Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Response to Comment

A sin might be seen as defining the activities that seperate the broad path from the narrow. The definition of sin, and of the path a man is seen to walk, is defined by the social group he chooses to be a part of, and of his time and upbringing which he could not choose.

That different people call different actions sin becomes clear to the student of history or the well traveled. Christians, like any other religion of man, are not all alike. No matter how hard they try they are not of a single mind. Christians vary from place to place and time to time. Even within the walls of a church you will find great diversity of opinion and understanding. Fools do not understand this, and think all men of the past and present who's lives do not agree with their own are false and not true followers of the fatih.

That a single person changes his undestanding of sin, wrong action, during the course of a life is clear to the experienced man of reflection. This same man will struggle to untangle why his undestanding changed. Was it his youth, was it his company, was it his situation? Many understand themselves to have progressed into the state they find themselves, meaning they see their history as a linear evolution of perfecting understanding. While this may be true we should never be too harsh on our past selves. We thought ourselves wise then too. And there is a good chance that we are no wiser than then even though we can find no fault with our current self and its "unified" mind.

All men change and they do not change in the same way. No single "way" may be defined for all men. Put men on the same path and it will inevitably diverge.

Why is the broad path broad? A path is grown from the soles of men's feet. It will first show to the trained eye after one or two have trod it. The untrained eye will begin to recognize a path when an entire host has walked along the same way. The broad path is broad because so many have chosen to walk in the same way.

Men choose to walk along many paths. And the ever changing minds of men lead us from path to path so that what once was narrow is quickly made broad, and soon will become narrow again as a different way is made broad by the slapping of our soles upon the way.

No path can remain narrow unless is it hidden.

The candles have been removed from the bushles, the city shines, the words spreads, and we are born and bred to sell the truth of Jesus. There is nothing hidden in Christ, he is open to all.

Gnostism, in its ancient (Mithra) and modern forms (Scientology) preach narrow ways to men by hiding the way. Denominations continue to split the coprse of Christ into smaller and smaller pieces so that a preacher can seperate his way from others and thus keep it narrow through greater division.

"The sins we share are sins no longer"

The "we" is pregnant with warning. The sentance with a promise of change. The warning is for those who can hear it; few for sure. The promise is for those who look ahead, aware of what is behind.

What do these eight words elicit? For those who can actually hear anything over the din of their dogma: Fear for many, and hope for the others. Those who have changed more than once, and can admire at least one of his former selves may find a watered wine here where some just find water or wine.

Why Fear? The fear typically comes from any mention that truth is relevant or can change. If something that is a sin today may be a sin tomorrow then it would call into question beliefs. For some a static system of beliefs that are not questioned brings a sense of comfort and stability. A challenge to the definition of sin is a challenge to their world-view and security in it. When they ask of their faith, "How should I live this life", they need a simple definitive answer even if difficult and unreasoned. A sublte or more complicated answer does not meet the needs of security and certainty. Of course there should be nothing to fear from truth, but the truth of our fathers changes no more than they do, so unless a man wants his own truth he will not allow it to change at all.

Why Hope? Hope comes from those who disagre with the herd but fear to challenge or seperate from them. This man is the least happy. Loss of their positive opinion, their estimation of his virtue, has seemed worth more than their estimation of his sin, but these eight words begin to change the balance of the scales.

Those with fear, do not want to make a decision and dread that they may have to.

Those with hope, have wanted to make a decision and have dreaded that they will not.

There is more to say, but the distractions of life pull me to the majority of life, that knows nothing of sin or virtue, but of duty it knows volumes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Where to Start

Investigation with the goal of understanding, endeavoring to know the truth of something, this is the only path I can call righteous. But I will not call it this, the word itself is too tainted. Too many people use the word with significant difference. I will be misunderstood simply because of this one word.

The understanding way to approach knowledge of life, or if you prefer, the right way to process our experience so that it may best benefit and influence the way we turn our inputs (experience) into outputs (actions).

How ever we think of life, what ever approach we take, must be judged by its impact on our decision making system and the subsequent style of life created over time.

The understanding way, at its core, will differ dramatically in detail depending on who is employing it, and what that person's position and role in life demands of them.

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I'm concerned that at this point the reader may still be thinking of righteousness, and the religious ways they've inherited. "Inherited", yes, you did not create the religion you practice. You have received it from those before you, parents, family, community. Religions are received ways. They, generally, outline a way for all people to follow and in this they are all common denominator ways. They seek a level of truth that can fit all the minds of their respective flocks.

I will divide common denominator ways into two groups: lowest and highest. Please understand these in the mathematical way they are intended. The lowest common denominator will appeal more broadly, exclude competing ways, deal heavily with fundamental themes, and appeal to those with the most common level of education for the culture they are in. The lowest will also thrive in emotional settings and have canonized truths, rules, that are law and not open for question. The highest common denominator will appeal more narrowly, include competing ways, address abstract themes, and appeal to the generally more educated.

The LCD ways of men provide truth and the HCD ways of men point the way to truth. This is a simple but fundamental difference in religions, how they expect their members to discover truth. This effects the nature of the relationship between leaders and members. Is it teacher or guide? Is it authoritative command or authoritative reference. What extent do the leaders and members feel responsible for the ways of the others? What level of absolute conformity is required for inclusion in the group?

The LCDs and HCDs are the religions we've inherited from mankind's past.

Dynamic Nature of Sin

The sins we share, are no longer sins.

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Example: How many decades ago would divorced individuals have been shunned from Christian church?
Exercise: Track the dynamic path of drinking in the christian church to witness the fluidity of sin.

Dynamic Nature of Virtue

The goals we share, spawn virtue.

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Example: Two decades ago being a geek was a definite negative. Today my wife where's a t-shirt that declares "I love my geek!". Introspective personalities, long seen as something to correct, are becoming more and more encouraged and virtuous. Why? The following exercises may illustrate.

Exercise 1: Identify three dominate, realizable, goals common in your culture.
Exercise 2: Identify the vitures that these are likely to spawn over time.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Quote on Truth

My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. "Something cannot emerge from nothing," he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable "the truth" can be.

from Conversations with Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Life After Deaths

"Teacher, if there is evil within me, does it come with me when I am born again?"

"We are all good and evil, none of us is perfect. In life we often act wrongly and this builds up like a layer of ash. When we die, that in him which is evil, the ash that covers him, dissipates into the void like the fuel of a puctured space craft. That which is good in him, that which he was born with that had not been turned to ash and that which built up when we would often act rightly, is pulled back towards the earth. Pulled by a spiritual gravity, drawing us down once again into the ancient home of humanity. Earth herself gives you a new body as you meet her again. She gives you a life that fits you. We are humans because we had enough goodness in us to fit this form and these lives. We are on our way, and this is an advanced leg our race. We are close. Some of our faith believe that there is a great sun of purity and pease burning in the heart of the earth and that is what draws us back from the void and into the embrace of life over and over. Others believe that it is the collective weight of the teaming body of life that makes this world pulse that draws us back and gives us form once again."

"What is your opinion teacher, what draws us back?"

"Either way we are drawn back, and that to me seems the superior understanding. As to what draws us back, I believe that the fire in the heart of the earth is simply chemical reactions, and that we are life drawn back to life. Clinging to each other. How would another planet have enough life in its belly to draw us back? No we are life, and ash covered as we are it is this life that draws us back and gives us form. We take life with us into space, and it is this belief that will give us the courage and faith to settle our new homes."

"When will we reach out, and add life to new planets?"

"When is in the hands of the technologists, we must put our faith in them. Who will go, is another matter. We must send our greatest souls, so that if they meet an alien form of life they will act with wisdom and consideration. Also, they must have enough goodness in them to draw back those of their numbers who will surely die in the harsh new worlds."

"Those of you who train to be an astronaut remain, all the rest are dismissed."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Honesty

If you speak with perfect honesty, you are not guaranteed to be speaking the truth. Only a person with perfect understanding could guarantee to speak the truth in all honesty. People often call honest speech, “telling the truth.” More accurately, it is simply not deliberately deceptive. Intention is central to the understanding of honesty.

It is easier to be honest than deceitful. Deceit requires much memory.
It is easier to be deceitful than truthful. Truthfulness requires much questioning.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Ways of Men

Q: "Why don't you respect our customs?"
A: "Our customs, have never respected me."

Q: "Why should our customs respect you?"
A: "I see no reason why they should not. Devotion without respect is gained by fear and force. I will reserve my devotion so it may be given freely."

Q: "Even if it is never given? Do you really expect all of our customs to change for you?"
A: "Isn't it better to be alone, than to be abused by a spouse? The same is true for customs, religions and all ways of men."
A: "And yes, I do expect everything to change, but not just for me. No one is that unique. I await changes for myself and all those like me."

The Ways of Men

Q: "Why don't you respect our customs?"

A: "Our customs, have never respected me."

Q: "Why should our customs respect you?"

A: "I see no reason why they should not. Devotion without respect is gained by fear and force. I will reserve my devotion so it may be given freely."

Q: "Even if it is never given? Do you really expect all of our customs to change for you?"

A: "Isn't it better to be alone, than to be abused by a spouse? The same is true for customs, religions and all ways of men."

A: "And yes, I do expect everything to change, but not just for me. No one is that unique. I await changes for myself and all those like me."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mutual Respect

I was a lonely child and young adult. Now that my parents are older they want my company, forgetting how they raised me. I will not adjust who I am to meet their changing needs, I will continue to respect myself.I will raise my children to be rational and I expect them to continue even in my age when I desire some level of foolishness from them. I hope they understand enough to not change for my need, but to love enough to provide what is natural for them to provide. That will be a validation and a pleasure for me.
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I strive to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. This is the same as saying, "I work at acting honestly." Realize this can be true, even when you would not do as me.
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The religion of man should be a comfort and a service to him as well as a guiding and illuminating light. Different men need different comforts and service. These also differ at different times of life. A religion should be big enough to handle difference.

Mutual Respect

I was a lonely child and young adult. Now that my parents are older they want my company, forgetting how they raised me. I will not adjust who I am to meet their changing needs, I will continue to respect myself.

I will raise my children to be rational and I expect them to continue even in my age when I desire some level of foolishness from them. I hope they understand enough to not change for my need, but to love enough to provide what is natural for them to provide. That will be a validation and a pleasure for me.

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I strive to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. This is the same as saying, "I work at acting honestly." Realize this can be true, even when you would not do as me.

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The religion of man should be a comfort and a service to him as well as a guiding and illuminating light. Different men need different comforts and service. These also differ at different times of life. A religion should be big enough to handle difference.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Building Loyalties

A man can find himself in significantly different social environments, along with the role that environment asks of him. Some of these environments will lend themselves to building friendships. Some will lend themselves to building loyalties. These purposes should not be confused. Confusion of this kind led to Judas' mistake, he acted as a friend when loyalty was ask of him. This causes many men to become traitors for honest reasons.

1. Know your environment
2. Know your purpose for the poeple you find there
3. Know the purpose each person is working to fulfill

Friendship and loyalty are not the only two purposes men can fill for you, but they are the two worthy of concern when you find yourself in a new environment.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Nudges Shape Us

The most powerful opinion is often from a person sharing your outlook. The small divergences move us. Thoughts from a strange mind often struggle without momentum. When our running mate nudges us it has more effect than the mans push from a tangent path. Look around you and take note of your running mates. They will affect you despite defense.

Exercise Truth with Questions (Fourth Part)

Truth can not be directly communicated by man. Truths must deconstruct into conceptions before transmission. Neither can truth be directly received by man. Truth is born of shifting understandings, finding fresh balance.

It is the deconstructed components of communication, conceptions, which have the potential to change the dynamic of our understandings. These are the tools of the “spiritual” orator. He has always used poetry, parables and the tools of myth to communicate his message.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Exercise Truth with Questions

1. Honesty is unimpeded by ignorance, while truth is prerequisite to a lie. There is a rigor to truthfulness, which sincerity is wholly unbridled by. Question your faith, lest you’re caught being honest, while pretending to truth.

2. Honesty and sincerity often masquerade as truth, seeking to forestall question. Truth alone, of these three, thrives on challenge and inquisition. Questions will offend sincerity and alienate honesty, but for truth they are a friend’s embrace. The spores of truth spread, not under an agreeable wind, not with a whisper, but with a bold invigorating wind; clearing the streets of leaves, left too long upswept.

3. Truth is restrained by language; handcuffs marring the wrists of understanding. Our deepest understandings and their composite truths are bound, gagged and tied by our ability to communicate. This is not a hurdle that can be leaped with increasingly direct language or stricter symbols. The particular duct tape we are dealing with is innate to man, it is in our tongues, our ears, and the primordial levers that make our mouths form speech.

4. Truth can not be directly communicated by man. Truths must deconstruct into conceptions before transmission. Neither can truth be directly received by man. Truth is born of shifting understandings, finding fresh balance.

It is the deconstructed components of communication, conceptions, which have the potential to change the dynamic of our understandings. These are the tools of the “spiritual” orator. He has always used poetry, parables and the tools of myth to communicate his message.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Exercise Truth with Questions (Third Part)

Truth is restrained by language; handcuffs marring the wrists of understanding. Our deepest understandings and their composite truths are bound, gagged and tied by our ability to communicate. This is not a hurdle that can be leaped with increasingly direct language or stricter symbols. The particular duct tape we are dealing with is innate to man, it is in our tongues, our ears, and the primordial levers that make our mouths form speech.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Exercise Truth with Questions

Honesty is unimpeded by ignorance, while truth is prerequisite to a lie. There is a rigor to truthfulness, that sincerity is wholly unbridled by. Question your faith, lest you’re caught being honest, while pretending to truth.

Honesty and sincerity often masquerade as truth, seeking to forestall question. Truth alone, of these three, thrives on challenge and inquisition. Questions will offend sincerity and alienate honesty, but for truth they are a friend’s embrace. The spores of truth spread, not under an agreeable wind, not with a whisper, but with a bold invigorating wind; clearing the streets of leaves, left too long upswept.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Exercise Truth with Questions (Second Part)

Honesty and sincerity often masquerade as truth, seeking to forestall question. Truth alone, of these three, thrives on challenge and inquisition. Questions will offend sincerity and alienate honesty, but for truth they are a friend’s embrace. The spores of truth spread, not under an agreeable wind, not with a whisper, but with a bold invigorating wind; clearing the streets of leaves, left too long upswept.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Grandpa

When I remember my grandfather I smell old spice. His face lined and dark, pitted nose, and a thin cover of white wispy hair. I don't remember if he smiled much, but I remember him like he did. John Deere hat with a pack of cigarettes hidden beneath, ready to walk out to the pond or pump house. His fingers were as thick as my wrists, and he'd buy me anything I wanted at the coffee shop. He was hard. His life was hard, but he always had a soft spot for me, and for that I'll always have a spot for him. Memories become our own icons and touch stones of what it means to be a man, how to judge what really matters, and how to hold on to your pride no matter what other people think. He couldn't read or write much. He wasn't educated much, but he never hesitated to tell me pearls of wisdom. He never acted dumb, he never appologized for himself. In my memory, he just was. He farmed. He enjoyed. He sat under a tree in the front yeard waving at cars and drinking tea. His dogs were obedient, and he didn't need a book or class or animal psychology. They just obeyed. He was an old man when I knew him, but he always worked. He had a life I don't understand. But I always understood he was proud of me. He didn't have trouble communicating, he just did. One man to another. Nothing to prove to his grandson, and I had nothing to prove back. He was simple and in the eyes of the world he may not have done much, but I think of him and councel that memory. He's a big man in my life, full of useful wisdom and a picture of a man who loved his grandson.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Another Embarrassment for Christians

Intelligent Design is a shameful embarrassment for Christianity. It is the deliberate dressing up of foundationally religious ideas as science. It is not honest. Since when did Christianity need science to back up beliefs? When did we have to put wobbly scaffolding up around religious beliefs? Are they not valid on their own? Do they not have the power to persuade as they are? Intelligent Design is disingenuous at its core, religion masquerading as science, so it can sow doubt and misunderstanding. Intelligent Design will have no effect on our scientists and educated individuals, but it could serve to hold back those who do not understand enough about the issues. Why after so many centuries of these same mistakes from Christianity are we seeing this yet again. Will we need to reconfirm that the earth is round and that the sun does not revolve around the earth? Religion has always tried to hold onto the past, threatened by new understandings and ideas, often leaving their followers in the dark. ID does not defend the beliefs of Christianity, there is no valid overlap and more importantly no contradiction! Believe in religion and practice science. They are the complementary expression of humanity, approaching life problems with the most suited tools available.

Related Posting

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Exercise Truth with Questions

Honesty is unimpeded by ignorance, while truth is prerequisite to a lie. There is a rigor to truthfulness, that sincerity is wholly unbridled by. Question your faith, lest you’re caught being honest, while pretending to truth.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Christianity is an ultimately pessimistic world view.

All living hope in Christian doctrine leads to the hard stop of apocalypse, and the foundational understanding that humanity will increasingly degrade as it approaches this dark horizon. Under this cognitive shadow the visceral value of living pales, and becomes survival and preparation for what is "real": cataclysm and judgment. The hope of Christianity is not in this world but the next.

Once the predicted hard stop has been reached, judgments are made without regard to love or forgiveness; these are temporary virtues not eternal. The early Christian leader, Peter, encouraged Christians to care no more for this world than a dead person does, advocating complete abandonment of faith in any positive value in human life for faith in a positive value for death. In this light the, "Gift of Life", is a gift only in that man may prepare for judgment, using love and forgiveness to keep himself clean.

This leaves modern Christians in an awkward mental position; the better living life becomes the less it reinforces their world view, with loss, disaster and tragedy actually strengthening their position. This provides some understanding of the oft observed lens which this world view is shown through. It is natural for us to see more of those things in the environment that we wish to see, meaning we will always wish to reinforce our understanding of the world, our world view.

Christianity also relies upon a belief that each human being is born bad, infected with a sickness of failure and wrong action. Through no individual fault or action every human is automatically doomed and deserves never ending pain. This is just one of the seeds of pessimism. There are many. No amount of positive spin can fully escape the pessimistic foundation of this world view. Theologians of the modern age have worked to match the positivism of humanism, to make Christianity a positive set of beliefs but with limited effect. The main reason for this inability to progress is an unwillingness to reassess the core seeds of pessimism deeply entangled in doctrines.

Protestant fire-insurance and Catholic purgatory may be out of fashion, but their roots are still in Christian doctrine, and they still craft the lens of our world view. Yes, Christians seek the truth, the light but through what lens do they find it? We may yet have a generation of Christians who are brave enough to weed out the seeds of this negativity that corrupts their pursuit of truth. We have not yet, but we may yet. It takes individuals who care enough to find their own ford in the river, to question what they hold dear, and to risk the ugly stares of those who do not try to understand.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sick Drive of a Fevered Mind

In a world where you are expected to be constant it’s hard to revel in your change. Wishing for permanence yields sorrow, and given time, an increasing burden that everything is depreciating and slipping away. It’s a sad change in man when he begins to hold on, instead of reaching forward. John wrote a dynamic gospel, filled with love, but later in his life he wrote down his sad revelation, revealing a heart grown bitter and vengeful at a world that continued to change long after he had begun living in the past. Once you hold on, you are dragged behind. Your lungs fill with dust and your eyes cloud over. Constancy is a sick drive of a fevered mind, and leads to the wish for death, and a world view that is so dark and deadened to life that the mind makes a paradise of oblivion and a hell of every living day.

You must continually change to remain my friend.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'll be out walking the fence line

I’m a new man; again. I’m waking up, working to understand how my predecessor lived. I ache and feel weak from birth. I could sleep for a month, if I wasn’t so anxious to get out and stretch my legs. I’m hopeful and a little hungry. I feel fresh, like a snake must feel after it sheds skin; sun warming guts through newly dried skin, crisp, tight and fresh. I wonder if an old giant of a bear remembers his summers or if he just comes out of the cave from his slumber with the whole world feeling warmly familiar and coolly new at the same time. I imagine his first deep lung filling breaths as he scans the trees and sloping ground outside his cave. His ears prick up at the sound of water and his mouth waters as he can almost taste the twisting flesh of a big fish pulled from the rushing water, ice cold. Is he the same bear as the year before or has he changed somehow during all the stillness and solitude of his winter cave? Does he remember the year before or does he just begin again, starting over with vigor, running down the slope he knows so well and cares not how. I’m still stiff with sleep, lingering in joints as a need to stretch, and in the connection of my thoughts as a need to walk the edge of my map; tasting big ideas again.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Everything has Purpose

Nothing happens without purpose. There are no meaningless actions, no effects without cause.

Humans are not outside of this rational world view. We are part of the world we live in.

Every human action has purpose. Everything that happens to humans fulfills a purpose.

If you witness an event in your environment and you are tempted to call it a meaningless tragedy, or pointless violence, think before you speak. These statements come from those who have not taken the time to understand what they are talking about. They are doing little more than calling some action bad for their purpose, but trying to mask it as if they are talking about the fabled and flawed concept of " the common good".

Friday, August 26, 2005

No Adjustment Needed

BACKGROUND: When we view other people we automatically assess their physical characteristics. We measure each other. This information falls into distribution of our experience that we use to determine beauty valuations. I have previously assumed that we adjust for angle. Meaning if a face is slightely turned, like they say you should do for photographs, then the mind would adjust for the angle so all measurements would be on a similiar basis. This assumption is false. The mind does not adjust for angle, instead measurements are taken as presented. This dawned on me as I was setting up a set of test data for an experiment, I was working on the simple formula for conversion of measurements based on camera angle when I realized that this would ignore several observable phenomena.

1. Profile. The experience of finding someone more attractive, or less, when viewing their profile.

2. Angle. The common wisdom suggesting that pictures taken at a slight horizontal angle and vertically positive angle will increase the attractiveness of a photograph. This also led to a line of questioning to discover how these two positive angles evolved (I will address in another post).

3. Looks Like. The experience of catching an acquaintance at a certain viewing angle and it reminding you of a famous person, or of one of their relatives.

TRANSITION: Examples such as these convinced me that I was offtrack in my assumptions of viewing angle correction. This will, of course, change all of my testing plans, but the significant impact comes from the questions the revelation generates.

1. Perfect Angle. There could be a specific angle for which any person's features will lay closer to average for a given distribution. So depending on the desired viewing audience, an angle could be mathmatically figured for a photograph to have the desired level of effect.

2. Profile Check. This is really just an extreme angle. Calculations could be made in the same way to determine the exact beauty value of a person's profile given a specific population's distribution.

3. Impersonation. Certain angles, expressions, and facial positions will make an impersonator look more like their subject thus increasing effectiveness.

CURRENT: Angle provides different measurements for the same person. This is not only limited to angle either; facial expressions and postion, lighting, glasses, hats, etc. All of these items produce new experiences for the viewers minds to measure and include in their evaluations of the individual. Precise calculations can be made to set these variables to produce exact viewing experiences. Basically, this would allow tuning of someone's beauty for a given audience, giving us control like we've never known over the perceptive experience.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm Making Do

Its not easy to be myself. The parental answer to social concern, "Just be yourself". Am I fulfilling my nature? I sit in front of a computer screen all day, in a dark room with headphones on, communicating with text messages to the guy right behind me. I'm plugged in, processing logic problems. Does what we do for work have any relation to who we are and who we're trying to be? The who is always me - we always trying to be more ourselves. The stoics would add that nothing outside yourself can keep you from fulfilling your nature, only you can diminish yourself. Plato might point to a perfect image of ourselves that we are always striving for. The Christian chruch would point away from ourselves and to another, they are striving to be someone else. Although in christian thought a person receives a new nature when they are saved, and so they could still be striving to be themselves, their new selves. Modern liberals seem to strive to be a good person, a shifting image composed of popular thought and modern sensibilities of social responsibility. Still others seem to have a hikers mentality, "leave no trace", seeming to want to cause no harm and avoid harm. Like I said, Its not easy being yourself. Maybe the perspective should be reversed - our natures are trying to grow in rocky soil, and we're always trying to clear the way so some thread within us can be healthier and more vibrant. Always fighting to give it more sun, water, and good soil, all the time in shadow, dry and a little hungry. Human condition? Nothing universally new here, except for the individual, its always new, personal and desperately important. I prefer the stoic lightly mixed with an enlightened christian view, but its like a tool designed for a different job, but I'm making do.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fulfill Your Nature

When I say, “The purpose of life is to fulfill your nature”, I mean you to be a living fulfillment of your ancestors fortune: Their fortunate nature that allowed them to live and reproduce generation after generation in an unbroken line up to you. You are the latest scion of a deep historical thread of success and your sole responsibility is to fulfill your nature, to become, with clarity, what you are designed to be. Fulfill not only your genetics but also your environment, and the vector of these two that produces exactly you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Evolution

Evolutionary science is not simple. It takes study and thought to understand modern evolutionary theory. This makes profitable discussion with those opposed difficult.

A basic understanding of scientific method and knowledge of the theory are essential, but a majority of people wanting to engage in discussion on this topic lack both. This presents a challenge to good discussion.

Political Disposition

A lecture I've been listening to speaks about a French person's impression of us in the 19th century. He specifically struck me with, "One defining characteristic of Americans is their hope and belief in progress." This is a paraphrase but the point is, he's right. At my core I'm constantly mildly dissastisfied with what I have, and spend time thinking about how it might be made better. My mental history is riddled with this and supporting stories heard as a child of men who did just this and gained fame and fortune from it. My concern and the point of making a journal entry on these thoughts is this; I'm unsure if I believe in political progress.

I'm worried that I've lost faith in our government to the point that I have no more hope in it getting better. As with all thoughts like this, if I feel this way then many many more do as well. I'm resolving to get involved in local politics of the simplest and most humble sort. Somthing to either spur me on into renewed hope and belief or provide concrete examples of what is wrong. If I do not take personal action to invest myself, I will be giving away my freedom of thought to the Media and the pundits, and they actively object to hope. Fear mongering has become such a pervasive art that I'm required to doubt whether my dissatisfaction and lack of hope is real and founded, on my own experiences, or if it is merely an implant by constant feeding and suggestion.

So, I have to go look for myself.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cause and the Cure not Symptoms

I want to learn more about America. If I'm to have a voice, if I've something to say to this people then I should understand us better. A study of history is essential. A study of our politics and conflicts is essential. A study of our literature is essential. I want to find and understand where I stand in the march of democracy in America. Through this study, I hope, I'll be able to put names to those things I have begun to feel we are loosing. I feel a slip in who we are. We've changed direction. Not recently but over the course of my life, we've changed. I don't want to waste time on the symptoms of this change, while they are important; they are neither the cause nor the cure. What in our world view, our philosophy, our outlook on life has changed leading to this slow change in direction?

Who are we... no, more importantly, who do we wake up wanting to be?

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Union of Vertical and Horizontal Men

And the Purpose of Our Lives

A person of broad experience with a lively and varied interest doesn't impress at parties like the vertical man. No, the horizontal man receives less cheap appreciation than his vertical counterpart, but with meditation this will not seem unfair or unjust in the least, on the contrary this is a great balance and aid to our social efforts.

The man of broad experience is a stable and balanced support, capable of making lateral innovations and deep judgments. This nature reveals itself only to those who pay attention and possess enough understanding to breed appreciation. The deficit of the horizontal man is specialized skills, and for this he must always call upon his vertical companions. You will often find the best horizontal men in the company of many vertical friends, arms about shoulders and beers in hand. There is no better union among intimate friends than between these two types of men for they are the best we have to offer, and their union drives the advancements of mankind.

The vertical man must be satisfied with his moments and events of glory and the horizontal man must not grudge him these, for the vertical will struggle with the enduring reputation given to the horizontal. Both men must resolve these issues of ego and social reward before truly finding a footing for friendship that will last.

You may ask, “Last to what purpose?” and I will answer, “Glory, innovation, and the very fire of creation that is in the hands of men! Fame, power and wealth are wonderful, only, when being shoveled into the blazing furnace of creation.”

Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Struggle

Why does it feel so hard to live? It, of course, doesn't always feel this way, but there are unambiguous moments when the daily act of living is a struggle. The mind slows down and finds normal stimluous painful, the desire to escape, to sleep, to drink, to take some action to cease the struggle. The mind will also, on different days, look for the cause of the pain and struggle. When you wonder, "Why is today so hard", your mind looks externally to others for answers... The question can easily become, "Who is making my life so hard". Both reactions have there pits and traps, both are equally often foolish wastes of time and potential. Regardless, life can be hard and our mind will naturally begin solving this problem.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Gods of My Fathers

The beliefs of childhhood, the foundation laid by our fathers in how we understand the world and our spirituality, rest beneath reason and resist the questions of mature understanding. When these gods are reviewed and the mature mind desires to understand and integrate them into experience there arises an inherent nervousness and uncertainty. This is the moment of choice when we can choose to make these gods our own, or we can choose to adopt them and avoid the stress of personal discovery. The cost of and decision of true education.

As a younger man I addressed these issues as most young men do, a sophmoric release of fetters, a violent departure, and self assertion, but this left the task incomplete. For years I have put off this task and pointed reason in other directions, less personal, happy to retain my comfort and let the task rest. Whether I should have completed this all at once or if the task itself must be completed in stages as I am able to handle it, I do not know. I do know that I am driven to take up the effort again and take it as far as I am able.

I am motivated by the belief that we should not blindly accept what we have the capacity to understand and make our own. I hesitate because the task effects comforts and foundations that have been my good support even if I have been unaware of their extent. How can I say I believe if I am not willing to understand?

Friday, June 17, 2005

The First Bite of a New Understanding

Precondition: Familiarity with Genesis, the Edge of the Map, and an Honest Desire to Understand

Before our knowledge of good and evil, god was unknown to us. We were mingled with him, like a child before a self-image; before he is self aware. The storied apple, not the fabled one of poison and long sleep, but the apple that traded our innocence for knowledge: That apple, which we ever choose to eat again and again, represents the birth of consciousness in man; our first choice to know even at cost. We've always been willing to pay dearly for a real education. This garden was the womb of preconscious man. When we began to know, we gained an edge, god was pushed away from us by our new found understanding and we were aware. We awoke from the long dream of evolution's march. We awoke and left our childhood home, with a small map and an edge, close enough to comfort our fears, destined to continue this map we had started; destined to continue paying the cost over and over again for greater and greater knowledge of good and evil. We have ever been lovers of truth, never holding the edge close but pushing it further and further away. A true man of god will always choose to eat the apple, just as our first father did. A true man of god understands the apple and how this reveals the truth of manna, and the decline of miracles and religion.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Our Government

I'm asking myself, how much responsibility should I rightly have in the state of our government. I'm concerned by the loss of personal freedoms. I'm even more concerned that I hear no voices representing this concern.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Memorizing Scripture

There is little benefit in memorizing scripture. Memorized scripture, when it is actually done and not just talked about, is generally used to impress other people. Its use in sharing faith is of vastly less benefit than actually communicating like a normal person, retlating experience and listening.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mike Sutton

Goodbye Mike. You were my friend.

I'm remembering today. Scenes from Shawnee come unbidden to mind; sharing cigarettes and beers and long porch conversations. You were with me when I picked up Shiva from the pound. I remember your shorts and short sleeve dress shirts - your uniform of the time. I remember you.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Wage Slaves

I wonder how much modern employees are like ancient slaves and the servants of generations past. Some wage earners still wear the livery of their masters, while many of us have less real daily, hour by hour, freedom in our lives than those of old. We are not beaten. We can leave. Our children are free to choose their masters and prepare themselves to serve in a capacity they prefer.

The swineherd Eumaeus was a slave of Odysseus but lived with what seemed rustic freedom of an admirable sort. He seemed to live the majority of his life with a good amount of autonomy. His freedom had limits but no so much that he couldn’t help out a wandering man in need with shelter, coat and food. Eumaeus was an employee paid with security and all the things he was able to provide the masked Odysseus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Understanding Education

When a stranger lets me know that he holds a doctoral degree in some subject, even if the subject is weighty and respected, all I should judge by way of this is the likelihood that he is at least half educated.

If when speaking to some man on some point of disagreement, which can be a most friendly and edifying activity, and your interlocutor resorts to credentials, some "educational" achievements, or any external validation of this sort to support his point, you should immediately and quietly disengage from conversation. From this point on you should treat this person as a child, trying to benefit him, but never engaging in debate.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

blame yourself for the right reasons

"Some people don't have to deal with this. Some people don't have to feel like this."

I wonder if that is true and these imagined persons are really living out there in America somewhere, or if those things I feel so strongly are really inside everyone. How unique is this; I wonder if I should stop wondering how to be different than I am, how to be like an imagined someone that may not even exist, and begin putting words to these same feelings waiting in others. Maybe, we do have to feel like this. Maybe we all feel this way to some degree and imagining that some people don't is all part of the madness. If you can't blame yourself, who can you blame? Blame yourself, but blame yourself for the right reasons!

The Only Commandment

Build a cage with dimensions such that I rarely bump into the wall and I will feel free the majority of the time, but there will be those days when I reach out and touch the wall and that is when the lie of my prison is undeniable. A person can stay in the middle and imagine, or walk the edge and be reminded. Who will be happier? Worthless question. Choosing paths based on a happiness quotient is the mindset of a herd animal. Choose your path based on who you are - based on your nature. Some people will naturally move to the middle and imagine and be quite satisfied, but I believe that most people are more than this. I believe that most men will be drawn to the edge once they are aware of it. There are natures in some men that can only love the edge of the map, and when I say love I don't speak of hearts and well spoken sentiment. I'm speaking of the beaten down nature of man fighting his way free of his educational and religious jacket. Don't underestimate the violence within you. Is this confusing? Wipe away what I've said if it is confusing; you owe yourself one purpose and that is to fulfill your nature. That is the morality native to man - that is the formula and signature of creation hidden within us. Fulfill your nature: this is the only commandment.

There is one commandment: Fulfill your nature.
There is one corollary: Hinder no man from becoming himself.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Political Imaginations

I can imagine living with a better government than the United States. I daily imagine living with real personal freedom to participate in government. I need not imagine reasons to participate more, for the government and its issue make these clear.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Modern Style of Bondage

Today is Thursday the twenty eighth of April in the year two thousand and five and my name is Larry Bickel. I live in a society called free by historical standards, but I daily feel the constraints that still exist. I’m well paid for my time, but my time is demanded in large measure. This is the modern style of human bondage. We are not bought and sold by others instead we buy and sell ourselves and in this way we are free.

A question for the slaves of this free society: “How can we buy back our time, our freedom?” Secondly, “Will we value our potential freedom without knowing what we will use it for?”

Morning Observation

The morning feels fresh today, like the world has rested and woke up remembering when it was younger. I feel promise and the willingness to move. I’m ready to make new commitments and cut loose those that drag: a positive outlook and a willing knife hand.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Common Significance

In an over stimulated nation of over entertained skeptics it is difficult to remember that most of life's truly significant events are extremely common. We look for the novel stimulation, the uncommon happening, the unique perspective, but more often than not this is simply more noise degrading the signal. There are common events of life that have a significance that should not be underappreciated, they should not be missed - yes, even though they happen to nearly every one. Mentioning a list of these would put me in danger of being post-card nauseating, so I will leave this thought at this: embrace the common where it is significant to you, not statistically significant but significant to you personally. Allow your American personality to enjoy being normal for just one moment and you may be surprisingly satisfied by the experience.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Clouds of Change

Can you feel it? Your reason to live, never knew you had one until it was getting the shit beat out of it, is hanging on by a finger. What about this makes one want to escape? Does this delay the loss - maybe drugs, drink and media delay the crisis? Escape. I think what we're talking about here is change: Ugly, naked, change. You feel it coming. Sniff the air; you're old enough now to know that smell.

Always a new self marching to the front; the multiplicity of self is depressing in the extreme. I want to stay who I am. I like the now, but I know that smell: Placental, wet, sulfur smell of a new self pushing its way to the front fucking everything before it. Good bye. This may be the last you hear from me. I'm slipping and my god damn arrogant next incarnation isn't wasting any time with courtesy.

Daily Struggle To Remain Free

Life can force its will upon us. Our environment, human and non-human, can over power us and leave us in a situation where the best option is to submit: Nothing is more hateful.

There is nothing more hateful to a free man than submission, but there are times when this is the only wise course. Wisdom is not always something you must love; it is for guidance not affection. Wisdom is often a hated councilor.

If you do not often resent wisdom’s advice then you do not often follow wisdom’s direction.

There is never a single option; there is always choice. At times there will be choices of such loss that a hateful choice must be made or ruin must be embraced. Ruin should only be the free choice in extreme situations that leave us beyond hope.

There is nothing more pitiable than a man who gives his freedom to another because he is too weak to make his own hard choices. Freedom is heavy and there is variance in the fortunes of a free man that the victim will not be asked to endure.

A man can live free in bondage or live enslaved in freedom; it is his daily choice.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

No Freedom Without Freedom from Force

The supposed moral authority of the majority which gives our government officials their righteous excuse to power should never have the power to force me to do anything that I do not choose to do. My heart affirms this truth on a daily basis. Does this position seem unrealistic? Do you believe that the nature of men requires that they always be forced and coerced against their wills? Are the wills of man so bad?

If you think man must always be forced and must always submit, then how is the tyranny of the majority justified?

I see no reason to accept the position that a million voices speaking falsely should outweigh my single voice speaking truly, especially and with specific concern where it involves my person and my freedom of action. I reserve the right to choose. I reserve my natural authority over my self and dispute any other person who has been convinced into believing he holds my rights, even and especially if a vote of the majority is his convincing factor. No person has the right to take my freedom of choice from me, and no population of people has this right either. I am free. You may ask, “Free to do what?” My response: that is my business and not yours. I not only have the freedom to choose, I have the freedom to choose as I will for reasons I find sufficient: For a free man, no justification is necessary.

I believe in man. I hold myself to be free to choose. Force me against my will to actions I reject and you will be a tyrant, however you excuse your power.

Infallibility of the Scripture

Most christians will honestly assert that they are not infallible. In fact they will often speak at leangth to their weaknesses and fallibility in judgement and action.

These same people will take a sinsere position that they believe the Bible to be infallible. Many even go as far as holding to a loose understanding that God directly created the literary work.

There are several points to notice in this discussion. One, you can not be both infallible and completely assured that you are correct about the bible's infallibility. Two, other christians chose what was included in the bible and what was not. Three, other christians authored the individual documents that comprise the bible. Four, these documents have changed over time with many differences in versions being found. Five, the collection of documents called the bible is translated and in many cases we do not have a draft more recent than hundreds of years after our assumed original pen dates.

Let me first address the extreme opinion that holds the divine to have directly written the documents through the human hosts. Firstly, the reason that the documents were written was often personal or for teaching purposes. None of the authors claimed divine inspiration, in fact they more often seemed as humble as their modern counterparts. If the authors themselves do not claim perfect divine inspiration then why claim it for them. This seems to be a critical point of fallibility; asking these documents to be something that they were not originally intended to be. Secondly, we know that these writings are not directly inspired without the effect of the human host. We can differentiate writing style between authors. We can identify word choice and intellectual approach that reveal educational and cultural differences between the authors themselves. They also record events limited to their experience or second hand knowledge as well as events that seem significant from their perspective. This extends to the context they place events in, how they lead up to it and frame it. The imprint of the author is clear and undeniable. The humanity and therefore fallibility of the author is also clear.

I Did Not Volunteer

"I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe— 'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." Henry David Thoreau

The government that coerces my cooperation with force, and believes me born into subjugation for the duration of my life is an enemy to my liberty and freedom. I did not volunteer. I was born and immediately stamped and processed into a life long servant of the nation controlling the geography of my birth. I did not volunteer, and I am beginning to realize the extent to which I am truly restrained.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Subtle Oppression, Modern State

The overt oppression of a populace is dangerous because it sets in motion a necessary subversion so that internal balance can be achieved. I specifically say overt because the experience of oppression is subjective and related to personal expectations. The raw use of power to control another person should be the last resort of the governing authority, because it may set in motion a problem of control greater than what it was intended to solve.

The subtle oppression of a populace is a modern art being practiced and refined in the most advanced countries.

For the modern citizen, every "Exit" from the quiet oppression becomes a clearly marked stygian maze, so that when you cry for release those around you point to the exit and say, "There is the way out." Ours is a frightening type of volunteerism; a house in which the windows have been replaced with murals of loss and want, repainted as the condition within the house deteriorates. We can leave, but we dare not. We are not fooled by the lies, but we do not ask for the truth. We are complicit in the subtle oppression of our masters.

I fear that these masters are not mere men, but are something far worse. I fear that they are we, the tyranny of the majority, to which we have subjected ourselves and left no sign of true escape. Quiet oppression can not forever take more and more, a day comes when we are without room to fill our chests with air and the natural tendency to become subversive will find its voice and hands. In time, we will tear our balance from the very flesh of our modern country, even this ever so subtle oppressor we have built and support. We will force freedom upon ourselves when our very blood has realized the depth of our oppression.

Humanist

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use." Galileo GalileiIf god made man then I will resist the efforts to denegrate his work. Are men so bad? Is god's creation so flawed? I hold that man is not so flawed as some would have us believe, and that our mutual artist could not have so failed as to have made us objectionable to his own eye. These same haters of man would have you pray for the end of creation. They will convince you if they can of their own indespensibility to your life while at the same time wagging a soft finger at you lest you drink from the cup you've been handed.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Experience of Oppression

UNDERSTANDING:
There is nothing intrinsically oppressive about life; on the other hand every moment of life is lived in relation to the forces that act upon us. We are free to act. We are never free from the forces of our environment acting upon us. The experience of freedom is a balance of these forces, internal and external, so that the actor is able to act according to his will.

The experience of oppression then is a subjective one indicating an unresolved internal opposition to external forces. The experience of oppression is one of a victim unable to resolve his internal desire to act with an external force in opposition. The oppressed does not feel that he can enact his will.

PERSONAL:
I find nothing more objectionable than the feeling of oppression. When I encounter this experience I find it useful, in that it shifts my balance towards freedom, to assess the forces acting upon me and the ways in which I wish to act. Inevitably I identify forces acting upon me that can be avoided, nullified or pacified and aspects of my will and expectations that are not significant or more commonly are not wholly mine. My first statement is often this, “There is nothing important to do.” You may be surprised by this but I find it freeing in the extreme as well as true. From this foundation I build up each individual item of internal will that I wish to retain balancing it against my external reality. This exercise inevitably leaves me with simple courses of action to force my will on my environment. These new plans and expectations are the very keys to freedom and the balance that needs to be regained.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Family and Church

Church has never been like family to me. Christian men and women have been, although rarely, like family to me. The institution is not the faith. Even those rare fellow believers that I have been close to are not the faith. Neither the company of christ nor the individuals who follow him can justify or debase the primary truths. The same holds true for the works of these. What they write down, ink on paper, can not make my faith or unmake it, nor what a group of them decides to pronounce or denounce can stabalize or destabalize my position as it relates to the divine.

If a relationship is personal then it is personal and no other people or papers should insert themselves between. I honor and adhere to Jesus not his followers, ancient or modern, nor the works of his other adherants. Personal is personal - personal is not corporate.

I will gladly stand alone, aside from the herd, to preserve the clean honesty of what I really emperically know that I have. I will fight for what I have, even if it is not so great as what others claim, so that it may remain honest and real. I will embrace my minor and humble relationship and will never reach for the cheap gold that others demand I claw after with them.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Catholic

The glory of the roman empire faded and its strength crumbled; in its passing it left behind piles of religious thought and trails of broken faith canonized. The religion left behind by mother rome and still clinging to human lives is equivelant to post-apocolyptic survivors dwelling in broken down cars and under bridges.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Neapolitan Perspective

I’m awash in uniqueness. I feel large and change wielding. I’m girded in the illusion of individuality. I remember who I am, powerful nostalgia of self, and know again that I am capable of enacting change.

Another’s embrace assures position. Self embrace emphasizes positive hope of transition. There is no fear of change when you are up on your board riding the world around you. This footing is secure, not in stability in relation to surroundings but, more hopefully, in relation to becoming. This is the joy of Sunday drives and evening walks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Biblical Veracity

“Is the Bible Real?”
The veracity of the Bible is an interesting question. Not as much for the answer but for the way the answers are made and supported. When approaching a personal view on this question I suggest that the thinking person avoid an emphatic positive or negative response. In wrestling with this question the most likely danger to a genuine response will be short cuts to thinking; childhood maxims and ultimatums. I encourage the Christian believer to take this question seriously enough to actually come to a considered response. It will be worth the time; this is a foundational concept in Christian conversation.

“What type of document is the Bible?”
The way you answer the question will depend heavily on what type of document you consider the Bible to be. Historical: you will use archeology and literary references for support. Legal: you will use moral authority and point to a divine author. Instructive: you will use the evidence that following the text will lead to the promised results. These all could be used to support or refute its veracity, but such divergent conceptions of veracity have little commerce.

“A stepped approach to honest dialog”
When discussing biblical veracity I suggest you establish document type before you begin discussing veracity. No meaningful discussion on veracity can occur when the participants diverge on document type; this must be agreed upon first. Some zealous individuals will assert all three document types; my suggestion to this person would be to establish what type of document his partner in discussion is addressing and to adjust his discussion accordingly. Jumping around between support for this type and then that type will not lead to a good discussion but an attempt to bully or bludgeon agreement or at least acquiescence out of the other party. Don’t be afraid to have these healthy considered conversations; this can be honest dialog between two people of different opinion.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Immaculate Conception

Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, were the sons of the god of war, Mars, and Rhea Silvia the Vestal Virgin. The product of this Immaculate Conception, Romulus, founded a city on a hill and was its first King. At death he was taken into heaven by his father Mars and worshipped by his descendants who called themselves the sons of god.

Some time after his death and ascension a patrician swore that he had met Romulus on a road and that he had told him, “It was the pleasure of the gods, from whom I came, that I should dwell again in heaven. Tell my people that if they practice self-restraint, and add courage to it, they will reach the utmost heights. And I will be their encouraging god.”

Psychological Shelter

Maslow's hierarchy of needs reserves no position for the drive to psychologically escape reality. Does this fall under the need for shelter? If so, then shelter from what? I suggest that escape is psychological shelter from the desperate vocation of self actualization.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wisdom

Honest wisdom lies in the ability to change your opinion on matters you consider important. True wisdom lies in changing which matters you consider important.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Discussion Question

What is the "good life"? How much of your answer to this question is based solely off of your individual uniqueness and how much on what you've been taught you should answer?

Symptom: Vocabulary Change

An observable symptom of progressive indoctrination is a pronounced vocabulary change. There will initially be a hesitancy to use specialized language; this will be marked by an infrequent and limited introduction of key phrases into a subject’s normal language patterns. There will be a full adoption of key phrases once the individual’s self image has aligned with the image of the indoctrinating group. I suggest that the adoption of language patterns and phrases is an external symptom of the candidate’s internal progression into the social group.

The adoption of new ideas without a complete understanding is often exhibited by a heavy use of genre specific terms and speech patterns heavily laden with genre specific language constructs. This coupled with the candidate’s inability to discuss outside of these language patterns as well as a typically defensive response when any of the tenet ideas are challenged or even asked to be explained is a clear sign that the individual is an acolyte of a non-reproducible progression of knowledge.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

My Accent

While riding in the back of a vietnam era military truck outfitted to haul soliders, a canadian couple told me that their son would love to talk to me just so he could hear my Texas accent. Much of this was shouted so it could be heard over the wind: there's less accent when shouting. While our mercedes military truck bounced over wind sand roads I tried to accept that I had an accent - something I'd never really considered myself to have.

I wasn't aware that I had enough of an accent that it would be entertaining. My impression of my own verbal style is basically american with some small southern or Texan influences; apparently I'm simply not aware of my own accent.

What other aspects of my person are similiarly affected by my geospatial reality? Does my belief system have an accent? Is it Texan? When I'm communicating my understandings is there a distinct accent to my truth? Is it economic? Are Texans really friendlier than our Yankee counterparts and if so is this an example of a non-verbal accent: A personality accent.

I wasn't aware of how much accent my voice carried. I wonder how many other accents I carry that I'm unaware of.

Participation

“If a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? Those by death are few; by resignation, none.” Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

I want to participate in this democracy, but find no way to act besides voting for representatives that do not clearly represent any position, except the desire to be elected by the population.

Am I expected to take this situation as a serious opportunity to participate? Legislative authority needs to be redistributed. I want the option to represent myself or choose someone to represent me; anyone of my choosing that I feel can represent my interests better than I can. I'm serious about this, I want to be able to choose my own representative not merely choose between preselected alternatives. The freedom to choose is embodied in the write in candidate and our almost complete lack of freedom is embodied in the radio button. I want to be able to write in a name and have my chosen individual represent me. My candidate should always get elected! He should always win the opportunity to represent me.

Maybe the current system was the best that modes of communication and transportation allowed two hundred years ago, but the physical limitations of the past have become entrenched interests of the career politicians of the present. We need to reorganize the system to benefit from advances in communication and transportation. Why must legislators sit in a room together and sign paper? Why must the role of legislator be a paid position held by a few? The role of legislation should be the role of a citizen. Any citizen capable of using a computer and proving sufficient ability and knowledge in the subjects dealt with should be free and empowered to participate in the proposal and ratifying of legislation.

“Of the people, for the people and by the people”, we can make this more true. We can distribute legislative authority to a greater part of our population, so that those who want to participate actually can.

This sounds nice, yes, but you doubt it will come about. What is the motivation of those in power to share their power? Why would these career politicians give up the professions they’ve invested in and profit from? They will give up their power only if we take it from them with the threat of force. That is how we gained and paid for the system we currently have, and that is how we will advance this very same system; popular support, coupled with the support of those principled individuals currently in power.

I want to participate, but I do not want a new profession. I want to be a citizen that can participate in the democracy he belongs to. The answer to my desire is the reason why we are disenfranchised as a nation.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Life After Disembarkation

The last full day of my cruise, I’m ready to be home. The last leg of the course, the final point B and I’m ready to conclude. I wonder if I will feel the same in my old age.

I doubt that I will. This conclusion brings another point A and that is what I hurry to, not the conclusion itself. I smile and plan for the next point A.

Life after death doesn’t sound like a point A. It sounds like an eternal vacation from living. I like living. I like growing and changing. The promise of heaven is not an escape that I need. I would enjoy being free from sickness, but health without purpose sounds empty. This life with purpose feels rich.

Pearly gates and gold paved streets do little for me. I’m not drawn to ostentatious displays of wealth on earth and doubt that I will care for them after this life either.

Idleness does little for me too. I do not wish to die and become a lazy sluggard. I do not wish to retire into idleness in this life; I certainly do not pine for eternal indolence.

What is this promise of eternal life? It does not sound like living to me. It sounds like a vegetative state. Some shocked Christian may suggest that we will worship at god’s feet for eternity. This is just as unattractive. Does god really need this kind of reinforcement from those who consider themselves his children? I find modern rulers who need excessive praise to be the lowest form of leader: posters plastered all over their nation, songs sung in their honor at all occasions. This is the sign of a very needy and weak leader; they usually employ force and severe punishment to ensure their respect and continual worship. I say this to point out the contradiction between the view of “god the father” and the view of a god who desires eternal worship.

I do not assume to understand the after life. There is no way that I could. There are no facts to base an understanding on. It will be as Jesus will have it be. I will take it as it comes or as it does not. There is really no other position to hold.

I do not believe in the disciple John. I believe in Jesus. John’s book named “Revelations” does not deserve the position of fact. I don’t believe in the bible. I believe in Jesus. Jesus is my leader, not John and not the Bible. I do not believe in the men that chose the content of the collection of writings we call the bible. This was put together hundreds of years after even the original disciples were dead. The book was put together to formalize doctrine, and to consolidate power. This book was organized for political reasons as much as for the purity of the faith. I appreciate John and the bible. Both are useful. They are not Jesus nor do they hold a position in my faith approaching his. I follow Jesus not the men who put the bible together and not John.

So what can be known of the after life? We only know what we can sense and what we can abstract from these sensations. I was born with no sense organs that can aid me in understanding what comes after death. This does not mean that I think John false, I doubt him, but without data I can not be sure he is wrong or right. I simply can not be sure. I also do not feel the need to be sure. I enjoy this life. I expect that I will enjoy the next one too.

And I do not respond to the threats of men.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Creek View Restaurant

I see the jungle lined shore of Roatan Honduras outside my cabin window. I remember smell and color from the refuse filled creek; swirling brown. The broken TV stuck in the mud pointed up at the foot bridge; its final viewers. What did the locals watch on that TV before it broke and they tossed it out the back door with the rest of their waste: Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, and Reality TV?

I also remember the dilapidated but vibrant Creek View Restaurant. I didn’t eat there. The view wasn’t appetizing; watching the sludge wash past the half submerged television set, upset my stomach. Too many Discovery Channel memories: parasites, bacteria, virus.

It was tempting though. The vibrancy of the thin stick building was appealing. I imagined their food being simple and fresh. A cold Honduran beer, Imperial, and fresh tortillas made by the old brown skinned grandmother in the back and delivered by their bright smiled granddaughters; dazzling white teeth against deep brown skin. The food sounded hearty in a fresh-soul way. As if the food itself was karma-light and while eating I would be unhurried and capable of truly enjoying the simple things: assimilation of culture through diet. I didn’t eat there. Instead, I’m waiting for the Sail-Away-BBQ on the pool deck, which will be delicious and free of intestinal parasites: continuation of culture through diet.

I visited Honduras. I really visited them. It has not been commercialized to the extent of Cozumel. I feel like I’ve had an honest and brief glimpse of this little island. While I remember the colorful birds that little native men put on my shoulders, and the playful and fun monkeys they encouraged to climb up into my arms, bribed with sunflower seeds, I also remember the Creek View Restaurant and my imagined meal.
This small bit of recall has no point, no liberal moral, no heart pulling we-have-it-too-good hand holding sermon. No such sentiment drives me to change the things that I saw. I’m no liberal; I believe that men should make their own changes. I don’t look at others and see victims. I do not need the ego masturbation. I can appreciate that they have the lives they’ve chosen and that they and their ancestors have made decisions for reasons that seemed good to them. My glimpse into their chosen world left me with a splinter of reason, a vision of a wholesome family filled life (avg. family size of 17) that is less reflective than mine, and less pressured and hurried. A life that doesn’t need to be justified and approved, but instead it is hot tortillas, pulled chicken, smoked iguana and cold beer.
I have the life I’ve chosen. They have theirs. Whose is best? It depends on the values of the one making the judgment. I will keep living mine. They will keep living theirs. I’m driven to reach certain goals and ends; I have a will to power and a will to create. I pay the cost for my will. I pay the cost for my decisions. Is this the best way? For me and those few akin to me, yes. There is a best way for me, not all men, not you, but for me and the others of this kind we have our path.
I enjoy fresh tortillas, pulled chicken and cold beer too, but for different reasons. I didn’t eat at the Creek View Restaurant, but I’m glad they do.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Willful Ignorance A.K.A. Christianity

A significant portion of current religious expression is willful ignorance of reality. This purposeful eye aversion from contradicting evidence is dishonest: prayers for victory, prayer for the sick, prayer. This same stubborn self-imposed stupidity extends even into the christian stance on the bible. A christian will assert with enthusiasm that he believes the bible to be the infallible word of god, as if god possessed a body from which to vocalize, yet he will clearly and completely ignore directives and commands therein: giving possessions to the poor, divorce as adultery, and uncountable old testament commands (Jesus said clearly that these were still in effect). This is the same willful ignorance, a mental approach to reality, applied to the bible as applied to the world around them; voluntary and selective blindness to reality.

If a thing is real then it can be shown to be real through repeated examples of cause and effect, and if you do not practice all the commands of your source text then have the honesty to admit that it is not infallible. Christian actions are more honest than belief: listen to what they do and not what they say. They selectively apply the bible but won't admit it and in so doing cripple meaningful dialog about the positive aspects of their lifestyle.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Minimalist Christianity

I desire to be a christian in only the way that Jesus was himself. I want nothing more. I don't want bumper stickers. I don't want the priesthood officialized by Constantine. I want a minimalist practice of christianity. I want nothing more than what i must have to apply the advice that Jesus chose to give us. I want nothing from Paul or the other men who were included in the catholic canon. I want the words of Jesus and him alone. I want a stripped down, clean, and simple christanity; one that embraces life and finds it a gift.

Sicks Days

I find it hard to use sick days: Admission of weakness. I know I should take the time off. I would encourage anyone I work with to do the same. Logic doesn’t impact. I still hate staying home sick. This practice was heavily discouraged during my childhood; skeptical looks. Even when I’m so sick I find it hard to breathe, I dread skeptical looks. I grew up sick, on and off, and was always aware of my health. Most children are ignorant of their good health. I grew up aware that my body was not strong. I grew up aware that the physical was not my arena. I’m familiar with physical discomfort and pain, and I work at minimizing its effect on my mind; at least I can still read and think. Reading was great for the weak bodied kid. It is still great for the adult. I still dread using sick days; stinks like personal failure; stinks like weakness.

I’m getting better. I’m home sick today for the second full day. I wish I wasn’t, but wishes are hopes that can not generate ideas. To a great extent we are still subject to our bodies and are left to deal with what they give us. Maybe I should go back to my “black-shirt” lifestyle (i.e. see entries concerning Technomonk). I was not sick a day during that period. While I’m getting better at taking the appropriate time off I would still rather never need to take any time off.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Jesus lived his passion

Don't praise Jesus for his death; instead praise him for his life. Give him praise for his example in living, not the single time he was a victim of life. He did not die for our sins; instead he lived to teach us to do without them.

Three Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Three stages of a healthy relationship:

  • formative
  • arrhythmic
  • rhythmic


Formative:

Purposes are communicated. Investment is heavy and constant. Definitions have not yet been made or are still loose. Illusions and assumptions are numerous.

Arrhythmic:
Purposes are agreed upon. Investment is heavy but sporadic. Illusions are lost. Definitions are forming; narrowing the scope of hope, sharpening the purpose.

Rhythmic:
The relationship is defined and has achieved a rhythm, frequency and amplitude appropriate to the purposes of the relationship.


"Where we are in life"

"Where we are in life", this concerns our position on the time-line of life. Our valuation of "Am I where I should be" is cultural. Your needs for fulfillment will change as you age. When young a good party and the company of women will make a man feel good about where he stands. His middle age is looking for stability and potential achievement in equal measure. In older age the desire to leave something behind, to make a mark, to be remembered begins to increase. The entire time line is a continuum with no real divisions. Convenient separations have been made but these are culturally specific and only there to help find our place and to understand where others are.

"Where I am in life", I'm in early middle age still wearing some unshed skin from my youth, still feeling the loss of what used to fulfill me, still trying to fulfill myself in ways that used to work but no longer do. I'm finding new ways, and some ways I used to try, fulfill me more now than they ever did. In some ways I'm just now coming into myself. It feels healthy to pin a flag in the time-line and say, "I am here."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Relationship Mechanics

The closer you are to someone the easier it is to push them away.

It isn't even necessary to push. A cessation of attractive activity will allow the other party to drift away under the influence of social currents. We actually have to apply continual force to keep social relationships stable. The closer two people are the more energy it will take to maintain that relationship. Microwaves and the electromagnetic spectrum illustrate this. The shorter a wave the more energy it possesses. Long waves like radio waves contain much less energy than microwave or gamma waves. Compare this to the amount of energy a relationship possesses, and the amount of energy it takes to keep this relationship in motion. When a very close relationship ends it releases a great deal of energy, as opposed to a very loose relationship which dissipates with much less fury. Relationships are dynamic and powerful. They are expensive to maintain and they can be devastating when allowed to fail. They can also be engines of propulsive force when running in harmony.

A rhythm is essential to an economical relationship.

Relationships are much like electromagnetic waves but they are equally like the events that cause them. When generating and maintaining closely bound relationships be aware of your danger and the threat to the rest of your life, but not so aware that you fail to use the incredible benefit unique to such personal frequencies.

You can never actually push someone away from yourself. More accurately, you damage the bond to the point that it severs and the energy stored in the relationship is released in a wild burst. It is this burst of stored energy that forces the two apart.

All parties involved in a tight social bond will work to maintain the relationship with the least amount of recurrent effort capable of keeping the relationship stable. All parties should be aware of this and work together to find a balance that allows for economical relationship stabilization. Long lasting and powerful relationships must be pragmatic at the core. Illusions are less and less tolerated as the bonds are pulled tighter. All these tints and shades must be striped off before truly tight bonds may be formed.

You are ready for a close relationship when you can safely achieve and maintain it.

Some people are especially suited for powerful relationships. These people most often form too tight of bonds too quickly and damage themselves and others. These individuals should be aware of themselves and form relationships with appropriate caution.

Friday, February 04, 2005

I'm not scared of eternal recurrence

If my life was a book I would read it again? Would I skip chapters, or would the slow parts have their own sad charm? The poignant parts may diminish out of context. A good editor would make all the difference; another reason to appreciate the nature of memory.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Music Selection

Music selection is mood dependant. Mood is at least partly context dependant. What music I want to listen to should compliment my mood and my activity. When choosing music for a group of people mood is difficult to determine. When choosing for yourself mood is often difficult to pin point. The context that the music will play in is less difficult. There is also the time of day to consider since it has a strong effect on mood: some songs are good for the morning and some for the evening.

An automated music selection system provided with context could then determine mood based music preference based on user feedback to selected songs.

Redefine context as a combination of listener activity and listener mood.

Time of day may be a way for the selection engine to make a guess at listener mood.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Music Problem

The digitization of music is proceeding apace: Progress has moved past the technofiles and into main stream adoption. As a person's music experience is digitized the amount of music they have access to at any one moment dramatically increases. With CDs a person may have had twelve CDs in a carry case, now with a digital player they have hundreds. The dramatic increase in available personal choices creates a new problem; what to play. At this early point we still try to play albums and we start using shuffle to range across artists, genres and whole collections. With an increasing abundance of choice comes the increasing difficulty of choice. Shuffle becomes an increasingly unsatisfactory tool. This presents a problem to be solved: What to play. Shuffle, as a solution, is already failing if not already completely out moded. Individual track, album, artist and genre choices are already eclipsed. The problem "What to Play" remains unsolved.
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The music listening experience will inevitably become more collaborative.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Feeling Weak

When I'm sick I regret how I spent my period of health. I have the most discipline when I've been weak the longest. Weakness forces the motivated into self control. The trick is keeping discipline in strength, like being serious when you are the happiest.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Memory Loss as Natural Positive

The healthy failure of memory is a blessing. We can move on with memories that fade or change, leaving us less encumbered by the past. Entropy serves a similiar function for the physical world. Entropy defines time. What does the rate of memory loss define?
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The desire to live in the past, for things to not fail, and for memories to stay clear is a denial of life. Study history, maintain your car, and reminisce about the past; all these things are healthy. It is the drive to escape the march of progress by retreating into the past, keeping things the same, and never forgetting that is the product of a weakening mind. When a christian wants the church of today to be like the early church, or a parent of a dead child desperately tries to picture his face every day, or leaders hold too long to the ways of the past, all these things are simple examples of weak minds grasp for a way out of the dynamic and ever moving stream of change. They want out. This very mind set will drown them in the end. Change always wins out. The new always replaces the old.
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I'm glad I forgot so much of my past because it has left me free to have so much of my future.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Morality is a Means Not an End

Healthy morality is utile. The support for morality is pragmatic benefit to the person, group, or race. When a moral system or a part of a moral system looses its utility it should be discarded. Any adherence to morality that is no longer useful is slavish. A person or group that adheres to useless morality has made themselves slaves and condescended their own minds into this confine. A slavish mind avoids punishment and looks for a way out. Every slavish mind will struggle with the desire to obey and the desire to revolt.

Healthy morality is a means. When morality becomes the end growth has stopped and freedom of mind has been lost in a salt lake from which no one is satiated. Morality must remain a means for it to remain healthy. Once you hold up morality as an achievement you've lost what was living within you and committed yourself to futility.
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The point is not to be more or less moral. That is the language of the sick slavish moralists.

The symptom of this sickness is not that morality is being discussed; it is that it is being discussed as something valuable in and of itself. As if you should be moral for the sake of being moral. Discussion centering on the various merits of a morality with the goal of improving and refining it so that it will better fulfill its purpose is an act of a vibrant mind. A living morality is always being judged against its efficiency to fulfill its goal. A healthy living morality will always be in the fire, on the anvil and in the water again. Healthy discussions of morality are technical like a sprinter discussing good running form, or a programmer talking about language syntax and logic organization. Morality is a means. Some may call it a way.

I can not be immoral. I can only lack your morals. A difference in morals is not necessarily a difference in purpose, but a difference in means to achieve the purpose.
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If you wish to criticize my morals you should explain how a change would better serve me. I will not take up a moral to be more like you, or because you passionately think I should. I will take up a moral if it benefits me. How do your morals serve you? You had better be ready to defend your morals with an explanation of how they improve your life before you approach me with moral reproach. I have little toleration for sick slavish morality, and zero sympathy for those who wish to spread their disease to others.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I have affection for Jesus

I have affection for Jesus. If I could scrape the taint and tint of Paul from my understanding of him I feel certain that he would shine the brighter. Jesus believed what he preached and he lived it. He was a revolutionary. He was no scholar. He was not a professor or a pastor. These are reflective and passive styles of living. Jesus was active. He moved, he spoke, he became himself with such surity that I sit back in my chair impressed and envious. He believed that the kingdom of heaven was immediate, part of life and something that was within the grasp of man - that was his good news.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Will They Gape in Awe at Our Lives?

Will future generations marvel at our work lives wondering how we lived under such conditions? "How did they put up with it? They had so little free time, and the time they had they spent escaping" Imagine confused and troubled looks on the innocent faces of the future.

Yes, children of the future I drive a vehicle that burns fossil fuel and I drive it myself without computer assistance. I drink. I smoke. Yes, this is all still carcinogenic in my time. I eat foods that are equally poisonous. I handle paper money. I drink a stimulant daily. In fact it is provided free of charge by my employer. We are barbarians to the future and angels to the past but we are the same thing at this moment that those of the future and past were in their time; men. Men with a barabaric foundation and the promise of the future - we are all fruit and seed - we are all antiquated and modern in measure.

Expectations for your life

Your expectations for your life are cards spread out in front of you. With each new expectation a new card has been drawn and added. The layout never fortold that you would be where you are now. Their message is only whether you would be happy where you are now.

Differing expectations, of those you give significance to, lay cross-wise against your own cards. These are areas of conflict until they are aligned. Even matched cards have only one message; magnified.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Benevolence is dominance without opposition.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hope as a tool for reality creation

Some hopes generate ideas. Ideas attract devotion and with devotion comes resultant definition. The process of one hope becoming a defining devotion is the process of fulfillment.

A wish is a hope that can not even generate ideas.
A dream is a hope that can not produce devotion.

A hope is a seed of change. I hope that a new science of human experience will help me measure and predict this element of my environment. This was the goal of science in previous areas of the human environment: to understand, to control where possible and to predict where control is not possible.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Be Ready When I Come

I have not forgotten you. I often think of you and the struggle you survive to retain your differences. While you wait for my arrival remember this, you have no greater purpose than to be who you are, or put another way, fulfill your nature. If you want to honor me and prepare yourself for me then be simple, deep and deliberate. Structure your life in such a way that you are always full of energy, both potential and kinetic, in this way you will be ready when I come.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Greater Good News

There is no greater good news than this, "The path to a meaningful life can be found in fulfilling your nature, being yourself, and trimming away everything that is not-you." The good news is that your life can be full of meaning if you but become who you are.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Devotion is the loss of hope

Devotion imbues life with purpose.

Devotion is the loss of hope. This does not mean the absence of hope, nor does it mean an over all diminishing in the quantity of hope. The loss of hope means more specifically the loss of specific hopes. The number of individual hopes will diminish and lend their weight to the surviving hopes. Devotion is the loss of hope because choices have been made. Decision allows devotion which narrows the choices still possible. Devotion itself is a focusing, a narrowing of effort, a narrowing of hope, a narrowing of possibility.
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When life is dyed in devotion it takes on the color of purpose. Purpose is the royal color, the hue of heroes, and it is exceedingly expensive due to the extreme scarcity of its source. It is derived from beating the roots of a rare species of plant against a stone over and over until its precious ichor bleeds down the side of the beating stone.

Further complicating the availability of this color is the difficulty in identification. It contains few distinguishing marks and often resembles whatever plant is dominant around it. Only a prolonged examination will reveal the necessary plant. When the wind blows heavily from one direction and then from another watch how the plants bend and you will see a difference among them.
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If you ask yourself, "What is the purpose of my life", realize that you can only answer this question by shedding hope.
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Maybe you feel so little hope in life because you have so many hopes for life.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Using the Befouled Word, "goals"

Financial planning, a depressing topic much the way stories of romance and genius are depressing. Every example seems too perfect and just a few inches out of reach, or completely untranslatable to personal circumstance. Too many options for savings and investing, overwhelms. Its like hearing advice on dating except no one says when you quit looking you'll find it. Instead you hear promises of wealth and retirement that sound good, seem in tune, but just don't sound real.

All of these topics crush the seeker under their 20/20 vision examples where everything works out and what about the other examples the ones where some unlucky financial planner planned it all up, saved, invested watched it all everyday and some market correction, disaster, scandel or some other event named "out of your control" didn't follow his little plan and left him with a massive set back and now he's working at Home Depot at 72 years of age. Fuck that shit. Financial planning stinks too much like a bunch of Baptists explaining in great detail how to make your life over in their own image and how then it will all be just peachy.
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God himself may not give you what you ask for, but rest assured that you will get what you ask yourself for (reap... sow). If you don't ask yourself for anything, you'll get nothing out of your life. This is just a different way of talking about expectations for yourself without using the befouled word, "goals".

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I am Unescapable

We choose to be positive or negative. Given any situation the charge of our response is deliberate. Bad things will happen to a person without regard to any unique aspect of that person. Good things will happen with similiar disregard. What does depend on an individual's aspect is his response to those things that happen to him. It is to this extent that that we begin to control our lives.
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When looking behind us we see the waves of cause that turn actions into reactions, and when looking forward we see reactions becoming actions. The past is full of causes and responses. The future is full of effects and actions. This is the extent to which our will is free.
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The universal chain of events is unescapable, and so am I.

Christianity has taught us to dispise life

Christianity has taught us to dispise life, to regret living and to hope for death. Under this philosophy men endure life, hoping that their flawed and broken humanity doesn't rob them of a promise to be fulfilled after their life. This hateful doctrine says that even little children are flawed and need to be bathed in metaphysical blood. This teaching encourages the individual to distrust his own mind, instincts and experience. This is a lack of faith in our own humanity, a rejection of the lives we have been given. They are something to be suffered through.

I say the flesh is pure, and humanity is a gift I received at birth. I don't regret being alive. I don't mourn today, and I don't dread tomorrow. I trust in myself and know that I am good.

I rest assure that I'm doing my best and working on my mistakes and that the entire process can be enjoyable. I say can be, because I still have to shake off the life destroying teachings of my childhood. Its hard to be comfortable with living when you have been brought up to be your own harshest judge, and the judgements allow for no true life only a hope for death and a daily suppress and mistrust of the very life and humanity that we were given as a free gift.

Christianity must be one of the saddest things God has ever witnessed happen to his creation.

Extremes in Moderation

There is a place for extremes in the style of moderation. Food has spice, fashion has flare, and love has passion; when done well all are relatively minor.

Too much salt added to a dish means you don't like it very much, the same is true for those who live too extreme.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Chef of Self

The right environment can really increase my energy levels. I spend time at my parents house and my brain slows way down which leads to less things to say. I look around and everything is centered around the TV as if that is all that is done in this location. I spend time in my apartment and I'm stimulated and ready to work, think, talk, play; everthing. Last night I had to take a sleeping pill just to settle down and go to sleep, I wanted to stay up and write or read or... its the drive to create and act - an energy that I love to have and when I don't have it I'm trying to get it. My girlfriends house is more stimulating than my parents by far, but it still can't compete with what I've got set up at my apartment. Of course I spent lots of time and energy making it a productive environment. I loved the way I felt last night and that just drove home how important it will be for me to ensure this kind of environment in my next house.

We are not just what we eat, but what we do and where we live. If I want to increase my joy of thought I need to take all of these factors seriously. A chef of self must prepare his living environment, this is much like keeping knives sharp and the counters clean, its essential for the process of cooking.