Monday, September 19, 2016

Eternal Eternity

While I am a Christian, and I understand that death is not the end if I believe and accept the gift of eternal life, my mind is human, and eternity is hard to understand.  So I have many questions.

"Eternity forbids thee to forget."
Lord Byron

If you die, does everything stop being?  That is, is life itself the imaginings of a being who bumped his head, and we are conjured during his moment during his black out?  Do we exist at all?  Upon death will we slip into the ocean, one drop into many drops, becoming one, at last, with oneness?  What is there beyond this?  Is eternity a city of gold, with streets lined with the metal?  If you die do you get a giant castle with a harem of 57 virgins?  I have some ideas of my own, and I've read many religious and scientific texts on the matter.  But I don't suggest what I know is anything but my opinions, because, no one knows, actually.

I actually find none of what I've read comforting.  The science suggests that the after life and after death experiences are created by the rush of chemicals in your brain to your perceiving centers, the same ones that create dreams and pleasure.  So, it is thought by some scientists, that our death experience is meant to be joyous and pleasant, once our body assumes we are on the way out.

The religious texts don't really move me.  I do believe in eternity, I believe that while entropy is a law (the direction a state moves is from order to chaos, or from solid to decay) that happens to the living matter, the spirit/soul is a subject that is not subject to those laws. I don't want 57 virgins, I don't want streets of gold.  I believe those are hyperbole meant to express the glory of where we are going.  The one drop into many doesn't appeal to me either.  I am an introvert.  I don't want my individuality to be erased.

There are only so many areas to search.  Only so many thoughts that matter.   The idea that only my self matters is bullshit.  The theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist, solipsism, is the peak of the mountain of human hubris.

Solipsism is a mentally challenged child of Nihilism, and both give no comfort to one seeking answers.  They only scold the seeker.

So I search.  I did find this quote from Joseph Campbell.

"Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. There's a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Bodhisattva, the one whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi), who realizes his identity with eternity and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and to come back and participate in it."

Joseph Campbell

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Comic Writers from the UK and Ireland who you should be reading

I was told by a reader of one of my blogs that I have elitist taste in comics.  Yes, I like the work of Grant Morrison, Jamie Delano, and more UK/Ireland writers, but a lot of American, French, Japanese and other writers and artists as well.

Liking intelligent writers creating great work isn't elitism.  Doesn't anyone prefer good creative arts?  Who wants to read drekk?  I don't think I read only elitist work.  I think good work doesn't = elitist.  However, I do think there has been an enormous amount of great writers from the UK and Ireland who I've read and enjoyed.

For the most part I think they can be found here, but I am sure I've missed one or two.  I like a lot of UK/Ireland artists as well.  But again, I like many creative talents regardless of their country of origin.  But it got me thinking, holy crap there are a lot of writers from the UK and Ireland who I like a great deal.

Grant Morrison

Jamie Delano

Alan Moore
Mike Carey

David Hine


Garth Ennis
Paul Jenkins

Neil Gaiman

Mark Millar



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hymn of praise

El Shaddei
Great defender
All sufficient
Eternal creator
Great God on high
My eyes cannot perceive
The glory you should receive
But I am able to believe
Without seeing a thing
You are merciful
Great is your name
El Shaddei
Lord of this universe
Almighty and great
You are worthy
Of praise
And sacrifice
I am unashamed
El Shaddei
I am yours
Unworthy of you
But you called me
To be
Your child
And I am
Filled with your flame
Burning so bright
I burn for you
To know your truth
In my heart and mind
My spirit and flesh
You are my creator
My God
And my king
You are life
And I am blessed
Because you are
El Shaddei

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Where my book Samurai comes from


It isn't really anything mind blowing here, but every written work has a source of inspiration.

Origin of inspire
Middle English inspiren ; from Old French inspirer ; from Classical Latin inspirare ; from in-, in, on + spirare, to breathe: see spirit
  1. to inhale
  2. to give inspiration
That is, to be inspired, is to have a spirit breathed into you.  And that is absolutely true for me, because since being a child I've been fascinated by the warrior culture of Japan.

Samurai, the term in Japanese means "to serve".  For me their example has served to provide for me a means to deal with the vagaries of existence.  I was constantly told to believe in things I did not, to do things I did not agree with, and that the world was a certain way, that I knew that it was not.  There is no one to blame, generations and culture always conflict, and there isn't, truly, a single right way to exist.

According to my favorite author Albert Camus the world we live in is absurd.  "The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it."  And I agree, life is absurd. 

The world around me is absurd, but escaping into the lessons of the past were very helpful.  So I have read, watched and studied the Samurai.  In my life there were additional areas of chaos and absurdity.  I was born of dark circumstance, I suffered from brain disorders, I had cruel life experiences that caused PTSD.  The end result of these absurdities made my life different than many other people's life.  I tried to organize my mind by living more ordered and aware by the things I've learned via studies of the Samurai.  I am also a Christian, so my pursuit of God and morality was guided by those principles as well.

One last area of inspiration came from a nearby and recent source.  My friendship with Josh Brown made me want to write about our shared interests. 

“If you are unaware that the world is teeming with ineptitude from the beginning, you will develop a bitter countenance, and in turn others will eschew you.” Tsunetomo Yamamoto

“Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.”  Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses

"What do you think of farmers? You think they're saints? Hah! They're foxy beasts! They say, "We've got no rice, we've no wheat. We've got nothing!" But they have! They have everything! Dig under the floors! Or search the barns! You'll find plenty! Beans, salt, rice, sake! Look in the valleys, they've got hidden warehouses! They pose as saints but are full of lies! If they smell a battle, they hunt the defeated! They're nothing but stingy, greedy, blubbering, foxy, and mean! God damn it all! But then . . . who made them such beasts? You did! You samurai did it! You burn their villages! Destroy their farms! Steal their food! Force them to labour! Take their women! And kill them if they resist! So what should farmers do? Damn... damn... damn..."  Kikuchiyo

Seven Samurai

Stephen Turnbull


Shambhala Publications

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim."   Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I love Japan

As a historian I've read, studied, and researched Japan.  The culture, the military history, the people and the mythic beliefs are sources of constant interest for me.  I've been a believer in a religion from the western civilization, but I practice it as one who uses the mental and spiritual learning I found in Japan, and primarily, the Samurai warrior.  I am not a person who transcends culture, I have a separation due to language, a haze across my eyes due to time, and more.  But I do love Japan.  I love Japan very much.

I am not a person who watches a ton of movies.  But I moved deeply by many aspects of Japanese culture, including the cinema of Japan.  From the children's entertainment to adult concepts, the cinema from Japan is my world of comfort and interest.


I read about Japan nearly every day.  Sometimes in fiction, sometimes in non-fiction, often I read about the military history.


There are a great variety of comics from and about Japan that I am a fan of.

Comic Books aka Manga and Anime