze was, but also learn how to escape it, by watching his fellow octopus find her way. I don’t know exactly what that says, but it sure says something. Most adult humans would not  remember the correct way through a maze by watching one other human try and try again to get out. Are octopi smarter than humans? Apparently, at least at mazing running.

But, is sentience really a requirement to know how to live, how to be alive. Please allow me to take you on a long ride backwards in history. So far back the only history we can read are the fossils that tell us what life was like, say, 4 billion years ago. Can you even think that far back? 4 billion years is a long, long, long, long, lllooonnnnggggg time ago. The earth was still being formed, it was mostly water, and the crust of the earth was so thin that the heat from the center of the earth probably boiled the water in some places. And in that ocean, so old we called it primordial, or basically “existing at or from the beginning of time,” (Well, actually, it missed the beginning of time AND the beginning of the universe, which has been mearsured at 13.772 billion years, give or take 60 million, or any portion thereof.)  we will just say our planet, Earth, had been around only half-a-billion years when living beings began to show up. But, decendants of those early one-celled lifeforms are still around today. They live deep in cold oceans, yet even deeper in warm oceans, but where they live doesn’t matter. New lives are forming every day somewhere on Earth. And they can trace their biology back to the very first one-celled beings that came before them. In fact, every living being on Earth can trace its ancestry back to those unicellular beings who came to life (we do not know how) 4 billion years ago. But how is not important to this philosophy, but who is!

The first unicellular beings had no real building blocks of life, no DNA for certain, but probably no RNA either. Yet through the next 500-or-so million years they learned how to make RNA and DNA, and they were happy little beings. Without going into the history of one-celled lifeforms, allow me to say eventually they became two-celled lifeforms, then three-celled lifeforms, and so on until they can now be as large as hundreds of quadrillions of cells in one lifeform, the blue whale, which is not even the biggest lifeform on Earth. No one knows how many cells are in the largest lifeform, a fungus growing in Western Oregan and British Columbia. We humans are so much smaller than either of these humungous behemoths at an average of only 37.2 billion cells.

But are you seeing what I am seeing? Every living being on Earth has one physical thing in common: From smallest to largest, all lifeforms are made up of cells, the very same cells that lived in the primordial ocean 4 billion years ago. I think that is amazing! Do you?

But let’s look at this sameness a little closer, because now we know all lifeforms, no matter who, no matter what, no matter how, are all related. I always say, never believe anything I say, unless it works for you. But this is the one exception to that insistance, please believe me when I say, “We are ALL related!” Because we are. It may not seem like it, especially if you believe humans are the superior form of life on this planet, which  may or may not be (I do not think we are) true, but then so is every other species of life, be it viral, bacterial, plant, animal, or something we have not yet discovered or labelled. When we get right down to basics, “We Are One.”

And this is why I say, the philosophy I believe in is “A Philosophy For All Living Beings.” We are all made of exactly the same stuff as formed the first types of life on this young planet about 4 billion years ago. That same stuff still makes all of us up today.

THE CRAZY MAN TAPES: A Teaser

Everyone knows the story of St. Stephenson.  We learn it at our parent’s knees.  But recently, while renovating the Rediscovery where St. Stephenson came to First Life, a strange machine was discovered hidden in the hull.  At first no one knew what it was; our investigations were not able to determine its function.  At last St. Stephenson was consulted as to the purpose of this machine.  His exact words were, “Oh, that?  It’s nothing, just a black box.  You can throw that away.”  We were about to do exactly that when someone wondered aloud what was a black box, and why it was not black, but bright orange?  We consulted our old records, from back in the early centuriess of space flight, and we found that a recording device called a black box, was used, amongst other things, to record on tape any words that were spoken in the cockpit, in case a problem developed, so that the problem could later be investigated.
    It was lucky for First Life that we looked into this, for when we decided to listen to the recording, we discovered on it, in St. Stephenson’s own words, the mental processes that he went through that took him from kangaroo-court-criminal to Prime Representative of First Life.  St. Stephenson was contacted again, to see how he wanted those words preserved, but he said to destroy them.  In almost every case his orders would have been carried out, but in all consciousness, and in responsibility to First Life, we agreed that destroying these words of his was impossible.
    Instead, we wrote them down, in the format you are about to approach them, so that everyone could know what he went through for us, but most especially what St. Stephenson went through to reach First Life.  For we who first heard his words, the experience was incredible, as if we were there in prison with him, and he were talking to us as if he could see us.
    We hope that in this presentation the experience will be equally moving.  Making this transcript was both fortunate and unfortunate for humanity.  Unfortunate, because as we copied the words, the tape from which we were making the copy began to disintegrate from its great age; fortunate, because we got all the words down in print before the tape finished disintegrating.  So, while we do not have St. Stephenson’s voice to present his words to you, we do have his words; this is the best we can ever have now, because St. Stephenson outright refuses to re-record these words for us.  Therefore, we present them only in this format, for your edification and enjoyment.
    We have tried our faithful best to present the following poems to you, and for you, in the manner which he chose to speak them, or sing them, as he sometimes did.  As St. Stephenson went through the process of learning how to compose poetry, we went though a similar process of how to best transcribe it in its pure form.  The language is an archaic form of Canadian English, the language of St. Stephenson’s youth, and the language he used on the recording.  We, your transcribers, hope we have preserved the simplicity of the poetry, and brought forth all the meaning with which it is endowed.  But this is enough of us.  Here then, is St. Stephenson:

The First Life Revelation Society

5368 F.L.

Thus starts the poetic novel of the universe’s first immortal human. Next, if you care to waste your time, are two of the “EFFORTS” that St. Stephenson verbalized as he slowly went insane.

Effort 96 (of THE CRAZY MAN TAPES: A Transcription)

Ugh
Was probably the very first word
Spoken by prehistoric man
And had so many meanings
It needed a dictionary for itself

Then someone added agh
And language was born

Agh was non-ugh
Yet developed as many meanings
Agh ugh the conversations went
And everyone understood them

But someone wasn’t satisfied
They added argh
And tried to make it mean as much
But agh and ugh described most things
Argh could mean but argh

Agh ugh ugh agh agh agh ugh argh
Told the story of the hunt
How the mammoth was brought down
And lost its spirit

Ung and ang soon joined the crowd
Describing fire and rain
Then somebody sounded ogh and oogh
And igh and egh and ergh

Ung egh argh agh ugh oogh ogh ang ang ang
Was the big black clouds coming over the hill
And since then nothing but rain rain rain
It went without saying the hunt had been postponed

Ang engh ergh ugh ugh agh argh oogh
Ugh uck ack ung urk ock
Ugh ung ang ang eck igh ack ack
Oogh ugh agh ugh ugh oock

Um
Ummmmmm
Ahhhhh

 
 

Effort One Hundred and One   (of THE CRAZY MAN TAPES: A Transcription)

If I accept as fact the sights I’ve seen
The fact is this
The universe began with birth of Life
But Life itself did not know itself alive
It lived and lived
And was nothing but itself

Then recognition came
It knew itself
But self was nothing
And thus it knew it needed more
than it

It took a form
And lived and died
And didn’t live again
Till recognition came anew

This happened more than once
Again again again
It needed more than life
To conquer death

Trial and error and error and trial
It tried itself itself it tried to try
Life was only lived until its death
It needed change

It needed to reproduce itself
So it would live on after death
Success at last came to our virgin Life
Fission made it safe to hope for more

But fission didn’t work
The same life lived again
The hoped-for change did not occur
The nothing stayed the same

Now Life went on but nowhere went
It was it was it
If only it could change itself
One life to the next

RNA
DNA
Double helix
Sex

This was evolution
This was change indeed
It bred itself to itself
And entered a state of progress
But the progress was too little
The change was much too slow
It knew it wanted more
And didn’t know how

It tried a different form
Based on the good things of the first
And it learned a trick or two
But not enough

Time passed
Though it did not know it
And in this time it grew new forms
As myriad as the atoms

But no matter what it tried
No matter what it learned
It knew the vast emptiness of itself
And yearned for more

It was surprised one time when
two cells joined together
And lived as one
It had not intended this
So it watched and learned

And soon it saw the value of the team
It encouraged other cells to meet
and join
But it lost control of its experiment
And helplessly stood by

One-celled two-celled three-celled
Animals and plants
Life exploded everywhere
And lived upon itself

The nothing now was something
But it wasn’t very much
And its progress was so slow
It hardly noticed it

The organisms grew
And became much more complex
They built upon themselves
Then built on that

And each life was the Life
That started at the start
Part went away at birth
And returned again at death

And brought with it experience
That added to the past
And pointed to the future
That came and went
One day self-awareness
Burst upon the scene
It watched now fascinated
And discovered fear

These little lives that it sent out
Were each a part as knowing
as the whole
Indeed they thought themselves
the whole
And recognized not their parthood

At length the Life was forced to act
It acted on itself
Each little life that it sent out
Forgot it had a past

Until it died in life
And returned back home in death
Only then it knew itself
And went insane

In self-defence the original Life
broke up
To protect the little lives that went
and came
Barriers were created
But the knowledge to join again
in each remained

Separated now the One was more
than one
And each piece learned its life
in isolation
The memory of the whole was all
it had
And soon forgot to remember
even this

If what I saw the other night was real
Then all of this is true
It’s a memory that doesn’t belong
to me
But I have it all the same
Though words are all I have to
give expression
To ideas that are impossible
in words
It’s all so inadequate
But at least I tried

If these poems interest you at all, the entire novel is available starting at http://rawgod.tripod.com/FirstLife/index.htm with the index on the right designed to read the book in fairly easy sessions.

your poet/author

rawgod

 

 

Some Old Love Poetry

caterwauling

hair from face in curls like cotton
candy-coloured eyes and smiling
lips that curve in sensuous delight
i see you there

where shines your face like golden-glossed
sunlight beaming all around you
sitting silent in my eyes are
visions more than fair

ne’er shall i such beauty see
in forest glade i dream of thee
surrounded all by flowers growing
jewels precious rare

(dare i let you know these feelings
deep within my heart inspire
rainbows that are radiant
with
love and hope and care?)

 

inside my mind

sitting before a fireplace
i picture you and i
hand in hand and watching
sparks as out they fly
into the room

words are seldom spoken
though many do we hear
in silent conversations
caused by being near
as in a womb

rhythmic vibrations
lull both of us to peace
as mind with mind we weave a
wall of loving fleece
about the room

but now the fire’s dying
and we must leave again
until next time we enter
the room where we were then
inside my mind

 

sensing you
sensitivity unique
fantastic treat

love unheard
unseen unfelt untouched
until now
under the influence
of you

i taste your love as a sweetmeat
upon my soured lips
i relish the sound of your sight
touching me

i live in the aroma
of your aura

i love you

 

waiting for the sun   (a tribute to Van Morrison)

waiting for the sun
to come
    anticipation

watching darkness go
while birds sing hello
to the sunrise
    i shade my eyes

magnificent pink the clouds
and disappearing shrouds
cause wonder in my mind
whenever shall i find
    day

when sunlight lasts forever
and moonbeams quickly sever
the blackness from the night
and bring delight
to lovers in the park
    hark!
who is this i see
is it truly she
    my moondancer

 

the one that got away

does she ever think of me
the way i always think of her
as she stood in the check-out line
that day at the supermarket
or was it in the line-up for a show
or maybe in a bar somewhere
    our eyes met for a moment
    across the crowded room
    our hearts called to each other
    and time suddenly stopped
no those were all others

this woman was definitely in safeway
as i stood holding a basket of fruit
she held a basket of lettuce
i couldn’t tear my eyes from her
she fulfilled my fantasies
all my dreams come to life

but she was with a girlfriend
so i could not answer her
when she commented about my
    canteloupe
and did i always buy so many
(they were on sale that day)

her eyes were smiling playfully
but were they smiling for me
i was too shy to ask
still i hoped they were

i think she noticed me
the way i was noticing her
she looked so young and innocent
the kind of woman i longed to throw
    my arms around
to protect her from the wicked world
where life could be so cruel
(i’m sure she needed no protection
but it couldn’t hurt to pretend
i was wearing armour
and she was in distress)

did she see me as the kind of man
she could entrust with her love
    sensitive and caring
    considerate and sweet
    intelligent and wise
    capable of the sort of love
    that transcends common lust
    yet lets that lust emerge
    when the time is right
    (is this the man she saw
     and is this why she spoke)

oh rue the day that i was born
so shy that i can seldom speak
    my heart
in a crowd of more than two
as on that fateful day

but i never will forget her
    dark hair and eyes
    small turned-up nose
    full lips
    pink cheeks
    soft silky skin

and though the chances are
i’ll never see her again
there will always be a place
    within my heart
for her memory

but how many spaces can i keep
for women such as her
she’s not the first and certainly
i hope she’s not the last
    (because i am so shy
     i always let them get away
     even though i think sometimes
     they would prefer to come to me)

and i wonder
    are there female hearts somewhere
    that keep a special room
    for men they sometimes see
    but never get to meet

is there one woman in this world
who sees me as
    the one who got away
(because she was as shy as me)

a poem in three parts

the fall
sometimes
there are times when
a fellow doesn’t have a chance
against romance
somehow
i don’t know why
my heart just dies
to be reborn
to a brand new morn
where stars shine
all the time
somewhere
it isn’t there
it’s here and now
somehow

the rise
falling in love
is nonsense to say
you don’t fall down
you fall up and away
like tripping on a cloud
and hitting the sky
or dropping your heart
and watching it fly
falling and flying
are one and the same
laughing and crying
and loving her name

the stars in my eyes
suddenly
i find
you’re on my mind
by day
by night
you’re in my sight
your scent
your touch
i love you so much
the fall
the rise
the stars in my eyes

Disappearing Diamonds

Lyrics, by rawgod

Softly shimmering shining starlit sands

Disappearing diamonds drifting through my hands

Slowly floating feather-like to the shore

Where I shan’t see these same sands evermore

 

Life is like these minuscule grains of sand

No matter how you try you have to strand

The present in the past and leave it there

And never again create this moment rare

 

I know all things must pass from now to then

But still I try to keep them even when

They cannot be exactly as they were

My life I have to live now without her

 

But I can pick up sand another time

Yes I can choose another hill to climb

I can live where’er I choose to dwell

I don’t have to stay here in this hell

 

The choice is mine I tell myself each night

And maybe one day I’ll forego my plight

Once more for myself I’ll stand up tall

To her again I will refuse to crawl

 

How the hell did it ever come to this

It started with a single night of bliss

And grew from there to heights I’d never reached

Now like a whale upon this shore I’m beached

 

If I don’t get up soon I’ll start to die

Why can’t I get myself to even try

The sea is filled with fish I once was told

For now I will remain here in this cold

 

Perhaps one day I’ll launch my life anew

I’ll fix my hull and find another crew

But when I do I’ll vow before I start

To put a raincoat on my broken heart

 

Softly shimmering shining starlit sands

Disappearing diamonds drifting through my hands

Slowly floating feather-like to the shore

Where I shan’t these same sands evermore

Pork-Belly Hogs

Lyrics, by rawgod

 

 

Electric blue sky overhead

Turning rain clouds cathode white

Wired circuits in my head

Electric sheep turn out their lights

Robot milkmaids feed the world

Crying “Where are all the robot men?”

Electric owl electric squirrel

Chase around electric glens

 

Refrain Androids dream electric sheep

                Robots run electric dogs

                Soldiers steeped in sonic bleep

                Bankers dream pork-belly hogs

 

Artificial life goes on

Hear the beating of its heart

After human life is gone

Baboons looking mighty smart

Metal grinding cog to wheel

Learning sun and spurning moon

Robot hands that cannot feel

Turning out mechanic tunes

 

Refrain

 

Take the plug out from the wall

Nothing left within the box

Mechanic arm can throw the ball

Learn to pick mechanic locks

Who is safe when none are sane

Do you think you know the rules

Metal teacher teaching Jane

Dick and Spot no longer cool

 

Refrain

 

Pick your person with a pill

Make you happy make you sad

You will still be with you still

Can’t escape from feeling bad

Have to change from deep within

Pile your habits in a heap

To your good side take a listen

Refuse to be electric sheep

 

Refrain

Repeat to fade

On Capitalism, and the RC Church

In my opinion, the Spirit of Capitalism is greed, no matter how you cut it. Exactly where it came from I cannot say, but certainly one of its roots was Ancient Greece, and another was Christianity. Neither of these roots started out as greed-obsessed qualities, but it did not take long, historically-speaking, for either one to honour the possession of goods and money above all else. Ancient Greece started with a polity, an organized society with a structured form of civil government, where all male citizens could vote, while women, children, slaves, and foreigners living in the polity could not. Christianity, which at the time was defined only as Roman Catholicism, started as an underground political rebellion in Judea, where supposedly the religious teacher Jesus Christ was co-opted to be the real King of the Jews instead of Herod. According to ancient history the rebellion was put down and Christ was killed. His followers spread out across parts of the Roman Empire, since the Jewish people did not believe Christ was a prophet from god, and spread his teachings among the poor and unhealthy. From these humble beginnings Christianity grew to overtake almost the whole of the European-influenced world. The Roman Catholic Church became the richest single entity in the Western sphere of influence, and capitalism, the pursuit of land, goods, and money, became its creed. Government and religion came together to make a centuries-long unbreakable union, with the rulers being (almost exclusively) male members of the aristocracy and the priesthood (clergy), working together to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Laws that were made fairly arbitrarily still reflected the ten commandments of Moses (a biblical character from the Old Testament). The lines between political ethics and religious morals blurred until they were virtually indistinguishable.
Money, otherwise useless bits of metal, was made to represent value, all of it owned by the nobility and the Church for the longest time, represented power, and until a middle class started to develop in the Middle Ages, only the most exceptional, and/or vicious, of men could raise up from the lower classes to the upper classes. Women were chattel, belonging to the men, as were their children, and they took their position in life from their fathers and husbands.
Capitalism was still suffering its growth pains at this time, and was not yet a factor in the Western world, or anywhere else, for that matter. But as craftsmen began to join guilds, more money was leaving the coffers of the rich, and being transferred into the hands of certain groups of society. The middle class was emerging from poverty to monied. It was a slow process, almost invisible to the aristocracy. As for the Church, as long as the money kept coming in, they did not care where it was coming from.
At this point in time, though there was infighting and bickering between members of the aristocracy, and between certain levels of the clergy, society was still mainly group-centered. People were individuals, surely, but they were treated as communities, so-to-speak. Killing a peasant was meaningless to aristocrats, they made no real distinction between members of the lower classes. As for those peasants, or even slaves, there was little difference between members of the ruling classes. Some nobles or monarchs might be less vicious than others, but all in all the poor lived at the mercy or vanity of the rich. Who killed them, or stole their few belongings and food, did not matter. There was little to choose between one ruler and the next.
But those in the middle class were not only gaining in money owned, they were also gaining in distinctiveness. First came pride in being a craftsman, second came pride in how much they were earning as opposed to what their fellow guild-members were making. And certain guilds were earning more money than other guilds, and all these things started to distinguish one group from another, and one person from another. Thus individuals were gaining fame and or notoriety, and capitalism had the foothold it had been looking for to grow and take over our society. Individuality blossomed, and the groups or classes became less important, while the individual grew in importance. And the Church, no longer a monopoly, but still the most powerful single entity in the world, praised the individual. Its monetary base grew exponentially, from classes of people, to groups of people, and now to people themselves, apart from almost all others. (Families, as in the nuclear family, would give as a group, but the group was small, and was guaranteed to create more individuals, and then more family groups. Jumping ahead for a moment, when the Church saw that planned family size was looming on the horizon, when it became possible to actively prevent pregnancies, and then to stop pregnancies, the Church responded quickly by preaching against the preventing of lives, or the ending of lives before birth, so that the number of their adherents would continue to increase, thus keeping the money flowing in. What the Church did not foresee was that ultimately this move would drive more people away from the Church than it provided, but in for an ounce, in for a ton. The Church cannot suddenly break faith with their adherents by proclaiming the advisability of planned families, of the use of contraceptives, or the legalizing of abortions within the religious laws. What was done can never be undone!)
I quote, “capitalism was ‘the most fateful power in our modern life’. More specifically, it controlled and generated modern [culture], the code of values by which people lived in the 20th-century [European-based world]–some ideas of Max Weber. I can agree with these ideas to a point, capitalism certainly had a huge effect on our present Western culture. But when he says something like “public behaviour was cool, reserved, hard and sober, governed by strict personal self-control” I think he goes too far. There are so many laws, secular and religious, that govern self-control that few individuals have the opportunity, or desire, to decide what personal self-control is. There are those (whom we call criminals) who deliberately break such laws of conduct, and there are those, whom we call mentally ill, whose inability to cope with the life required of them by capitalism literally cause them to lose their self-control, and then there are the few, known in psychological circles as self-empowered or self-actualized (see Abraham Maslow), who demonstrate self-control totally on their terms without advice from any laws, but I don’t see any of these groups or quasi-groups exercising hard and sober personal self-control, except possibly the self-empowered.
Capitalism is a lot of things, few of them good for humanity or for life itself, but it is not a power to itself, not in my mind. But, I could be wrong…

Body Bag Parade

Lyrics, by rawgod

See them lying on the ground
Dying bodies all around
Hear the bullets in the air
Whistling here whining there
Ripping into human skulls
Finding homes in human hulls
Bringing death to those alive
IS THIS THE END FOR WHICH WE STRIVE!

Give us peace give us peace
Make this fucking dumb war cease
Bring our brothers home today
Stop the body-bag parade

See the boy from New York die
A bullet blasting through his eye
See the boy from Houston Tex
A bayonet thrust through his neck
See the boy from Washington
Underneath the jungle sun
His rotting carcass can’t be saved
NO ONE TO DIG THE BOY A GRAVE

(Spoken) In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the dead short days ago
We lived felt dawn saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders Fields our voices cry
WE DIDN’T WANT TO FUCKING DIE!

Give us peace give us peace
Make this fucking dumb war cease
Bring our brothers home today
Stop the body-bag parade

Down the street the casket comes
The only child of aging mom
She has no reason left to live
Nothing else that she can give
The army took it all away
They offer her his unspent pay
She’d sooner have her dead boy back
PUT THE COLONEL IN THE SACK!

Give us peace give us peace
Make this fucking dumb war cease
Bring our brothers home today
Stop the body-bag parade

(to fade)