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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Death Doesn't Have To Be a Four Letter Word

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends was killed. I have often thought (and reasonably so) that the single greatest fear we all share- is that of our own death.

Imagine being an atheist. You have zero belief in any power greater than yourself. You have no hope for any life beyond what you are experiencing here. You think we are swamp creatures, delivered here in some cosmic strike 4.7 billion years ago. What brought that first living cell? Where did it come from? What sparked that first cell to begin it's glacial march through evolution to life as we know it?

Proof of life. Proof of a power greater than ourselves, is all around you. It is you. You don't need anything else. You don't really need a Bible or a religion to establish proof. You don't even really need the historic account. Your existence here is proof that life was delivered here. So what are we debating? Who made the delivery?

We fear. We fear the unknown and we don't trust it. And when we fear what appears to be a vast unknown, we can't intelligently grasp it. We struggle mightily. We have nagging doubts. Now what I am about to post here has a political theme. Please ignore that. The political angle is not what I am focused on. I am focused on the fear driven coping mechanism of a human being that cannot trust the life-death-life cycle. This comment was in response to an offered premise that the fear of death is what drives people to do what they do. Although the comment doesn't deal directly with that subject, it attempts to expand what motivates people to make sense of their lives because and I assume here- that the writer is speaking of those people with no sense of a power greater than themselves. The writer may be right. I clipped this comment for that very reason.

From the leftist site Alternet in 2007:

“People who want to see the world bettered — made more just and honest and kind — often set their gaze on the farthest horizon. Our instinct, as progressives with global perspectives, is to obsess over situations far afield of our own backyards — Indonesia, Sudan, the Middle East. These situations stir a sort of Peace Corp romance within us, a love affair with that which might make us feel gallant and extraordinary for caring.

I am as guilty as the next bleeding heart of focusing the majority of my energies on problems I see as compelling in large part because of their strangeness to me. But when I sit with myself, quiet my righteous indignation, my whiny white guilt, my attachment to the idea that I am a humble truth teller among powerful fibbers, I realize that it is not the world outside of me that is in most desperate need of my world-changing instincts. It is the world inside of me, the world between me and my beloved.”

I used to be able to stomach leftist rhetoric, as a way of knowing what they are thinking and expressing amongst themselves. 4 yrs ago when I read this confession of projection, I waited a few days to allow a leftist poster to disagree and defend the concrete and objective benefits of their activism. No one did so…so I have no conclusion to draw other than that leftists project their flaws and problems onto the entire world and into the situations of distant strangers as a way of avoiding the hard work of self-betterment in their own lives and communities. Truly scary and sick people, to be shunned by all of us with a healthy instinct of self-preservation.

-I cut this comment for two reasons. The writer is just beginning to scratch the surface of personal awareness. The world isn't the problem, I am. I am always the problem. This is an absolute. The second thing I'd take away here is that clearly there is a lot of spiritual growth left here. That blaming others to make myself feel better theme. I note that level of ego attachment and unconsciousness because I could have written this very thing a few years ago. I was very adept at recognizing everyone else's flaws while ignoring the vastness of my very own. Conscious thought now can only lead me to the following truth.

The only way to conquer fear is acceptance. In order to conquer fear, I must accept the process of death. I must let go of a rock that I have been clinging to my entire life. I must trust that when I let go, that a power greater than myself has arranged the journey and that I will not get dashed on a rock by the current.

It is by trust and love that I achieve acceptance. In other words, if you fear death- you are by default- denying the existence of your Creator. Or you have identified the Creator as being hate filled or punishing. If you believe in a hate filled and punishing Creator you are in fear. You cannot come to terms with the idea of the unknown. It scares you. You are relegated to the hordes that cannot grasp the idea that a Creator or God must practice unconditional love. That the Creator will take care of you. That is the promise that came with that first living cell.

Show me a human being that is not afraid to die and I will show you someone that believes in the universal language of unconditional love.

Today, I choose not to live in fear. When I am fearful, I am the problem. It is my perceptions, limited as they may be, that prevent me from trusting a process that was designed and delivered long ago. And if I am to truly practice unconditional love in a power greater than myself, then I have to believe that very love will be reciprocated and practiced by a Creator far greater than myself. I have to trust the death process. And if I can't- I am just a fearful and practicing agnostic or atheist, aren't I?

Today, I see things in a way that I never thought was possible. I am grateful and somewhat humbled for a remarkable journey that was facilitated by a power far greater than I. Left to my unconscious belief systems, my arrival and journey here, might have been fun but void of spiritual growth. I am able to understand and to trust a process that will visit the ones that I know and love- and it will visit me. I can either accept, trust, and love that process or I can be fearful, untrusting, and dread it. These are the choices I make today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Religious Insanity of Human Beings

Imagine being born into a world where the existing teachers have learned to do things the wrong way. The collective ego.

Where hating and killing other people is acceptable. Where anybody can be a threat as long as they have raised some fear level in you-real or imagined. Where there are only a limited amount of seats in first class and everyone is fighting to get one of those seats. And if you don't get one- you learn to view those who do with jealousy and contempt, maybe even hate.

That is the planet you were born into. A planet full of people who if they are denied what they want, or denied what they think they are entitled to...learn to hate. One of the absolute finest breeding grounds for fear and contempt is religion. Many religions are based on some idiotic theory that each holds the only keys to the kingdom of God. That somehow, if you do not believe what they believe- you are denied entry. You are not one of us and therefore you are lost. You are banished, isolated. I can think of any number of religions that practice this contemptible theory. It is designed by human beings to control through the use of fear.

It has no basis in unconditional love, therefore I know it is wrong and flawed. I know it is of human design and origin. How can I say that so confidently?

Can you imagine a Creator of some sort, creating men shaped in his image, and then getting so mad at them that he kills them all in floods? Or kills them all in some biblical fiery Revelation? Hmmm...let's see. I will give you all free will and if you choose unwisely, you will spend all of eternity burning in hell. Or dwelling in the cheap seats. Away from me. Does that sound like unconditional love? Is that God? If your daughter wrecks your car, or makes a series of bad decisions, are you going to kill her?

I can't buy into that theory. But rather than reject the Creator, I reject the interpretations of a planet that is motivated to control others with fear and thus hate. That is not God's way. That is the way of a bunch of fearful human beings that have been indoctrinated by a collective ego, an ego that got it all wrong a long time ago and has been passing that garbage on as though it is fact ever since. Trying to shape God into their image. That's what fearful, controlling people do. They try to subject the exterior world to their crazy belief systems and control them and if you reject them- you are banished by that herd. Islam comes to mind.

If the Creator is not an unconditional loving, all inclusive Creator, I don't want him. I say that with the utmost confidence. Why? I don't want to practice contempt, anger, and hatred. I don't think any God worth having- would either.

Mother Theresa is an interesting gal. I have snipped this piece from her online wiki bio. What I would like you to do, is read this and pay particular attention to how her life was seen by the collective human ego. I think you will giggle as I do. In fact, at one point in her declining years- the Vatican even sent an exorcist to her. Such insanity is remarkable. But that is the collective ego of fallible human beings- each trying to control the other. This piece illustrates that nicely.

Christopher Hitchens was the only witness called by the Vatican to give evidence against Mother Teresa's beatification and canonization process,[99] because the Vatican had abolished the traditional "devil's advocate" role, which fulfilled a similar purpose.[100] Hitchens has argued that "her intention was not to help people," and he alleged that she lied to donors about the use of their contributions. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn't working to alleviate poverty,” says Hitchens. “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I'm not a social worker. I don't do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church.’”[101]

In the process of examining Teresa's suitability for beatification and canonization, the Roman Curia (the Vatican) pored over a great deal of documentation of published and unpublished criticism of her life and work. Vatican officials say Hitchens's allegations have been investigated by the agency charged with such matters, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and they found no obstacle to Mother Teresa's beatification. Because of the attacks she has received, some Catholic writers have called her a sign of contradiction.[102] The beatification of Mother Teresa took place on 19 October 2003, thereby bestowing on her the title "Blessed."[103]

A second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization.

Almost four years ago, I was given the task of finding a God of my understanding. As I mulled that over for about 6 months, I rejected all of the teachings of fear driven men. I looked for a common denominator. A universal language. There was one. It is called unconditional love. This was a conscious thought.

Unconditional love was brought here by Christ. That was the message. I might have missed that message had it not been for his statement- "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Christ was asking forgiveness for unconscious idiots. A bunch of fear driven human beings that were banishing him from the herd by killing him. Isolating him.

Do you see that very theme today? I sure do. Not much has changed since Christ's time. I am not going to name specific religions- but virtually all of them practice that same "believe as we do, or be banished forever theme." Fortunately, most religions, save one or two, don't believe in killing as a form of isolation or banishment.

Well, if you've made it this far, let me tell you where I am at. I am trying to practice unconditional love for all religions. That I understand that if I attack them, I isolate them. I will be practicing the very insanity that they do. There is a Creator and a purpose. I am absolutely unwilling to reject any notion of God simply because a bunch of crazy human beings missed the message and continue to practice the fears of their forefather teachers. I am in awe that for the brief time that I will be on this planet, that it took me so long to get this. Today, I reject fear and control. I am approaching that point in my life that when my time comes, that perhaps I can simply trust the current to take me where it will. That I can be free of all fear at that very moment. Maybe, I can do it. All you have to do is reject virtually all of the accepted beliefs of a world gone nuts and practice unconditional love. It is a daunting task. We will be the minority, I am sure of that.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


This week, one of my best-lifelong friends was killed in an explosion. After the initial disbelief and anger periods wore off, I became reflective.

When I am disturbed, there is a problem with me. The question is, is grief fear based? Is it self centered thinking? Probably. But like other negative emotions, this one wasn't as easy to strip bare. I simply couldn't label it, place it in a box, and store it. I realized that when you truly love and admire someone, that losing them- losing that availability- seems difficult. Because deep down you know that they were special. That you shared common bonds and thinking and that is very difficult to replace.

In Craig's case, we shared the struggle. Personal courage. The willingness to engage in something we believed in and suffer the consequences. That happened to us.

We didn't just share the trauma of gawd knows how many tragedies in the field. We shared a personal and emotional experience. We might have made a big mistake. In the annals of my life, that period of time we shared cost us our jobs. It took an emotional toll on us. The backlash was more severe than we would have imagined. But we took our beatings like men. In fact, neither of us ever whined about the incident or blamed each other. It simply wasn't useful.

So we never talked about that incident much. What it did do- was reshape our lives. That struggle created our bonds and cemented our loyalty to each other. It elevated our friendship beyond that of mere acquaintances and permanently bound us. That's why, even after 20 years or so, of a hit and miss friendship- I felt certain that at any future time we would simply pick up where we left off. That's how easy it was. We didn't apologize for lost time.

I realized that grieving a loss such as Craig's is necessary. That is the relativity of life. That if you are going to love somebody then you are potentially going to suffer the consequences of losing them and vice versa. Would you rather love and potentially grieve...or not love at all?

My emotional awareness and my ability to process all of this- mostly alone this week was a magnificent thing. I am fortunate that I did not have any distractions nor did I find it necessary to alter my consciousness with a bottle of booze or a few pills. I spent Wednesday through Saturday isolated. Not in a bad sense. I spent it processing my thoughts and examining my feelings- I did not have to spew it out to everyone that would listen.

I am grateful for this experience. Not that I would wish for such a terrible thing for anyone or anybody...but for recognizing that it is just life. It's nobody's fault. There is nobody to blame. That all of those good times were more significant than this terrible time. It is certainly better in my mind- to have loved and lost- than to never have loved at all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Emotional Vampires

I've changed my mind.

It is difficult trying to keep up with two websites. I simply found it too difficult to write on both sites. At first blush, they appear to be polar opposites. Upon reflection, that is simply not true. In some intricate way, like almost all things, they are interconnected. The daily realities of life and success- are heavily dependent on our spiritual and emotional health. There would be no need for emotional health- without the harsh realities of life.

Have you ever heard the term, "emotional vampire?" This is an "M.D.'s" version of what that is. I'd like you to read her link.

Within this blog, many times, I have warned against the dangers of assumptions. I have also warned against this idea that we are "victims" and that somehow- someone else's behavior damages us. That we can never take what others do personally. They are simply unconscious.

Within the context of this blog, I am about to tell you that every thing that the good doctor says is based on faulty beliefs- the indoctrination of the planet. The pretext of her piece, coherently written, will appeal to any myriad of wanna be victims. It addresses the symptoms and what an emotional vampire is. It assumes that you are a victim. It also assumes that somehow your emotional health is at the mercy of someone else. Does it not? More importantly, is that true?

Now what I am going to do here is fast track you to "My Ship Has Come In."

Or more specifically to this statement. " I am to blame for all of my emotional disturbances, conscious or unconscious. Nobody else is to blame ever- in any situation. No exceptions."

So who is right? Am I spiritually correct in assuming that my poor emotional health is at the mercy of someone else? That if I am feeling bad, that I am somehow a victim or hostage? That some emotional vampire is causing me stress? That it is ok to blame someone else?

View the doctors comments as you would an enabler. What she says is false. Now let me run this by you.

It is not always easy to examine some indoctrinated and unconscious belief system- but if you choose to and you practice rigorous honesty, I think you will find that it is your perceptions and not life, that cause all of your emotional disturbances."

Therefore, we are the problem. We CHOOSE how we feel- nobody else. That is great news! We can control our perceptions and our beliefs. We do not have to blame anybody. We do not have to whine, complain, or be victims. In fact, that is the responsible thing to do. When we focus on ourselves we have taken back our perception of control. Those alleged vampires no longer exist. In fact, it was the logic of folks' like this doctor- that prevent this planet from getting emotionally healthy. There is nothing new here. Blaming others is not a solution. It is part of the indoctrination of the planet. I. AM. ALWAYS. THE. PROBLEM. My ego hates it when I do this. It wants to argue. I keep my boot on it's throat.

We can't get well if we swallow the doctor's medicine. She is treating a symptom. We are after the underlying disease.

Tonight I was sitting in the movie theater, all alone. Couple after couple walked in. My whiny ass ego, the victim, whispered into my ear. Look at all those happy people. If your ex-was halfway normal- you could be like them. It's her fault, if only she was this or that. Feel sorry for yourself. But guess what? I recognized it. I put my boot on it's throat. I changed that perception. In fact, I became happy for those people. I watched the movie without a bunch of emotional garbage swirling around in my head.

Do emotional vampires exist for me? They can't. Because if I believe in them- I ignore the solution. I am responsible for my choices, my perceptions, and thus my reality. I am never a hostage unless that is my choice. And don't let these unconscious people blame you either. People have to start taking responsibility for their emotions. The only one that can do that is you.