Personal

Within All

Please

For C.N. — I’m not exactly sure what you’re going through, but I wanted to share a few words with you.

How do they keep at it like this? All that jabbering,
When just breathing the humid air feels like drowning.
There are so many good things in life I’ve overlooked.

There are times when silence feels like our only friend. Like a vacancy consumes our hearts and our minds cannot fathom a reasonable explanation for the darkness that seeps through the cracks of our cerebellum. And we claw at the wall in hopes to find sure-footing so that we may one day escape the prisons we built for ourselves. Where being alone seems to heal all things and ease all things. And within all things we may find nothing but disappointment in ourselves because we’re not good enough. We’re not perfect enough to love. That we deserve what we’re given and should accept it as a noble truth.

We don’t have to speak. Not a word shared between us in confession or in contrition. Because my words cannot bring you comfort anymore than you can. Because, in the end, every one must bear the burden of his own sins and every person must be the fabricator of their own salvation, that not even a god can do for us what self-help in the form of self-conquest and self-emancipation can accomplish.

We are the twin verses. The sacred truths. We are the light and darkness in each other. For anger breeds anger, hatred breeds hatred. Joy breeds joy and love breeds love. And I have lived through both. I have seen my hands cause pain and I felt my heart take delight in such pain. And I have seen my hands bring peace and I felt my heart take delight in such peace. Let us be like the bright gods, and feed off the happiness.

I once asked you not to apologize to me. Apologies are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of strength. And strength shouldn’t be taken so lightly. Apologize for the things done within your control. Apologize for the words spoken in anger or the slap that escapes your hand.

I’ve done some terrible things in my life that I can never apologize for. That I cannot take back. I let the anger and hatred fester in my heart and I have seen the tears spilled for me. Tears that are worth more than the cost of my existence. And for years, I lived in anger. For years, I didn’t think of the feelings of others. And for years, I abused and misused those who were unfortunate enough to love me. And each time I did, an apology escaped my lips. An apology that wasn’t worth a pound of truth because I never learned from the mistakes I made.

And for this, I do not deserve the apologies of others. Because these are the demons I carry with me. These are sins that burden me each day. And until I can right these wrongs, I do not want to hear a word of apology spoken to me.

I created a set of rules and a code of morals and ethics for myself. Guidelines spawned from common sense and various religions and social contracts. I have carved my own buddhism, my own christianity.

With everything, within all, there is hope. There is light. There is peace. There is love and there is solace. And one day, I hope to share it with those I love most.

Just a quick note: I wrote this entire post while listening to this song—your recording—on a continuous loop. It just felt right.
Personal

Of Chickens & Eggs

Until recently, it never occurred to me that believers believed that religion came first. Well, that’s worded incorrectly. What I mean is, I recently discovered that believers believe that science “copies” from religion. “One of the main concerns,” states my friend, the Lizard King, “is how we arrived at this place? Science attempts to explain the same (though in another way, but though that isn’t scientific (though it labels itself as such) but just as” fantastical” as Christianity’s creationism).”

I’m usually floored by such accusations that science is at the same level as the pseudo-sciences such as intelligent design and creationism. Now, two things bother me here. First of all, his indication that religion came up with the our curiosity of how we came into being and that science just copied the question, and I’ll address that in a moment. The thing that nags at me is that I don’t know what he’s going on about. What’s he talking about when he states that science does the answering differently though it’s not actually scientific?

How is it that the religious can strut around claiming something isn’t scientific, but a scientist can’t go around and claim something isn’t religious? I’m always met with the same reply—I’ve misinterpreted and misquoted a cut-and-dried (though archaic) scripture. And it’s always because I lack faith, or I’m going into it with a political agenda (though, even if you don’t want to admit it, so are you), I’m taking things out of context , I don’t have the religious knowledge, etc. With the exception of faith, the same can go to disprove all arguments believers use against science—they just don’t understand, they lack the knowledge, they take things out of context, they’re going into with a political and dogmatic agenda. The common misconception of science and those who chose to empirical data over fairy tales is that theories are infallible—or we think they’re infallible. Or they’ll use the word theory against it—as in, “Evolution is just a theory.” I find it strange that a creationist never makes the same argument with the theory of gravity.

Evolution

Yes, the theory of evolution is just that, a theory. But it’s a pretty good theory (the best one we’ve had to explain how we came from single cell organisms) and it has an outstanding amount of evidence to support it. Creationists are certain that those who choose science believe in evolution, and that’s just not accurate. We accept the evidence for evolution. Perhaps it’s syntax that I’m using (abusing?) here, and you’re probably wondering how I can say that when I’ve said that I believed in evolution and science in the past. And that’s where we differ. You’re mind cannot fathom a person without faith/belief because you have altered science into a religion/cult institution and evolution as its doctrine. Beliefs are usually never altered and they are damning (I’ll get to that in another post) and they can lead people do to some crazy shit (like killing abortionists doctors, suicide bombing, and drinking cyanide laced Kool-Aid). Acceptance of a theory, however, can change through observation, through evidence that may debunk the theory.

Evolution isn’t fantastical; creationism is as it is driven out of fantasy. Fantastical is believing that some father in the sky created the entire universe in just six days, resting on the seventh. Fantastical is believing that the same father created animals out of thin air and man out of dirt and woman from man’s rib (that’s the take two if you want to add in the female prototype known as Lilith). Fantastical is believing in a great flood, a talking snake, a talking burning bush, a techicolor dream coat, a virgin birth, etc. (I can almost hear him already). Evolution takes time. A lot of time.

And unscientific example, we wouldn’t say we “evolve” in a day to the person we will become. No we’re usually met with, “Wow, you’ve really evolved as a person since we met.” Character development would suck if we just gave it all in the first three pages, wouldn’t it? Well, evolution wouldn’t be evolution if it took place from a grain of dirt to adult human male. It’s climbing a mountain, not shooting a grappling hook to zip up to the top. Adaption and natural selection are key for evolution to work, are they not? Nature favors what pushes a species forward and gets rid of what is wasteful. And nature allows for animals (and people) to adapt to their surroundings.

A while ago, I happened upon a documentary about these snow monkeys from Japan that were transported to southern Texas. Back in Japan, the snow monkeys dipped in the hot springs to keep warm. In Texas, that was no longer necessary. Instead, they began to sweat. Now, that may not seem like a lot to you because you’re thinking it’s hot in Texas and we all swear here. But these monkeys had never perspired before. And the naysayer will just shrug and say, so what? That doesn’t prove anything. But the monkeys encountered something in Texas they never did in Japan—snakes and scorpions. During observation, the people who kept the habitat noticed something peculiar. Whenever a threat came near, the monkeys would make a distinctive call (one for scorpions and one for snakes). The sound was recorded and the recording was played for the snow monkeys in Japan (monkeys that had never been to Texas), and not one of them stirred or prepared for trouble. The calls were new. And all the adaptations made in the Texas bunch was passed on to their offspring and will continue to be passed on.

Now if the “fantastical” idea is the big bang theory, then it’s understandable why you find it as such. Psychics contains too much math, and it usually leaves me befuddled, too.

Copying Accusation

Returning to the matter at hand, though. The important part of this post (and probably the shortest) is the assumption that religion somehow is responsible for creating the question, “How did we get here?”

The question existed before science and before religion. It’s not a part of them, it’s what caused them. And it is sheer arrogance to lay claim on the question when science and religion are merely institutions that seek the answer—one through empirical data and observations, and the other through myth and legend. Let’s face it, when humanity became self-aware enough to ponder the question, we weren’t the brightest bunch. One day we did a dance and the next it rained. We then accepted the dance as the causation of the rain—the old post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. And from that belief, we began to form religions and those religions began to create our mythical origins. Then someone decided to figure out how the world really works. Sure, the myths lingered but it didn’t take long before theories disproved that the dance had anything to do with the rain.

So I reject your notion that science “copies” religion because neither hold claim to the rights to the question. Because this isn’t a chicken-or-the-egg type of question. Religion didn’t event the question, nor did science. Instead, the question birthed both institutions. For better or for worse.

Side note for anyone who isn’t the Lizard King: I am not a science major. I majored in English. Most of my knowledge on science and evolution stem from my reading of books and articles online. This is not to disprove my argument, but to explain if I should have used the wrong term or jacked up an example (and I tried hard as hell not to use any examples that may have soared above my head—see my physics joke).

Doldrums

“I Believe”

We have these books in the department, a nonfiction series entitled You Wouldn’t Want toThe titles vary from being sick or living during a certain points in history. I can’t help but to think that, somewhere along the line, the company will publish one called You Wouldn’t Want to be a Homosexual in 21st Century United States (a companion title will include being a woman in the United States). How is this still a discussion? It’s like victimizing the rapist, why, in this modern time, do we still do it?

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

Today, I showed my support for Marriage Equality by changing my Facebook profile pic (which is usually a picture of my son) to that equal sign surrounded by red (see Exhibit A). Several of my friends did the same. Now, are we, in away, delusional, that the Supreme Court will file through every Facebook account and take us into consideration? Not anymore than a football player takes into account of all the adoring fans watching from their living rooms wearing their jerseys. So why the image? Why not? It’s there. It’s not hurting anyone anymore than the girl wearing a cross necklace showing her support for Christianity. Or anymore harm than the beatnik wearing the Meat is Murder t-shirt. Nothing comes from it–necklace girl doesn’t convert people just by wearing a necklace and reading Meat is Murder on a tee doesn’t automatically make you a vegan. It just shows support. Nothing more and nothing less.

What grills me is that when I take a stance against prayer or religion as being a bunch of malarkey, I’m automatically lectured that it’s a source of comfort. Well, bitch, this is a source of comfort for me. To know that my friends (not all of them, sadly) are supporting the right for all Americans to live a happy life is comforting.

Change of Subject

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

In other news, I got a monkey (see Exhibit B). Obviously, he isn’t real. I’ve named him Pippin for now (it’s still undecided if the name will stick), and I’m working on his voice. I’m thinking lisp, but if we’re to use him for puppet shows at work, maybe I’ll give him a more endearing voice.

I might even appear with him at the poetry reading this Thursday. That’s also undecided.

Doldrums

Knowledge de luxe

“Consciousness is a disease.” –Miguel de Unamuno

Let’s blame it on my co-worker. After all, he is the one that shared the link with me. Go ahead, read it. Then you’ll wonder how much Joan Osbourne really knew.

Assuming you’ve already read the piece, I’ll carry on. A few years ago, around the time Joey passed away, I had a sick revelation – after living a nice chunk of my life accepting that I would one day not exist, my mind decided to rebel. Suddenly, I – or actually, mind – could no longer imagine a world in which I didn’t exist. It’s not like looking at the past, a time before you existed. That’s easy. But a time somewhere in the future? Those of you who believe in an immortal soul fear nothing – you will be rewarded or punished justly. But, what if you place your life in the hands of logic and science? What then? We’re giving the “Omega Point” and are expected to swallow such malarkey.

Often, in the past, I’ve said how grand it would be to revert to not question everything. So why is it then that I have a strong negative feeling toward Miguel de Unamuno’s treatise of blind faith? Forget the wisdom, let’s not learn more than we need to! (FYI, I’m only two chapters in, so I’m only guessing that the theme continues on.)

And similarly there are social parasites, as Mr. A. J. Balfour admirably observes, who, receiving from society in which they live the motives of their social conduct and for a tolerable life, society having prepared for them the spiritual nutriment by which they live. An isolated individual can endure life and live it well and even heroically without in any sort believing either in the immortality of the soul or in God, but he lives the life of a spiritual parasite. What we call the sense of honour is, even in non-Christians, a Christian product.

Not only am I a social parasite, but apparently I’m a social one, as well. But hold the phone! Does he state that honor never existed pre-Christian times? Or does he mean that Christian products predate Christ, who we consider the father of Christianity? Either way, my mind is boggled. And it boggles my mind that people like Unamuno still exist.

One of my biggest qualms about Unamuno’s arguments is his inability to accept those made by people of different faiths. Example, he calls Spinoza the Portuguese Jew. Or when a philosopher actually shares the same faith, his status as a Christian is put into question when his philosophy differs.

According to Unamuno, a Christian isn’t a Christian if said Christian believes that knowledge is key. It doesn’t matter if this Christian entwined god in his philosophy – if the end is the quest for knowledge, then he isn’t a Christian at all. He states the only knowledge that we need is the first hand knowledge – think instinctual, but not quite. I’ll attempt an example. Let’s say your stomach growls and a pang of pain hits you. You know from instinctual knowledge that you’re hungry so, therefore, you should eat something. Any food would be sufficient because you’re stomach doesn’t care. You have the choice of eating the food rotting in your refrigerator  or you can go out and eat a buffet. Unamuno would rather you eat the rotting food because your stomach only needs nutrients and anything extravagant is by no means worth it.

Of course, instinctual knowledge is important. We need to know how to survive. But to say that acquiring knowledge for the sake of knowledge is wrong, well, that’s just hogwash. Where would the medical field be if they didn’t pursue further? Or where would our technology be if we abandoned it completely to pray to an archaic deity?

The fear, of course, is if Homo sapiens begin to acquire too much knowledge, the realization that god is no longer important will finally set in. Perhaps, future generations will continue unhindered by blind faith to finally meet the ranks of beings who surpassed us eons ago.

Maybe god does exist. And maybe Harry Stottle did speak to him. But the truth point is, we shouldn’t let religion hold us back. We’re a species of potential and for far too long we’ve killed, hindered, enslaved ourselves because of our faith. I’m not saying we abandoned god(s). But I am stating it’s time we abandoned religion.

Writing & Writers

What if I told you my life is a mess

 

“She’s just two personas struggling for dominance in one body.”*

I couldn’t quote from the Bible if I wanted to. It’s just not that important to me. Life without religion is the same with it. Pointless with the exception for the purpose you make for yourself. And without what I tried to build, what purpose have I left?

She knew the quotes by heart, but never followed a single syllable of them. Born in Macabre, she dressed for Death’s gathering. Eyes like glitter and a heart of ice, the born again will rejoice in her spoken tones while decipher her body language with their erections.

*Quote from The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

 

Writing & Writers

And the god looked upon its people and spoke

Mark Ryden

With a voice lacking compassion. Benevolence is overrated. The bombers flew over the holy land. Just a child, looking up at the oblivion, damnation profession. Confessional, the pews are empty as her porcelain stained tears spilled. Rosary. Jesus Mary Child. Grown up, her words echo the silence.

Forty five minutes and seventy-nine months. People think of him like the hatter, though he’s nothing more than the white rabbit – steering into the flow with eyes sewn shut to cancel out the light. Burning red, fading hopes. Vacant. Disinfected. The father’s abortion spilled. Seed stained. Utter the words and the prayers. Count the beads upon his fingers. Each one, a sexual thrill rises through him.

Father forgive me. I’ve not sin enough. I’m the ballast, charged with solemnity. Take in the cannibalistic flesh, drink of the blood. Praise them. Happy are those who bash the little ones upon the stones.

Lips of jasmine. The light has faded. The star burning out. Expanding. Withstanding. Commanding. Stellar view. She knows that suicide is just a symptom of feeling nothing worthwhile. The funeral ballerina twirling to the waves of the dirge.

Suicide is but a symptom of its dying grace. Left shattered upon the altar of our greed.