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Monday, October 16, 2017

Who What Where and Huh?

I was invited by a person who I'd say is an acquaintance, to espouse my full beliefs, religious and political, due to my saying I have an otherwise impossible to label set of beliefs.  It is one thing, they said, to be a Christian, or Republican, but saying you have many different beliefs doesn't say anything, really.

I agree.  It is kind of easy to self label without explaining what those convenient labels actually mean.

I am generally reluctant to lay it out, since the world of the internet and my being published, I try to avoid being specific.  One, people who things like opinions against you.  Two, even when well expressed, we live in a world fully divided without nuance, regarding political expression. Three, I spent a helluva lot of money over the years to develop my views, and spilling it out in a way that does not lead to greater understanding seems to me to be trivializing those views.

My formal religious views began with Lutheran baptism, Methodist confirmation, Pentecostal rebirth, Mennonite community, and finally, returning home to Lutheranism.  I respect most forms of Christian expression, even those that do not agree with views I hold.


The only sects/denominations I do not accept are those who I believe quark the meaning of the words in the bible.  If you present a document but alter it, that is, removing certain words to create a different meaning, I am not there for that.

My religious faith was informed by a great amount of detailed investigation.  I read, repeatedly, from ancient works and modern commentaries, of the major faiths.  Mostly I avoided people who digest and explained the religious works.  I read scholarly works from many religious minds.  My faith was also informed by people like Soren Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, and a wide variety of books by Japanese novelists, that were for me more educational than entertainment.

I dug deeply into how people intake knowledge and apply it to their life actions.  In this area of life I found Zen Buddhism, Christian Existentialism, and Moral Nihilism to be areas of pursuit.  I admire people who know what they believe and act accordingly, but, I adore people who dig into concepts and apply them practically and explain that so that others can benefit.  With Albert Camus Interpreting Greek Myth "The Myth of Sisyphus" powerfully moved me.  One must imagine that through his endless labors are how Sisyphus gives meaning to his existence.  He becomes happy by embracing that which he struggles to create.

So, what do I believe in?

I believe that belief is only thought unless acted upon.  Thought is certainly fine.  But you demonstrate your interpretation of belief by doing.  We cannot know what something tastes like, except to taste it.  We cannot do something, but by doing it.

Belief isn't so much easy to understand as it is to live.  I believe you have to apply beliefs for them to be real.  Otherwise they become fleeting thoughts, comforting fantasies.

I believe in a creator God.  I believe that that god sent a new voice to the earth, in the form of a child of that god, in the person of Jesus Christ.  To commune with God one must know Christ.

I believe in a God who is one that loves most of all.   Love isn't all pretty pink balloons every one is happy.  Love is commitment.  Love is hope.  Love is faith.  And Love is many more things, because as one of our human chief needs, it is complex, and more than a simple emotion.  And it is more than happiness. Discipline is love, as is moral correction.

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


My political beliefs flow from my religious beliefs.   I believe that there are political realities that make being an idealist nearly impossible.  How can I measure which candidate is moral or, as the case has been recently, less evil than the other?  People in politics can be quite charming, and, that makes a problem appear.  Do we have the ability to see a politician's motives, and reasons prior to their acts?

I vote for people.  If I cannot vote for someone I do not vote.  I do not vote against.

Things I believe in are all found on a continuum.  I believe in things personally, but consider the world one that is not moved by the faith I have.  So, to vote, to choose, I try to make the world a better place.  But, of course, that is rarely the end result.

I believe that Abortion is wrong, but, a consequence of modernity's loss of love in the equation of existence.  Therefore, I see it as a sort of mercy killing, and state sanctioned. How can that be state sanctioned?  The government allows killing.  It sends people into battle for ideas and raw power that are not life affirming.  The military kills.  Police kill.  And, so do we kill by formal execution and trial, criminals convicted of particularly vile crimes.  I believe that our government's involvement in the environment is done for safety, but more so, for the future.  I do not believe it does a good job, but I see a role for the government in that way.

As a creative artist, who is by no means famous, important or all that interesting, I still know people who want to know my views, on so many different subjects.  I know it sounds cliche but, to know my heart best, read my poetry.  It is that simple.

MY WORK 
MY AMAZON PAGE
MY POETRY BLOG
MY WRITINGS

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Where are you Theseus?

Child of a king without issue.  Aegeas longed for a child to carry his kingship.  Spawned in a dream, a liason with the gods.  After knowing his child would arrive, he returned home, leaving seeds to grow, and prove his blood.  Those seeds were artifacts of the father's legacy and then hidden, covered by a massive boulder.  Should they be found, the lineage will be revealed.

Tasks assigned to test the hero. Each task measured the heart of the hero within.  A violent world begets a violent hero.    Is the world we have now a maze?  If so, who is the beast of that labyrinth?  And who, who will become Theseus, and save us, and save the Athenian youth?

We wait for a hero.  Our world is afire.  No one can be seen upon the horizon approaching.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I still don't know.

Back to Global Climate Change and Global Warming questions...

As a father I have fretted over my condemning my son to death because I helped bring him into the world.  I find myself gathering more and more information, to no end.  Having no conclusion to the questions I have is like pouring gasoline on a fire.  It burns, without a way to quench it.  

I do not know enough to decide what I believe.  Both sides of the climate debate depict a world in crisis, one where C02 warming leads to disaster and extinction, the other where the upcoming solar minimum launches a newly frozen planet, human extinction, and loss of most of the world to glaciation and devastation.  I've become neutralized.  I have searched and searched for information.  I've devoted myself to researching the subject.  This isn't a piece to debate or argue the points each side makes.  I think most of the information on either side is based upon solid arguments.

Growing up I thought the world would be overpopulated to the point of disaster and extinction by the year 2000.  When people in my class in grade school talked about how old would we be when the year 2000 arrives.  I never believed I'd see it.  Again, this isn't to say either side is wrong, it doesn't matter.  Either direction is death. Beyond the videos that speak towards global climate change and warming, I recommend that people watch Guy McPherson, Patrick Moore, and works that take the information and translate it for the layman.   We hear data expressed, we see charts, but few of these scientists go forward and explain beyond the actual life impacts of such things.

So I ask this, if we have no time left for our species, what is the best thing we can do?  If you are on anti depressants should you quit?  If you have a terminal disease should you fight it?  If you have tons of things should you give them away and walk about the earth in a peripatetic fashion?  What is the answer to certain doom?

In responding to the end I am paralyzed by numerous health issues and anxiety issues. But I can respond to doom.  If there is nothing left, what can we do to find some sort of redemption?  I am trying to raise the flags of warning.  We all have to see our fragility on this world, and the temporary nature of existence here.

We do not have any promise that life will be good.  We only have the promises we make with existence.  I trust God, but, that isn't all.  I trust myself.

I am not saying this as a Christian alone.  The Bible has promises for being faithful, following the ethical and moral codes.  But that isn't why this needs to be understood.  If you are trying to make this world a better place that is not being done for the afterlife rewards, right?  If you are being moral and caring for others, you have contributed to world.  We don't, currently, show love to each other.  We need to do so.  We need to before the world ends.  This isn't religion, specifically, it is being kind, loving.

2 Corinthians 4:18  "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."


Mercy, kindness, generosity, charity, hope, acceptance must become our goals. 

I stop and stare, how little we can change the momentum of the industrialized world.  There is nothing we can do alone.  All we can do is make the world better for others, and by doing so, we make it better for everyone.

From the Bhagavad Gita

“For the soul, there is never birth nor death.
Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be.
He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval.
He is not slain when the body is slain.”


Or become a warlord and rule a portion of the desert wasteland that used to be earth.


But if you choose not to be a warlord, tell your family and your friends that you love them.  Take risks if you must, but if there is no time left, don't assume tomorrow will happen.  Don't take chances on letting this life expire without those you love knowing that you do.

Take a risk and be true, be honest, be hopeful.  That is, other than our beliefs, is all we can be.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Blue Planet requiem

I do not presume to know the future.  I am, however, very worried about it.  I think that there are thousands of possible results of our current world's path, so I am not suggesting that I think we are doomed.  We might be, but I am not settled on any event or result.  I can only hope and pray for a different result than those I fear.

People repeatedly tell me it isn't so bad, we'll be fine.  And then I consider the many voices in the world of science who tell us that the world is warming, and is warming due to human interaction.  I have hopes that the rogue scientists who don't believe in CO2 being a contributor to the rise in temps are correct.  But I don't know.  I am not a scientist.  All I know is that both sides have enormously convincing records and stats and I am afraid we'll have to face the events before we confirm it is going to be the way it is.

Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it's common sense.  RONALD REAGAN, State of the Union address, Jan. 25, 1984

I am not a negative person, I am a worried person.  I think life is a good thing, and we have to try to help others.  But we've dumped tons and tons of pollutants into the ocean.  We've polluted our ground waters.  And nuclear energy creates waste that cannot safely be removed.  Modern human life is dependent upon energy, upon use of the land, and consumption of such that necessarily downgrades the environment.

Scientists ... out on a limb in the face of a peer group which holds a robust counter-view, have ultimately been proven correct on many occasions during the history of science. One can think of Galileo, and even Einstein. But the stakes are a little different with global warming. The future of civilization, perhaps even of life on Earth, did not potentially hinge on Galileo or Einstein being right.  JEREMY K. LEGGETT 


And that isn't all.  Humans pursue war as if it is a legitimate means of resolving issues.  It is a way to end things, sure, but almost all of the wars waged could be resolved in other ways.  I don't consider all of the people in the military to be wrong.  I consider the leaders who are moved by reasons other than moral, humanitarian, and generous, to be wrong.  Many if not most will use the military to enforce their beliefs, not defend them.  We need a military.  We don't need decades long wars.

And the decay of good government to bad isn't even the whole issue.  Many forms of government make certain that the voices of the less important are quelled.  It isn't unnatural for government to do this, but it is wrong.

For example, read these many quotes from Aldous Huxley in his work Brave New World revisited...

The nature of power is such that even those who have not sought it, but have had it forced upon them, tend to acquire a taste for more.

Liberty, as we all know, cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of central government.

Democracy can hardly be expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized. But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralization of power.

Never have so many been manipulated so much by so few.

Societies are composed of individuals and are good only insofar as they help individuals to realize their potentialities and to lead a happy and creative life.

In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual.… Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.

It is in the social sphere, in the realm of politics and economics, that the Will to Order becomes really dangerous.

However hard they try, men cannot create a social organism, they can only create an organization. In the process of trying to create an organism they will merely create a totalitarian despotism.

Children are nowhere taught, in any systematic way, to distinguish true from false, or meaningful from meaningless, statements. Why is this so? Because their elders, even in the democratic countries, do not want them to be given this kind of education. 

Humans have a way that makes wealth for the wealthy, and gather power for the powerful.  It is our destiny to resolve if this is a moral way of living.  I am not any sort of genius.  I have read many sources of information, watched documentaries, taken courses in university, and have an understanding of the world, but not a way to change it.  And I believe that if we do not change things, a future of Armageddon level catastrophes await humankind.  Be it plague, nuclear war, natural disaster unplanned for, absolute government control of human lives, or the marriage of any of these, humans will be faced with horrific choices.

Humans are developing cloning techniques.  This can lead to human cloning.  And once humans are cloned, when will they be cloned, bred, created, without brains, so that the organs can be harvested for the non clones?  At one point humans will have to decide, what is the meaning of being human, and if it means natural birth, then what will clones be allowed as far as lives to live?  Will clones have the same questions about existence, or, will they be complacent partners in their slavery?  If humans destroy more of the oceans, and more of the various sources of food, will humans eat anything?  Soylent Green was a shock film, with a desire to scare viewers into a view of the future that could include human consumption of dead human flesh.  But, again, if we have clones, will we feel the desire to protect them from being food?

Below are covers of books that present the possible dystopian future.  They are not non-fiction, but they are worth reading, with the knowledge of our present.  Some of these books are meant to be purely entertainment, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But I offer this, if you can see a future that is bright without problems, you are a better man/woman than I. 



I would make a few more points I think before I close this.  Every government in every country for every people has to make decisions for a mass of people.  That almost guarantees that there will be disagreements about the way decisions are made.  Division is common when there becomes an awareness of the world that doesn't come with consensus.  Consensus may well be impossible, I am not suggesting otherwise.  This might sound like I am calling for a society that falls in line, marches in step.  I am not doing that.

I hope for a path for humans to drive forward their understanding of situations, and create a pool of ideas, all different, contributing to the collective knowledge of state.   I am saying that with diversity of experience, talent, life views, we have a collective of experience and information that we should use to build better societies.  We do not though.  Rather than diversity being seen as contributing to the field of answers to the problem, we tend to make political choices where any thought in the minority becomes the incorrect answer.  In America political leaders are generally chosen from the mid Left and mid Right, showing a centrist choice, found in Republicans and Democrats.  But is it actually a good thing to be centrist?  Does doing the same thing every time in response to the same question help things?  The same kind of responses to problems we haven't yet solved will get us the same kind of results.

“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged”   Rumi

If society is diverse, and most will be, we must view that diversity as a strength and use it as such.  If there is a problem and you have but one answer, there is a relatively good chance it will be incorrect.  But if diversity informs society, we should find many different possible answers.  Shouting down others to make our voice dominant can be fatal if our voice is wrong.  The gift of society should be that together we can make the answer the right one.

Will we?  I am not so sure.

“He who is different from me does not impoverish me - he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves - in Man... For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Friday, September 29, 2017

Memories of a Blue Planet

Report upon the state of planet earth, 100 years since the human abandonment of the same.

Written and observed by Adrian Eden.

TO WITNESS A HELL CREATED

I never realized the devastation, and damnation we humans had caused.  Earth still bleeds from the injuries we inflicted.

Having now left the planet, most young humans have no idea why we are now trying to colonize various moons of gas giants, but not our alleged home. We ruined it for everyone, animals, plants, all others.  Our method of destruction included destroying of habit through slaughter, waste and pollution.  We made war until we couldn't find reasons to keep fighting.  By that time our world was dead.  We didn't care how much damage we did, we just did it.

A consequence of our corporate choices was to turn the water red, with mercury, turn the air brown with smog, enslaved billions, and sacrificed every thing that could ever have use.  I ask myself who would find out their home is burning and sit down to watch television until the fires licked the flesh?

There is no sound in the air.  Most of the birds are dead and the people have long since fled.  The radiation kills over time, but fire kills immediately.  The burnt remnants of a planet is sobering to see.  The few animals that still exist are mutated artifacts of a past that the present can never imagine.  They are sterile, leading to DNA streams ending, without issue.  I see shadows the roadways, where humans lived.  The human species only exists now away from this planet, and very few of them.  The last earth bound generations were similarly sterile, similarly mutated.  Only the magic of science and the purely stubborn human will allows us to endure.

My presence here is not to repopulate the planet, it has been made toxic and will remain so for untold millennia.  Also, I am alone so nothing could happen in any event.  I was sent here to create a record, through images what we did, and for our crimes, what we lost.

It says in the Bible, an ancient human written text in the chapter of Job

Why do the wicked live on,
    growing old and increasing in power?
They see their children established around them,
    their offspring before their eyes.

The people who lived on earth had the ability to stop their actions.  They chose not to do so.  And in the scriptures of Buddhism

By oneself the evil is done, and it is oneself who suffers:
By oneself the evil is not done, and by one's Self one becomes pure.

Human industry allowed things to happen that were wounds to the earth, and together with an eventual shift of poles and climate led to mass catastrophe upon a scale never seen before by human eyes.



The humans who left the planet, few though they were were chosen for a variety of reasons.  Those left behind on the planet made it their goal to survive, and were not to be mocked for that.  They were offered a catastrophic situation, and had to accept it.  Few buildings of the many left behind are still standing are decrepit, dangerously crumbling, and stuffed full of artifacts of data.  Computers and photographic memory show a human race led to fighting over the last livable ground.  The wars were more damaging to the earth after it had already been seen as lost.



THE POISONING OF WORM WOOD

In Ukrainian the word for "wormwood" is чорнобиль or "chornobyl", the Ukrainian name of the town of Chernobyl.  The book of Revelations of the Bible speaks of this.  "The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." (Rev 8:10–11).  We lived in a world that was being polluted from many sources, water, land, and air all poisoned by our acts.

Perhaps Chernobyl was the manifestation of a deity's wrath.  Or perhaps there are no gods, and we have brought all of what happened into being.

“Fire is His head, the sun and moon His eyes, space His ears, the Vedas His speech, the wind His breath, the universe His heart. From His feet the Earth has originated. Verily, He is the inner self of all beings.” The Upanishads: Translations from the Sanskrit

The vegetation still grows in Chernobyl, and the evidence of human existence there becomes less visible by the decade past.  The land, however, is still irradiated, and is still prone to cause cancer and radiation sickness should humans stay in that area for any amount of time.

This is an older example of the disasters, but one of the worst found inland, that is, the coastal regions with any nuclear plants were destroyed first by a massive tsunami, followed by a great release of nuclear material into the world.  First in the water, then the air, and lastly, the land nearby.  No nuclear strike could have accomplished such complete destruction.  But this wasn't for war, it was from the system created to keep humans supplied with electricity.  


THE WORLD AWAITS

Lessons from our human created disasters in unison with "natural" processes can be learned looking any direction, and while humans are gone, the evidence that they did exist are still visible.  This last portion of my report is simply images, both harvested from computers and databanks, and my own equipment.









Monday, September 25, 2017

Who do you love?


What do you love?  It can be known, you love where you pay the most attention, where you invest of your heart.   What do you believe?  It can be known as well.  You believe whatever it is that inspires you to live by your beliefs.  A musical instrument that makes no noise is not worthy of being called an instrument.  Similarly, if you believe something it will cause you to live by the beliefs.  Am I saying all who believe do so at the same level of devotion?  I am saying, quoting Christ, "Matthew 7:16  16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

What do you treasure?  Matthew 6:19-31 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

This isn't a sermon, I am quoting a book that describes perfectly the truth.  You live by your belief perhaps, but can be seen in your actions, not words.  You treasure where your heart is, if you tell people you don't live for money, but have vast piles of material things, you clearly love what money can buy, and therefore, you love money.

Do you realize that every day you make a sacrifice?  You pay money to sacrifice for a greater good.  You give time to a cause.  You give up something you cherish.  You die so that others might live.  You make choices every day that are perhaps not considered holy, but actually are meant at the root to reveal sacrifice.  And not everyone perceives the sacred.  Sacredness means venerated or dedicated to some greater god or concept of the supernatural.  If you view the earth, the Green, as being holy and sacred, perhaps using wood or paper is manner in which one sacrifices.  What do you sacrifice?  Your treasure, your time, your life or do you choose to sacrifice something that has no choice, such as an animal or the natural resources of your planet?  Do you eat meat?  Do you think about what the animal made of meat had to sacrifice for your lunch? 



Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. The Holy Bible NIV John 15:13

(definition  paraphrased from wiki)

The root for Sacrifice comes from the Latin term sacrificium (a sacrifice) derived from Latin sacrificus (performing priestly functions or sacrifices), which combines concepts sacra (sacred things) and facere (to do or perform).

Sacrifice is often understood to mean "doing without something" or "giving something up". But sacrifice occurs in metaphorical use to describe doing good for others or taking a short-term loss in return for a greater power gain, such as in a game of chess.


You shall not kill any person, God has prohibited that except in the course of justice. The Holy Qur'an 6:151

But perhaps instead of religion, or your values being in things, maybe you live to see your philosophies lived.  Most of the world's political philosophies revolve around labor, profits, and inequity.  Whether you are an anarchist, capitalist, socialist, communist or anything else, you cannot live these philosophies as your main raison d'etre without having views about materialism. 


Any philosophy, nearly can be married to a value system or thing you treasure.  They are all worthy of study.




Saturday, September 23, 2017

Taking a Knee

If Colin Kaepernick was a good player his taking a knee wouldn't be the issue it is.  You see, he is mediocre.  His stats are better than he is, and, by taking a knee we are left to worry over things that we should never have to worry about.

Where was this when he was perceived as good?

Since there were rumors he'd be cut, did he do this to make it politically difficult for the 49rs to do so?

He is said to rightly want to start, but, he isn't willing to take a contract that isn't for a starter.  So, is he really unemployed or is he refusing to take back up pay, and is he refusing to play because he has an edge on things, making the world look closer at him that deserved?

I have little to say.  He is an American and therefore has freedom of speech.  I have no issue with the taking a knee.  I don't altogether trust his motives, because I do not know him.  I do know, he has made a shit ton of money, so it isn't like he is starving as a result of his choices.

Was President Trump offbase with his comments about taking a knee?  I don't know.  I wonder where the debate was for most of Obama's presidency.  Isn't this actually protest of Trump more than anything?  I think maybe.

But, when all is measured, I think the protest is good.  If it is passionately pursued people might try to understand it all.  But I think it is more convenient than important.  So I remain unconvinced, and am not upon either side of the divide.

Kind of like usual.