Killing: What is the best way to kill a man? There are two infallible ways, both equally effective. One, belittle his accomplishments; two, praise his ignorance.
Pointless: “Chief…” I began, running up to him. He looked down into my quiver and said, pointing: “Those arrows are pointless.” To which I replied, “I know, Chief, but you didn’t give me a chance to make my point…”
Roman Catholicism: I was born and raised Roaming Catholic. In time my Roaming surpassed my Catholicism and it led me afield, beyond the ken and reach of my Jesuit shepherds. The day came I couldn’t find my way back… or perhaps I chose not to… it’s a fine line. I continue to practice the first half: I’m still Roaming.
Wisdom: Lots has been said about wisdom; likely much too much. Take for example the biblical claim that Solomon was the wisest of men. Then it goes on to claim that he had five hundred wives and eight hundred concubines, or as the Sunday school kid wrote, 800 porcupines. Isn’t 500 wives bad enough? I can’t begin to imagine the needling one would take from 800 porcupines. In any case, that’s not wisdom, it’s masochism.
Light and Dark: In the context of a material universe, the moment you shine a light on any thing you create a shadow. The more light you shine upon your path, the more you will go through it dodging shadows, but would you prefer only light or uniform darkness?
Scepticism: It is said that sceptics take away (faith, hope) and put nothing back. As a sceptic myself, I say that is a lie. When I gave up pushing faith in invisible sky wizards and no longer believed in their disempowering, misogynist, violent religions, I gave back compassion with self-empowerment. When it comes to moral high ground I’ll take on any man-made god with those two weapons, and in a fair and just fight I will never lose. Of course that’ll be the day when a god gets caught in an open and fair fight.
Doubt and Faith:
How can you be so sure God exists?
How can you be so sure he does not?
We are both people of faith, don’t you see? My faith is doubt; yours is emotional conviction. When nothing can be certain, how can our choices make us enemies, or why should they? I can’t prove God does not exist, nor do I care to. You cannot prove he exists, and why should you care to? Any god worthy of the title should certainly be capable of demonstrating his existence without dubious unfounded claims or wild-eyed brow-beaten followers? Shall we have a glass of wine, talk about mice and men and asparagus seeds?
Fooling People: How often can you fool people? As often as you’re able to say what they want to hear without putting any commitment behind it.
Knowledge: How is knowledge redefined on our modern context? I Google.
Information, however complex and meshed, isn’t mind.
Memory, however deep or factual, isn’t mind.
Thought patterns, or thought-forms, aren’t mind.
Education, however thorough, isn’t mind.
But without a mind to receive and analyze them,
these aspects of man would remain unknowable:
Conclusion: mind is consciousness.
War Gods: Man’s gods are never empathetic. Why not? Because man isn’t and he was unable to rise above his own nature when he created his gods. Well, that isn’t quite accurate. The fact of the matter is, he never thought empathy might be a good thing to have in a god. He wanted gods of thunder and lightning; gods of war. Gods who give victory in war. Did you know that Wikipedia has 168 pages of war deities – “war gods” and “war goddesses” – and only ten pages of deities of peace?
Sin: My personal definition of sin: The deliberate causing of harm, pain and suffering to another (or others, human or not) for one’s personal gain, pleasure, satisfaction or lust.
Home: You can always go back to the place you once called home, but you can never go back home again.
The City: The urban dweller is a captive, prisoner, and slave to the only perpetual motion man-made machine on earth: the city.
Terrorism: There are only two types of terrorist: the real one, and the imaginary one. The one who is feared the most and who does the most damage to an individual and to a people is the imaginary one.
Second Hand: I hate pawn shops with their second-hand shops attached, chock full of stuff taken from those poor sobs at the pawn window who couldn’t come up with the cash to return and redeem their stuff. What I hate even more are auctions, ‘cause you know exactly why all that stuff is going for fire sale price: it belonged to people, families, who lost their last throw of the dice to the bank, or it belonged to the dead. You go to those places and you just know you’re picking over bones. Then you realize some of those bones are still covered in living skin.
Aspirin: If you’re prone to headaches, at some point in your life aspirin becomes a major food group.
Culture: Regarding man’s culture, don’t fault the Petri dish; consider the main culture and you’re bound to conclude the experiment is a total failure; it’s never going to produce the hoped-for results, assuming those results were aiming for a creature imbued of some sort of moral high ground. The whole thing should be flushed and the dish carefully sanitized before something worse develops, some truly nefarious spin-off culture from which the universe may never recover.
Admissions’ nurse: “Excuse me, what did you say you are suffering from again?”
“Writer’s block, ma’am. I got it at my last writers’ meeting and since then it’s spread everywhere. I can’t type; I can’t even pick up a pen to sign my name. And I think it’s contagious. My dog still reads my manuscripts but he’s not editing anymore.”
Space: You may be too old to go to space camp, but you’re never too old to be a space cadet.
Smoking: I confess, I’m a chain smoker. No small feat that, have you ever tried to smoke chains? But never mind, I’ve decided that quitting isn’t for me. It’s what’s expected, and I don’t do expected. But since I’ve decided to do something proactive about my smoking, as of now I’m buying only pre-smoked cigarettes. One small step for man, one giant step for whatever.
Empathy: In my travels I came upon a world of telepaths. When I told them of some of Earth’s conditions, especially dealing with the greatest problem of all: the death of millions each year from famine, injustice and oppression, they did not understand. When I told them that on earth adults let children die by the thousands each day because it’s more profitable than to feed them they were horrified. They said, “If such an unthinkable thing, that a single child should die of preventable causes on our world, should happen, the entire world would come to a standstill and begin a long grieving process. After a time the problem would be investigated as to its cause and that would be rectified immediately.” “There is no greater loss,” they said, “than the loss of a child. It is an unthinkable concept. And if that should happen through carelessness or greed? There could be no greater crime in the universe than that child’s death.”
At least, I thought as I left, there is one sane world in existence. I would very much like to go and live there, even if only for a little while. Imagine what I could learn.
Detachment: The easiest route to the things that really matter is quite simple: it’s when nothing matters. As a Teacher once said to me, “When none of it matters, it will all be yours.” And so it came to be, detached piece by detached piece until I floated free in my own space; in my own mind.
Power: It is said that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Do not seek for power, seek for honour. Honour is the very antithesis of power. Where power resides you will never find honour.