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Everyone is a Philosopher

Everyone is a philosopher, albeit some are doing quite poor in the endeavor. If you find the first line a bit hard to swallow, then maybe you can at least agree with me that everyone has their own personal philosophy of life; some guiding rules, preconceived notions or expectations that govern their actions, and reactions to things in life.

So, I guess that my stating that “Everyone has a philosophy” would be easier to agree with, but I am still of the opinion that we play a much more active role in it than that. Maybe we just like to feel like victims when our lives and actions are so out of control? If you own personal philosophy is in a mess, then I’d assume that it would be much nicer to be able to point the finger to another source to blame for its authorship.

About two weeks ago I was in conversation with a young professor, who was pretty adamant in their profession of disdain for all studies of philosophy or religion… especially my own. Their main argument was that it was a waste of time, that forming and shaping a own personal philosophy or belief system held no benefit, and that it just got in the way of their own ideal of just accepting everything as it comes without further thought or consideration.

Which is funny, because that is her philosophy; however unshaped or unrefined, but philosophy none the less.

But, if no matter what, you are going to live by some kind of philosophy of life, would you not want it to be the one of your conscious choice? A good one, well thought out, decided upon, and even one that is slightly above you for which to strive for?

If not, then your philosophy is going to be based one other things, such as:

  • How you were raised at home
  • Society, culture, and media
  • Purely reactionary, especially to traumatic events in your life

In the case of the lady I was speaking to, who held that she had no philosophy, her philosophy was shaped strongly instead by her family, upbringing, and traumas.

She stated that she was spoiled and bad with money, never denying herself any material item or worldly pleasure because her wealthy parents always got her what she desired without question. Her philosophy on marriage was based solely on that of her parents, and of her failed marriage in the past. Her concept of self worth was based on media, and her goals were based on what her peers around her accepted or condemned.

My point is, that if you do not control and shape your philosophy, it will not stop you from forming one… it will just simply be a very poor one.

Would you rather not take the rightful responsibility for it, and yourself, and choose how you would like it to be? Make it an educated, hopefully positive one, which guides and governs your life on a foreword path?

Maybe that takes the security blanket away of being able to say that you are selfish…because X happened to you, you steal because, you lie because, you are lazy because, you cheat because, because, because, because. But isn’t there liberation in becoming the master of oneself? And if you are going to have a philosophy regardless, why not take the time and effort to make it a good one?

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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cockroach-3I had an interesting day today, and in it, I got to practice some loving-kindness… although it was towards something I never tried it on before – cockroaches.

I guess I had better explain this some; you see, I volunteered today to do some charity work for the United Way, and they asked me and a group of others (that I did not know) to show up to this house and paint the inside of it. It seems that the place is home to a nice group of 3 older ladies, one of whom is bed-ridden, and it was in a bit of disrepair. Although, it seems the place was also home to many more beings than we were told.

The walls of the house were not really in need of painting, they were just caked with layer upon layer of roach droppings, and they were everywhere. I am talking broad daylight, and hundreds upon hundreds of the little buggers just hanging out I plain sight like they owned the place. It was very interesting to observe.

I noticed a few things though, and here are some of my observations…

Firstly, I had taken a vow to cause no harm to any sentient being, and for me that also includes insects. When I was younger a sight light what I saw today would have given me the willies, but today there was no apprehension or disgust to be found in me. I just saw all these roaches and knew that I was looking at another living thing, and it did not bother me at all. Not anymore. And, unlike the rest of the people in the room working with me, I had compassion on them. Yes, I felt sorry for the ladies living there, that they were in such a circumstance, but I also had compassion for the insects there.

Secondly, instead of swatting at and smashing and scurrying about the roaches so I could paint, I simply talked to them (yes I talked to them) or at other times just waited and thought kind words towards them, and asked them to move so I could paint… and they moved out of the way.

Thirdly, these ladies were not messy and their home was quite orderly and neat… other than the roaches and their droppings, and so I inquired into the matter a bit with them. You see, although they themselves are very clean and tidy people, the neighborhood that they live in has gone down-hill, turning from a once lovely little place and into the ghetto, and their neighbors do not share their particular views on hygiene and upkeep. So, if all the homes around them are inviting roaches… they get them too.

Finally, I could not help but wonder the whole time what good we were actually doing there. These ladies approached the charity looking for help and the solution they were given was that we would paint over all the roach droppings… but the roaches are still there. Nothing was done to actually solve the problem at hand. I immediately thought of tons of little proverbs and ways that this could be used as a life lesson, or a sermon about taking care of the real problem and not just ‘white washing the tombs” if you will. I considered many of my own areas in life that I need to deal where a lesson or analogy could also apply… and I found a few.

One of the volunteers was a pastor of a local church and asked the ladies when we were done if he could pray for them and they said yes. As he prayed for them and their health, in my head I offered up my own thoughts of loving kindness towards the roaches and wished them and the ladies happiness and that the roaches would leave and find a new home in which there was not this conflict between them and others; so that they may all be happy, healthy and at ease.

Nobody should have to live like that though, I know that these ladies deserve a clean, healthy environment and I wish them well. I am also grateful that I myself and in a safe and warm home today that I can enjoy.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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Artesian Well

In my life I have many unfinished wells. I start digging, and after I do not get the desired/expected result in the expected amount of time I get frustrated or discouraged; I quit and start digging a new hole somewhere else.

Maybe the first one went down to a good 500 feet or so before it hit bedrock. The next one I gave to maybe 300 feet before I got frustrated, figured it was going nowhere, and gave up on it. Each one after that I gave up on sooner and sooner than the last; til now its down to just a few feet.

By now the field of my soul looks like a block of Swiss-cheese… littered with holes upon holes, but none bringing forth this life-giving water.

I am a spiritual tourist.

Friday I practiced scrying and tried to talk to my Spirit Guide. Saturday I studied the Kabbalah all day, and then went to a Christian service at night. Sunday I went to Unitarian church, and spent the night singing mantras and clearing my chakras with toning and crystals. Today I studied the Bible, and then practiced Buddhist meditation for a few hours. Holes, I have nothing but holes to show for all of this; I have no well.

I am running out of resources, energy, and landscape. I need a well and not another hole. I need to endure, and simply continue til I hit water, but I am unsure as to where to begin or continue the dig.

If there is a religion whose stance on women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights, social justice and environmentalism is beneath the standard by which I am already capable of living, then why would I lower myself to practice this religion? An encounter with God should increase my sense of purpose and moralty, not lessen it.

By watching the way that you treat others, yourselves, and your environment can I know that you have found something that can embetter me? If you can not match or exceed my own inherent sense of morality, I who do not even profess to know any God personally, then why would I follow your example?

A religion should improve the human or spiritual condition of a being; if not, we debasing ourselves.

So, the question of mine tonight is “What hole do I keep digging in, and which do I abandon?”

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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300-stu20611The closer I get to God the less I want to eat meat.

That’s about all I got on this one for now. Yup, that’s about it. That is where I am starting with this thought; that as I experience God I get filled with compassion and gentleness; the more convicted I am about all kinds of social and environmental issues that I never cared that much about before.

I believe that I am experiencing God’s heart on the matter, and now it is becoming time for me to work out my apologetics on the issue and make my case for those who misunderstand me.

People automatically get defensive at this topic. They look at it and automatically think as to what my statement may imply. For me to say “the closer I get to God – the less I want to eat meat” implies to them that I therefore think that I am closer to God than they are since they eat meat. If I say that I think I am feeling God’s heart on the matter it implies they are far from his heart or are unfeeling. It instantly gets put into the perspective of the “I” and becomes some kind of guilt, or matter of offense to their pride.

All I know is that after spending a day in God’s word or his presence I loose the ability or desire to cause harm to an animal, or to sponsor or enable such harm. I am simply trying to make sense of my own convictions first, and later I may make an educated plea for it towards my peers.

So where to begin? Any advice would be appreciated.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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cone-of-lonelinessPsalms 68:6 says, “God makes a home for the lonely”. In other versions they translated it as “God makes a home for the lonely” or that “God gives the lonely a family to belong to”.

So what does this all add up to? He gives us family, a home/a place we belong, and that place is full of other like-people, and in essence we get something we all long for, which is community.

Now don’t get me wrong, I hate using the word community right now. Mainly because it is one of the new “buzzwords” of the church these days. Someone with a large/successful church wrote a book about how they did it, and now everyone else is parroting their process, words, and plans in hopes to replicate something – something that may have at one time been genuine.

So I basically want to gag every time I hear the word community, or post modern, emerging, transparent, etc. Mainly because I consider the source of the word, and the majority of these people are just using words to describe something that is not evident on its own merit or depiction.

Sorry, I am loosing focus.

We long to belong. We were not created to be solitary people, and something inside us dies when not ignited by others. So many people are lonely, and are so open and willing for some kind of attention and human contact.

In one day’s time I:

  • Saw an old man walking alone in the cold and offered him a ride to where he was going and someone to talk to. Suprisingly he accepted. I assumed he would not trust a stranger, let alone a punky looking kid with ink and metal in his body.
  • Was contacted by a total stranger in an online chat who was alone and depressed and just wanted to talk to anyone who was up. I let them talk until they ran out of things to say, and that took quite some time.
  • Was hit on by a girl half my age that was abused by her dad, moved away to escape him, and although she is now safe – is now isolated from friends and companions. I turned down her date proposal, but sat down (in a public and open area) and listened to her tell her story.
  • Saw two people in school that I don’t really know well in the “common area”. Each were off to themselves, closed off, and defensive. Books open, headphones on, backs turned. I sat down and started engaging one in conversation, then noticed the other was listening in on it, and brought them into it as well. I figured I would stay focused on them as long as they wanted. I figured it would last 5-10 mins… it lasted an hour. That was more time than I wanted to give at first, but I was glad I pushed past that. It was a nice experience.
  • Was checking my gmail and got contacted by someone I met just the other day while playing sports at the local sports complex. They said “hi” and instead of brushing it off, or just saying “hi” back – asked them how they were doing, and remembered some things that they said to me in passing the day before. Hey, how did (fill in the blank) turn out? It turned into a long conversation. Now I know this persons job, college background, dog, and hopes and plans for the future.
  • I have class with this one girl and she and her boyfriend noticed me visiting the church that they go to and they went out of their way to say hi to me and sat next to me. I invited them to dinner. They accepted. I know a lot more about them now, they are an awesome couple. He wants to be a librarian. I know him and her a lot better now. I assumed they would not like me that much, but I had a great night. I am glad of that, and that they sat next to me… because I get lonely out here too.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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