Living through an American Recession

Dealing with never ending life changes. Who says making lemonade is the best thing to do with those lemons life throws at you?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Stupid athiest!"

That wasn't a nice thing to say. Athiest! I'm not an athiest. Gotta be careful when discussing religion by asking the other person to clarify why they believe in what they do. They tend to get very defensive, probably because they can't explain why. Why are they Christian, Muslim, Jewish or (insert religion here)? Did you grow up that way? Stumble into a church or talk with a co-worker? I find it fascinating how people come to believe in something that may or may not even exist and get so angry and defensive over it.

I always have to clarify that I am not an athiest, agnostic or thiest believer of any kind. Athiests want to disprove that a single creator or god exists. Agnostic is just a misinterpretation of a word, a contradicition and thiests believe in mulitple dieties and gods. I further don't believe science can possibly explain everything either. It's way beyond our current knowledge and technology to understand such things.

Do I believe something is there? I don't know. I know I "connect" with something, a higher self, the universe, consciousness, god, multiple universes or simply my body picking up on an alien frequency pulsating from deep space. Who the hell knows. No one does and to claim to "know" is possibly a stretch of the ego?

One day I just asked myself why I believed in Christianity? The only thing I ever came up with was it was how I was raised, totally cultural. It bothered me that they expressed such superiority over others and claimed a spot in a firey hell for anyone who didn't follow them. Then I learned that the others felt the same way about them. A real Hatfield and McCoy situation lasting for thousands of years. Then seeing how this battle controls so many of our laws. I don't find it fair for the rest of us to have to live under a Hatfield or McCoy law, it's irrelevant to me not following their beliefs. So much for freedom to practice a religion or not. At the end of the day, I'm the one getting shit for not being part of their army over a very personal, spiritual belief in something that may or may not even exist in the first place. Why am I the only one that thinks this is nuts?

Like I told my dad when I was 12. "Who cares what the two gay guys are doing down the street in their own house."

Check yourself, uhhem...Check myself!

I was scrolling through comments people left on YouTube videos, yeah I know the perfect way to get caught up in drama, when I couldn't help repeating the same thing to myself. Why are people so negative and mean? So critical? And as always I stepped back and took a look at myself. Do I do that? We all do that. Not as far as actually posting it, but some silly thoughts like "What in the world is up with her hair" do pass our minds.

Someone once told me to be careful what you criticise, assume or judge about others. That issue that you unconsciously see in someone else is a direct reflextion about yourself. Your unconscious mind recognizes something in others that is in you. An attitude, a fear, a want. Lots of assumptions or judgements are based on your direct experience with something or perhaps hearing or reading someone elses experience. This took a while to grasp let along recognize while I was doing it, but I'm finding it to be very true.

A friend of mine is going through therapy with a psychiatrist and I am a little shocked by some of the advise she gives. As I listen week after week I've drawn a pretty good picture of the therapist herself, her beliefs, likes and dislikes. Much of her "counseling" is not very neutral. Her advise if very opinionated. Again based on her or someone elses experience.

A guy on YouTube made a comment to a young girl who was sailing alone, blogged and made videos of her jouney. He said how impressed he was until he read she was selling her boat, then he was unimpressed. She laughed and replied with a long "Who's trying to impress you?"

People may take the same action but the reason they are doing it, no one knows but the doer. "But she wrote about it, surely she must be trying to impress someone or she'd just do it and not tell the world."  It's kind of like watching a talk show. Is Oprah just doing shows because of her ego, perhaps she wants to be rich, for fame, to help people who may be going through the same thing, educational, sexual turn-on? Your answer is probably the one that is the reason you are watching her. Who knows, only Oprah knows truly why she does what she does. Very different reason that Jerry, Phil, Geraldo or Rachel Ray do their shows. Then you can ask the same thing about the guests. Why are they there?

For this reason I find it interesting to go back through things I've writen. Sometimes it's easy to see where my head was that day or to laugh and think "Did I actually think or feel that way? I certainly don't today."  I've seen authors make corrections and amendments to prior books clarifying or changing their ideas, opinions or comments about something. I love writing but my visions of the world around me change so quickly that I would be a walking contradiction because I'm constantly reading, studying and learning. So don't hate me for saying something stupid today, next week I'll probably laugh about it myself. That's the whole point of this blog, to show that the mind is always changing, learning, and thinking. (Or at least we hope so)

We can all "check ourselves" before prejudging others.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ends of the ham

One of my favorite stories.

One day, a mother spent the afternoon cooking Christmas dinner with her daughter in the kitchen. They cut up potatoes, snapped beans, rolled dough and laughed about old stories. As the mother prepared the Christmas ham she showed her daughter how to cut the ends off before putting it in the oven.

"Why do you cut off the ends?" Asked the daughter.

"I don't really know, it's just how my mother did it." She replied. "Go ask her."

As the daughter went into the living room, she asked her grandmother the same question.

"I don't know honey." She said. "It's just the way my mother did it."

Later that evening the great grandmother showed up for dinner. At the table the daughter asked the great grandmother the same question.

"Why do we cut the ends of the ham off before putting it in the oven?"

"Oh my." The great grandmother laughed. "How did you know about that?"

"Because mom and grandma do the same thing." She spouted

"Well" Great grandmother said. "Our oven was too small, so we had to cut off the ends."

Some things are just pointless and irrelevant to present circumstance.

Religious messages of manipulation

I had a good chuckle the other day when a good client of mine made a comment to me.

She said with a sence of sadness and pitty, "You know the only difference between you and I? I believe in Jesus and he is going to save me."

"Uh huh..." I said with a big smile and a splash of you think you've figured it out sarcasm. Yeah ok, I just go with the flow, hell she's 68 years old and still under the influence of Jesus. I just wanted to have a good ol' talk with her about anything non religious based. But over the years, conversation after conversation about kids, recipes and everything else, I knew contemplating the universe with her was beyond her comprehension or willingness to expand her mind since every decision was from the Jesus point of view. To her I was just a messenger of satan trying to stear her away from Christ. *big sigh*

Another client of mine asked me one day where I think I will go when I die. I told her I had no clue and really didn't care. You should have seen the look on her face as she jumped back in her chair 10 feet.

"Certainly I hope I just don't cease to exist when I die" She said in shock.

"Why not?" I said curiously. "Where do you think your consciousness or soul goes, if there is one? Where can it go? Into nothing? A dog? An alien being? Or an image of a young healthy you in a heaven?"

Seriously, who cares. As Deepak Chopra said so wonderfully. "Don't live in the future, you'll never be present when it gets here."

Why do we as humans live everywhere but here? I remember one day a friend of mine told me that I didn't know how to live in the now. My mind was always in the past or the future, she was right. But how do you live in the now? I'm still working on this but am figuring out it has alot to do with letting go. Letting go of the past, realizing it's over and there is nothing you can do to change it. PERIOD. It's the hardest thing to do. It's easy to stay mad about something, sad about experiences or hold on to resentments towards others or yourself. Know that you may never have answers to what happend and waste valuable time in creating new experiences trying to figure it out.

Living in the future goes beyond the "what if" mode. A brief thought of a consequence like touching something that may be hot is not living in the future. My father was a master of residing there. Everything he did had an entire lifetime of possible events attached to it, a story of  future events foretelling what would happen if  he lent me $20 bucks. Somehow the storyline in my mind was totally different and didn't see my future heading that direction. I wonder why he never capitalized on his great power? Because it was his reality.

As I sat clicking through channels of nothing on tv I was intrigued by the Christians on a particular channel. Now remember, I spent 20 years in that mindset. I just couldn't help hearing the underlying messages behind the loving stories.

1. "You'll never get to heaven unless you believe in Jesus."
First, you believe in a heaven that may or may not even exist. Second, that a man that has been dead for over 1900 years is the only way to this heaven. No one today was there during the time he walked on the earth. All we have are writtings of accounts of what possibly happened and supposedly what he said. Think like a movie writter. Think of ALL the possibilites of munipulation, control and fear that could have led to Jesus being viewed by the world the way he was and is today. Munipulation by his mother, control of  people, or just an ordinary good guy that saw people being persecuted giving hope to enslaved people leading them to freedom. People believed illusions then and saw science as work of the Gods. Until Christianity changed it into witchery and devil work. Then we slaughtered them like animals in the name of this loving God. The Catholic church has seen to the destruction of massive documentation and books around the world especially pertaining to that time period. What is left is hidden away from the rest of us under the Vatican that no one can view. But I'm supposed to just go with it...

2. The pitty they see in people that question the universe becuase they have the end all, be all answer; God.
Anytime the human stops thinking we stop our evolution. I'm not talking about monkey evolution I'm talking about intelligence, awareness, discoveries leading us forward in health, science and spiritual consciousness. Religion stumps this process, it hinders the mind to keep thinking. People that "search" for the meaning to their lives and not lost, possibly they are following someone elses life not their own. Expectations from parents, friends, co-workers, feeling guilty of not being sucessful or looking for recognition thinking they will be happy if they are popular, famous or wealthy. Everyday you help someone at McDonalds, finish answering phones at work, or smile at the lady in the checkout line behind you, you make a diffence in our existance. A kind word, letting someone merge in traffic, telling someone to have a nice day are profound, simple things that contribute to us all. No God needed...Love is all things. There is no need to "search" for anything, you've already got it. Look in the mirror! :)

3. Fear God, be submissive and serve.
Why? This is a human condition of the mind. He is sold to us as all knowing, all loving, all forgiving but tells us in the bible about sacrifice and killing. Oh yeah, that was the old testament. Guess he changed his mind half way through? That he is revengeful, jealous, only answers prayers to some but has his reasons for not answering the rest, obviously created cancer, plagues, viruses, satan, and allowed my friends father to be brutally murdered. Oh, and let's not forget about all the "holy land" wars of these loving followers that rape and kill millions of people in his name but abortion is wrong...?#(*&%$)@

4. Live for the afterlife.
Again why? I remember my mother telling me as I was growing up to be kind and help people in need. I never understood why I needed a God to be nice to other people. Especially when they are only nice to certain groups, not everyone. So, God is a prejudice score keeper, good deeds and kindness gets our name written in the lambs book of life to get into heaven. So if I live my whole life as a good person, I'm saved and screw up and not ask for forgivness before I die am I screwed? It's like fine print at the bank, too many conditions! Depends on who you ask. So how do you know your group is right?  We should always be kind to everyone all the time, you may never see that person again.

5. God is watching and judgeing you.
This one just bothers me. It's hard enjoying life thinking someone or something is watching everything you do. How do we feel comfortable knowing we have zero private time? Feel guilt and shame for scratching your butt or being sexually active. I thought it said somewhere in the bible that we weren't given the right to judge others yet that seems to be all they do. There is no unconditional giving or love towards others, only to whom they deem worthy. Sounds like many of our laws. You can fart but only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, upwind, wearing boxers, holding a flower and standing on one leg, amen. All other conditions not permitted.

Once I decided to educate myself on science, explore other philosophical ideas, sit quietly and think the more I realized on a universal scale how closed minded, insignificant and pointless religion is. It separates humans into groups that are driven by ego claiming right to knowledge that can't be known at our present state of consciousness. We are not fortune tellers, shape shifting beings hovering above the ground with telekinetic powers, our brains are not that evolved yet. I suppose somewhere in the universe there are cultures that have evolved to that point but until then, religion is useless.

It evokes wars, arguing, judgement, isolation of outsiders, mass suicides, bombings, laws that take away human rights and feul the "club" mentality. When I turned my back on religion my life changed. I no longer lived in fear of some hell or guilt that someone is watching me. I felt a sense of peace in my heart that I was free. With that new found freedom came a little fear, knowing now that I, and only I am responsible for my actions. I don't need to ask forgiveness from a God, only from myself that I have acted irresponsibly. Knowing that everything you do is because you did it changes your prospective on life. You can't blame others for something you could have done differently. Don't send me hate mail, I'm not talking about being broadsided in an intersection, mugged, raped or broke your leg tripping on the rug. Life is full of "accidents". There is no "the devil made me do" or " I was weak to some external force" or "I'm being punished", I DID IT. I am a better person knowing I need to watch my own actions, words and thoughts. I help people, just becuase it's the humane thing to do.

Time and time again I hear religious and non-religious people talk of personal experiences they have; visions, voices, signs, dreams that seem real. There are endless possibilites of explanations to these experiences, I've had them myself. I am not capable of knowing what they are and am not comfortable with a group or person assuming he knows and has all the answers. Can you deny the peace and love they feel when praying to God? Absolutely not. Any person on this earth that chooses to connect with whatever the regional label may be, can expereince it. It urks me to no extent when religious people assume that non-religious people never get to feel the love they feel from Jesus or a God. I now know how ignorant they are. Most religious people know nothing about other religions, beliefs or cultures and little about their own religion but boy can they judge and come up with some doozies!

I laugh when I see "In God we trust" on a federal note. Why even put that on money in the first place, it's completely irrelevant! "One nation under God" Everyone has the right in the US to practice whatever they want. I find it pretty prejudice assuming all Americans follow a God. The constitution was not religious, there is no need. It's nauseating to see politicians fighting in congress over religious based laws that have no place in government in the first place. My father was a die hard Republican that voted for every Christian that ran for office. "We gotta get the Christians in office" he muttered every election. "But that's a belief" I said knowing I was gonna get a ear full. Religion and politics are like apples and sourkraut, they just don't need to in the same bowl. But when you're dealing with someone under the spell of religion, it's useless to even try and reason with them. It's like two people standing on opposite sides of the wall trying despirately to convince the other what their side of the wall looks like. Ya just gotta see it.