to put it another way – the Constitution of the United States does not guarantee that you will never be offended. Nor could it.
I had a dream while sleeping yesterday that was very strange. I’ve written in the past about dreams where I was flying – in the manner of Superman, not a pilot. This was one of those, with a twist.
In the dream, I started doing somersaults in the air, then added barrel rolls, and was just generally playing around. All of that was fine – it got weird when I suddenly started traveling. First, a slight shift of my gaze to the left, and I’d be over Seattle. Then a slight shift of my gaze to the right and I’d be over New York. One or two barrel rolls later my awareness expanded to where I was everywhere – all at once. There was a calmness bordering on serenity that went with this. I didn’t freak out until the phone rang and woke me up. But my heart was pounding and I was bordering on hyperventilating at that point. If I could have gone back to sleep, I guarantee I would have.
I have a mental game I play, that you might find interesting. It is a solo game, but it can be fun, especially on a cold or rainy day.
I sit in a comfortable chair, close my eyes, and imagine the process of doing some job I’ve never done in this lifetime. Not the glamorous parts, but the tedious ones. The things you’d have to do over and over, without a spotlight or any celebrity.
Like, if you were a fireman – imagine how often in a 30 year career you’d have to get out of bed to fight a fire after only an hour of sleep. Imagine then spending the next 6 hours fighting that same fire, and needing to stay alert. Or imagine how many times you’d have to leave behind a fresh-cooked meal because the alarm sounded just as your station was starting to eat.
I do this because I have a theory. If there truly are an infinite number of universes, then there could be an infinite number of other “me’s” out there, doing all of those other jobs that I can imagine the tedious parts of easily. If those other “me’s” are doing those jobs, then at the very least I have the ability to know how to do them, whether I have the physical ability to or not.
It’s a theory. I don’t know how valid it is – but it is how I “taught” myself to replace a defective wall outlet many years ago.
Anyone who’s known me for very long, or been reading my blogs for very long, knows that I’m all about looking for ways to make better sense out of the world around us. I pay particular attention to areas where ordinary life and spiritual growth have the potential to intersect and cooperate. In that train of thought, I’d like to offer you a quote that was brought to my attention. It is attributed to a character played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2014 movie “Nightcrawlers” (which I have not seen, and do not endorse for only that reason).
“You know what FEAR means? False Evidence Appearing Real.”
At first I thought I was seeing things, but about a week later my wife independently made a comment that seemed to confirm my suspicions. Still, I held my tongue because I just wasn’t sure.
Now I am.
My hair on my head is slowly starting to return to it’s natural deep brown color. No “grecian formula” or Ms. Clairol or anything like that, it’s just the result of the supplements I’m taking.
Just a quick update to yesterday.
The book that I made a reference to at the end of yesterday’s blog is I’m OK, You’re OK by Thomas Harris, MD. It was originally published in 1969, and eBay has quite a few copies in paperback for around $5 USD.
Many years ago, when I was at an in-between phase in my quest to find some organized religion that I could support, I studied Tarot and developed a beginners level of competency. I could do a half-dozen different lay-outs, and knew what most cards meant in certain positions.
But when I did a lay-out to answer my own question about the path to enlightenment, I had no choice but to seek out help from someone I knew who had a lot more experience. It wasn’t because I didn’t see an answer to my question – I just didn’t believe it. But, the weird thing was, my friend gave me the exact same answer.
“You already have all that you need to achieve enlightenment.”
Over the years I’ve revisited that advice, and I think I’m beginning to see something. But it isn’t just me – it’s all of us.
There is one special thing that all of us have inside, which if nurtured and developed, would by itself lead to world peace and enlightenment. It is the capacity to tolerate. If you look into a pre-school, you can put any number of different kids into one room with a good supply of toys, and those kids will play. Together. None of those kids is rejecting others over race, politics, religion, gender. “Let’s have fun, you’re perfect exactly as you are.” Humans have to be taught to hate. And we hate most what we see in others that we consider to be a reflection of what we dislike about ourselves.
One reason I can no longer endorse or practice organized religion is because ALL organized religions go against this idea. They set up the believers as a special group, and instantly demonize everyone on the outside. The only way forward to peace is to convince or force all outsiders to believe as the special group does. The Muslims are doing it. The Protestant Christians are doing it. The Jews are doing it. The Roman Catholics are doing it. And because they are all doing it – the automatic and inherent conflict is that they are all trying to convert each other while clinging to their own certainty that they are special. It isn’t far off to consider that until 150 years ago war was primarily fought over religion, and even now the war in Iraq/Iran/Syria is fundamentally a religious war. So is the war in Afghanistan.
What I’m saying is certainly nothing new. There was a popular book out when I was a child called “I’m okay, you’re okay”. I think we should all give it another look.
I happened across this website yesterday, that had a series of paintings that were deliberately made to speak to women about aging, body issues, body images, and that sort of thing. Since the artist is also a woman who, as she said on the site, is now reaching the age her parents were when she was conceived, she wanted to speak to all those issues from her perspective. The results are brilliant – but with a caveat. All photos behind this link are NSFW (not safe for work) . . . for nudity of adult and senior women.
Fine art by Aleah Chapin
Anyone who knows me knows that I have long believed in a principle of religious tolerance, and that this is the one thing that can most make a difference in the future of our planet. It is simple – each individual person has an absolute “divine” right to chose what to believe, and to live in accordance with those beliefs, so long as they do not cause direct harm to anyone else. I’m not a fan of organized religions, because IMHO they voluntarily quickly reduce to micro-dictatorships. But I usually see no reason to stand in public opposition to any specific religion.
However, recent events on the global stage have caused me to consider one natural law. “There is an exception to everything.”
There is one religion that openly advocates harming others, even those who DO practice that faith. It spews hate like humans exhale used air. Most of all, it openly advocates not only the eradication of all other religions – but actively destroys the relics and texts of those religion’s symbols and teachings. After great consideration, I can not advocate a stance of “tolerance” towards this religion, because if given the chance they would bring about a permanent end to any human ever becoming enlightened.
It may not be obvious yet, so the religion I’m referring to is ISLAM.
I have never heard an Imam (one of the teachers of Islam) who has preached “peace”. Nor have I heard of any of them who advocate tolerance, acceptance, or diversity. Instead, they hold tenets that have not allowed any element of their society to advance in 700 years. Women do not even have the right to be accused of adultery WITH the man they slept with. Want to talk about double standards? A man can sleep with a woman who is not his wife – then accuse her of adultery! If she is raped, she becomes the criminal if she reports it, and again can be accused of adultery. In case you’ve forgotten, the penalty under Sharia law for adultery is death.
I’m one of those rare birds who has read the full text of not only the Bible, but also the Torah and the Koran. It seemed appropriate to read them all, because they all profess to teach wisdom handed down from the same God – who self-identifies as “The God of Abraham”. It should also be noted that these three religious books represent the ONLY monotheistic religions in the world. Now, here is my layman’s comparison.
The Torah’s teachings pretty much accept that they are being handed to a select few, and while they exhort those chosen few to follow certain principles and lifestyle actions that would deliberately set them apart from all other people, there is no proselytizing, ever. No one is ever prevented from converting, but it has to be something done of their own free will.
The New Testament of the Bible is, for the most part, the same. Believers are taught to stand apart – to “be not unequally yoked together with an unbeliever”. Which, in case it isn’t clear, means that they not only should not marry an unbeliever, but also not be business partners with them, nor work for them. Jesus taught by example that believers were not to withhold their help from unbelievers who asked for it, yet he never insisted that the unbeliever convert. His strongest words (to those he did help who were not believers) were an exhortation not to continue the sinful acts they had lived before. Oh, just in case you may have forgotten, Jesus was never a Christian. He spent his entire life as an Essene Jew.
We’re almost daily treated to living descriptions of the teachings of the Koran. It is totally intolerant. If left unchecked, Islam will sweep the globe, with only one objective – return human rights laws to those of medieval Islam. When Islamists move into a new area, the first thing they do is peacefully work to gain the tolerance, even acceptance, of those already there. Then they begin bringing in more Islamists – and quickly try to become a significant minority group of the community. When they have achieved becoming about 10% of the community, they start trying to use the community’s own laws against itself to favor Islam, while they continue to reproduce and import “brothers and sisters” with the aim of reaching the magic number of about 50%. When they hit that point, they are no longer a “significant minority” – but the majority. They will then work to overturn local laws that restrict their actions toward non-believers, and if possible they will impose Sharia law – at least for their own.
The real face of Islam comes out when they achieve about 75% saturation of a population. At that point, tolerance of other beliefs is no longer even pretended. Active persecution of outsiders begins – and starts with many of those who are currently working the hardest to bring Islam to the US. Gays, atheists, liberals – watch out! If the definition of “conservative” is that one is resistant to change – Muslims are the ultimate conservatives, because they have not seen any social change in 700 years that they will accept, and they will kill you to prove their righteousness.
Let’s make this very real and personal. How many women in the US have had sex with a non-spouse? By Sharia law, you are all guilty of adultery. How many of you have married, and then gone to court to ask for a divorce? By Sharia law, none of your divorces are valid. If Muslims controlled your community, you would face the choice of returning to the home of your first husband or being put to death for adultery. Of course, it would all be moot once Islam reached about 90% saturation anyhow, because then your only choices would be to convert or leave – and if you chose to leave you would have to pay an unbeliever’s tax roughly equivalent to leaving behind everything you own.
If anyone thinks that I’m exaggerating, take a look at what has been happening in France, England, and Italy over the last 10 years. Expand your vision to see what they are doing right now in Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Do your own homework – track the spread of Islam from birth 700 years ago to present, and then look at HOW it has spread.
Islam is not a religion – it is a parasitic terrorist movement.
Alright, guys. Admit it – you’ve been watching me. Yes, me. The fat, disabled, gray-haired old man hobbling around town – with the hardbodied hottie holding his hand. She’s my wife, and looks half of her true age. I know what you’re thinking. “She must be his daughter.” or “How does a guy like that get a gal like THAT?”
I’m going to tell you a secret. In fact, it is THE secret. This is the answer to your dream question. Yes that question that even I was asking when I was your age. “What does a guy have to do to spend the rest of his life with his hands in HER pants?”
But first, let me tell you something else. If you ask HER, my wife will not tell you that this secret has anything to do with my success. She’d tell you about “love” and “laughter”. She would credit the time I spend managing the maintenance on our home so she can just come back from work and relax instead of calling contractors for mowing, guttering, painting, or tuck pointing.
While I’m sure all of those things do factor into it, lots of guys would do them just because our society conditions them to think of those as “the manly things to do”. So they are obviously NOT the secret to my success. The secret has to be something that I do, which she appreciates, that would NOT be conditioned by society or taught in school – right?
Are you ready? Honestly, no tricks.
Learn to do the laundry – and make sure she knows you can do it. Then do it, well, and often. You’ll have your hands in her pants even when she doesn’t feel up to having your hands on her body!