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Free Thinking Christian: Humanities Collection

Table of Contents

Free Thinking Christian: Humanities Collection
Benjamin Huot

Title Page

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Free Thinking Christian: Humanities Collection

Ben Huot

October 14, 2009

Introduction

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by Ben Huot

1.1 Why Give Them Away?

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I am not making any profit off my books, because I am a disabled veteran and if I did, I would jeopardize my pension. Another reason is that I think too many things in life cost too much money. Where most people who want a free culture express these views by stealing music and movies, because they think they cost too much money, I have taken a proactive approach and have instead released my books for free.

The greatest things in life are free and the greatest works have no copyright. If I want my work to last, the best way to do it is to not sell my copyright and license it for free distribution. Like most good writers and revolutionary thinkers, I will likely be thought of as more important after I die. As it is, the only writers who make much off their books are people who are already famous.

1.2 Why so Negative on Science and Europe?

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When we talk about Science, it would be hard for most people to agree what they were talking about. When I refer to Science, I mean the Enlightenment philosophy that arose in the last 500 years in Europe and America. When I refer to Science, it is usually capitalized, and refers to the Scientific Worldview.

This worldview as I see it is composed of Atheism, Materialism, and Systematic Thought drawn from Rousseau, Descartes, and Maimonides (most people falsely give Thomas Aquinas credit). The big idea uniting these 3 principles is arrogance and man controlling the world.

I see Science as a discovery process and as a worldview as intertwined, because if you tell most Scientists that you think Science is valid, they jump to thinking you believe in Evolution. Contemporary movements in Science such as Superstring Theories, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, Global Warming (Global Catastrophe), Genetics, and advances in Ecology theory are taking Science beyond the 3 principles in the Scientific Worldview. The problem is that most people think in terms of 17th to 19th century Science.

I have a sister who teaches Science and I respect both what she is doing and the level of professionalism and her deep understanding of the vast knowledge base required to be a professional in Science. I think that if more people understood what Science is really about by learning from my sister and Scientists like her, we wouldn't have most of the problems in Science that we have now.

There are a number of Enlightenment philosophers I agree with or at least partially agree with. Berkeley is one of my favourite philosophers, Spinoza inspired some important aspects of my philosophy, John Locke's "Letter Concerning Toleration" was one of the most important works written and I totally agree with it accept I don't think we should limit toleration to religious beliefs, and Hume had some interesting ideas that could be useful for someone very creative. I also enjoy reading about physics and astronomy and I make heavy use of the Internet and anti-psychotics which all came out of Science.

When I am referring to the atrocities that Europe has committed, I am referring to the top leadership of the government. I am referring to the dozen or so worldwide "rich white men," who control most of what goes on in the world. And I have also been very critical of rich politically conservative Christians in my writing as well.

I had thought I had been clear about this and this was obvious from what I have written, but I have recently found out that this needed to be clarified. Unfortunately this wasn't communicated to me in the right way, before I had completed 16 of the books. I only wished intellectuals who are negative on Christianity would be willing to say that it is not the Bible they are against but the way Christians act.

It is common amongst intellectuals to group all born-again Christians together. It is common for intellectuals to blame current problems in history on what the Bible says, when if they were to actually read it, they would find that the Bible speaks against much of what they feel has been done wrong in the name of Christianity.

1.3 Purpose of Books

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It is common thinking amongst Evangelical Christians in postmodern times that the end of times is near, but it was near at the time of the New Testament. But I believe that the problems in the world have nothing to do with signalling the tribulation and the reason why we have survived this far is because of God's direct divine intervention.

Many people are trying to prepare for the world to end, but what if it lasted for thousand of years into the future, by God's grace of course? Who is planning for that? We have no idea what the end of times will be like or how to prepare, but we can guess as to how to prepare for humanity lasting thousands more years. And the answers lie in our past and in the Bible, but not in how we were taught.

Like people who were born over 50 years ago and thought they wouldn't live this long and are now in bad health but still alive or like the troops in Iraqi Freedom who have been kept alive and greatly disabled when in other wars they would have simply died, our civilization will likely last into the future in some form or another even if we come close to destroying ourselves, but we instead will be severely impaired environmentally, technologically, economically, politically, and socially.

My text books and picture books contain most of my work over the past 10 years. These include my reading of some 235 books containing the philosophical and religious thinking of the world's cultures for several thousand years and the application of the main themes of some of the major Old Testament Prophets and major works of the New Testament.

The main point of this work is to get people to stop living their lives with their minds, but instead follow their hearts. I bring a radically different combination of viewpoints that you have not heard of before. I am not asking people to follow what I have written, but rather let the words stir up some sort of emotional response in your heart.

I challenge my readers to come up with their own unique ideas and that can lead the world in a new direction. We need a much broader diversity of ideas in our culture to deal with the problems we are facing in America and throughout the rest of the world.

1.4 The Books

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...If you can control a people's economy, you don't need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant. If you control people's choices as to whether or not they will work, and where they will work, and what they will do, and how well they will do it, and what they will eat and wear, and the genetic makeup of their crops and animals, and what they will do for amusement, then why should you worry about freedom of speech? In a totalitarian economy, any "political liberties" that the people might retain would simply cease to matter.

1

Wendell Berry in "Conserving Forest Communities" in Another Turn of the Crank

The Free Thinking Christian is a new series of books self-published by myself, a previously unknown author, Ben Huot. My series of 8 books on philosophy challenge the assumptions made by Christian Churches in America and Europe. I believe that people of other major belief systems each understand an element of the Trinity better than any Christian church of the Western world.

All 8 Free Thinking Christian books should be read in order. The order is as follows: Philosophy Core, Philosophy Electives, North and South, Justice and Hope, Total Person and Society, Unexpected, and Faith and Creativity in Education. The first 4 focus on the Humanities and the last 4 on the Social Sciences. These books are arranged more as a large poem or song with refrains or choruses where the same themes are repeated in each book.

The Free Thinking Christian: Humanities Collection, as well as Free Thinking Christian: Social Sciences Collection are all based on Biblical theology which I see as composed of a number of paradoxes. The series is about humility and compassion and kindness and seriousness. Philosophy Core is an introduction to my methods, Philosophy Electives consists of applications of my theories, North and South contrasts the atheist Northern Hemisphere with the very religious Southern Hemisphere, Beyond Philosophy finds that the farthest disciplines from the Scientific worldview are poetry and art, Justice and Hope is about class justice and hope for everlasting life, while Total Person and Society is about reason and emotions and the spirit and the will. Unexpected is about the unexpected good things about America. Faith and Creativity in Education is about what is wrong with education in America.

1.5 Background Information

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These books are composed of both poetry and essay and are a collection of different works loosely connected by the same themes much like the Bible, Kierkegaard's writings, and many great works of Eastern Philosophy.

In my writings and in my thinking, I don't see a separation between my personal experiences, my mental illness, my philosophy, the type of Christianity I practice, the politics I believe in, and the condition of the world.

These collections are based on almost 10 years of my readings of 235 texts, 80 percent classics or primary texts in philosophy, religion, and literature, more Asian than European and some African. I am the only one I know of that has combined Philosophical Taoism and Christian Existentialism. All 8 texts together include original poems by myself and about 800 pages of original text. These 8 books combined are called the Free Thinking Christian Series.

I am a born again Christian Existentialist as well as a Neoconfucian and a Philosophical Taoist and see no contradiction in that. I also have Paranoid Schizophrenia and have served in the Army - I am now a disabled veteran.

This book is a combination of poetry and articles concerning my philosophy. The style is inspired from the Bible and Kierkegaard. My content is inspired by Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Acts, Romans, and 1 Corinthians as well as Chuang Tzu, Chu Hsi, Kierkegaard, and Camus.

It is primarily theologically focused on the Trinity. I believe that there is a tremendous misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit, God the Father, and Jesus Christ in the western Christian tradition.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is better understood by Hindus (bhakti path), Zen Buddhists, and Philosophical Taoists than any Christian church in America or Europe. I believe that Muslims understand God the Father better than any Christian church in America or Europe. I believe that African Christians understand Jesus Christ better than any Christian church in America or Europe.

Philosophy Core

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by Ben Huot

2.1 First Things

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2.1.1 Logo

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I should explain what the logo is meant to be representing. The guy is a pen, which is me, which comes from my first poem in Philosophy Core, called Creative Process, where I refer to myself as doing Tai Chi, with my pen being my body. The idea is based on "the pen is mightier than the sword" so I created "the Bible is mightier than the pen".

The Bible is shooting out flames because in Ephesians it talks about spiritual warfare and the Bible is the only armament that is offensive. (It means offensive instead of defensive. These are common terms used in combat. The sword is the only spiritual weapon. All the other armaments expressed in Ephesians are protective and defensive in nature like a shield, a helmet, a breastplate, etc.) The flames are meant as in James when it talks about being purified by fire or struggles with temptation in our lives. Isaiah also was purified by a live coal to his lips by a Seraphim. So the usage of fire is not evil or anything violent. Think of it as purifying.

I would ideally like it to show the sword turned inward to his chest, symbolizing like in many fantasy books that when they defeat the great evil force in the world, they are left with the greatest task, which is to defeat the evil within. The Bible is said to be a 2 sided sword, with the ability to cut between bone and marrow, and show the truth. Christ's tongue is said to be a 2 edged sword in Revelations, to defeat the Devil with. The reason I didn't show this is it looks like he is committing suicide.

The spiritual warfare is not against people, ideas, or even spirits. It is about fighting for the purity of our own minds. It is an internal thing. Like the Native American proverb "my greatest enemy is myself." This purity is in regard to our own sins and does not refer to purity in any other sense. But this is a process, not an outcome, as it is not possible for us to live without sin.

This warfare is only spiritual in the sense that it is not militant, social, economic, or political. This is for my own moral and ethical development and consists of practical qualities I try, with Christ's help, to cultivate like humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness and do not correspond to anything supernatural.

2.1.2 Other Books

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My text books and picture books contain most of my work over the past 10 years. These include my reading of some 235 books containing the philosophical and religious thinking of the world's cultures for several thousand years and the application of the main themes of some of the major Old Testament Prophets and major works of the New Testament.

The main point of this work is to get people to stopping living their lives with their minds, but instead follow their hearts. I bring a radically different combination of viewpoints that you have not heard of before. I am not asking people to follow what I have written, but rather let the words stir up some sort of emotional response in your heart.

I challenge my readers to come up with their own unique ideas and that can lead the world in a new direction. We need a much broader diversity of ideas in our culture to deal with the problems we are facing in America and throughout the rest of the world.

2.1.3 For More Information

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For more books and information, visit me on the web at http://benjamin-newton.com/

Feel free to send me e-mail regarding the books and website at mailto:ben@benjamin-newton.com I even enjoy constructive criticism

2.1.4 Cover Graphic

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2.1.5 License

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This entire PDF is licensed together under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License as a whole, and nothing is to be separated, added on to, or modified in any manner.

Clarification on what no derivatives means:

No changes may be made in any way including but not limited to:

the material content and design must be copied as a whole (everything contained in this pdf file)

1. with nothing added

2. without anything taken away

must be kept in its original form with no additions or subtractions to

1. file formats

2. HTML and CSS code

3. PDF files

4. graphics and movies

5. sounds, music, and spoken word

6. interactivity and flash

7. file and directory structure

8. filenames and directory names

9. links

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11. DRM and ads

2.1.6 Dedication

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Special thanks to my dad, mom, and sister: Leo, Melissa, and Rebecca Huot; as well as my Uncle Clive and Uncle Jeff for inspiring much of the ideas behind my writing and artwork. Countless conversations between my family and myself as well as many acquaintances, from 1998-2006, helped me explain my philosophy and contributed to its understandability. These conversations were as important as the books I read. And most importantly, every good idea I have had has its root in the Bible, so thank God if you are ministered to by my work.

2.2 Preface

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2.2.1 Recommended Texts to Understand Writing Style

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1. "Doctrine of the Mean" by Confucius

2. "The Great Learning" by Confucius

3. Chuang Tzu

4. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard

5. Repetition by Soren Kierkegaard

6. "The Seducer's Diary" from Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard

2.2.2 Philosophical Positions Necessary for Understanding Plush Heart

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Hermeneutic Method of Interpretation

1. I use primary sources to derive theology or philosophy for a particular belief system

2. I focus on what I see as the pure or original interpretation of the philosophy or theology

3. I do not research current or past deviations of each major belief system

Practice and Bible Derived Reasoning

1. My method of ethical reasoning is derived from practical considerations.

2. My method of theological reasoning comes from Biblical considerations.

3. My method brings these perspectives to their logical conclusions.

4. My theory is based on what the Bible says about theology and what helps influence a person do the right thing.

5. I back track the way people should act according to the Bible and what the Bible says about God into a theory that is most consistent with these outcomes.

1. My theology, Towards a Philosophy of the Bible, mirrors what the Bible says about God and a solution to suffering that best answers this problem.

2. My ethics, Still Theory, are based on a combination of the philosophies most consistent with the Bible and having the least major ethical dilemmas and answers postmodern questions about suffering and uncertainty.

3. My psychology, Liberation Psychology/Theology, enables the person to be their own advocate and focuses on religion as a secondary approach to solving lingering problems with Schizophrenia, as the most effective practice is to take the medication.

4. My aesthetics, Bible Model Aesthetics, works to solve practical issues like accessibility, morality, and quality from a Biblical perspective.

5. My sociology/biology, Community through the Humanities, focuses on finding harmony with the groups of people we come into contact with in real world situations and applying ethics from Still Theory.

6. My theory of education, Learning of the Heart, is based on the realities of life and how people can know what is right and wrong.

Contrasting Theories of Education

1. The establishment assumes that public education through high school prepares a person for the world

2. The establishment assumes that everyone should be educated in the same manner

3. The establishment assumes that they know best what the public needs to learn

4. The establishment assumes that what they believe is right and wrong should be imposed on everyone else

5. The establishment assumes that public education improves people's social status and morality

6. The establishment assumes that with slight modifications, they will get radically different societies

I believe that being prepared for the world is a combination of different things, which the public school system fails at all of them, including:

1. understand how the establishment works, how to use it to improve one's life, and avoid it changing the individual or placing more limits than normal on the individual

2. develop critical thinking skills and determine what is right and wrong by conscience

3. develop a useful skill for financial support and independence

4. I believe that different people should be taught different things

5. I believe that people know what is right and wrong at birth

6. I believe that the world's idea of right and wrong is contrary to God's

7. I believe that people's social status is determined by who they know and what status their parents have and their morality is determined by personal choice

8. I believe that in order to radically change society, we must make major changes

Unified Social Theory of Natural Science

1. All creatures that feel pain should be kept from any unnecessary suffering

2. The difference between humans and animals is a matter of degree

3. Human beings are not defined by any distinct characteristics in the Bible

4. The distinguishing factor between people and animals is a social construct

5. People have social and physical power over animals and are responsible for their well being

6. Flora should be treated with respect to their well being as well as fauna

7. Water and cells should be carefully looked after as they are the building blocks of life

8. The earth should be treated with the same respect as other life forms

9. Preservation of life does not mean no harm is done

10. Although animals and people may be perceived as the same, the human has a responsibility to look after the animal

11. Not subjecting sentient beings to physical pain is just the beginning of a social ethic

12. Humans should use their resources to actively advocate for the well being of all sentient beings

2.2.3 Definitions

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What Philosophy is and How is it Useful

Philosophy is about questioning. Philosophy is the most general and abstract way to study things and life. Philosophical arguments are theories. It is very similar to debate. That is why philosophy is considered a good undergraduate major for prospective law students. The definition of philosophy can vary widely and is often the basis of that particular philosophy. Science is probably the most well known theory as to how the world works.

Different philosophies can be useful in different ways. The major eastern philosophies as well as Existentialism, in general, can be most directly applied to education, ethics, psychology, medicine (just eastern philosophy), ecology, literature, art, and humor. I also apply them to religion since my religion, Christianity, especially the book it was derived from, the Bible, forms the basis of my assumptions and philosophical positions. Mainstream western philosophy can mostly be applied to mathematics, the natural (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) and social sciences (economics, anthropology, sociology, political science), and the legal system (debate).

What is Faith?

It follows therefore that the difference between fiction and belief lies in some sentiment or feeling...and which depends not on the will, nor can be commanded at pleasure...belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to obtain.

2

David Hume in "Skeptical Solution of Doubts" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

It is true that someone can believe in something whether it is real or not and for a variety of reasons. I believe that fire hurts because of personal experience. This may not be true in all circumstances even if I believe it. But faith in God is different for the following reasons :

Faith in God is an act of the will: faith in God is a choice a person makes.

I will be blessing the Lord at all times; his praise will be ever in my mouth. My soul will say great things of the Lord: the poor in spirit will have knowledge of it and be glad. O give praise to the Lord with me; let us be witnesses together of his great name. I was searching for the Lord, and he gave ear to my voice, and made me free from all my fears. Let your eyes be turned to him and you will have light, and your faces will not be shamed. This poor man's cry came before the Lord, and he gave him salvation from all his troubles. The angel of the Lord is ever watching over those who have fear of him, to keep them safe. By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man who has faith in him.

3

Psalm 34:1-8

Faith in God is real because we can trust God's word as He never lies.

As for God, his way is completely good; the word of the Lord is tested; he is a breastplate for all those who put their faith in him.

4

Psalm 18:30

The truth does not change because you believe something. Just believing in something is of no use, if it is not real. I believe that Jesus Christ is really God, but you must decide for yourself. I do not believe that any person can convert someone else to faith in Christ, but rather God calls people to himself. Let my book series and websites, which are my story, inspire you to start your own journey and discover the truth for yourself.

2.2.4 Description

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These books are a series on philosophy. I am teaching paradox via Philosophical Taoism as the key to understanding Christian theology. I am using a creative, soft sell, and academic approach to evangelism.

I would have to say my meaning is a balance between 2 directions 1) teach people to think for themselves and 2) give people an understanding of what the Bible says and what it doesn't say. My intent is not that they get just any idea out of my work but they get an idea which will require them to evaluate themselves and their beliefs. I naturally believe that this will lead people to salvation, whatever they call themselves or what group or groups they identify with.

The 2 main things I am against are Earth Religions (the Occult) and the mainstream. I consider Astrology/horoscope, tarot cards, sayonces, weegee boards, magick, Wicca, Satanism, Paganism, Voodoo, Shamanism/Animism, Native American and most other Indigenous/Folk religions worldwide, Tantric/Tibetan Buddhism, Religious/Esoteric Taoism, Shintoism, I Ching, ancestor worship, modern definitions of metaphysics (not the branch of philosophy) and mysticism (as defined as mystical experiences), Theosophy and the like to be Occult. I consider the Scientific World-view as mainstream where people look to science to solve all of their problems and believe that it is the one way to find truth. Examples include Evolution and the Social Sciences (Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology). I see the mainstream as being primarily motivated by money and is anti-Environmental and anti-Labor. I am pro-Environment (especially as it concerns animal rights) and pro-Labor (especially when it comes to blue collar work). The difference between the two is that I will read mainstream texts, but I will not under any circumstances read Earth Religion texts.

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

5

Mark 12:29b-30

Striving to be both kind in my methods and serious in my beliefs at the same time.

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth...

6

2 Timothy 2:24-25

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

7

James 3:13-18

2.2.5 My Creative Process

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My pen is not my sword

The Bible is

My pen is my body

I move in slow smooth motions

Every motion is an arc

Each joining and turning

At every meeting point

I place my feet carefully

As in learning a new dance

I feel the warmth flow

From my kidneys

But I am still cool

And goose bumps raise

Off my skin

I stop to think in the middle

I sit down in a lotus position

I open the book

That I am currently absorbing

And leave it in mid sentence

As understanding comes

I make another connection

Another piece of the puzzle

Falls into place

My methods is deliberate

My routine is spontaneous

Where will I go today?

I have some ideas

Where will I go tomorrow?

I have no idea

No other plans than the immediate

I rush to finish it

The project is everything

If there is no record

Then I only benefit

I must provide stepping stones

For others following

I think there is only one person behind me

But he is panting like a hot dog

Who smells a hot dog

And does not want to wait

It must just be my shadow

2.2.6 Intended Audience

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And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

8

Mark 2:15-17

Believe it or not, although my book series and websites are a ministry, they are not intended for people who are saved or born again. If you already go to a Bible believing church, than this book series and my websites are not intended for you either. This book series and my websites do not attempt to evangelize, at least not in any direct or obvious way. If you believe that you are being called by God and your only obstacle to faith is your pride, then my book series and websites are not intended for you either. Also, if you expect me to give a really in your face salvation message and try to get you to say a prayer with me afterwards, then you should look elsewhere. If you expect me to support other people who claim to be Christian and are famous, you will be disappointed too.

My main target geo-politically is in countries where they have freedom of religion guaranteed by law (at least theoretically) and relatively low overt persecution of Christians. If you are being persecuted for your faith overtly, then I don't see the need for apologetics. Please do not put yourself, your family, your friends, fellow believers, or your community at risk by distributing any material I produce illegally.

My audience is for people in post-Christian societies who don't identify with the mainstream and don't fit into any established Christian ministries. I am not trying to reach millions of people but rather a handful of people. If I help even one person with this book series and my websites, then I would be very pleased and count this work a great success. I believe that God cares about each person individually and wants believers to present Christianity to seekers in different ways depending on their background and personality. I believe that there is only a couple steps that all must do to be saved but most of the journey towards God and in pursuit of His will is different for different people.

The target market for my ministries are people who would never consider going to a physical church. If you have pets, farm animals, or wild animals you would like to be a part of this ministry, I welcome them. My stuffed toy cows are believers too.

To be honest, I do believe in a literal Heaven and Hell and believe in all the miraculous in the Bible. I don't want anyone to go to Hell as I do not believe God intended for any to suffer in it. What I do disagree with the mainstream Evangelicals is that their are many things keeping people from a correct understanding of what the Bible says. I believe that even most people who are born again don't even have the most basic concepts in Christian ethics and theology right. Almost everyone who claims to follow what the Bible says does not even have the faintest idea about what it says.

My proposed solution for these misunderstandings is not to read the Bible more or to follow a plan I have laid out or to endorse a particular sect of Christianity. My method is to teach Biblical theology by way of paradox - a method most often used in teaching Zen Buddhism, although the concepts are all from the Bible and I can show you the verses to back it up. After you can start to think without relying on the Scientific World-view and are willing to believe with faith when you can't reason something out, then you are almost there.

2.3 Motives

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And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

9

Jeremiah 29:13

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

10

Matthew 7:7-8

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

11

Revelations 3:20

2.3.1 Objective

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I want people to think for themselves. Many people believe they are thinking for themselves because they make choices. But if you don't examine what the roots of your beliefs are, then you may be subconsciously influenced by what others have told you.

While you may want to model your beliefs after someone you respect, and if you are aware of this and the consequences, then that is great. But many people have never thought what drove them to believe as they do. If you are of this latter group, then I would like to introduce you to the study of philosophy.

In my book series and on my websites, I have simplified the concepts and presented them in more interesting ways then as they are written in many books. It does not require you to be intelligent to understand this, but rather to think in a different way. In fact, education can actually stand in the way of your understanding. My websites are not designed in a linear step by step how to book or in a systematic philosophy, but rather through poetry and art as it applies to religion, psychology, and sociology.

To sum it up, I believe that the unexamined life is not worth living and that philosophy can be very practical. Most importantly, please do not try to follow what I say, but rather learn from it, and develop your own ideas based on what the Bible says, hopefully. But whatever you choose to pattern your ideas after, please don't just swallow my ideas whole - let them serve as inspiration, not as a model.

2.3.2 Historical Context

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Although you could argue that this was all done by the government, and not the Church, the two were intertwined until the last hundred years. This is why it is so important to have freedom of religion by the government and why a Christian nation is not a good idea even if you consider yourself Christian. This provides the historical context for my book series and websites and the soft sell approach. Another reason for the soft sell is that a person only is saved by grace when they repent and believe of their own free will. Pressuring someone into believing does no good because their faith is in-genuine and is of no eternal value.

Some powerful people who have called themselves Christians throughout the centuries have done some terrible things in the name of Christianity. Many people were killed for not believing. Sometimes the persecutors went further into the wrong like torturing people into becoming the kind of Christians the people in power wanted them to be like with the Papal Inquisition. Sometimes they did lesser but still wrong things like destroying private property.

I could also recount similar injustices done in the name of Islam, Buddhism, or many other belief systems. But the issue I am trying to get at is that the popular opinion is that Christians have done just as wrong a things as people of other belief systems. So people often ask what is so much better about being a Christian if you do not act any differently than non-believers?

This is why I describe in my book series and websites what defines being a Christian, what the Bible really says, and what role sin plays in a believers life. Ultimately, you must decide for yourself. I believe that the Bible will stand up to the critique. Will your beliefs hold up too?

1. 341 AD the Roman Emperor Constans gave the order that whoever still worshiped pagan gods be put to death after Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 323 AD

2. 375 AD Roman Emperor Gratian confiscated the property of Pagans under the direction of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

3. 415 AD Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria convinced his monks to kill the Philosopher Hypathia of Alexandria for not being Christian and being popular

4. 416 AD Roman Emperor (East) passed a law requiring government officials to be Christian

5. 1230 AD Papal Inquisition conducted secret trials of those suspected of being heretical to Christianity without being told of the charges or being able to confront the accuser. Sentences could not be appealed and families were forced to inform on each other. Penalties were wide ranging from wearing a yellow cross for life, seizing property, banishment, public recantation, or many years in prison to being burned at the stake.

6. 1252 AD Pope Innocent IV issued the order (papal bull Ad exstirpanda) allowing torture to get confessions in the inquisitions

7. 1572 AD St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre was when the French king ordered all Protestants in France to be killed.

8. by the 18th Century AD non-Christians in Europe at the most were barred from higher education, or from participation in the national legislature

There has also been a considerable amount of persecution of Jewish people throughout the centuries by some powerful people calling themselves Christians, although there were many other causes as well, like racism. This is so complex and involves many other issues that I wouldn't be able to use it appropriately on this site.

2.3.3 Artificial Barriers

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1. cultural barriers

2. political barriers

3. intellectual barriers

4. barriers based on misconceptions about Christianity

5. barriers based on bad examples or bad experiences

6. barriers based on misunderstanding theology and the Bible

7. confusion over Church divisions

8. confusion over what is orthodox

9. confusion over the exclusiveness of Christianity

2.3.4 Ministry Beliefs

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1. will lead a person to faith in Christ

2. means being a free thinker

1. challenges us to not conform to mainstream culture

2. challenges us to work for good despite the system

3. challenges us to follow the laws

4. will stand up to any argument

5. will pass any kind of test of value

6. will challenge the most cultivated intellects

1. not just doing the opposite of unbelievers

2. rather about finding the truth

2.3.5 Why Study other Beliefs?

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Why I Study other Philosophies?

The passage from 1 Corinthians is a summation of the ideas of the first 1/3 of the letter and calls us to believe not by reason or miracle, but to place our belief in God on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that we put our faith in what the Bible says, instead of putting our faith in what Science tells us or what the supernatural tell us. This Greek wisdom which the Bible talks about is mainstream Western Philosophy, which most people now study as Science. The philosophy which is most inline with the foolishness of God is Philosophical Taoism.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

12

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Why I Study other Revealed Religions?

The passage from Acts tells about Paul's visit to Athens. Paul was an intellectual and was willing to talk to people on their own terms and speak to their individual situation. He explained the Gospel in their own vocabulary and found an entrance into their own beliefs to tell them about Jesus Christ. Paul was an intellectual who knew about the belief systems of his time and that is one of the main reasons why God called him to be a missionary. How can you preach the gospel to someone if you have no idea where they are coming from?

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

13

Acts 17:16-31

Why I do not Study Earth Religions?

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

14

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

2.3.6 The Significance of Paradox

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Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

15

Mark 10:15

The point of this article is specifically for Evangelical Christians, so if you are not, then this is not really intended for you, but your mileage may vary. The point is that I believe what the Bible says, although it is different than what most other Christians believe, whether they believe in the miracles of the Bible or not. This article is not meant to change someone's mind about their beliefs, but to examine them and understand why I have a different view.

I find Philosophical Taoism important to understanding the Bible. First of all, a person might say if they are Evangelical that they are just Christian and don't follow a philosophy, so I would have to ask them what their beliefs are and compare them to the Bible. For instance, if a person is Evangelical then they probably believe that Jesus is both God and man and that is biblical, and that is a paradox. But it is not understood very well that many of the other major doctrines of the Bible are paradoxes too.

The Bible teaches both faith alone and faith plus good works for salvation and that both free will and predestination are both true. And I can easily find verses for both sides of these major divisions in the church. When I say both are true many will respond that they can't comprehend that so they just believe in one, but here comes the proof they don't believe in the Bible by faith alone - if they did, then they would believe in the paradox as the Bible states and not try to reason it out.

The question then comes, why do they reason it out? This is because they have beliefs that have nothing to do with the Bible that shape their beliefs about the Bible. The key to getting these out of their mind is to unlearn the ways they that have been commonly taught to think in school. Does the reader remember being told they couldn't divide by zero or that they had to have only one answer to a math problem? Does the reader remember if the teacher made you choose true or false based on whether a statement was a fact or an opinion? These are paradoxes.

What is a paradox? the reader must be asking by now. A paradox is a set of two statements that seem to be contradictory, but on further examination one realizes that these are not contradictory, but rather give a fuller understanding of the issue. How then can Jesus be both man and God, or how can a person both have free will and still be predestined to believe?

So where did I come up with all of this? The reader can read just from the Bible to understand my point of view. I would recommend 1 Corinthians for the first third as it talks about the foolishness of God. This passage is easiest to discern in the first chapter, verses 22-24. I interpret the Greek wisdom as the ideas that came out of the Enlightenment, or the Scientific World-view that is assumed in much of the curriculum that was taught to me in the public school system. I believe that there is a certain viewpoint that is taught in the schools that is very narrow in scope and controlled by a small group of people mainly through funding through lobbyists and direct contributions to the schools (the latter predominantly to colleges, both public and private).

If the reader wants to hear a more thorough explanation of these concepts, I invite them to read my book series and websites or Chuang Tzu. There won't be any set answers as I don't present things in a systematic way, and they must think and put together the ideas themselves to get the meaning of the texts. The reader may choose to either forget it or to act on it. Hopefully the reader will be compelled to act on it and this will require courage and require them to take risks, regardless of what ideas they get out of it. But they will then be able to find the truth and be able to decide whether or not they believe what you have been told by their school system. Then the reader can decide if they want to be a Christian and follow what the Bible says or accept what the rest of society has accepted as true.

2.3.7 My Biblical Beliefs

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When he is seen within us and without, he sets right all doubts and dispels the pain of wrong actions committed in the past.

16(the concept of forgiveness explained in the Hindu scriptures, referred to as the truth of the true Self)

Mundaka Upanishad

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

17

1 John 1:8-9

How to become a Christian

So we are said to be what our desire is. As our desire is, so is our will. As our will is, so are our acts. As we act, so we become

18(the concept of sin explained in the Hindu scriptures, known there as karma, but it sounds a lot like sin, doesn't it? )

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death

19

James 1:15

To become Christian, you must understand the concept of sin and who Jesus is. I recommend reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. Also read one of the four orthodox gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). Stay away from Gnostic bible books like the Gospel of Thomas. Also read Hebrews and Romans. Finally, read Genesis and Isaiah. When you understand the problem of sin and who Jesus is, then all you need to do is confess your sins to Jesus out loud and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

20

1 John 1:8-9

Synopsis

I believe in a God that is perfectly good in every aspect and every thought and action, and unlimited in power beyond any life form's imagination. I believe we as humans are infinitely below God and the sum of all of our good actions throughout all history doesn't even reach zero. I believe that anything good or anything that has parts good in it, all that is good is from God's direct supernatural intervention. I believe that God breaks physical laws all the time and that anyone coming to God is a result of God's choice and through God's strength. I believe that although we must make a choice to the right thing and submit to God's will, our effort will amount to nothing and we totally rely on God's power and divine intervention to do anything positive. This is what I mean by humility on the part of man - a proper realization of our significance and role in life.

Overview

1. I believe in Evangelical theology but in Liberal ethics

2. I believe that we should be holy yet be kind to all life

3. I believe that there is only one Church but no denomination is completely right

4. I believe that parts of the Bible are meant to be taken literally as well as others are to be taken symbolically and that the Biblical context is the determining factor

Basics

1. I believe in one God

2. I believe the Jesus was fully man and eternally is God

3. I believe that we are saved by faith alone, yet only through works and sacraments will we know we are saved

4. I believe that we are both predestined for salvation and yet still have a free will

5. I believe that the tribulation has happened 1900 years ago and will also happen in the future at the same 5 dimensional coordinates

6. I believe that we sin after being saved yet we tend towards the good

Specifics

1. I believe that we are responsible for the animals and yet we should treat them equally

2. I believe that we should follow the laws but subvert the lifestyle of the world

3. I believe that only a remnant will be faithful to God and yet the majority of people will be saved.

4. I believe that the Bible explains in great detail what Heaven is like and yet we will never understand until we get there

5. I believe a child can understand the Bible and be saved yet the brightest theologians in the world will never get beyond even the basics of the Bible

So am I Protestant or Catholic Liberal or Evangelical?

I believe that Evangelicals and Catholics are very similar as far as I can see on the main theology. From what I can see Catholics and Liberal Protestants seem to have different aspects of the ethics of Christianity right. Membership wise I am an Evangelical Quaker and I they are closest to what I believe the Bible says both technically and in spirit, both theologically and ethically. I call what I believe Wholeness or Non-dual Christianity as I believe in both sides of most divisions of the church. I believe that most divisions of the Church were primarily politically motivated and came out of a view of the world that was shaped by the philosophy of Aristotle and Plato. The Church has continued to move in the direction of "I can believe whatever I want and call myself Christian" attitude. I believe that any kind of leadership over other people is against the concept of equality exemplified by Christ and I have a hard time seeing how the Church leadership is that different amongst rival factions of churches. It hurts me terribly to see people call themselves Christian who start wars with other countries for oil money, who torture and imprison those who don't agree with them, torture animals for cosmetic products and destroy the very little left of God's creation to build fancy homes. I think most people will be very surprised to find out who is in Heaven and who is not when we finally get there. People who are in power are not there because God thought that was ok and just because you hear famous people saying that God says something or they are Christian doesn't make it true.

2.4 Essentials

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...though perhaps longer time, greater accuracy, and more ardent application may bring these sciences still nearer their perfection.

21

David Hume in "Species of Philosophy" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Once the soul gets used to something, it becomes part of its make-up and nature, because the soul is able to take on many colourings. If through gradual training it has become used to hunger, (hunger) becomes a natural habit of the soul.

22

Ibn Khaldun in "Human Civilization in General" in The Muqaddimah

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

23

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

2.4.1 What's Inside

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Overview

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

24

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

I should start out by saying that I see life in terms of possibilities, not in terms of actuality. This has led me to focus on minimizing risks to my person and family as well as maximize my potential achievements. In some ways this is very liberating and gives me great confidence, but in other ways it holds me back and causes me tremendous stress. I have been blessed with amazing abilities as well as limited by great weaknesses. On my websites and in my book series, you will see evidence of both.

To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

25

1 Corinthians 9:22

This is the story of my adult life so far, beginning with my experiences as an enlisted soldier, my diagnosis of chronic allergic pink eye and sensitivity developed to cleaning and other harsh chemicals, my experiences in a public university, my paranoid episode and my voluntary stay in the locked psychiatric ward of a private hospital, my diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia, my experiences living with other mentally ill consumers in a group home, my experiences with in home care services, my experiences living in a retirement home in my late twenties, and my experiences with the Veterans Administration medical and psychiatric system. What ties these all together is my attempt to find an answer to suffering, to find a way to be Christian in a postmodern society, and to live a life of faith when I hear God tell me strange things.

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

26

1 Kings 19:4

My life did not unfold neatly according to my plans for myself or because of my connections. I have had to work very hard for the little that I have. Sure there are many who have suffered worse than I have, but, nonetheless, I have had some very painful life experiences that many will never have to go through and I am glad they don't have to. I would not want to relive between the years of 1996-2006 again for anything and if I had them over again I would have attempted a very different path. There are still many times when I wish I would not have to live any more. If life just goes your way and everything just neatly falls into place for you, then this is not the book series and collection of websites for you. If however, like me, life is a constant struggle, then you might find my work to be done by a like soul.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

27

Isaiah 9:6

I am now embracing the God revealed in scripture: a God that is holy and awesome, a God that is an infinite mystery, and a personal God who wants a relationship with us. The personal nature of God makes me frustrated with the amount of suffering in the world, the holy and awesome nature of God compels me to both hold God responsible and at the same time the Church (myself included) and strive to by myself put a dent in the suffering of the world, while the infinite mystery that is another aspect of God resolves me to conclude that the reason for suffering is a mystery. I now hold all 5 views simultaneously.

Synopsis

If the mind is not preserved, your entire person will be without a master.

28

Chu Hsi 12.1a:7/199:7

In learning, you must first understand the big. When you've understood the big, you'll naturally thoroughly grasp the small within. People nowadays, however, without understanding the big, merely seek out the tiny details within.

29

Chu Hsi 8.2b:5/131:3

This book series and my websites are my portfolio with a message. I have unique, eccentric, and cutting edge world views in philosophy and poetry (Opinion), photography and graphic design (Galleries), and computing fundamentals (Technology). In this book series and my websites, you will see how the problems of suffering, uncertainty, free choice, and limits in religion, psychology, and sociology apply to workaholics with disabilities that require rest (like myself).

My site makes the most sense within the context that it was created for, why it was created and what methods I chose to achieve it.

Why this book series and these websites?

...When you know something but don't act on it, your knowledge of it is still superficial. After you have personally experienced it, your knowledge of it will be much clearer and its significance will be different from what it used to be.

30

Chu Hsi 9.1a:6/148:5

...practicing inner mental attentiveness refers to the way of controlling and restraining oneself; probing principle refers to the way of investigating the ultimate. These two things simply hinder each other. But when we get good at them, naturally they no longer get in each other's way.

31

Chu Hsi 9.3a:7/150:12

My book series and my websites were originally created to share my ideas and creative works with my uncle. He lived overseas and it was the easiest way to keep in touch with him and my messages were too big for email. I was just out of the military and was struggling with mental illness at the time (although I didn't know that then). I was studying Chinese philosophy in school from the literature perspective and was very obsessed with the problem of suffering. Physical pain was very real to me because I was suffering from chronic allergic pink eye that would never go away from what I could gather from the doctors. I wanted to be Christian still as I was from early childhood, but I didn't want to be a spoiled brat like the kids I went to school and church with. So I started writing poetry and that is what the book series and websites started out with.

The poetry is the first and most vital component of the websites and my books series and must be understood if you want to get what I am trying to say. I chose early on to try to be creative and personal in my approach to the problem of suffering. I knew what I wanted to say before I learned what terms to use for things and how to communicate what I felt. As I studied philosophy, I found the framework to hang my ideas on and found that I was not alone with odd ideas, but in fact found that most of the world throughout most of history had more in common with my way of thinking than what is currently in textbooks and on the news. When I found out that I had Schizophrenia, I questioned what I was thinking and if my odd ideas got me into this place, but I found I could not accept the way I was told things were. But I did learn that I should work hard to control my mind and the way I approached this was to study from the rationalist (or social) philosophers in addition to the mystics.

Methods

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

32

James 2:23

Students must establish their wills. That people nowadays are aimless is simply because they've never taken learning seriously. In dealing with things, they're reckless simply because their wills aren't firmly established.

33

Chu Hsi 8.5b:9/134:3

My theory of art being used for teaching biblical principles is that art is not usually good at presenting buzzword compliant theology that conforms to mainstream Christian traditions. I believe that nature is the art of God and any portrayal of a love of nature is naturally and necessarily directly related to having the humility necessary for saving faith. Most of the Bible is not about getting set up for eternity but what to do while we live on Earth. I do believe that this is the most critical message of the Bible, but a theology that sees Earth only as a chance to get saved is going to be a bad witness to those who do not believe. If the Sanctity of Life movement is to be seen as relevant to postmodern times, it must be extended to respect for all life and all resources. This is not to say that I won't present the Gospel message if my art or writing leads to that point, but rather that I am "witnessing" to people that would never enter a church even if saved. I have a much higher opinion of unbelievers than most Christians do in that I think that there are other reasons besides unwillingness to obey God's laws that convince people to not repent of their sins and except Christ as their savior. But you will always find biblically motivated art here that conforms to one or more of the main themes of the Bible. I do hold what the Bible says to be something to rely on as a completely accurate representation of the topics it covers and I do not have anywhere near the confidence in scientific results or any other source as I do in truth and facts contained in the Bible.

My point in creating a philosophy, a culture, and a theology is not to get everyone to think the way I do, but to question the accepted world views of the postmodern age. I want to teach people to think. Much as a teacher doesn't just give you the answer, but merely gives you the tools to find the answers for yourself, so is my intent.

Although my philosophy is not presented in a classical Western sense, all the materials in this book series and my websites have a philosophically sound and consistent basis. Most importantly, I am trying to teach people to think differently and more broadly. My organization is what is often referred to as random, but really it is organized, just not in a simple linear design.

I have attempted to merge Christianity with Chinese philosophy, but not in a philosophical treatise. Instead, I have focused on poetry, practical applications, and multimedia in order to make philosophy more understandable to the average person. I have also avoided uncommon vocabulary and technical jargon whenever possible.

Another reason for not presenting these philosophical concepts in the same format as major philosophers of the West is that I want people to make the connections for themselves and thereby learn how to formulate their own ideas. I don't want people to just parrot my ideas back to me, because creativity is one of the many things that we need more of in society. I am interested in people being consistent and searching for truth and I believe that they will find the right path if they are intellectually honest.

I also believe that being Christian is not just being the opposite of unbelievers, but doing what is right and sticking to the truth. I believe there is much we can learn from other philosophies and revealed religions. I believe that learning about others' beliefs can help provide a fresh perspective on the Bible that is desperately needed as atheism has been rampant in the Church because of its reliance on the Western Philosophy of the Enlightenment. I just avoid two things: hate speech and earth religions.

I also have a Far Side meets Abbott and Costello sense of humor, so if you see something that sounds like it is nuts, it is likely it is meant to be humorous.

Technical Explanation

Someone asked: Do dry and withered things have principle or not? Chu said. As soon as there exists a thing, there exists principle. Heaven has never produced a writing brush; man makes brushes with rabbit's hair. But as soon as their exists a brush, there exists principle

34

Chu Hsi 4.6a:12/61:12

My philosophy is primarily concerned with Epistemology and Ethics.

My theology is Existential and Evangelical Christian, my philosophical methods are Neo-Confucian and Philosophical Taoist, and my politics are Ecofeminist.

First and foremost I am a Christian Mystic (Existentialist) in that I believe what the Bible says by faith, but I believe that much of what God asks of us has a Rational basis which we can understand. I believe in Idealism (Philosophical Taoist) - that Spirit is the most important component of reality and that the material world is part of our mind. I am very Skeptical of anyone who says they know something for sure that is not in the Bible, especially social scientists. I also try to balance myself with facts and Empirical evidence (Neo-Confucianism) in interacting with society.

I believe that The Holy Spirit exists everywhere (qi) and that it is directed by God the father (li). This li or principle is an intelligent ethical force in the universe and can be comprehended rationally and is there to help sentient beings live happy lives (Virtue Ethics).

2.4.2 Son of Strength

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We are not as strong as we think we are.

35

Rich Mullins

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

36

Romans 7:15

I have developed the idea of raising the bar, once I reach the level that was once my goal, for a higher goal and then on and on until I die. I think I reached rock bottom recently. I have developed the ability to understand philosophy despite having Schizophrenia and with it the near impossibility of understanding abstract thought.

Based on this insight, I surmised that I could do the same thing with my physical body. I would strengthen my will to the point that I could force my body to do what it couldn't physically much as Special Forces do. The problem is that in the Special Forces, when the training is done, that at some point the service member gets to rest. They don't tire out the service members to the point that they have no energy, before they drop them onto classified missions.

So for me to assume that I could will myself into mastering my body is a flawed assertion at best. But that was very arrogant to assume that I could reach that level of intensity, without having even attempting that kind of training. Anyway, when I came back from my run, which I was able to push myself past more pain than I was able to do in any of my cross country running, I tasted blood in my lungs and at the point when I got back to my retirement center, one of the managers thought I was having a heart attack.

This showed me that I need to slow down and be aware that although I can dream of saving the world, I do not have the energy to. In addition to never being able to feel fully rested no matter how much sleep I have had, I can't push past it with greater mental strength, as I don't even have the control over my mind as a normal person does.

What the Apostle Paul said in Romans is at the heart of (Christian) Existentialism. We cannot do what we want to. We are not strong enough mentally to reach our goals. We must leave saving the world to God and just help in small ways or else we will not survive long enough to see the fruits of our efforts.

I have finally realized that having Schizophrenia is not just a mental illness; it is a physical one as well. If your medicine is being effective on giving you some control of your thoughts, then you will have no energy to do anything.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

37

1 Corinthians 13:9-12

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

38

Hebrews 11:1

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

39

2 Samuel 22:31

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

40

Psalms 2:12

I have recently arrived at the conclusion that the increased suffering of the world recently is the direct fault of Christians not following what God has called them to do, and in response to the fact and because I am in the wealthiest nation on the earth and because of my gifts of intelligence and creativity that I should be able to make a measurable dent in the amount of suffering that the sentient beings of the earth must feel. But the problem is I don't have the strength to have the reach that I believe I should have. Many of the problems of the world, if they are to be solved by people, need more resources than I have been given. I will just have to accept that there is some reason that God is allowing this to happen by conscious choice alone.

I have had to struggle with whether to say I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that he was both man and God or that that is a fact. I have recently come to understand that belief is stronger than facts. Similarly to how I said when we had to mark opinion as false and fact as true that opinions could be truths but facts are not consequential enough to be truths. So it shows more certainty to say that I believe in Heaven and Hell than to say flatly that there is a Heaven and Hell and that is the truth whether you agree with it or not you will go to one, because of course its true to the limits of my knowledge which is all I can guarantee by saying it is the truth, but to say I believe something to be true means that I haven't just proved it intellectually, but it is so true that I risk eternity on it.

2.4.3 Biblical Paradox and Value Ethics

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Overview

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

41

James 4:1-3

The paradoxes that the Bible teaches about God, Man, and our relationships between each other, animals, and God are not just there to give God an ego trip, by keeping us from doing what we want; they are there for our own good. One of the paradoxes of the Christian faith is that we are both secure in our salvation once we confess our sins and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, but we still have the capacity to make choices without God constantly intervening. Scripture shows both aspects of this duality to be true and it is not just there to be hard to accept, but it is there for us to live a fuller life of faith and temperance.

Example: Freewill Verses

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

42

Romans 8:15

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

43

1 John 4:18-19

Many try to drive people to God by fear by saying that if you commit one sin which you did not confess before you die, then you will go to Hell. This is not Biblical to try to motivate people by fear. This is one of the problems that arises if you believe in free will at the expense of predestination.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven

44

Colossians 1:22-23

The key aspects of this passage are as follows:

1. As believers, we are rendered righteous by Christ's death and resurrection.

2. The key questions to answer from the Bible are

3. what is faith?

4. and what is the gospel?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

45

Romans 1:16-17

So the gospel is salvation by faith and we are considered righteous by God's free gift or grace in response to our belief in His resurrection from the dead.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

46

Hebrews 11:1

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

47

Hebrews 3:12-14

It is not one sin being committed that Scripture is talking about here, but, rather, a habit of sin that brings the sinner to not be able to confess their sin, because to confess sin and repent is to be righteous by faith.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

48

1 John 1:9-10

And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

49

Hebrews 6:11-12

The point of these verses is to show that, as we follow through our faith into good works and stay away from sin, we enjoy God's promises. God realizes that we will continue to sin, but he wants us to live an overall lifestyle characterized by obedience.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

50

1 John 5:2-3

Loving God is to follow His commandments.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

51

Hebrews 10:36-39

Finally, God gives us a promise that we won't live a life of sin and will by saved by faith, and our sins will not keep us from Heaven.

Example: Predestination Verses

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

52

Romans 6:1-4

The Bible also teaches that we have an assurance of salvation, if we believe. But this is not an excuse to sin. And this is likely why so many churches are so adamant about free will. We are to be "transformed by the renewing of our minds" and not to walk in sin, as Christ died so that we might not be slaves to sin.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

53

Romans 8:28-30

God predestined everyone that loved Him to be called righteous by God's grace and their faith.

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

54

Galations 1:15

God has a purpose for our life, before we are even born.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

55

Ephesians 1:4-5

God cares about us so much, that before He created the world He had already chosen those who would believe many thousand years later. Even then He knew that we could not exist without sin and that it was by His grace that we are saved.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

56

Ephesians 2:8-10

We are saved through God's grace, by our faith and the outcome of that faith is to not only keep from sin, but to do good towards others.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering

57

Colossians 3:12

As we are chosen by God to be His children, so we are also called to love one another, as God has loved us.

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

58

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

We are to be thankful for other believers to God, because He chose them to believe, before the creation of the world.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began

59

Titus 1:1-2

Godliness and the acknowledging of Christ's resurrection and our sin one in the same.

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

60

1 Peter 1:20-21

It is God's miracle that we are saved and the entire reason of our salvation is God's grace and desire to draw us near Him.

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

61

Matthew 7:4

The government does wrong, but that is not an excuse to not obey their laws. We are speaking out as a good example for unbelievers by following both God's and then man's laws. Just because others don't do what is right, it is not our duty to bring judgment on them, but to set a good example by our own behavior.

Example 2: Duty to Government

Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? " "Shew me the tribute money." And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, "Whose is this image and superscription? " They say unto him, Caesa's. Then saith he unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

62

Matthew 22:17-21

God wants your heart and the government just wants you to follow the laws, namely: pay your taxes.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

63

Romans 13:1-8

The government is there because God has supported it because it is an instrument of His will. The people who fear the government are the ones who are committing crimes. Do what the government asks, which is basically to love one another, as the laws of men are in many ways similar to the laws of God.

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

64

Titus 3:1-3

Don't worry about what others do, but follow the laws, in order to be able to do good works for others.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

65

1 Peter 2:13-17

Treat everyone with respect and dignity and follow the laws. This way, people will have nothing to say against God or the Church.

Example 2: Corruption of Government

And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

66

Micah 3:1-4

Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

67

Micah 3:9-11

The government/Church is corrupt and God will bring judgment upon them.

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

68

John 19:12-16

The Church often persuades the government to do the wrong thing. Even when the Church is not technically in power, they often lead the government to do the wrong thing. They are all responsible for their own actions.

2.4.4 Background

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Introduction

Suffering is not just a problem that Christians and people of the Jewish faith confront, but both Chinese and Indian philosophies and religions of all branches confront. In fact, both Chinese and Indian philosophy deal almost exclusively with the problem of suffering. There is no reason why a person would conclude that life should not have suffering or should have less, based on nature. Every part of our universe exudes a lack of emotion. People are down-right mean for the most part and can experience pain, even beyond those of animals, as they can anticipate pain. Yet in Hinduism, Buddhism, and all branches of Chinese philosophies, there is a set of ethics if nothing else. What is the reason for these ethics, if there is no concept that pain shouldn't exist or should be lessened? There can be no reason for there being good and evil or any sort of morality, if it is not because it reflects attributes of a loving God. And Buddhism is a form of atheism, Taoism is based on a God that is neutral, and Hinduism is based on an ultimate reality who is Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer. Only in the Christian and Jewish faiths is there a God who is perfectly good.69

based on concepts from The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

Who are those who suffer? I do not know, but they are my people.

70

Pablo Neruda in "The Mountain and the River" in The Captain's Verses

Many people think that, if you are Christian, then you should support the establishment, because Jesus told us to pay our taxes. But Jesus was very much against the establishment, especially the religious institutions. Although not political himself, Jesus wanted us to reach out to those who society did not value and act out our faith in all parts of our lives. Christianity is necessarily political, not in the power struggle way, but in the way we protest against the establishment in our daily lives. Jesus wanted us to live pure lives, not compromising to the ways of the world, as our bodies are temples of God. In order to reject the establishment, we need to know what it values. The establishment revolves around three attributes contrary to God and the search for truth and meaning: systematic thought which leads to specialization from the philosophy of Aristotle as interpreted by Maimonides, the materialism that was started by Descartes, and the atheism that comes from Rousseau. The origin of these methods were the Pythagoreans, who believed everything was reducible to numbers, and those who come up short are always everyone who are not wealthy white men. Existentialism is a rejection of these principles and Chinese philosophy has a united rationalism and a mysticism that are neither systematic, materialistic, or atheistic. Therefore, reducing suffering means rejecting the establishment, which means rejecting western philosophy.

What is an empathetic response to suffering? I say: to help prevent it and reduce it when it can't be prevented. I have had my own kind of suffering, even chronic physical pain, and there is nothing anyone could say that would make it seem ok. Yes, Jesus suffered tremendously in many ways, but just because He was willing to doesn't mean that others should. Yes, we have hope beyond death for eternal joy and peace, but that doesn't shorten the time we suffer on earth. In Psalms it says that the reason for evil is a mystery.

This maturity will keep you from giving your opinion too hastily if the matter is difficult. In such a case take your time to think the matter over, study the question, and even discuss it with others.

71

Ignatius Loyola in "To the Fathers Departing for Germany: Practical Norms"

There are several causes of suffering: the ones that can be prevented and those which cannot. We must accept the ones that we cannot change and avoid the ones that can be prevented. I believe that quite a bit of suffering could be prevented by the Taoist concept of uselessness; don't do anything that would make you famous, so you are not a target for others. Another way, is to learn to think rationally and with safety in mind. Forget about being brave in the classical sense - choose life as it is the highest good.

Throughout my book series and websites, you will find how I approach suffering, both mental and physical, and how you can reduce your own pain: emotional, spiritual, and economic. The Liberation Psychology can relieve emotional pain, the Philosophy of Fun can relieve economic problems, Existential Ethics can reduce the physical pain of others, and the Still Theory can reduce spiritual pain

.

..you will see that holy poverty preserves us from many sins...It slays the worm of riches, which is pride; cuts off the infernal leeches of lust and gluttony, and many other sins as well.

72

Ignatius Loyola in "To the Fathers and Brothers in Padua: On Feeling the Effects of Poverty"

I also do a number of practical things to help reduce suffering, including: wearing simple clothing, using public transportation, using nontoxic cleaners, using inexpensive software, being vegetarian, using used furniture, giving to help those society does not value, not using leather, and using cruelty free shampoo.

The facts of my situation

I do know that though your health is frail, you allow yourself to be carried away by your charity to undertake tasks and labors that are more than you can conveniently bear. Judging in God our Lord that it would be more acceptable to His Divine Majesty to have you temper your zeal in this respect so that you will be able to labor the longer in his service

73

Ignatius Loyola in "To Father Antonio Araoz: On Caring for One's Health"

What is it like to not have control of your mind - to lay awake at night afraid of things that will never happen - to believe that your loved ones are against you - to not know the difference between what is fact and what is fiction - to fear the police will arrest you for how you were born -

to not be able to handle the stress of meetings - to not be able to be consistently on time - to not be able to sit through a play or a movie - to find it stressful to listen to music - to not have the motivation to take care of yourself - to have to rely on others for your income?

Your first and greatest asset will be to distrust yourself and have a great and magnanimous trust in God.

74

Ignatius Loyola in "To the Fathers Departing for Germany: Practical Norms"

I am very self-reflective and find meaning in every part of life. But I am not just a philosopher because many of my thoughts are not rational and I do not have control over my thoughts. I keep busy to distract myself from voices and paranoia. Quiet times like when I fall asleep at night are when my paranoia and voices are the most intense. When someone makes a comment in general and it could apply to me, I take it as a personal attack as I am suspicious that others are against me. It is impossible for me to still my mind enough to meditate.

Not only do I not have control over my thoughts, but I find it impossible to take care of the daily activities that are necessary to survive in the modern world. I understand technology, philosophy, and can write and draw on a level that few can surpass, but I can't wash my clothes once a week, clean my bathroom, recycle, or show up at a set time. The modern world is based on the clock and on facts and that is how we deal with other people in our society. This is completely foreign to my way of thinking.

I developed my own subculture, as I was unable to find my place in society. Basically, I have to find time to rest in order to deal with my illness, to avoid going back to the hospital. But even the rest can cause me mental pain: paranoia and auditory hallucinations. It would be good for me to have more interactions with people, as they help bring me into the modern world, but they also cause me a great deal of paranoia and many things they carelessly say cause me to suffer mentally.

The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits... And if great reasoners are often maniacal, it is equally true that maniacs are commonly great reasoners.

75

G. K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy

This is the situation I am in, and modern science calls it Schizophrenia. I am very intelligent and good at writing and being creative, but this has nothing to do with Schizophrenia. Is a person with diabetes any different except for their illness? I am no different in that way too. I know many other people who have Schizophrenia and they are no more or less intelligent or think differently than anybody else.

Schizophrenia is a broad term like cancer where many different illnesses fall under the same umbrella. Some people with Schizophrenia can complete distance education or work a part time job, but I cannot. My main obstacle is dealing with time and facts - dealing with other people and taking care of my basic needs.

Frustration

Struggling to lift the heavy lids

My eyes burst open

And I stagger to the other room

With immense effort

I live in a dream within a dream

My paranoia within God's thoughts

My will is strong

And my spirit unbreakable

But my mind only controls

Some of my thoughts

And my body is weak

And continually asleep

My burden is not light

As Jesus said for those

Who walk with Him

And its shadow is ever before me

When your mind cannot cease

From racing at full speed

And your body is heavily sedated

Everything is a battle of will

And your spirit pushes your body

My heart is pressed on all sides

By my unquenchable emotions

And unmovable flesh

But my heart is still wild and unwavering

How will I complete the contest?

How many years will this situation last?

When you are dead tired

And you are nowhere near the finish

You must slow down and keep going

When you would much rather lie down and die

How will I summon the energy

Without the strength of mind or body?

Will I be able to survive by spirit alone?

Do I know how to achieve solely by will?

Each day we wake up and begin

Before even thinking about "what next? "

But at night we worry over

What has and hasn't happened

If only my spirit could know the rhythm

And my will the attitude

That can harmonize with the Way

And outlast the disease

We can only hope

And pray without ceasing

2.4.5 Frequently Asked Questions

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My philosophy is principally Chinese in its design, because: 1) it is based on poetry, 2) it has a mystical and a rational component, 3) it is primarily applied to ethics and psychology, and 4) it is concise.

General

Not everyone who is an Atheist is trying to disprove the existence of God or rejecting the authority of the Bible. Well known Atheists such as Nietzche, Marx, and Freud criticized the way Christians tend to act and the actions criticized can often be traced to idolatry on the part of the Christians. Atheistic works can therefore be useful in restoring Christians to a holy lifestyle. Some lifestyles and philosophies that are exploited by non-Christians heavily for their own uses, like the Gothic lifestyle or the Existential philosophy, are actually very Christian at their fundamental level and can be useful to Christians to show non-believers what Christianity is all about. Chinese philosophy is based on the problem of suffering and is focused on ethics and psychology. It is Theistic but doesn't define God. You can very easily practice Chinese medicine and be Christian as consistently as you can practice Western medicine and be Christian. In fact, most people study Atheistic philosophy without noticing it. These philosophies are the basis for social science, evolution, Newtonian physics, Shakespearean plays, and many other subjects studied by children in public schools. You cannot avoid studying anti-Christian philosophies, but you can challenge their assumptions and for some people this means studying other philosophies.

I never read occult books or hate speech as God is a jealous God and He loves all His creatures equally. I have read from Christian books about people who experimented with drugs and the New Age/Pagan movement and they were scared, abused, and lied to by evil spirits. I also believe that we should live at harmony with God's creation and introducing polluting technologies or supernatural powers other than the Creator is due to people not accepting their limitations and pursuing power without any sense of responsibility for the consequences. Also the basis for the destructive philosophies of the Enlightenment can be traced back to Pythagorus who studied the Egyptian occult religions. Astronomy throughout most of history was called astrology and was tied in with the study of the occult.

Conservatives are actually the idealists, whereas liberals are more realistic. Idealistically it would be nice to have small government and every one could look after themselves. It would be nice to not impede businesses by complex rules. But this doesn't mesh with reality. In the real world we live in, we need to provide services for the disabled and the elderly, the healthcare for the sick and the poor, education for the young and the downsized, business regulations for employees and stockholders, environmental regulations for every citizen's health and safety, and the like. We can't live in glass bubbles where everything is provided at no cost. We have to choose priorities and when we spend every last dime on weapons and corporate welfare we don't even have enough to take care of disabled veterans and our soldiers' needs. Taking over other countries for their oil can only last so long - eventually they will revolt - and businesses don't hire more employees when they don't have to pay taxes - this is just a fantasy. We can't live off the way things work in our dreams. We have to accept that our world is not perfect and do the best we can with what we have.

Chinese Philosophy vs. Greek Philosophy vs. Christianity

In Greek (Western) philosophy, the proof for each school is based on reason in the form of Physics (motion), in Chinese philosophy the proof for each school is based on how things were done in ancient China (even for them) in the form of harmony or stillness, and the Bible's proof for its ethics and theology is based on how the concepts relate to qualities that God exemplifies. Also in Greek philosophy, man was considered evil by nature, in Chinese philosophy he was considered to be good by nature, and the Bible says that man was created good, but fell and is inclined towards evil, until he is saved and then he is inclined towards good.

Chinese philosophy is also great literature and is fun to read as it flows and has a rhythm and most importantly it is brief and to the point. Contrast Chuang Tzu or even Hsun Tzu with Plato, who hides his philosophy in a question and answer format, where he gets off tricking those who can't follow linear logic as well as him into saying what he wants them to say. He repeats the same thing over and over again to drum it in and has the arrogance to claim this sham teaches people to think. The Pre-Socratics are much more worth reading and more relevant if you feel you have to read Greek philosophy.

The aim of Greek philosophy is to find a logical analysis of how the universe began, whereas the aim of Chinese philosophy is to have a well-ordered society and self. The Bible aims to save the individual from the eternal consequences of sin and to transform the self into a holy vessel, fitting of God's indwelling, by God reaching out to us and us accepting His invitation.

Religion and Mental Illness

Schizophrenia was not treated effectively by society until anti-psychotic drugs were created from sedatives in the late 1950's. The medication has been modified to remove most of the sedating attributes by the first part of the 21st century, so that many people with Schizophrenia are able to live outside institutions. Anti-psychotic medications are able to blunt the effects of paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations enough, so that people can distinguish between them and reality. But there is not a medication that will completely eliminate those symptoms or the lethargy that comes either from the mental illness or as a side effect of the medication. To help deal with remaining symptoms, religion in moderation can be helpful. Religion can provide stability, answers, and useful ideas for secondary treatments.

Many hallucinations, paranoid thoughts, and delusions have religious components to them and sometimes the rituals of religion can contribute to Obsessive Compulsive behaviors. This shows that there is a relationship between religion and mental illness, but it doesn't mean that religion in all its aspects does nothing but hinder the treatment of Schizophrenia.

One of the reasons why I incorporate Chinese philosophy into my treatment of Schizophrenia, is because although the Bible tells a person how to live ethically and how to have an appropriate relationship with God, it doesn't tell you everything you ever need to know. Not all problems are entirely spiritually based. A person can definitely learn how to think rationally without using the Bible, but to get the full comfort from religion, faith is a vital component.

Chinese Philosophy

Everything has Qi in it: matter, energy, and spirit. There are five states of Qi that correspond to the five elements. I have Water Qi. I feel like I am floating around from task to task and ideas come to me like streams of light. I desire salty, high protein foods. My symptoms are worse at night and during the winter. I need more northern exposure.

Non-dualism is a major branch of philosophy that encompasses most traditional thought as well as Postmodern thought. Non-dualism is a realization that everything has a duality to it - opposing components that compliment each other. The point is to be in balance, not push towards one extreme that society labels as good. With Schizophrenia, a person has amplified emotions and a fixation on symbols that he finds in places where there are no symbols. The object he fixates on becomes a fear and it grows so large that it shadows everything else. Using Non-dualism, a person with Schizophrenia can see that there is a whole world around the fixation and that his fear is just one aspect of his mind.

In Buddhism, it is said that the Buddha is your mind. Nothing exists and has any permanence except your mind. Everyone experiences the world with their mind and they can't know anything that they cannot perceive. When your mind distorts reality, you can't understand that something is just an illusion. This reminds a person with Schizophrenia that there is no way to be able to spot delusions without being on medication and to expect that sometimes everything they know can be a delusion.

Christianity

King David apparently struggled with depression and fear and he wrote about it in Psalms. We can learn that it is acceptable to be angry with God and question Him and ask Him for help. He will counsel you and give you hope.

First of all, Chinese philosophy is more about Psychology than religion. Second, the Bible and Chinese philosophy both have a similar value system and a singular focus on ethics that leaves the whys out cold.

Existentialists of all persuasions were heavily influenced by Chinese thought. Kierkegaard talked about how man had to realize that he was infinitely separated from God in terms of intellect, but that he could live life with an unimaginable closeness with God. Chuang Tzu explained that we cannot be leaders because we are equal to all sentient beings and all life is interconnected. Both philosophies talk about humility and compassion, but in different ways.

2.4.6 Galleries Frequently Asked Questions

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General

Cows are a symbol for my website and are significant to me because they suffer because other people treat them as objects, just as others treat me as a monster/freak or don't recognize my struggles as valid.

I was in charged of the military part of the post high school section of a high school orientation program that our class made with Sony Disc Manufacturing. That is what gave me an interest in graphic design. I got my confidence when I used UNIX in the military. I keep up to date on all the latest software by reading daily news sites about what interests me.

Drawings

Still Life is a term I use to denote inanimate objects that are sentient beings. Just as God dreamt us into existence, so we give human being to plush animals (stuffed toys) and other still life.

I never received any formal education in art other than craft work I did in Cub Scouts and elementary school. I did take one class in Gender and Art and a class in Design for Journalists as they were required classes in college. But most of my ability in photography and drawing on the computer is intuitive and I do not use any methods I was taught in school. There are some strategies I use to draw digitally, but this was something I came up with and not something I read somewhere. In fact, still to this day, I don't use bezier curves to create shapes like most designers do.

Photography

It was said in the Tao te Ching that the sage knows all things although he never travels far from home. I don't travel far from home because it is hard for me to wait and there is a tremendous amount of waiting in travel. I couldn't go to other countries, because I depend on my medicine to keep me in my right mind. I could easily get into a life threatening situation, if I wasn't on my medicine. I also want people to realize how much beauty their is just in our communities and to respect all our resources and life forms that we encounter.

I have always liked trees, long before I had any connection with cows. Trees have many attributes of God and I feel closer to Him when I am near trees. A tree can be very big like God, silent and still like God, very old like God, and provide protection from the elements like God protects us from potential problems.

2.5 Plush Heart Poetry

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The most lively thought is still inferior to the dullest sensation.

76

David Hume in "Origin of Ideas" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Nature will always maintain her rights, and prevail in the end over any abstract reasoning whatsoever.

77

David Hume in "Skeptical Solution of Doubts" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Reality is the truest judge of any theory.

2.5.1 911 Poetry

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Imagine Nothing

I stare at a dim lit smoldering pit

The scenery is the same every day

The more trash they take away

The more that needs to be taken away

I struggle to find an ending

The facts never stop

The theories never meet reality

My fears only grow larger

What joy is there in life?

What can fill the emptiness inside?

My spirit is descended into the dark

I stare at the flashing images on the screen

How can I think of laughing?

How can I imagine a good time?

Will all the days ahead grow in time?

Until the blessed night never falls

I try to imagine a sunrise that satisfies my heart

I struggle through a book to find inspiration for my mind

I stare at the wall and try to think

Nothing comes

Joy and truth are so far apart

The space is wide enough to fit the emptiness of my soul between

Why do I seek truth when it only brings pain?

There are no more abstracts that bring any comfort

Freedom is only meaningful

When the you have good choices to make

Who wants to be famous?

Even the highest authorities have no power

Is there someone who will find a cure for cancer

Or find a way to provide basic health care to all the world?

It is not that they hate us for our mistakes

But the situation that our leaders chose for us

How can you reason with evil?

What motivates a terrorist?

Imagine a world with nothing but facts

Imagine our world

Where temporality rains night and day

Where we have no place for the eternal

Why did Job suffer?

I find comfort that someday all this will end

My thoughts will start again

And the world will be born again

The Meaning of Light

I am aware of the glare of the ten thousand points of light

When I open my door to greet the world with open arms

All independent and intertwined

Sometimes I do not even perceive the darkness

There are a million faces for each point of light

Stretching for more than ten thousand light years in every direction

They are reflected in the brightness of the city below

Standing outside the limits of temporality

He can evaluate every action

He can understand every thought

But I can only guess with my heart

And struggle in circles with my mind

The ten thousand voices outside my head

The reality inside my head has a softer lighting

Every event is a symbol with abundant meaning

It is a stage where plays end and are only visually dramatic

The world around me is not a reflection of mine

There are no answers for the probing lights

My dreams are fulfilled in the light of only a countable number of faces

I am more comfortable with the voices inside my head

Where the points of view are easily resolved

I can always know what is my voice and what is the other

But when I confront the outside world

What should my voice say?

While people and animals are being locked in cages

And while people starve to death and live in fear even in my own country

Are ideas really the answer?

How can I act as one individual without direction?

I used to know all the answers, but now there are no answers

And there is only time to act

Does not eating meat or riding the bus do more than lower my own guilt?

Is keeping my mother's memory alive just bourgeois?

Does another support group really help people find meaning?

I can look forward to God's return

We can look forward to a time when people don't hurry around just to stay alive

Where there is meaning without temporality

Where there is a infinite justice and meaning in the light of the Son

There will be answers but no need for them

let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth

. 78

Psalm 96:12-13

Mad Pride

A network of support

A group of friends

Even a half a dozen or less

Can change the world

They can release smoke that can be seen around the world

They can turn mountain high towers into volcanic like craters

Is it madness to love your cause enough to die for it

Is it cautious to enter an unstable building

I saw a streak of light

Are we under attack

A jet plume fades in the sky

Are we being protected

Did I spell rapped correctly in my chat session

Do FBI agents think the Animal Liberation Group is a terrorist organization

Many amongst us don't value life

In the way we treat those different than us

Especially those we don't understand

In the way we train ourselves to kill the monster in our video games

And how we see environmental disasters as different from acts of terror

Could a support group exist without laws?

Could a community funded group actually work together?

Could a network come together just to find meaning in life?

Could a network last that was based on finding joy in the midst of terror?

Could there be a civilization that was not impressed

by laser guided missiles and electronic eavesdropping?

Could there be special forces for charity work?

Could a group be spiritual without evangelizing others?

What does it mean to hear the voice of God?

What is it like to be his messenger?

Can I have my own free thoughts while I take medication for my thoughts?

Is it paranoia when it is based on facts?

Does your belief in a higher power interfere with your sense of personal responsibility?

Does it mean you are insane if you realize dreams or no less real than the physical world?

Insight never goes unpunished

Oh, no we'll have to give back the mansion

I don't care that I lost my husband on September 11

But what are we going to do with just a middle class income

Let's get it back from the Special Master

I'm glad I wasn't responsible and didn't buy insurance

It would be counted against me anyway

It's unfair how some people seem to benefit from wise decisions

I shouldn't be penalized for not planning ahead

I'm really glad I can buy an entry level house

It really makes up for losing my wife

She was really low class

She wasn't worth more than the car

What really matters is that the companies are protected

It would really be disastrous if a corporation actually learned a lesson

It would really hurt our economy if companies had to pay for a rational amount of security

Those multinational corporations only make more than third world nations

Insight never goes unpunished

Joy

The joy of creation

The joy of creating

Which is greater:

Process or finished product?

On the seventh day God rested

But are we yet past the sixth day?

Chubby cheeks

Chips of nut shell fall carelessly

Does he know of terror?

The warmth of the sunlight

Brings a memory to recall

The wind passes by

And inspires me for tomorrow

An afternoon of rest

Heals a not so troubled soul

I return to the drawing board

My life is back to normal

But what is normal for a madman?

Save the Anthrax!

Death by anthrax is not a very painful death compared to death by chemical weapons

Then why do we subject those innocent charged with a heinous crime to a more painful fate

Can you not hear the cries of the least of these?

Well that's because you have not been blessed with Schizophrenia

Powered by the air you and I breathe

With the power of chlorine you but not I destroy the silent organic matter living on your clothes and not hurting anything

Tough on Anthrax spores and even more deadly to rodents and humans hiding in the walls

Gas chambers are the last coughs of millions of our smallest and most numerous fellow Americans

I did not speak out when they came for the Anthrax because I wasn't a spore

When they came for me there was no one out there to stand up for me

It is no wonder we are afraid of those that are natives of cow skin and soil

We pollute our soil with toxic chemicals to destroy those of different plant races (except for me)

We feed our cattle what we would be afraid to put in our dumps

We know that the spirits of the innocent will arise from the squaller of their ghettos

What will our ancestors say of our prejudice and injustice

Jesus said how he clothed the grass with more splendor of than Solomon

And cattle were considered equal to humans in that they were a worthy sacrifice and saved the weakest of them

Green the blood of angry anthrax

Brown the gas will end at last

Just ask yourself this question - what message does this send to terrorists?

That we gas our own

Aesthetics and Ethics

There is a subtleness to our Maker

My Creator paints with tiny dots

A hundred people may crash in an instant

But a single person gets stabilized on medication

The God I worship is a God of the individual

He does not make every one get down on bended knee

He is gracious and humble

He gently turns individual hearts towards Himself

One molecule different separates a plant from an animal

If even one of a thousand processes work wrong a person cannot see

My Savior understands the power of one

He provided a way for all of humanity by Himself in just three years

Consciousness is a paradox

Existence is a miracle

Is God accountable to us

Or are we accountable to God?

Is it our fault for not making airlines safe

Or is it God's for not revealing the plot to the FBI?

Can we create a whole world from a singularity?

Can we invent love?

Is there an aesthetics of ethics?

If what we create makes life better for one person

Is not that the definition of divine art?

Dreams come from the Sky

Dreams are in the sky

They float by in puffy white

Laying down in the cool grass

And counting the floating sheep

I lazily gaze at the now peaceful skies of my home land

Now patrolled by plumes of jet exhaust

Ten thousand miles away

The sky fading and space is creeping in

Bright lights appear in the twinkle of an eye

Flames dance and smoke bellows to form ghostly shadows

Manna falling from sky

Voices raining down from heaven

Will there be others who have to suffer from horrendous burns?

Will charred skin seem genetic?

How far will my country go to prove it is stronger than its enemies?

Will others assist us to hunt down those responsible for crimes against humanity?

Dreams come from the sky

Will my dreams for social and environmental justice arise out of this war?

More likely my country will use this as a chance to limit our freedom to think differently

And our ability to be heard

Dreams are not for the lazy

Nor for the disabled

Freedom comes from economic independence

And spiritual reconciliation

Hate Crimes

In pursuit of justice for decades

Seeking recognition of wrong doing

International hate crimes

Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich

Picking a fight with people who cannot defend themselves

Running to hide under the skirts of their motherland

Polluting the lochs and brochs of hither Celtic shores

In Lockerby, Scotland Pan Am flight 103 met the ground

And almost 300 people met their maker

And only one was held responsible, less than a month for each death

Christmas of 1979 was a time for yellow ribbons instead of tinsel

A man of peace didn't have any easy answers

In the homeland of many more than three Wise Men

A place of refuge for Americans far east from home

The culture they once loved

Held them hostage for ten thousand nights

And their ransom was paid

And they were told to forget what happened

All in the name of God

National hate destroyed the lives of individuals

Governments and corporations wealthier than nations

Cower behind piles of incomprehensible legal jargon

Use their connections to control the editorials

Waiting out their time in court

They use their money they coerced from unsuspecting individuals

to finance their face saving maneuvers

One Land; Two Peoples

The Past

They were sold into slavery

They were foretold that they would have the land again

They were persecuted for providing a service no one else would: banks

They were nearly exterminated in death camps for being too thrifty

They bought swamp land and made it worthy of their hostile neighbor's admiration

They were made into a nation without defendable borders by UN mandate

They were attacked and in defense gained territory

They gave it back for empty promises of peace

The Present

Their neighbors are the victims of leaders they did not elect

The terrorists court them with hospitals and schools

Then the terrorists run and others die in the middle

The Israelis put the terrorists on trial for their crimes

Those in cahoots suffer along with their heroes

Why don't the Israelis build hospitals and schools too?

The Future

The Palestinians are becoming a necessary labor force for the Israelis

Maybe they can join in the economic prosperity of the Israelis

The Israelis need to convince the Palestinians they are only against the terrorists

Maybe this international war on terrorism will help dry up funds for the terrorists

2.5.2 Analytical Poetry

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Great Expectations

The twin virtues

To care and be honest

Is that too much to ask?

How do we care

Without being angry at others?

How do we give the cruel

A second chance?

How can we live life honestly

And interact without judgment?

The day passes by

And the heat grows

Nothing can calm

My pounding heart

The loneliness of rage overtakes me

I am one with nothing

How do I break the news

To my son

His picture is unwelcome

In his grandparents' house

He does not believe

What I can touch and hear

Everything we give significance

Is born into this dream

With every thought that God has

Something new is born

And with every hug I give

A plush animal awakes

Condensation

A single spark

Can burn down a village

A single shower of light

Can echo for a lifetime

A well placed plug

Can stop a flood

A swig of root beer

Can last for all eternity

Time does not exist

Any more than we are just flesh

More suffering can be experienced

In 5 minutes than 5 years

God can hear a billion prayers

In an instant

A lifetime of writing

Can come down to a single sentence

Our turning points in life

Come in split second decisions

And the world changes

In an hour of debate

Can I experience a lifetime of emotions

In one day?

Will I last a lifetime

Without a split second mistake?

Can I solve our problems

Before I fall asleep?

Will the celebration pause

Long enough for me to find the fatal flaw?

Illusionist

With a gait

As wide as his legs

With a smile

As wide as his nose

He patrols the recesses

Of my mind

Looking to find

The motives of my subconscious

And my subliminal thoughts

The Freudian clues

A bird flies solo

Straight across my frontal lobe

Where there is anger

There are neurons firing rapidly

I wait for my thoughts

There is a conscious pause

Some to catch up

And others to slow down

How do we know

What drives the emotions?

Who is it

That is completely transparent?

What goes on

In the depths

Of the cerebral cortex

Is an insolvable mystery

How can I even know

How I got here?

There is no way

I can figure you out

2.5.3 Animal Epic Poem

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Ecclesiastes 3:19

In a blink of God's eye

We share the animals life-span

No one knows the fate of the beast

Back to the earth or raised to glory

We are made of clay

And share in its instability

From nothing but matter we were designed

And back to organic sludge we will return

How are we different

From those we lead to the slaughter?

Jeremiah 9:10

Drowning in our own pollution

Our mega-cities vacant as a ghost town

All this comes from sin

And God's wrath

God mourns for the livestock

Which he can no longer hear in the fields

Wild animals roam

In what has become badlands

Daniel 1:8

With nothing but the fruit of the vine

We need not feast on another's life

Daniel was stronger than the king's best men

Living on nothing but herbs and clean water

Wisdom and understanding, health and vitality

Do not arise from piles of carcasses and the devil's water

Matthew 25:40-43

Your dog was hungry

And all you gave him was the scraps from your table

Your dog was hot in the car

And you let the heat damage his brain

You left you dog chained up outside

And he came back with frostbite

Your dog's brother was in the kennel

And you left him to die

You're dog needed to visit the vet

And you said you couldn't afford it

As you have done to those which society does not value

So you have done to the Son of God

Hebrews 2:10-11

Christ was the supreme sacrifice

With his death, no animal needed give its life

As a sheep transformed into lamb chops

Jesus identified with our woolly friends

Paying the ultimate price

He asked us to eat His body

And drink His blood

And we are His sheep

To be sacrificed in our choices

2.5.4 The Appointment, an Epic Poem

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Waiting

I walk in and sit down

I am there a half hour early

I pull out my magazine

I finish it in ten minutes

I began to think

My mind starts to wander off

How will I interpret the psy babble?

How will I stupefy my ideas?

I keep looking up

As I hear what could be sounds

Will he repeat the same ideas again

Or will I get some gem of useful thinking?

A calm passes over me

I can survive without him

The room is cool

And it is bright outside

What a nice day

It took me an hour to get here

I had to take the bus

Then walk a half a mile

It is always easy to think on the bus

When people aren't making annoying sounds

And walking always makes me feel good

At first, before I start questioning my every action

Last night it took a while to fall asleep

But it was early when I laid down

I woke up early and still felt tired

The sun wasn't even out yet

I watched some news

I looked up - I missed the sunrise

I remember now about my chi

I wonder if he will like that

It must seem strange to a doctor

How people could know so much before science

How they used food for medicine

How doctors eventually became politicians

And how complex the diagnosis could be

When everything boiled down to either yin or yang

Preparation

Good - he's not in the office yet

Don't need another one of those

So much paper work

I wonder if I really need to give him this test

Like I'm going to come up with a different diagnosis

I wish I could get this damn computer to work

I guess I'll have to call the maintenance guy tonight

No test today, I guess

Is my tie straight?

He probably doesn't even care

Where is my coffee?

I guess I'll have to call up my receptionist

Bring me up my cappuccino!

Thanks

Will I take wifey out to the opera tonight?

I hope I still have the tickets

She probably already found them

And has bought a new dress for it

I can finally sit down

Gee that was a long weekend

Why does my daughter always ask for money

Right at first?

I wonder what job she will get with a major in dance

And when will she actually start

She is going to be 25 before she starts again

At this rate

I forgot to polish my shoes

Not again!

I hope I get some wealthy clients

When I can only charge them 100 an hour

I can barely pay for my SUV

And second home on the beach

I think I hear the client

I should greet him

No, that would be unprofessional

Come in, now

I'm ready to see you

Hot and Cold

Like the crests of the ocean waves

My emotions rose and fell

As he tried to comprehend my ideas

And I sought to apply his suggestions

Like the calm of the lake

I kept an inner confidence

Not merely a master of intellectual wit

But one who has the benefit of powerful experiences

Like a river high in the mountains

I am always near my source

Speaking rapidly and in sudden bursts

I exude a passion for my case

Like a salmon tasting sea water for the first time

I interpret my background in new ways

Each sentence never spoken before

Each thought given a new life

And each idea connected differently

Than even the session before

Like the taste of French fries

The conversation had a familiar flavor

Addictive and satisfying

There was a depth opened up by a true desire

The darkness clear as day

By the light of knowledge

And a peace illuminated

The mystery of the night

For in the middle of my winter

I burned inside like an ember

Like the heat of the midday sun

Blood hot and palms sweaty

This was another time

Where I was really there

In the heat of the conversation

From my heart came laughter

And I was truly happy

A cold resilience

And a warm character

Both analytical and creative

I seemed unsure of which direction

Should I go

A deep set fear and a hearty laugh

Each aspect showed up the other

Black and White

My voice soft and child like

My inexperience showed through

Like my bright blue bow tie

And my beaming smile

I was outspoken and competent

But inside I felt to soft and easily swayed

I try hard to not be self-conscious

To be nothing if not proud

Of my pear shaped figure

And my big feet

Black and white

Red and blue

I am consoling yet firm

Sympathetic yet bold

What am I to make

Of this deafening quiet

And silent screams

With each word I say

He expands to a paragraph

With each inflection of my voice

His mind is stirred

He is interesting and dynamic

Trapped yet freeing others

What can I say

To one who already has the answers?

If he could just listen to himself

And remember my main point

That it is not a race for an answer

But rather a way of sitting

Not a method of thinking

But a way of seeing

A new twist on his broad background

An open window into his soul

A silence in his racing mind

A soft touch with a strong hand

Something to blend the fire and water

That consumes his heart and mind

2.5.5 unCertainty Poetry

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Money Drain

I have felt for a long time

That someone is ripping me off

Those balance sheets

That show up with 20 dollar withdrawals

Day after day

Was that me or has someone

Cracked my account?

I was trying to remember

If I called tech support last month

There has to be some reason

Why my phone bill was so high

Each month I clinch

When I wait to hear from the bank

Like my ATM receipts

And my savings account balance

I'm glad I have an accountant

But sometimes the bill changes

From last month

By a few dollars

How do I know what expenses I incurred?

Did someone screw up

Or did I just forget?

Each day that I have the money

To pay my bills

I should count myself lucky

Many others are actually in debt

I guess my burden is not so much

Software Anomalies

I often wonder

How will my page look on Windows

I did stick to standardized code

And it works on the Mac version

But I am not wealthy enough

To afford two at once

I often don't find features

The developer claims the program has

Do I pay the money for the book

Or do I stick to a simpler feature set

I usually fix whatever problems I have

With my software

But what if I couldn't

Would I have saved money if I bought support before

I often see discounts on products

If you buy the computer with the software

Should I wait for the perfect bundle

Or go with what I can get when I need it

When I think it would be nice to have

The program that everyone talks about

To collaborate with others

I hear of all these errors

But is it just the competition nit picking

It is a lot of money to spend on just one thing

But will it open many more doors for me

Relationship Possibilities

I always wonder if it is worth it

To run a personal ad

Will I be able to handle the ups and downs?

Will it be a guy

Or a girl into something weird?

Will I be opening myself up to mind games?

Will she get angry with me

And call her brother to attack me?

Will I have any money left for myself

After paying for dates and gifts for her?

Will it all be worth it?

And will I feel

I couldn't imagine myself without her?

I feel similarly about friendships

They are hard enough

Finding someone who genuinely likes you

But will give you space

Somebody who is loyal

But not a control freak

Someone fun who likes to do regular things

Someone who appreciates little gestures

Someone who I can relax around

Someone who isn't sizing me up the entire time

Someone I can do things for

Without thinking they are using me

2.5.6 Clarity in Conviction, an Epic Poem

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I am a rock crushed and beaten to dust

I am a clay jar wet with rot, pried and pulled to disfigurement

I am rushed by in shrieking winds of light

I am filled with void and darkness

I stand at the edge of human thought and reason, quivering uncontrollably

I am surrounded on each side

To the right, pain

And to the left, despair

Behind me, fear

And death alone stands before me

All was biting flames and smothering fog

Dancing and laughing sadistically

Drowning in this red hot furnace

I was bound and gagged with pure terror and relentless pain

Nothing existed but pain and terror

But for a single ray of light immortal

After eternity passed five times

I passed through the iron doors of night impenetrable

Still choking and burning on the rot and char within

Pain and not pain were all that existed

I am part of nothing

And nothing is part of me

Having rejected everything

And everything having rejected me

I am a man, a soldier

And nothing more

And madness did but all consume me

If not for many a labor of love

So once fully alone and silent still

I did let the sun shine in and heal the rot and char

Within the daily fears and petty tribulations that did haunt me

And in the midst of the multitudes busy

Did He, in the humble summer day breeze,

Find I to be wanting and unworthy

So in the cool of the day

With the entire continuum of time and space shuddering

Did my Savior present Himself

As the only worthy sacrifice

Obedient to even death, He did defeat

That which did seek to torment me most eternally

As God raised Jesus from the dead

From there I venture as a simple pilgrim, asking for directions as I go

Finding in the Word He had left me

A map to discern the directions to be trusted from that which should not be

At times outrunning my companions

And at other times standing almost completely still

I find clarity in the conviction of this truth

That God raised Jesus from the dead

And so I go ever on

As He walks humbly by my side

The living flame imperishable walking

To the pace of a mortal man

My companion, my Lord, as my real Father

He who created me is not yet finished

He turns the circle of life, the potter's wheel

To mold my empty and disfigured thoughts into the pure and noble thoughts of His Son

Making me into the likeness of the real Son of Man

From the inside out

I am baptized in His Grace, so

That He can make me a new creation

Making me again with fresh clay and water

And filling the emptiness with His love and His peace

And now my eyes are more fully opened

And I now see the unending power and goodness of Christ within me and the truth of His Word all around me

I am no longer male or female, white or black, young or old,

But bought at the highest price and no longer my own

I now call myself after my master, Christian

He that I may serve and in so doing be free from my most eternal enemy, myself

And as the road goes ever on and on,

And I stumble along the way, from time to time

And as I return to the foot of the cross each day

And learn again why I cannot master myself

And I realize each time more and more

How amazing was that grace that saved a wretch like me

2.5.7 Our Dearly Beloved Leader, fallen in the line of duty

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Discredited

Power is a dangerous thing

The lust for power is even worse

Leadership can be a violent game

When jealous is stirred in

When we have lost all faith

In our elected officials

We project our distaste

On those of any caliber

It doesn't matter any more

That they did the best they can

Or no one can do any better

All we can see is blood

The only reason we can know is oil

We don't like being told no

And we forget what others did before

But we only think of the mistakes

Of our recently discredited

We can't see beyond the green

And our perception magnifies their reach

Its easy to complain

And the rage keeps us going

But in the end

What have we done?

A man has lost his livelihood

A shepherd has lost his flock

One mistake and all his decisions are cross-examined

Looking for a pattern of lies

When there stands before us an honest man

All I know

Is he helped me

This leader is a worker too

Shovel in hand and bent over

He puts his hand into the ring

His job is what needs to get done

He is a worker and a leader

Some may call this is a power trip

But I call this hard work

I know feelings are delicate

And everyone wants to complain about the boss

But we have to stop and think

Would another leader be any better?

Would another leader permit

The horse to run unsaddled?

Carrying out coaches and tables

Not asking others to do what he wouldn't do

He has overseen a face lift of the building

He has completed a major project

Does effort count?

Do results count?

I guess all that matters

Is that we get our way

Are we here to work

Or to vote on every decision?

There are people coming

More and more each month

But he picks up a paint brush

And kneels down to put in carpet

Should we accuse him of not caring for the workers

When he is one himself?

Know your limits

He refers me to the kitchen manager

I should have checked with her first

I wish he wouldn't get involved in food matters

I wish he knew his limits

He refers me to the activities director

I should have checked with him first

I wish he wouldn't get involved in activities matters

I wish he knew his limits

He refers me to the director of care

I should have checked with her first

I wish he wouldn't get involved in care matters

I wish he new his limits

I tried not to go to him for everything

But no one else followed that idea

I wonder why everyone thinks

He got involved too much

Maybe its because everyone went to him first

2.5.8 Duality Poetry

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A Man, Nothing More

Could a broken soldier be the same man

As a tormented artist and suffering writer

Whose sleep comes harder?

A soldier longs for home

An artist longs for something to hold

In a flash of the camera

A lifetime of experience

A pace that never lets up

A falter in the climb

The fire devours the heart

The heat consumes the poetry

A timid laugh

Shame and disappointment disguised

Too long a Soldier Artist

A pawn of no one

A disfunctioning wheel in the corporate machine

If only my mind would turn off

Like the light switch

Belief without doctrine

Names without distinctions

A word created man

A man uses words for the Creator

My heart may be an invention

But my art is not

In plain clothes

I don't disguise my uselessness

Without personal transportation

Or protein that comes with a face

Too soon a Peasant Scholar

Like a Peasant

A soldier preparing for battle

Smelling a stench that burned the nostrils

I bravely entered into a little room

In the span of several minutes

Eternity passed five times

Alone in hell

I was paralyzed with fear

Compassion was never present

I left with an anger that could not be quenched

Prophet of God

Called to a sacred mission

The only one who could stop the tribulation

Taking the pain upon myself

The suffering of 3-1/2 years in a matter of minutes

The other half as a lonely wanderer

The sun came up and the wind became lively

One life sacrificed for billions of others

I was led by others to a place I did not want to go

Hitting rock bottom

Waking up in a room locked from the outside

My life began again I could not advocate for myself

Hours went by like weeks

Time was playing tricks on me

One freak in a million who lives by himself

This is truly something

Someone who dared to challenge society

To hold himself accountable to both reason and faith

Who challenges himself to create more intelligent pieces of art each time

Who expands to different disciplines as he breaks into one at a time

A happy child with control over his destiny I return to the joy of my youth

Now more thoughtful in word and action

A handicap that I struggle with daily

But without pain

Like a Soldier

Fighting all our lives

For just a moment in time

For that natural high

That reflective sigh

For that minute of silence

When the world stops

And you keep going

That sweet sorrow

Comes when we look back

Nothing will be repeated

A feeling that never ends

The moment will fade

But the silence I will keep

And the tune will play in my head

Humor comes in such surprising moments

But the pain lingers on and drags into hours

What will stop the deep sorrow

From penetrating my bruised heart?

We are most alone

When the other first closes the door

Pain is deeper than a bullet wound

When we have a sorrow that can't be resolved

How do we fight

With just one step in front of the other?

Sometimes it is harder just to keep standing

We are not defeated when we fall down

Or fall short of our expectations

And death need not be a defeat

But that is not the worst fate

Some fight with paper

It is not how many balls that land in the trash

That measures their success

It is not the expected outcome

That foreshadows loss

Every moment we breathe with a sigh

That is how we know we are alive

Through the hours that never let up

We do our work with less and less hesitation

But it is not what defines us

It is in the all nighters

And the long evening talks

That we remember

Life's Parallels

Setting down my protective mask

And logging off my workstation for the last time

My duty done

Someone else will save the world tomorrow

I heard God on the radio

Leaving the fantasy world permanently

The world is no longer a projection of my mind

I swallow the red pill

And wake up outside the protective matrix

I followed God through the start of the millennium

Sitting at a table in a local deli

The radio was on for the first time

Reality comes crashing down

Our nightmares are played on the black box in our living rooms

God kept me from sinking into my sorrow

Taking a good look behind

I see some of the past in my future

The old world that my ancestors came from is a news flash away

We are part of them and they are part of us

Time places no limits on God

What separates us from madness and violence is a very thin line

Nearsighted

One day

Dark clouds

Drenching rain

Men carrying oxygen stroll by

Poorly waterproofed women wander around

The next day

Gray Light

Cool air

Leaf acrobatics

Swinging lights

I cannot see further than today

Who knows what is on the other side of the horizon

A day of self doubt and over self consciousness

Or a creative burst of energy

Falling into a depression

Or working diligently at the computer

Hearing voices as I lay down

Or talking on the phone with family

A day of treats and special snacks

Or a day of rice and tofu

Walking halfway across the city

Or waiting on the Internet on the other side of the country

My sinus draining into the night

Or my teeth getting tired from munching

Pushing my cows in their truck

Or bringing out their girlfriends to visit

I will sleep well tonight

Thanks to the tranquilizing effects of my medication

2.5.9 Eugene Poetry

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Home Coming

I walk under your emerald arches

The lighting is soft and gentle

The wind smoothes my jacket

The path rotates under my feet

Moss formed patches of velvet

On the outstretched arms

The smell of wet leaves

And scent of rich earth

My brothers hail my return

The tree guardians proclaim "You are worthy of our friendship"

And I answer "The time has come? "

The streaming air and light bring back

A blur of memories that swell my frontal lobe

And the setting shifts

My senses no longer focus on the present

I am no longer a prisoner of loneliness

With one footstep I cross through the doorway

To my city

Loaded with a few belongings

My soul feels even lighter

There is nothing clouding my eyes

And my headache is gone

My stride becomes regular

And the noise grows

I hear people new to the world

The world which you begin to make yourself

And my kids only begin to grow impatient

As I open the door

And set them down

They smile

Southwest

Shadows cover my path

The concrete comes up to meet my feet

I am comfortable on these streets

The buildings and trees are familiar

It is with a steady stride

And a knowing gaze

That I cover the ground to the station

And begin my journey southwest

I uncover new storefronts

And welcoming signs

As the route passes through

The main commercial stretch

With names from my memory

I recognize familiar outposts

The route nears the end

Trees encroach and apartments loom

We break through that dark stretch

And the grass is scorched by the sun

We are now on church row

One on every block this way

I now leave their company

And greet the pavement

With soft steps

It is just another complex

But I take a chance

The courtyard opens up

To embrace my wide eyes

It is not so far from the street

But there is barely a whisper

With each pace my vision gets wider

Benches appear erratically

And grills dot the landscape

The low duplexes guard the interior

And people begin to appear

An open court beckons

And the pool beams

Hiding within the low duplexes

Laundry is refreshed

And I arrive home

What will I do with the second bedroom?

And the extra vanity

A squirrel races up the tree

And I relax under the shade

Of a nearby tree

Upwards and Onward

Happy and energetic squirrels

A bounty of nuts

A tin shack

A house on blocks

A fallen tree branch

A near miss

Mr. Hamburger was nice

The gophers were happy

The Holy Spirit played with the mice

Up early and to the hospital

A spacious park

A box of roses

Games in the trees

Battle with still life

A childhood crush

A broken porcelain

A group of young boys

Woodworking and gluing

Our first house

A mixed neighborhood

A prison like school

Constant pinching and kicking

Failures in the shop

Newspapers for meth distributors

A group of rowdy boys

Alone in the woods

A new school

Multitudes of clubs

Counseling and imaginary worlds

Dead last at the meet

Off the book experiments

A backlog of assignments

A political action committee

Sponsored by the school

Ceremonies and awards

A year of excitement and anticipation

Home from war

Wandering through campus

Behind on credits

Sudden highs and lows

Fear of interrogation

Inspiration and new ideas

Alone in my apartment

Can't find a job

A spontaneous trip to the hospital

All better now

The Old Church Again

Old and familiar

Putting on a new face

With childhood memories

Too numerous to count

The sound of the foose ball table

The sight of the old house

Hearing new ideas

That inspired us to dream

Of a time when we went to the lake

And played an unusual game

The trip to San Francisco

Wild rides and the shopping on the docks

Retreats for the family

And service projects for the elderly

Selling eggs

And singing carols at retirement homes

Flowing in a dream

Struggling to stay awake

The light was soft

And there was a glow

Familiar faces

Passing by in the distance

Coming closer

Recognizing my smile

Struggling with words

Shock and surprise

Forgotten for many years

The silence was deafening

Each word another lifetime

The stress was growing

Each concept illustrated

In ten thousand ways

If I could only accept the pace

And be at ease with the rhythm

New songs

And familiar verses

A praise of individuality

And an appreciation for the truth

New adventures planned

And phone numbers exchanged

A restful sleep

And some time to reflect

2.5.10 Freedom Poetry

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Oregon

The city below is bright

With a thousand points of light

Through the night

I journey in a dream

Before the wagon trains first began their trail

Before explorers first claimed the Oregon Territory

Before lumber jacks sawed half a day

To fell one tree

Before the ferries cruised

Up and down the river

Before this city was even chartered

Before there were Skinner and Spencer Buttes

Before the University was founded

Before even one brick building was covered in ivy

To a thousand years ago

Before the oldest tree was born here

Fishing for salmon in the white water

How the chill burned to the bone

Building long houses without one metal nail

How long it must have taken to raise one timber

Searching for edible plants in the forest

How many hours to find out if it was safe to eat

Placing traps to catch little furry animals

How sad it was to see the first one die

Seeing a full grown bear stand up to forage

How much fear was in the human heart

The wind along the Columbia took their breathe away

While they listened to the echoes of their voices

The desert heat dried their flesh to leather

While they studied the fossilized rocks

Thrown down by the waves along the coast

As they counted every grain of sand in their hand

Wet with dew in the middle of the alpine forest

Arising from the moss covered tree branches

What is it like for land to be owned by no man?

With the frontier stretching limitless before you

A place where there are no roads

And you are the only one of your species for miles

There is no time you have to wake up

And no boss to tell you how to live

Is this freedom?

Greater Family

A familiar face

A gentle smile

A warm embrace

A firm handshake

Thoughtful words

A good talk

Just happened to be born together

Or forged the bonds of friendship over time

The experiences of childhood

The decisions of adulthood

Frequent visits

And routine phone calls

Illness happens to one

Failure happens to another

What a comfort and a freedom

There is when you are part of something greater

These are all a part of family

Just one could not explain the feeling

But there is a greater family

There are bonds that are greater than birth

Many of us are related by blood

From different nationalities

We were all adopted by our Heavenly Father

We were all won back from disgrace

We all are born under water

And are matured under fire

We share a common personal history

Of shortcomings and grace

We share a special meal together

It is the very blood and body of the Son

We meet in old wooden buildings

And cathedrals of living light

Some have broken away for meetings

But all are adopted by the same Father

When one is ill

They use aromatherapy and prayer

When someone fails

We use psychotherapy and prayer

When another is adopted

We have a ceremony and pray

When a family forms within the greater family

We exchange vows and pray

Prayer is the language of the family of the cross

And everything else is secondary

Taming the Mind

Waves lap at the edge of my mind

The interior is a vast expanse of sand

Torn by raging waters

And rugged mountain peaks

It is anything but calm

This is not the sound of silence

Messages fly like carrier pigeons

Familiar with the terrain

The ravens out fly the pigeons

The buzzards peck at the fallen ones

Overgrown brush covers the mountains

And the ocean is covered in algae

Voices from far away echo off the mountains

Voices from within get muffled by the vegetation

Dark clouds cover the sky

And settle down like a mist over the rivers

Lightning bolts across the sky

And knocks the ravens dead in their tracks

Stunned, they fall below

And become entangled in the flora

A thought travels across the expanse

Self awareness occurs

Swift and majestic an eagle soars

Crying out thoughts from the heart

The mist lifts and little villages become visible

The people burn back the overgrowth

Fish team up in the ocean and finish off the algae

The waves subside and gently rock the fishermen's boats

The people build roads that connect the villages

They send out horses to hurry the mail along

Farms now occupy the land where there once was desert

The rivers are directed to irrigate the land

The natural chaos is contained and settled

Their is freedom from random deaths

Each thought now travels in a caravan

With guards patrolling all sides

The eagles still patrol the skies

And the buzzards clean up the fallen ravens

The inhabitants for now have tamed the land

But whenever the sky becomes dark

They remember what it was like to be isolated and alone

Life of Leisure

I wake up and check my mail

And take my sane pills

I check in with my mom

She cheers me up

Money in my account every month

Except its not really my account

It's Monday again

I'm about to withdraw my spending money

Satan called and said he hates me

My plush cow wants to play

I fall asleep on my way to the store

The guy on the corner is plotting against me

Another day of finding someone to publish

A Christian Non-Dualist Schizophrenic Veteran

Doing my daily reading of world literature

And reading about more reasons to quit using Windows

And wading through my college application

How long will it take at one course at a time?

The afternoon has come

And my mood has deflated

Will I ever do anything important?

Will I ever feel happy again?

But there is no boss

And I have more time to write

If I really could write all day

And keep my train of thought

I have to see the nurse next month

She likes to experiment on me

How will she change my medicine next time?

Bow wrote his first word - Islam

Beary got his shirt cleaned

I found their hearts last night

They now have a new box for their toys

Commitment and Freedom

A perfectly made bed

And a perfectly pressed uniform

A hard run across the pavement

And push-ups on the living insect ground coverings

A breakfast of hard grits

And salty juice

A bleached protective mask

And a lubricated rifle

A rotating shift

With different days off every week

Are far from a perfect way

To get an edge on life

Running is the only freedom

When you are being put under combat stress

You're only break is when you are in church service

When the drill sergeant is always breathing down your neck

Over 5 years later

Outside the grip of Uncle Sam

There is a calm deep inside

A feeling of silence never leaves

There is no reason to always be alert

There is no threat of attack

There is no one to make all your decisions for you

There is a freedom in being done with war

There is no allegiance that you have to die for

No commitment that might end your life

There is an excitement that comes

When you can go anywhere tomorrow

There is a contentment that comes

When you know you are working for peace

There is a way that you can relax

When you will not be insulted for slipping up

There is a confidence that comes

When you can plan your own day

War brings nothing good

And being done with it is the greatest relief

Why should we sacrifice

For decisions others have made?

What war ever brought less war to follow?

And when will they ever end?

Maybe if they stop enlisting

The Army will have to cease hostilities

2.5.11 French Poetry

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Spirits Follow

I am the wound and the knife! I am the blow and the cheek! I am the limbs and the wheel, And condemned and executioner!

79

From "Heautontimoroumenos" by Charles Baudelaire

Alone in a crowd

All cramped in a tiny room

Locked in from without

All I could see is red

Shivering in torment

Like a doomed soul

Baptized in hellfire

Will they ever let me out?

Alone in my bed

All warm and well fed

A dark cloud rises from the vents

And shakes the window

My soul shivers

And I lay motionless

A wicked voice whispers

My worst fears

There is a danger that is greater than death

There is a fear greater than going mad

There are times when you wish you could hide

Under the shadow of the Lord

There is a way that you could escape

If you locate your enemy

Left hand betraying the right

Your heart revealed secrets to your mind

A dislocated soul

And a warped spiritual dimension

What sword can penetrate to the heart

Dividing the bone from the marrow?

Fighting for peace

Is a delicate struggle

When your home is booby trapped

And your foe looks like your friend

Nothing is sacred

And you are never really alone

The End of Sorrow

Be wise, my Sorrow; oh, more tranquil be! You yearned for day's decline; it comes, is here: Steeping the town, the darkening atmosphere Brings peace to some, to some despondency

80

From "Mediation" by by Charles Baudelaire

From things undone

And fantasies unfulfilled

From out of nowhere

In a sudden burst

Like a blow to the head

A swollen nerve

A weight over my head

Unsteady, I wobble

Things are at an angle

I see in flashes

Quickly to my bed

I hurry as one can

With such a burden

Deviating on my way

Only once I scoop them up

Cradling them gently

Relaxed and soft to the touch

My two best friends are plush

The greatest listeners

Wide eyed

And squinty eyed

We count the sheep

And pull the darkness close

A comforting voice

"I love moo"

And affection returned

A cow kiss

Little hooves

And little horns

In the silence

We turn our backs on sorrow

For a while

And let the night heal

Our plush hearts

Drunk with Purpose

Drunk with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you please But be drunk

81

From "Be Drunk" by Charles Baudelaire

With a steady interest

In maximizing my usefulness

I wake up to the Internet

Reading mail from my family

Sifting through the computer news

I think of something to respond to

To discover different mediums to communicate

To find new ways to think

The world comes into my living room

With the breaking news and inept commentary

I wade through the junk

And withstand the unkind

I look to find my place in the world

Something to make a difference at

I search the classics for questions to answer

For frameworks to give life meaning

And on to hear my mothers voice

What she thinks of my progress

And in the routine of her day

I find perspective to approach my struggles

I feed my mind with thought moderation

I nourish my heart with vegetables and grains

Now is the hard part

The little rodent spins in my head

I dance about the screen

My eyes giving feedback to my fingers

The city just waking up

And making yawning sounds

Soft warmth radiating on me

Shadows forming in the back of my mind

Ideas take form in the recesses of my hard drive

I sort out the poisons I heard

And design a world

Out of the various shades of black for substance

Setting different lights to give texture

Slumped over on the couch

Plush friends in hand

I struggle to make it to my bed

I roll back and forth

Drunk with purpose

Awakening and Rebirth

And in weird shadows rhyming, plucked liked lyres, The laces of my martyred shoes, One foot against my heart

82

From "My Bohemia" by Arthur Rimbaud

Awakening from a long dream

As if in a waking stupor

I began a quest

For women and romance

I wandered in the dance of freedom

Not yet shouldering responsibility

There was a world of my own

Where fluffy cats patrolled

And the mud never ended

Out from which grew the greenest grass

Visions of respect

Coming from the halls of Vala

In a daze of light I a hero

Years later

In a room with sixty men

I lost my emotional innocence

The pain was all I could see

And the quest failed to find the grail

Still clutching on to youth

Fighting for the dream of her

The one I loved

Like a nightingale in the Pit

Coming out of Hell

I was now wise beyond my years

And more foolish than a child

I parted with my memoirs

And fire quenched my desires

Born again from out of the furnace

I walked the path of a peasant

And longed to be a scholar

The following years

Bloomed with new growth

Evergreens were planted in my soul

And the young redwoods budded

Out of the ashes of memory

Not a prophet

Just a disciple

I learned my lesson

And expand my compassion daily

That Kind of Woman

Rattlings of death and rings of muted music make her adorable body rise, expand and tremble like a ghost

83

From "Being Beauteous" by Arthur Rimbaud

Independent and confident

Elegant and refined

Like a tower she stands tall

Leaning neither forward nor backward

A top her head a violet waterfall

Framing her long nose and round eyes

A thousand words she tells with her eyes

With danger and excitement she tells her story

Casting long shadows

They are bright and mischievous

Her mouth parts with breath inhaled

There is a glint of star shine

She is worldly and sensual

Many fall for her charms

Face stark white

And lips red as blood

She is strong and bold

Mysterious and hidden

Like a young girl from Africa

Her hips gently swaying

Moving in gentle strides

She has somewhere to go

Nose adorned with precious metal

Looking down her stomach shines

She is radiant and hot

Sexy and charming

Her jeans black and fitted

She walks on platform shoes

She craves challenge

And she yearns for excitement

Desert Mist

Like a clamorous flock of startled birds, All my memories swoop upon me

84

From "The Nightingale" by Paul Verlaine

My eyelids are heavy as depleted uranium

My heart is burned with radiation

In a flash of the flares

And in the yellow smoke

My mind turns to my childhood

To others taken away

In the silent night

Fire-fights lit up the sky

One side obliterated in hours

Burning carcasses littered the desert

The Army goes rolling along

Over barricades at 40 mph

Pausing only seconds between firing

The young knights barely of age

Trampling the cavalry of years gone by

I dream of a time

When my boots were always polished

And my shirt ironed flat

Of fears lived

And hopes vanished

The god of war is steel

And the protector is a rubber mask

In danger I plead with logic

And critical time slips by

There is no escape

From the grips of Uncle Sam

This is a time

That I remember all too well

When staying awake

Is the least of your worries

When hitting the target is an empty goal

And clearing your rifle seems unimportant

There are times when you want to fly away

And now I can

But when you are in the middle of the beast

There is little you can do

Suicide seems rational

But that would bring little relief

When you hear "Gas! Gas! Gas! "

Two and half seconds is not fast enough

Nightfall

Your soul is a landscape rare

85

From "Moonlight" by Paul Verlaine

It is nightfall and my spirit is free

What a relief darkness brings

The soul struggling for relief

From pressure to scream

Black blood dripping on writing paper

What can I say to make the thoughts stop?

Running on empty, my spirit is faint

Sweet sleep comes with much effort

Dreams offer a more colorful view

Of this landscape of my mind

The air is clear and so is my mind

The void is all that occupies my thought

Ideas like the stars are not out tonight

My imagination is held back by dark clouds

Below lights blur into the night

And only the baser part of me is alive

Thoughts come by at the speed of light

That travels 25 miles an hour

People are already beginning to awake

And my mind is warming up

The lights change from red to green

Is this a sign?

Who knows what lurks in the shadows

Sleepy little furry animals

Maybe a duck bobbing up and down

In the gentle current of the slew

The bus comes by pulling the wind

My inspiration just went by

Nothing to do but listen to the sounds

Of people waking up

The train goes by

And so did the point

2.5.12 Furry Friends Poetry

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Zen Dog

Sweeping tail

And running in circles

She wolfs down the biscuit

Her colleague is crunching patiently

A frisbee takes off

She catches it in mid air

She sees water

And she runs in

A rock takes leave of my hand

She dives in and finds another near by

A flock of birds takes off nearby

She points

What is it like to have such a friend

With so much excitement

With no ego

And no wasted time?

Each day she grows more alert

Staying away from alcohol

And hard bones

She takes care of herself

And it shows

With each sudden step

She has an inner confidence

In every aspect of her life

She grows each day

Her mind is full

Of her best friends face

Taking her along on long rides

She frequently stops at familiar parks

And for people they have come to know

Collecting twigs and leaves

They both are friends of the earth

Each time they meet

There is a warm embrace

The food is plentiful for both

She sees her colleague

In good moods and in bad ones

Their fur is the same color

One woolly and one silky

But they come from different cultures

And have a diversity of proud lineage

They share a meal

And each other's toys

Feelings are shared without hesitation

And communication is always open

Fat Cat

Most Persians are nice

But I am not

My smooched face

Is a product of my distemperment

I go to bed angry

And my face get stuck like that

I am definitely a Republican

I don't think anyone deserves to live at the expense of others

Except me

I know that I am cute

And I use this to my advantage

I use my looks

To get them to let me in

And then I pee in the corner

When no one is looking

I only like to eat expensive food

Like seafood out of the can

I don't keep my fur up

I am too good to have to groom myself

I let my peasant person do it for me

She combs out the knots

I growl when she helps me

So she knows I am higher class than her

I love baskets

And still delude myself into thinking

I am always safe in them

As I was taught as a child

If you pick me up

Out of my basket

I grab on to it

I don't let go

And then drop it down

For you to trip on

Little Chipmunk

I enjoy living here

There are so many nuts

And other chipmunks

To play with

I spend most of my day

Gathering nuts and burying them

I like to watch the people

But if they get close enough

To catch me

I run up the tree nearby

Sometime when we get bored

We throw nuts at the windows

And laugh

As the neighbor kids get blamed

We purposely bury our nuts on the lawn

In little mounds

So when it is mowed

Our nuts are chopped up for us

We are starting to get sick now

As your bug and weed poisons

Are making our kids disruptive in school

And our kids become violent

After watching human children play

Please don't chop down the nut trees

We have lost most of our forest friends

Don't let us lose our families too

2.5.13 Furniture Poetry

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Fifty Panels (Curtains)

dancing in the wind

fluttering out sideways doing stunts

snuggling up close

swinging back and forth gracefully

slapping each other on the back

doing the twist

riding on the wind

patting each other on the bottom

letting their feet dangle

shaking themselves silly

leaning from side to side

wrestling around with each other

jumping out at me

pushing one back and forth between themselves

hanging in the breeze

jostling each other out of line

The Lamp

pushing her dress down as it flares up

leaning back against the wall

wiggling her body up and down

shaking her hips back and forth

swinging her arms out around her

letting her arms dangle down

peering over the wall

shrugging her shoulders

standing on the tip of her toes

bobbing her head up and down

Smoke Detector

Ever ready sentinel

Guardian of our belongings

Friend of the firefighters

Loud noisemaker

Staying awake all night

Willing to perish in flames

Your duty is your life

Blending into the wall

What is it like not to be conscious?

The Window

You are our eyes

We come to you to think

You are a barrier to another world

But you are a special gateway too

You project pathways of flying dust

You are the death wish of birds

You are an ever changing picture

With one fell blow you wouldn't be there

The Door

Unless we kick you in violently

You stand tall and straight

Facing cruel storms without a storm door

Your finger outstretched

You are secure

You bloom at Christmas and mourn at Halloween

Picture Frames

You have our loved ones safe inside you

They peer out at us knowingly

Forged of rich woods and burnished metal

You lean slightly to the side

Why are you not straight?

We sometimes blame the ground

Couch

Beloved couch

I hug your pillows at night

You are so firm and supporting

Your back is strong to hold my weight

Blanket

You cover me with the splendor of a grass covered mound

My feet stick out like roots growing under the sidewalk

Your softness caresses even my toes

You welcome me warmly

2.5.14 Intelligence Poetry

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86

inspired by music sung by the Temptations

It's Growing

I meet the challenges of each project

I surpass myself with greater stretches of my imagination

Each time I complete something new

I look back each day in reflection

It is with a broken rhythm that I follow through

With that which I choose for myself

From writing to reading to drawing

There and back again

Each project something different entirely

But related to every other one in ten thousand ways

Each blurring the distinction between reading writing and drawing

Reaching beyond the limits of distinction

Between the modes of artistic operation

There is a struggle at many points

This creates another kind of broken rhythm

Where the push comes at different angles and in different movements

Is there ever a plateau of peace for an artist

Or is the battle the definition of art?

It would be relaxing to forget about my expectations

And no one would fault me for caring a little less about achievement

But what does that say to others

Who have even greater obstacles to overcome?

With each new project I become a different person

But is it the contents of my portfolio that grow

Or my heart?

But what good is it to grow inside?

But not have anything to give to others

With each word I come nearer to completion of my work

With each second I come nearer the end of my life

How will I make the words count

And the seconds pass by more slowly?

If life is lived too fast

And too much gleaned from too little a stalk

The life of the plant will not last as long

And the sun will fade the life out

Does art even affect others?

Is it too abstract to feel

Or is it just that there are too few

Who are willing to change?

Don't Look Back

With so little time left

Why look back?

It is not the time to look back

Because I can hardly turn my head far enough to get a good angle

There is little room left for turning around

On this narrow road of the muse

But it might look something like this

Where everything means something

There were times when I could not see

Right in front of my face

There was a fog that never lifted

There was a silence that never let up

The air was blurred with the brilliance of the sun

And nothing could escape the glare

I reflected back the warped light

That shown down on me

And there was nothing but shadows

And bright spots darting around me

What appeared to be the stark truth

Was just another lie

Just another reason

For my mind to play tricks on me

There were times when I could barely hold on the world

And there was nothing that could fill the void

When no one was really there

And nothing was real except fear

There was no reason to keep going forward

There was a stop just a head

And my mind had to get off

With nothing to guide me

But illusions of grandeur

Who could recognize me as a prophet

But my true enemy - my deluded mind

With each step it became easier to walk

And I started walking forward

My mind stopped going in circles

And there was time to stop and ask for directions

Ain't too Proud to Beg

Please stay for me

It is not often that your visit is so pleasant

What can I do to make you more comfortable?

What reason is there for you to comfort me?

It is not that I need the company

But that you are now a part of me

I do not trust my choices

Without your guidance

It is not that you make such a difference

In the daily routines that I struggle with

But it is the long lonely nights

And times I push to get more done

That I need you most

That no other will work as substitute

Now that you understand

How I feel

I can perhaps show you

The depth of my desire

Without your imagination I can create nothing

Without your intellect I cannot understand why I create

Without your calm I cannot go through a stressful moment

Without your judgment I cannot stay away from the hospital

There are times when you go away

Without telling me

I have a hard time

Letting you go

But that is no reason

To leave without notice

I try my best to take care of you

But you are so hungry for attention

You eat up so much time

And you do not remind me when you need something

I work hard to keep you entertained

And out of trouble

But can there be a time

When you can look after me?

Could you make it on your own

Just one day more?

All I Need

I'm sorry that it happened that way

I didn't know that I hurt you

There is a blindness with love

That no salve can heal

There are reasons why I do not notice

That which hurts you most

It is not that I don't care

But obliviousness is common in our relationship

We do not communicate so as to not hurt the other

Why we cast long glances at each other in silence

The truth is just too sad

And the reality uncompromising

What is there to a meaningful relationship?

What would it take to make us happy together?

Is it filled with mirrors and sunlight

Or is it better that it be cool and dark?

Is self love the same as a long friendship?

Does there need to be some other comparison?

Does the mind know the heart as well

As two lovers know of each others likes?

Can you trust your heart

When your mind is broken?

Is there a way to heal both organs at once?

How can one live without either one?

The mind's heart is fragile indeed

But strong enough to wound the greater heart

How can I say I am sorry

When my heart cannot think without you?

There must be something to do

To mend a broken mind

There must be a way

To learn from the heart

Is the heart the only organ that loves

Or is the mind the only part that can feel true love?

I Wish it would Rain

There are times when the sky weeps for us

When we are not strong enough to let out our feelings

Sometimes it feels like that is the only way

To weep enough to satisfy your heart

The mind is not as strong as the heart

But it feels all the more

Sometimes it is not smart to think with your heart

And feel with your mind

But that is how it usually works out

We don't seem to have enough sense

To use our organs right

I cannot walk farther than the grocery store today

I cannot smile long enough for you to see

There are not enough hours to sleep today

I cannot complete a sentence today

Without my mind able to do the heavy thinking

My heart is troubled

And here doesn't seem to be any relief

There is no way to hold back the flood of feelings

I wish I could stop the blinding heat

Emitting from my mind

There is nothing to slow the pain

When the heart no longer has a hold

2.5.15 Jesus Poetry

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The One

The words jump out at you

They dance on the page

A steady light to pierce through the mist and shadows

A light that gravity cannot bend

A power that surpasses that of the undead

Like a quark compared to a strand of DNA

A book of the highest magic

A chill like that of a winter storm

As soothing as a glass of tea for a sore throat

A written record that proves history as we know it is a lie

Balrogs and Orcs ambush us at every turn

The road goes ever on and on

He stands taller than an Elven King

With strength greater than that of a ring

The battle is fought even in the Shire

Little Hobbits pass by without notice

The evil within is greater than that of the Dark Lord

We must struggle each year with the pain of our youth

Stepping out on the first day of the Fellowship

Knowing terror lurks under every darkened forest

But that One older than the forest is singing merrily

And in the havens the Immortals sing songs higher than we can sing

We are inseparable with the One even when at the farthest reaches of the universe

Our brothers and sisters move in concert with our every twitch

The words spoken by the Hebrew prophets thousands of years ago

Are a postmodern deconstruction of our present situation

What broke the symmetry of the emptiness?

Is it the same force that has slowed down the explosion of new life forms?

That disharmony increases with every day

That we fly apart faster every second

The Majestic, Down to Earth

A comet down to a meteor pebble

A red giant star to a black hole

The One now just a grain of sand in a mile long stretch of beach

The One now a snowflake in a winter snowstorm

How much greater was His descent to earth?

With the authority to bend the laws of physics and chemistry

With the ability to create life out of nothing

The eternal now confines Himself to a human life span

That which all creation cannot contain is born a helpless child

His head turned down in respect for others

His eyes wide so that He does not harm anything

His feet dirty because He does not think of himself

His hands calloused from His devotion to his family business in His youth

His understanding is brilliant as diamonds

His words are as clear as glass

His insight is like polished bronze

He delicacy in speech is like that of a potter

We are weighed down with worry about how those who hate us will retaliate

The government is turning on those who are trying to save us

Our time is spent working for multinational corporations dreams

Our investments are lost because they were based on deceitful schemes

His message is for our time

Humility and compassion are the keys to restoring our lives

Jesus

Is the universe in constant struggle

Between good and evil?

Does not nature possess more order?

Do we not have breaks between calamities?

Do basic structures break down

Most of the time or infrequently?

Both merciful and just

All-powerful and humble

All-wise yet foolish by our standards

A joke more serious than a tragedy

Is He both opposites at once

Or merely a mixture of equal parts

He is everything

He is my whole world

Yet He is not contained by His creation

Is He merely first order infinity?

Greater than someone could write down

Powers of infinity in an infinite time period

If He were just a Greek god

Or the heavenly ruler of China

He would not even bow Himself down

To visit earth

But He is infinitely greater than everything He could create in all of eternity

Stretching in an infinite number of dimensions if He never ceased

God does not struggle against evil

He beat all the powers of evil that ever will be or have been

With just a sentence

God is God enough to live as a man

Secure enough in His holiness to save all of mankind in a single night

Not afraid to descend into the pit of Hell

And powerful enough to rebuke the Devil himself, in His own name

When we look to God

To shuffle blame to Someone we don't think will respond

We have to calm ourselves and be rational

God is not a man and does not make mistakes

Our problems are caused by our own bad choices

And the bad choices of others

But He already has answered our prayer

He has shortened the time of the tribulation

And as we pray more and more

It comes nearer and nearer

So we won't have it hanging over our grand children's heads

2.5.16 Limits Poetry

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Obstacles

I awake to the sound

Of a hoarse cracking voice

Sharp, shrill, and unrelenting

"Someone stole my cane again

My hearing aids, and my dress

The young man down 3 doors down"

I am the only young man

Who lives here

But not 3 doors down

Luckily for me

I pass the front office

A tall thin man with a cowboy hat

Asking me to help him

In the bathroom

With what I don't want to know

He is blocking my way

And keeps pleading with me desperately

I pass to other end of the hallway

A lady less than 4 feet tall

Hunched over on her walker

"Can you check my door"

I don't know if it's locked

Pleading louder and louder

With urgency and with fervor

And finally she is there

Our savior

The girl from Ipanema

Long and thin

With flowing hair

And smooth skin

She speaks with confidence and authority

Guiding the geriatric along their way

Look Behind You!

Look behind you

She's coming

I can hear her whining voice

Trying to cover her demands

With a sing song girly voice

A moment later

A not very muffled whimpering

I look down the hall

In the direction of the noise

A large gray frizzy haired lady

Stomps down towards me

I can see the dark clouds

Hovering over her a mile away

Her world is crashing down

Someone complained about the dog poop

They stepped in in front of their door

The one next to hers

The one room she lives in

With 2 large dogs

One she claimed was trained

Its behavior says otherwise

The Dalmatian and German Shepherd in tow

She clears the hall

The smart dash away

Down another hall

Or to their rooms

She sits next to my table in the dining room

She bugs me all day long in the activities room

And now she wants to move in next to me

Look behind you

She's coming

Old Swings Her Cane at You

A hunchback with a bad blond dye job

And eyeliner put on in the dark

A permanent forced grin

And swinging her cane

At her staggering Lassie dog

And ready for a Russian winter

She can't seem to remember

What a hot dog is

So the waiter has to go over it 3 times

She is the only one

Who doesn't need to be here

She doesn't have any problems like us

Except she can't remember to pay her bills on time

And can't get along with anyone

You have to remember that she is too good for us

Playing games is not for her

Her thing is telling other what to do

If she can't think of what to scream about at you

She will start a long winded speech

She won't come up for air for 3 hours

Talking about her 3 jobs

All her long dead relatives

She hasn't seen for at least a decade

How are society is based on someone called Jesus

Which she doesn't think the pastor talks enough about

Or maybe it is just she doesn't like what he says

Jesus or the pastor - take your pick

She doesn't seem to understand when you talk about limitations

She says she never had any problems

So no one else should either

She can't relate

2.5.17 Mainstream Poetry

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87

based on the Realist philosophy of Han Fei Tzu

Integrity

Talk in secret

Plan in the dark

Hide in the shadows

Never disclose your sources

Does it matter

What is right and wrong?

Just shut up

And do as your told

Affairs are normal

They come with the territory

Just don't make promises

To those you sleep with

Influencing others is easy

Just pad their ego

Speak highly of others

Who think as they do

Administration

Do not be too nice

Or soften your policies

Your hard heart

Might give way

Forget to honor

Those who sacrifice

They should be grateful

Since you're all that

Send the homeless back

To migrant labor

And 18 hour work days

Working themselves to death

Don't let soldiers

Return to their families

Or get civilian jobs

It is their duty

To be put in danger

And to be paid little

It used to be ok

To be kind

But people are jerks

And need to be treated badly

Winning hearts and minds

Is said by the ignorant

Who cares what the people think

We don't need their loyalty

Power

Dividing power amongst the leaders

Will just cause disorder

Leaders should be distant

And unresponsive to the people

If he listens to the people

They might expect something from him

If the leader makes compromises

He loses too much

Why should he make concessions

And lose his absolute grip on power

We cannot serve both the common good

And still defend individual rights

Patriotism means not asking for protections

But sacrificing so the government can take over more

If the leadership does not approve of pundits

They should be silenced and lose their jobs

If the leaders like the proponents

They should make the children study their propaganda

Opinions

Women go downhill after 30

But men haven't reached their prime until 50

Doctors are just out for the money

Nurses just want extra benefits

No one in health care

Works for anything other than the money

People are unwilling to invest

Even when the payoff is big

And the investment is little

Just bet your retirement

On the latest technology

Its a sure thing

Why be nice to your employees

People only follow dictators

Art is unproductive

And should not be promoted

What we really need

Is more people to sign up for the Army

So we can push around small countries

And more ranchers

So we can have an even more heart disease

Give the taxes to the corporations not the people

Poor people got that way because they are lazy

It is not the government's responsibility

To look after its people

2.5.18 Plush Moments Poetry

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Plush Valentine

Strong hooves and a beaming smile

I reach out wide to hug you

I give you my plush heart

And shower you with muzzle kisses

I know you like chocolate

Would you like your very own

Plush M and M friend

We can move to the beat

We can boogie-woogie the night away

We can sit together under the plastic tree

And find shade under the brown tent

Let's share the grass

And roll around in plush meadows

You are always on my mind

Even in my dreams

From when we are set on the couch

To when we count the sheep

Each day my love for you grows

As our friendship progresses

I even care for your child

As if he were my own

Let's be more than friends

Lets make memories together forever

And walk into the everlasting pastures

Hoof in hoof

New Calf

I am so excited

About your new friend

The little calf

Who follows you around

And looks up to you

And shines when he sees your smile

He can barely stand for long

His legs are wobbly

And his balance isn't developed

But he has the heart

Of a seasoned ox

With each new step

You record his progress

And he surprises you each day

He still talks in simple words

And is puzzled with most of life

Everything is new to him

And he feels awkward and uncomfortable

When he is alone

He looks to you for guidance

And he is impressed by your wisdom

I look forward to meeting

Your little one

To watch him graze

For the first time

And jump over the fence

For greener grass

Today an Ox

Today is the day

You become an ox

I have seen you grow

In stature and wisdom

Over these last few years

As the grass grows and withers

You have learned about

Your fellow grazers

The folly of revolution

How to cheer each other up

To not wander outside

Developing your inner joy

Seeing beyond toys and entertainment

To a bond of friendship

And taking time to rest

Along the way

You have a love of learning

And have grown capable

To lead entire herds

As each day passes

I enjoy each stage of your growth

You are now capable

Of making decisions for others

And see the bigger pasture

And seek to stop the suffering

Of the steer

2.5.19 Personal History, an Epic Poem

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Reflections on Soldiering

The room is glowing red

We are convulsing in the furnace

Within a crematoria though alive

We gasp for breathe as though drowning

Little chamber filled with fire

How long will we be locked within your walls?

Large beady eyes glare at us

Telling us to surrender our eyes to the flames

Behind the masks and beneath the suits

Our leaders show no sign of care

No understanding

Of the corrosive atmosphere

Bound within the gates of Hell

We are paralyzed with fear

After spending several ages in fire

The door is flung open

We are allowed out one by one

The burning gradually decreases

And we can begin to breathe again

But at any moment

We may be forced back in

Next time it will be longer

And there is no end in sight

Each day we spend in training

We lose a year's memory

Our days before we went to war

Fade to be nothing more than a dream

There is no time to enjoy life or relax

When every waking hour must be devoted discipline

Our music is the orders of the Drill Sergeant

And our dance is the manual of arms

Our only realm for expression is in our dreams

And our only book is the Soldiers Manual

We believe in the claymore and in our protective masks

They are all that watch over us

We are free when we are running

As long as we are fast enough

How can I live any longer

With the threat of drowning in fire?

I never would have chosen this road

If I knew what war was like

If a POW camp is harder than this life

And combat is both more boring and more terrifying than training

How will I withstand the reality of war?

How will I become a soldier?

There are no more choices to make

After the one that got me here

There is no independence in the Army

There is no justice in what we do

How can we defend others rights

When we have none?

Drill Sergeant says I am now a soldier

That I have been transformed

That there is nothing but shame in turning back

That there is hope in what lies ahead

That I will not have to face the same realities

The others will have to face

But I for the first time understand fear

And I cannot trust anyone to save me

I am on my own with no one looking over me

Yet I have no freedom and no escape

I feel like an infant

I feel weak and powerless

But there is no guardian

There is no one I know

Dying doesn't scare me

But the possibilities of suffering do

I see no meaning

Except in avoiding pain

There is no reason to live

And no protection except in death

Descent into Madness

I now know the horrors exist

That are worse than we can imagine

I am now in constant pain

I carry in my eyes the unquenchable fire

The one that never stops burning

I am injured beyond repair

But my country says its not that bad

I cannot study for long

Nor can I concentrate

I manage to pass enough classes

By learning quickly and a good memory

I try to meet others

But I am too tired to extend myself

No one will hire me

Except for a phone survey place

I cannot work with chemicals

My eyes burn even worse in their presence

My paranoia continues to grow

I think I am growing a third eye

Spiritual warfare seems to make sense

But I end up in the hospital

And the doors lock behind me

I am now in Hell again

But only my mind burns

I cannot escape

But time passes by more quickly

I move out to the outside room

And am allowed to have some freedom

I go home

And continue to sleep for long time periods

I struggle to get on my own

And get acknowledged that I am ill

I struggle to read again

And am finally able to write again

Becoming an Artist

I finally decide I have said enough

And my message is complete

But two towers fall

And 3000 people die in a plume of smoke

My poetry reaches maturity

And becomes on par with any other

I am published for the first time

In a respectable journal

I get a Mac and I learn to draw

And then I am able to arrange music

I bring my pain and my hope

To others in art

All good writers are moral

Out of compassion comes beauty

And I have an increasing joy

To draw from

As I learn about other cultures

And revolutionary ideas

Out of the poetry and art

An eccentric blend of theory is born

And eventually a subculture

The theory gets a human face

2.5.20 Progressive Poetry

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Frustration

Struggling to lift the heavy lids

My eyes burst open

And I stagger to the other room

With immense effort

I live in a dream within a dream

My paranoia within God's thoughts

My will is strong

And my spirit unbreakable

But my mind only controls

Some of my thoughts

And my body is weak

And continually asleep

My burden is not light

As Jesus said for those

Who walk with Him

And its shadow is ever before me

When your mind cannot cease

From racing at full speed

And your body is heavily sedated

Everything is a battle of will

And your spirit pushes your body

My heart is pressed on all sides

By my unquenchable emotions

And unmovable flesh

But my heart is still wild and unwavering

How will I complete the contest?

How many years will this situation last?

When you are dead tired

And you are nowhere near the finish

You must slow down and keep going

When you would much rather lie down and die

How will I summon the energy

Without the strength of mind or body

Will I be able to survive by spirit alone?

Do I know how to achieve solely by will?

Each day we wake up and begin

Before even thinking "what next? "

But at night we worry over

What has and hasn't happened

If only my spirit could know the rhythm

And my will the attitude

That can harmonize with the Way

And outlast this disease

We can only hope

And pray without ceasing

Heaven and Earth

There is a rhythm that exists

Deep inside your spirit

When all you hear is breathing

And your mind is all alone

Thoughts take flight

And you see nothing

Returning the power to Heaven

And the ten thousand things

Follow your mind

Liberation is a subtlety

And freedom comes from control

The hierarchy reflects nature

And the order is transparent

Within an instant

Everything fades away

The mind is ruler

And the body follows

When the mind is empty

The body is fully alert

With each breath

Heaven takes more territory

And the Earth longs

For heaven's leadership

A unity exists

When Heaven is patriarch

And his rule is sage-like

And shows perspective

The Way leads to your heart

And is illuminated by your breath

Heaven leads the Way

And each member settles in

For a long peace

And a stable rule

The Way is narrow

When your mind is a casualty of war

It broadens

As Heaven is seated on your throne

Completion

Being finished and moving on

Is a very satisfying experience

It is not that I don't enjoy

The stages along the way

But the lifting of responsibilities

Is freeing and relieving

Word by word

And stroke by stroke

I put my thoughts

To digital paper

With each task completed

A new one is born

Ideas drift in in waves

And inspiration hovers for a while

The past is very safe

The best protection for ideas

Putting years between yourself

And the project

Not only gives perspective

But affords time for others to absorb it

New seeds are planted

And grow to harvest

No one can take away your experiences

Nothing can diminish what you have accomplished

In every person's life

There are moments of reflection

And to have something important done

Provides a place of serenity

And a way to relive experiences

While I don't know

What the future holds

Nor what works are left undone

I can see progress

And I know I have exerted genuine effort

I have fought for those who cannot

In a way that is both obscure

And possibly very natural

That makes it worthwhile

And the effort seems easy

2.5.21 Salvation Poetry

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Fallen

I woke up with my human and the cows

Pike had fallen off the bed

I remember last night

Because of my experiment he fell

Seeing how far on the edge

He could lay without falling

I hid under the pillow

When I was found

I realized the gravity of the situation

How could I be so careless?

He was my friend and a fellow sheep

I knew I had committed a crime

Luckily he was still alive

He said "look friend, be more careful next time"

I knew I got off easy this time

He was a good sheep

I couldn't let this happen again

I would sleep closest to the edge

As a buffer for Pike

Now we are closer

And he has forgotten

That terrible night

I now think each night

How lucky I am to have Pike

What a friend he is to forgive

I realize I was the one who had fallen

I was the one who had suffered loss

I needed God to forgive me

I needed His grace

Without his closeness

I could not live my life

How could I turn my back

On my Creator

The giver of life

I asked for a pardon

He renewed my heart

I live each day

As a new sheep

And my blue ribbon

Is no longer my life

When

We all sit in anticipation

On the bed, on the shelf, or on the dresser

Waiting for the Lamb to come

Now we follow the cows

But when the Great Lamb comes

He will be our Leader

With each passing hour

We long for the Sheep still in his youth

We mourned His death

But He is still perfectly white

His blood washes away all wrong

We try to do what He would do

But the world is getting scarier

Sheep have to sell their very coats for food

And some even like to eat our youth

How long must we wail

For our sons and daughters slain in their youth

And our ancient ones freezing in the rain?

He will come from the clouds

With power and wisdom

And rescue us

Who die as quickly as the grass we eat

And bring water of peace to our pasture

How much longer will our food be poisoned

And our water continue to make us sick?

There is an end to the injustice

Even as there will be and end to the earth

But there is hope beyond death

For all living things

By this Lamb we are saved

From our own foolishness

From our careless mistakes

To live in pastures forever green

And drinking of water that is alive

My Sheep

While waiting for the Great Lamb

I have realized

I have my own sheep

Pike is someone I can reach out and hug

He is my friend

He listens when I am sad

And when I have Good News

He is how I see the Great Lamb

He is willing to talk

And when I do wrong

To forgive me

It is a blessing to have a relationship

With a fellow sheep

We experience everything together

We now fall off the bed together

And we visit the cows side by side

Having fellowship with Pike is very meaningful

We can think of the Great Lamb in unison

It is a pleasure to have a role model

A sheep I can look up to

There is nothing more special

Than our reaching out to the cows

Helping them fall asleep

And being called by my number

With each wobbly step

We come closer to meeting the Great Lamb

Our human reads us verses

Of how God is a Lamb

And how He died

So no farm animal needed to die again

We cheer up our human

And he looks after us

This year we're going to by in a nativity

To celebrate the birth of the Great Lamb

He was human then

But born in our food box

And angels appeared to the sheep at night

And Pike and I continue to look to the skies

For the Great Lamb's second coming

But until then

We will enjoy each other's company

In fellowship with our own personal sheep

2.5.22 Self Poetry

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With one material, many souls

What is our true self?

What is our true identity?

Are we one with God

Is God in us or is He our true identity?

Is the individual soul an illusion?

Do we only exist as One?

Truly there is something

That unites the universe

Not only is there something

That unites body and mind

But also the same thing

Is the foundation of everything

And there is something else

The same moral purpose in everything

But we also have a soul that exists

And although it may be made of the same

As that of matter and energy and of other souls

The composition is unique

In each one of us

Just as each snowflake is made of the same molecule

There are ten thousand different kinds

Each one is an individual creation

With its own shape, size, and texture

So does our soul have a unique identity

And we have our own special characteristics

So we can share a common God

And we can empathize with each other

We can understand what it is to be human

And have the same desire to know our Creator

But we each have our own will

And we are directed by a different facet

Of the same moral purpose

To the extent that we have cultivated it

To the extent that we desire to know God

Directions

We are all moving in different directions

But our makeup is aligned at the same slope

We can move a mountain

If we have the faith of a mustard seed

If we seek God with all our heart

We can have eternal life

With even the effort of our own will

We can effect great change

As long as we are in sync

With the Greater Moral Purpose

As long as we act

In concert with God's will

We share the same substance

But we each have a different mind

A different will and heart

We can share in general moral purpose

But each is going toward a different direction

It is where these lines of purpose intersect

That we are linked in a bigger task

Like each cell we live and die in our own timing

We have our own body and our own director

As an organ we are working towards a larger purpose

And in this way we can act as one

Many wills, with the same thing in their minds and on their hearts

With one Leader

We follow with a mind that thinks its own thoughts

Just because we are not the same spirit

Does not mean we cannot work as one in the Spirit of God

We do not need to be God

To know that we are interlinked in relationships

And connected in Greater Purpose

Holy Spirit

These contours upon which we travel

Are the straightest path to the nearest soul

We can know we are in agreement

And work as with one body

Because we understand

We are each separate members

That have wills working together

While we keep our hearts and minds focused

But what is this road upon

Which the mind is linked to its vessel

How does the distinct mind of one being

Understand what the mind of the other is doing

Without asking and without explanation

Without external signal of any kind?

It is like the cool current of wind

In the penetrating heat of our yellow sun

It is a subtlety that unites our thinking

And brings us together for greater purpose

Donning the protective mask

In one fluid motion

Or knowing what line of code is wrong

Just by seeing how the web page looks

There is another level

In which we understand

Another way in which things happen

Than the official regulations

It is how someone writes without an outline

And still puts together a coherent argument

It is in a way that cannot be pinned down

It has no universal name

In the Bible we know it

As the Holy Spirit

Or God in the world

Who brings together His flock

2.5.23 Suffering Poetry

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Good for Nothing

There is a pain that is deeper than a broken bone

When a blistered heal does not bring noticeable discomfort

There are times when a dark hand reaches for us

When we dodge but can't run away fast enough

There is no time that is safe from the threat

When the hand is stretched out before you

There is a pain that does not pass like a hangover

When there is an unnatural anguish

There are things that hurt that have no remedy

When they cannot find the cause

There is a burden that weighs a person down to the ground

When you cannot keep from crying

There is a heat that arises from within

When you are delirious with pain

There is a cloud that hovers over your head

When all you can see is the shadows of doom

There is a silence that rings in your ears

When hearing laughter causes pain

There is a point where you think you will burst

When the moment lasts forever

There are times when you wonder how bad Hell is

When the only escape is death

There is a way that you feel all alone

When in the midst of a busy street and a crowded restaurant

There is time when you wish you were alone

When for others to suffer the same is unthinkable

White

We all bleed white

Hoof in paw

We stand together

Out of beak and muzzle

We speak with one voice

We are stuffed with love

And filled with joy

We gaze steadily out of shiny eyes

We are curious about your world

On fluffy cushions

And downy soft blankets

We lay down or sit up

But we are always ready

To play as soon as you fall asleep

To go on adventures when you leave for work

We comfort your children

And console your sick

We our brothers and sisters

We cry when one is sent away

We fall into depression

When you don't touch us and talk to us

Dark and Light

My eyes can only see spots

The sun is so bright

The intensity of my hallucinations

Breaks through the clouds without effort

The shadows stretch out before me

As despair engulfs me

With an icy coolness

That makes the warmth fly away

The twin forces swipe at each other

They move closer

Coming into view

They are now in each others grip

They embrace

It was just a friendly wrestle

To see who gets to pounce on me first

Taking turns at my humiliation

What is the meaning of light and dark?

Does light only pierce through dark?

Dualities that are at odds with me

And not each other

When it is clearest in my mind

There is neither light nor dark

There is no shade to hide under

Nor sun to blind me

There is a cool mist

And everything is deep green

The color of life overwhelms me

And the brights and dark fade away

They are tumbled together

In a cycle of moods

Each jarring for a glimpse

Through my minds eye

I am not my own

My very heart betrays

The excitement of the spring dawn

The calm of the fall dusk

Sometimes the brightness

Is just as intense as the darkness

And I am not even an object

To be judged

But just a leaf in the wind

A seed blown along the ground

There is no place that is safe

When your mind has turned on you

2.6 New Testament

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2.6.1 Introduction

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Many people think that finding God's will requires hearing God's voice directly, a miracle, or a hidden passage of scripture with an obscure meaning. God's will is simply to love Him by obeying His commandments which is to love God. We are to work for justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. If an opportunity comes into your life and it is consistent with scripture, that is all you need; there is no way to get any more sure about it than that. Remember, even pastors make mistakes and are just as human as we are; you are not responsible for following what your church teaches, but rather what God has revealed in the Bible.

Also, there are deeper meanings to Scripture, but no hidden meanings. What Jesus says in the Gospel are not Zen koans, but rather are simple illustrations that were only hard to understand for the disciples who were still waiting for Jesus' death and resurrection. Now that we know that Jesus died and rose again, we can interpret most scriptures as relating to this and the basic message of being born again or saved, without ascending to some higher plane.

2.6.2 Gospel of John

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He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

88

John 3:18-21

Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

89

John 4:13b-14

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

90

John 6:63

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

91

John 8:12

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

92

John 8:31-32

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

93

John 9:2-3

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

94

John 10:8-11

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

95

John 10:27-28

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

96

John 12:46

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

97

John 14:21

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

98

John 16:13

2.6.3 First Epistle to the Corinthians

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Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

99

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

100

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

101

1 Corinthians 13:9-12

All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

102

1 Corinthians 15:39-44

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

103

1 Corinthians 15:56-58

2.6.4 Epistle to the Hebrews

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For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

104

Hebrews 4:8-16

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

105

Hebrews 5:12-14

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

106

Hebrews 12:1-3

2.7 Study Questions

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2.7.1 To Test Basic Comprehension

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Questions about My Philosophy

1. Are you part of my intended audience and why?

2. What do I want you to learn from me?

3. What was the major event in my life that started my studies?

4. What book inspired this study?

5. What is my disability?

6. How has my disability influenced my beliefs and outlook on life?

7. What philosophical issues does my philosophy deal mainly with?

8. What philosophical disciplines am I primarily concerned with?

9. What is the name of my ethical system?

10. What ethical approach do I follow?

11. What is the name of my theology?

12. What are my philosophical methods of inquiry?

13. What Asian religion and philosophies do I follow?

14. When did I choose them?

15. What technique do I use to evangelize?

16. What is the solution to most paradoxes of the Bible?

Questions about other Major Belief Systems

1. What are the similarities and differences between a philosophy and a religion?

2. What are the major Asian philosophies?

3. What are the major Asian revealed religions?

4. Why don't I study earth religions?

5. What can be learned from each of the major Asian revealed religions and philosophies?

6. Why have I studied Buddhism for so much longer than Confucianism, Taoism, or Hinduism?

7. Where does the Zen in Zen Buddhism come from?

8. Why is Chinese philosophy so suited to me?

9. What is the main difference between Taoism and Buddhism?

10. What is the main difference between Chinese and Indian philosophy?

11. What is my second favorite Asian revealed religion?

12. What are the social sciences?

13. What are the humanities?

14. What is wrong with the social sciences?

15. What is the European Enlightenment?

16. What are some major limitations of the ideas of the European Enlightenment?

17. Can someone believe in the supernatural truths of the Bible and still follow Postmodernism?

18. What idea can resolve the incompatibilities of Existentialism and Taoism?

Detailed Questions

1. What does plush mean?

2. What do I mean by still life?

3. How does still life fit into Existentialism and Taoism?

4. What do I take pictures of mostly and why do I take pictures of these things?

5. Where are most of my pictures taken of and why are they taken there?

2.7.2 To Test Basic Decision Making

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Christian Specific Questions

1. What mistakes has the Church as an institution made over the centuries?

2. Is European civilization based more on Greek philosophy or on the Bible?

3. Do you believe that Christianity was given a legitimate chance to show its usefulness as a method of empowerment?

4. Who are thew most important Christian thinkers for you?

5. What were the most positive developments of the last 500 years of history and do they outweigh the negative developments?

1. What are the main values of Christianity?

2. What does Christianity provide other than a means to salvation?

1. Is it possible to grow beyond the first stage of salvation and Christian maturity?

2. What things should Christians avoid involvement in according to the Bible?

3. What does someone have to do or believe to be considered a Christian?

4. Is it acceptable or understandable for Christians to act like non-Christians?

5. Should a person believe the Bible because of rational reasons or by faith alone and what are the problems with each of these views?

1. In what ways is Biblical prophecy useful other than to predict future events?

2. Which major world philosophy is most inline with the teachings of the Bible?

3. Which Christian denomination is closest to what the Bible says doctrinally, by its actions, and by its atmosphere?

4. Can anarchy be Christian?

5. What would a Christian government that was run according to the Bible be like and would you like to be a part of it?

1. What would be the theological problems with being able to travel back and forth in time in regards to the Bible?

2. What theological problems do the possibility of other dimensions and aliens have on Bible based beliefs?

3. Why doesn't the Bible talk about aliens directly?

4. How would you respond if we met an alien race who predominantly believed in Jesus Christ as their personal savior?

1. What are the theological problems with believing in a literal Heaven and Hell?

2. What is the difference between Heaven and Hell?

3. Does God send everyone to Hell who aren't explicitly born again?

4. Can you believe in the Bible and still believe in reincarnation?

Mainly Philosophy Oriented Questions

1. Do you prefer to have simple answers that you can memorize as explanations for the problems that trouble you or would you rather struggle to find answers that are harder to explain but are more satisfying?

2. Do you like to read things that you don' agree with and why?

3. What is the point of studying philosophy and what do you gain by it?

4. What is your favorite belief system and why?

5. If someone disproved your beliefs by argument, how would you respond and why?

6. What belief system do you think has the best response to suffering?

7. Did people always think they way they do today?

8. Can children understand philosophy?

9. Are we taught philosophy in school, should we be?

1. Describe the feeling you get from my poetry.

2. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of my approach?

3. Do you think more people will respond to direct evangelism or a guided but independent discovery process?

4. Can the average person understand paradox?

5. What would motivate you to be creative?

6. If you could be smarter without any side effects, would you choose to do the treatment?

7. How would someone live a life of faith?

1. Is Existentialism more Christian than Atheist and if it was, why did it inspire so much Atheism?

2. What are the main applications of Asian philosophy?

3. Which Asian philosophy would you most like to learn more about?

4. What are the advantages of mysticism and the advantages of rationalism?

1. What is the difference between eternal and everlasting?

2. Is it possible that there is only one way to Heaven?

3. Is it better to have multiple paths to Heaven than just one path and what are the positive and negative philosophical implications of this?

Philosophy Electives

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by Ben Huot

3.1 First Things

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3.1.1 Logo

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I should explain what the logo is meant to be representing. The guy is a pen, which is me, which comes from my first poem in Philosophy Core, called Creative Process, where I refer to myself as doing Tai Chi, with my pen being my body. The idea is based on "the pen is mightier than the sword" so I created "the Bible is mightier than the pen".

The Bible is shooting out flames because in Ephesians it talks about spiritual warfare and the Bible is the only armament that is offensive. (It means offensive instead of defensive. These are common terms used in combat. The sword is the only spiritual weapon. All the other armaments expressed in Ephesians are protective and defensive in nature like a shield, a helmet, a breastplate, etc.) The flames are meant as in James when it talks about being purified by fire or struggles with temptation in our lives. Isaiah also was purified by a live coal to his lips by a Seraphim. So the usage of fire is not evil or anything violent. Think of it as purifying.

I would ideally like it to show the sword turned inward to his chest, symbolizing like in many fantasy books that when they defeat the great evil force in the world, they are left with the greatest task, which is to defeat the evil within. The Bible is said to be a 2 sided sword, with the ability to cut between bone and marrow, and show the truth. Christ's tongue is said to be a 2 edged sword in Revelations, to defeat the Devil with. The reason I didn't show this is it looks like he is committing suicide.

The spiritual warfare is not against people, ideas, or even spirits. It is about fighting for the purity of our own minds. It is an internal thing. Like the Native American proverb "my greatest enemy is myself." This purity is in regard to our own sins and does not refer to purity in any other sense. But this is a process, not an outcome, as it is not possible for us to live without sin.

This warfare is only spiritual in the sense that it is not militant, social, economic, or political. This is for my own moral and ethical development and consists of practical qualities I try, with Christ's help, to cultivate like humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness and do not correspond to anything supernatural.

3.1.2 Other Books

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My text books and picture books contain most of my work over the past 10 years. These include my reading of some 235 books containing the philosophical and religious thinking of the world's cultures for several thousand years and the application of the main themes of some of the major Old Testament Prophets and major works of the New Testament.

The main point of this work is to get people to stopping living their lives with their minds, but instead follow their hearts. I bring a radically different combination of viewpoints that you have not heard of before. I am not asking people to follow what I have written, but rather let the words stir up some sort of emotional response in your heart.

I challenge my readers to come up with their own unique ideas and that can lead the world in a new direction. We need a much broader diversity of ideas in our culture to deal with the problems we are facing in America and throughout the rest of the world.

3.1.3 For More Information

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For more books and information, visit me on the web at http://benjamin-newton.com/

Feel free to send me e-mail regarding the books and website at mailto:ben@benjamin-newton.com I even enjoy constructive criticism

3.1.4 Cover Graphic

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3.1.5 Dedication and Credits

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Special thanks to my stuffed toy cows, Beary, Bow, Patrick, Bernie, George, and the rest of Hurd Herd for their support, encouragement, humor, and ideas.

Scriptures marked NIV were taken from the HOLY BIBLE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV Copyright 1973, 1987, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House All rights reserved.

3.1.6 License

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This entire PDF is licensed together under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License as a whole, and nothing is to be separated, added on to, or modified in any manner.

Clarification on what no derivatives means:

No changes may be made in any way including but not limited to:

the material content and design must be copied as a whole (everything contained in this pdf file)

1. with nothing added

2. without anything taken away

must be kept in its original form with no additions or subtractions to

1. file formats

2. HTML and CSS code

3. PDF files

4. graphics and movies

5. sounds, music, and spoken word

6. interactivity and flash

7. file and directory structure

8. filenames and directory names

9. links

10. distribution method

11. DRM and ads

3.2 Introduction to Ethics

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3.2.1 Overview

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Problems

It is my personal belief, after 35 years experience of it, that there is no such thing as Christian Civilization. I believe that Christianity and modern civilization are opposed and irreconcilable, and that the spirit of Christianity and of our ancient religion is essentially the same.

107

Ohiyesa or Charles Alexander Eastman

...I deem to be a remarkable fact that man, as long as he regarded himself as a creature, interpreted his existence in the image of God, his creator; but as soon as he started considering himself a creator, began to interpret his existence merely in the image of his own creation, the machine.

108

Viktor Frankl in "Metaclinical Implications of Psychotherapy" in The Will to Meaning

Most of us know that there is something wrong with the way the world is. Some say it is industry while others say it has something to do with sex, but there is a root problem that underlies all these things. Most people who get this far would say it is intellectuality or ignorance. I say it is the ignorance of intellectuals. And it is not with Science and technology, but rather with Social Science.

Science is about discovery of how God made the world, but Social Science is man's desire to control the world through his discoveries, which comes out of atheistic and materialistic philosophies. It is a purely modern and western idea. You can see it in the United Nations, for example, where they say the problem is too many people and rate economically developing countries lower in terms of health, education, and longevity than the economically developed countries of the west.

Economics - which we used to figure out how to do the slave trade and colonialism, Sociology - which blindly supports institutions like NAZI Germany and the Soviet Union, Anthropology - which explores the occult of ancient civilizations and advocates for Animism, Political Science - which is responsible for sentencing the death row inmates who were later found innocent by DNA testing, Psychology - where people avoid accountability for their own choices and helped bring about the Sexual Revolution. Culture can be studied in another way - the Humanities - even mainstream western philosophy ended up saying that in the works of Sartre. Our Social Sciences have been outdated for hundreds of years and were a bad idea even at the beginning.

Social Science is based on the thought of Aristotle, where the systematic study of knowledge is not just applied to Science, but to human ideas and to explain human behavior. Systematic studies are not only a very superficial and ignorant way to study knowledge, as ideas do not fit into neat pieces that can be separated, without destroying their context, but are especially insulting and condescending when applied to humanity. The study of philosophy should teach us to question the underlying ideas that brought about the problems we now face in society. Philosophy is meant to teach compassion and humility, but systematic studies are based on ignorance, being lazy and being unwilling to see things, from other points of view. Ignorance is the supreme form of arrogance, because it is motivated out of a belief that other people's ideas are not worth studying and that they already know everything they need to know.

Dividing human behavior into disciplines is usually done, so people can then specialize in one aspect of the phenomena. The problem with that is that people fail to see the big picture. Instead of seeing generalities and extrapolating specifics, they find specifics and generalize based on them. This is typical of the Social Sciences, where specialists say they cannot deal with a problem, because it is a religious question or a biological question. Questions are not limited to disciplines - questions are questions and answers are answers - the truth knows no compartmentalization. These ideas carry over into the workplace where marketers don't have any idea what they are selling and they fail to see what the problem with that is. The technicians that do repairs never heard what the sales people told the customer.

Social Sciences are perpetuated in the public school system, health care, prisons, military, etc, basically, wherever there is public money spent on education. I am familiar with all of the above by direct experience, except for the prisons. The public school system teaches white English and American literature, Greek mythology or demonology, statistic-based study of wars based on the perspective of rich white men, evolution as if it were fact, all from sources compiled and edited by the establishment. The administration also did nothing to try to stop bullying. And even at the college level, they pushed the political and religious beliefs of the private donors into the curriculum. For example, in business they taught us to maximize profit, no matter what the cost, instead of taking a reasonable profit and investing back into the product and the company. They also only taught one perspective on economics. They also were unwilling to make any reasonable changes to accommodate my disability, even though just being the opposite sex gets you special preferences, scholarships and services. The mental health care system distrusts and manipulates the consumers and is very negative on religion, especially Christianity. There are also many facts of them physically abusing the mentally ill, which I was fortunate to not have experienced. I think more highly of the military as they are actually far more humane than the other sectors of the establishment and they are tough on the enlisted to train them for war, not for power trips.

The Humanities include Literature, Art, Music, Theater, Philosophy, Religion, and History. These are natural disciplines, which occur in every culture and civilization throughout history. With these disciplines, we develop an appreciation for the spiritual side of life and realize that we are all equal in worth before God. This does not mean giving up modern medicine, with its effective treatment of serious illness that has become life threatening, and the Internet, which brings equality more than any other technology (at least in its fundamental design). We can still study dark matter and genetics, to understand how to feed and shelter those in need. The Humanities give a reason for technology, but it doesn't work to treat people like a scientific experiment.

Response

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

109

1 Corinthians 13:11-12

Christians need to grow up spiritually and have compassion for others, but this must start with a true faith, grounded in humility before God. To cultivate this we need to spend time with God, especially one day a week during the Sabbath.

I am expanding my scope of equality and respect to all life and beyond, focusing now on plush animals. This is all set in the context of my having Schizophrenia and should be approached with a good sense of dry (or subtle) humor. My book series and websites are about personal morality and how it relates to compassion and humility.

I am a disabled veteran, diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I was diagnosed almost 8 years ago, but have coped with the illness without treatment for 3 years prior. I started writing poetry by myself for someone I was in love with while in the military and later started writing poetry about God, the next year, as I started college. Finally, I started writing poetry about Schizophrenia, after I was diagnosed. In the past 5 years, I have started drawing and can now draw on the computer almost anything I write that needs illustration. I have started a web site a year after I started in college, and now, 9 years later, I had to reduce the files from 20,000 to 2,000 files of original content about about my beliefs: Christian non-dualistic view of the Humanities, in opposition to the inherently materialist Social Sciences, enhanced with multimedia and humor.

To bring to completion without acting, to obtain without seeking - this is the work of Heaven... All men understand that the process has reached completion, but none understands the formless forces that bring it about... Only the sage does not seek to understand Heaven.

110

Hsun Tzu on "A Discussion of Heaven"

My interest in many things Gothic started at a similar time as I started on the Web and while I was first introduced to Chinese Philosophy. My interest in these stems from two major issues: dealing with my situation and my concern for others who were suffering. I was frustrated with the lack of Church involvement in helping others in need and felt like I had failed in the military and at school. I was searching for a different way to be Christian. I found that there were Christians who believed all sorts of things that challenged mainstream beliefs. One of those was the Christian Goth.

At first I thought I was Gothic and that explained why I was different. It would explain why life was so overwhelming to me and why I wanted to withdraw. I also liked some ideas of Taoism too and thought that it explained what I was trying to say for years. I found certain aspects of the Gothic lifestyle challenging to my beliefs, like the obsession with all things dark and certain aspects of Gothic culture frightened me at first. Taoism was also hard for me to swallow at first, although I tried to accept all the ideas all at once. It was both freeing and saddening to realize that I could only change myself and not the world around me.

Then, a year later, I found out that I was mentally ill. At first, I thought that my interests were too radical and that is what caused me the stress that started the paranoid episode. But I could not swallow down the mainstream views of my society whole. I struggled to even be alone for an hour at first and I could not write for months. I finally made the push to read some more of Kierkegaard and then some Buddhist classics, and as I struggled, my mind expanded and I was able to understand how Taoism and Gothic culture could help me find my place in the world.

I was first attracted to Taoism because of the humor and originality, but I began to realize that there was great strength in its solid logic and in its uncompromising values. I began to realize that Gothic art and music was very Christian in its roots and that it expressed something that is missing from the modern Church. I saw Christianity very differently now and realized that compassion and humility, two things that were most important to me, were at the very heart of Christianity.

I finally found an application for my ideas as I believed that there must be something from Scripture that could be helpful to those of us who struggle with mental illness. I formulated an application of non-dualism to Christianity and explained what was wrong with the Church. I explored becoming Catholic.

I started to be able to see what Gothic art looked like. I created some publications that illustrated what I felt. I found a store in town that had Gothic and Punk clothing in my size and I found some compilations of Gothic and Punk music and it cheers me up when I listen to them.

If any of the animals or great birds happens to become separated from the herd or flock, though a month or a season pass, it will invariably return to its old haunts, and when it passes its former home it will look about and cry, hesitate and drag its feet before it can bear to pass on.

111

Hsun Tzu on "A Discussion of Rites"

I thought existentially, from an early age, since I first was told that facts were true and opinions were false. Opinions can contain truths in them, but facts by their very nature are not fundamental truths.

I was always interested in other cultures and saw them as very different, but as I have studied them more I have realized that their are many things they have in common. In fact, there is a common world view that has been traditionally held by the entire world and only modern Scientific thinking is fundamentally different. Scientific thought, what the mainstream believes, is that man is at the center of the world and can take apart and put nature back together better than it was originally.

This was thought to make sense, as, at that time, nature was thought to be very simple, but as we have discovered DNA and quantum mechanics, we are beginning to see how complicated the world is. Traditional thought across cultures tends to look at the big picture first and sees the world as interconnected, whereas scientific thought sees on thing in particular first and sees each part as isolated. Our modern world because of how we have developed scientifically is in particular need of a traditional world view to understand how closely connected we have become due to scientific revolutions.

Existentialism is a western response to the mainstream trying to put human feelings and beliefs into numbers to control them. Dostoevsky said if there was a theory that explained human behavior and was to any extent accurate, people would purposely act in a different set of parameters. In fact, what sets us apart as human beings is that our values cannot be deduced to a mathematical formula.

I use the computer to design with and the program I use for drawings creates natural media illustrations. Natural media makes it look like fine art. The hybrid of natural media and computer generation is a re-creation of a traditional art, as existentialism is a rebirth of traditional thought.

Only if a man abides by laws and at the same time comprehends their wider significance and applicability can he become truly liberal and compassionate

112

Hsun Tzu on "Improving Yourself"

Democracy creates an illusion that the common person's vote shapes government, while campaign contributions determine the outcome of elections. While technically in the service of the majority, the effect of the state's policies is felt at the high and low end of the monetary levels. The advocates of an economic arrangement that claims that the people get more money, as the corporations make more money are usually executives. Our political system serves only the wealthy few, as it is only controlled by them. That our modern theories of equal justice and freedom have any impact on a system that is based on monopolies and dictatorship is a grand illusion. Our precious Social Sciences have failed; we cannot take apart and put together our world better than we found it. Modern progress is a lie. 113

Concepts based on ideas of the Philosopher Marx

While Taoism and Existentialism show a way in which to interact with the world differently, and our society as a whole could find great comfort in interpreting religion and psychology, ethics and art through these methods, Science in its pure and applied technologies has been able to solve some specific problems that were neglected throughout much of history. Some of the technologies include medications for mental illness and the Internet: very analytical and concrete answers to some very poetic and social problems.

One of the important aspects of modernity is specialization and, in order to find a fit in this world, not only must we find a specialty, but be able to relate with others in a productive manner. We must see the self as a totality, which is fully realized, not only when we see the personality as one, but also our place in society, as part of that whole. Our earlier childhood experiences form who we are, to a large degree, but what is more important than what happens to us is how we respond to these events. So how we decide to deal with others, based on our life history, is what determines what kind of person we are. Our goals are not only influenced by what we have experienced, but our attitudes about it and our responses to it. Hence, we might excel in an area, where we were once deficient as a writer, can be someone who struggles with being able to form letters as a young child, as a designer, who has chronic eye pain, or as a philosopher or theologian, who suffers from Schizophrenia, as were all motivations in my life. Or we can have trouble with enunciating and so decide to avoid public speaking. It is healthy to feel like we need to strive to better ourselves, but this interest must be moderated with a concern for how well we relate with others, so that we don't drift into depression, obsessive compulsive disorder or psychosis, but, rather focus our efforts to break free from inferiority, on socially constructive activities. 114

Concepts based on the ideas of the Psychologist Adler.

The philosophical equivalent to Science in Chinese thought is Confucianism. Just as Science has been the vehicle through which many aspects of modern social movements have their roots, so Confucianism has guided China through thousands of years of stable history. Although criticized widely by a certain group of intellectuals for its promotion of patriarchy which is working against equality and for the brutal means through which followers married state and religion with the emperor as Heaven or God, Confucianism also brought with it a love of learning and a respect for ancestors like parents. These positive traits have been part of the influence my family has had on me.

This "modern" analytical way of thinking, when balanced with the "traditional" holistic approach offers a complete way of seeing the world. As I have a tendency to gravitate towards the intuitive, I have sought to ground myself in an intimate understanding of technology and philosophy, to provide a basis for reasoning out my paranoia and depression. The ideals of the Christian faith, humility and compassion, have inspired people to start revolutions: moral, spiritual, economic, political, or social. But, at the same time, they have also been interpreted as to exist in some future utopia and used to distract the masses, from the present reality. I seek a balance between these in my own life. I am pursuing spiritual and moral transformation, in the hearts of myself and like-minded others, within the political, economic, and social system in which we were born, but look to Christ's return, for the ultimate fulfillment of Christian ideals.

I created a new section in tribute to my mom, because she is as helpful as my plush animals in the treatment of my mental illness. I have had tributes to her in the past but none was good enough to feature for long until I was able to draw my own material. She has helped me with a tremendous amount of paperwork, which was the most important thing that was needed and has helped me with my finances. She has read a tremendous amount on Schizophrenia, drawing the good stuff from very dense books that didn't have much useful material in them. She taught me an appreciation for animals and how to be kind to them.

History

Beary and Bow are plush cows. I adopted Beary in June of 2001 from WinCo and Bow in March of 2002 from Fred Meyers. Bow was adopted, to be a friend and brother of Beary. They wrestle and pin each other down.

There are also about 100 other plush animals. Beary and Bow are First Cows and they named the herd Hurd. Patrick and George are their assistants, as Second Cows. Bow and Beary have a seat on my love seat and they have their own little coach and hemorrhoid pillows, in my bedroom.

Beary and Bow are my children and they now have their own families too. I found girlfriends for each of them, Clover is Beary's girlfriend and Cleo is Bow's girlfriend. Beary's child is one and Bow's is Mocha. They also have pet Al Pachas named Sam and Sally.

Hobbies

Beary and Bow are both into sports and music, in addition to their leadership offices. Beary plays basketball and the drums. Bow plays soccer and the accordion. They also enjoy: playing sports games on the computer, watching non-Disney animations, children's movies, and slapstick comedies on DVD; and driving their dump truck around. Their most important roles are as counselors for me, as explained in the epic poem, The Appointment.

Why the book series and websites?

In celebration of Bow's birth in China, I have studied Chinese culture mainly the literature, philosophy, art, and history. Beary doesn't have a tag on him, so I don't know where he was born. Physically both cows are Holstein, who are Dutch, and emotionally they are more like Jerseys, who are English.

Music is something which the sage kings found joy in, for it has the power to make good the hearts of the people, to influence men deeply, and to reform their ways and customs with faculty.

115

Hsun Tzu on "A Discussion of Music"

A view of the world, that explains everything as consisting of nothing more than matter, is not philosophically sound. Matter can only be understood by the senses and these are not reliable and constant, in different minds and in different situations. There is no way we can understand the fundamental nature of things as we cannot be objective in measuring our experiences. Because there is no absolute truth in what we perceive, we can only rely upon the Creator, to give us direction and purpose. This understanding that we are subjective and the only thing that has lasting independent reality is mind can motivate us to focus on something other than satisfying our senses, with what we weakly perceive as pleasure. When we focus on matters of the mind, we can feel a pain more real than dissatisfaction: the pain of other minds. This leads to compassion and humility, to a Christ-inspired view of the world. 116

Concepts based on ideas of the philosopher Berkeley

God is not only a creative force in the world, but an individual God, who has concern for each living thing. He wants us to be individuals, humble before God and equal to all living creatures, with respect and compassion for all His creation. Not only does God want us to be genuine people, He also wants us to experience joy and peace, experiencing a glimpse of the eternal here on earth.

In desiring us to live with respect and equality for all life, God does not want us to disrespect others, who are not saved or force our ideas upon them, especially when they have weak or no Biblical support. Not only should we experience joy and peace for ourselves and our families, but we should reach out to those who haven't heard the Gospel, in a way they can understand. Many people are more interested in ethics than theology. They have a hard time understanding the Hebrew concept of God, especially, when we use Greek philosophy to explain it. If we would just stick with what Jesus said and live that out in our lives, all people would be able to understand what we mean. Many economically developing countries get aid from people living in America for: medical, moral, and sustenance needs, but if the same people would stop supporting multi national corporations victimize these "3rd World" countries, then maybe our faith would be seen, as something special as it comes from an otherwise spiritually impoverished country. 117

Concepts based on ideas of Ohiyesa

We are all connected to each other and our ecosystem and we are facing such serious problems from social injustice to environmental concerns, but end of world scenarios that scare people to take drastic actions may be just as harmful as the status quo. There is no special technology, that will alone save us from our leaders. Our chance for salvation is in a spiritual revival, ignited by individuals, who find ways to creatively limit corporations effects on our souls and our communities. It must start by teaching people to question what we are taught by the schools, the military, prisons, the medical establishment, the charities we belong to, and our religious leaders.

3.2.2 Illustrations

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Night Terror for Gothic Theory

As I fell asleep one night, I began to get scared. The shadows on the wall were angry monsters. They had horns and one had a huge face with big buggy eyes that were looking around, as if to sneak up on me. I was too afraid to look around and see if the monsters behind the shadows. I ran to the door and switched on the light. I looked around the room. I noticed, in the corner, there was a stuffed toy with horns and it had a big face with eyes looking out at the sides. It was a very cute little cow. My eyes had played tricks on me.

As I began to fall back asleep, I started to hear a noise, like something walking on the roof and then a crashing sound. I imagined that there were little rats running around the roof and then falling off in groups. I carefully walked through the hall and out the front door. I was ready to run away. I had my coat on and my shoes on. I turned on the light and looked out the door. I immediately realized that the sound was coming from the rain and I noticed branches had fallen down, all around the house. My ears were not to be trusted.

As I went back to bed, I smelled a disturbing smell. It was very acidic. I suspected that some toxic cleaners had been used, by the cleaning help. I followed the smell to the bathroom and realized that it started after I used the bathroom. Now my nose couldn't even be relied upon.

I learned that things are not always as they appear from a distance. Many times, you have to do some serious investigating, to realize that.

Can not change their mind for Taoist theory

I tried to convince my dad that God asks us all to be vegetarians by what the Bible says. After a flood wiped out all but two animals of each kind, there was not enough food to eat, so God said it was ok to eat animals. Now that we have plenty of food, there is no reason to still eat meat. People were told to take care of animals, like we see people do with pets, but this didn't mean we should raise them in dirty and mean conditions. Also spirits were given control over us, so if we don't want the spirits to mistreat us, we shouldn't be unkind to the animals.

One of God's human messengers who tells the future, Daniel, would not eat meat, because his food was poisoned. We have the same problem today where meat makes us sick and if we eat too much even kills us. God wrote poetry about how he cares for farm animals and so doesn't want us to hurt them for food. God told us to take care of those who other people look down on and animals are a good example of this. Now that Jesus paid the price for people making bad decisions, we no longer need to kill animals for God.

I told my dad all these things, but he had some excuse for each one and said they each meant something else. I learned from this, that no matter how good you are at arguing, people will usually disagree with you. Most people change their minds, when something very bad happens to them, or if you repeat something enough times, like in commercials.

Distractions not effective for Modernism theory

When I was young, I had frequent nose bleeds, as my nose dried out, and the blood vessels cracked. In order to solve this problem, the doctor burned my blood vessels closed, with this stick, that smelled like bananas. To this day, I still don't like bananas, but the smell didn't make the doctor's stick burn my nose any less.

When I was older, I had warts all over my hand and they grew huge very fast. I was taken to the doctor, to take them off. They tried freezing them off, which it was so cold, it burned terribly and with acid, which burned for eight hours. Finally, what worked was surgery. But, ironically, the shot hurt worse than the surgery and a number of the surgeries were done over nerves and at the ends of my fingers, so I could still feel the doctor gouging out the skin.

On a more positive note, I ran in cross country and in track, for several miles each race and longer for the practices. I tried to distract myself from the pains I would get throughout my body, as we had to push ourselves to the very limits (even more with me as I was very slow even when I gave over 150 percent) by thinking of other things, but I could have run faster if I focused on just the running.

This is the problem with trying to distract someone from something that is painful with something else.

The present situation, especially the negative part drowns out the diversions.

Train harder than necessary for Plush Cow theory

In high school English classes, we had to write in class every day. We though that it was mean at the time, but I have learned from that to write very quickly and was able to finish college papers, in an hour or two, from start to finish.

In the military, they could have trained us in a community college setting, as most skills were technical but fairly simple, but wars aren't fought in football fields and in order to get ready for combat, we had to be put under combat stress. That is the reason why Drill Sergeants yell at you and give you no time to think and why they push you to learn so fast and punish you, if you don't pick up on everything immediately. Because there is no time in combat to figure your way out of situations; you have to know instantly what to do and the main way they do that is by just having the officers think.

In computers and in other types of security, security is not just a one step process. You have to have different layers of security and if you have anything important to save, you must find several levels of protection, expecting that one will fail on you. This is called redundancy.

Whenever a person prepares for something important, you go beyond what is adequate and do more than what is necessary, because you can expect things in life to fail on you.

Consistency for Ecofeminist theory

When working with computers or in combat, one of the most important way to work under a situation where you have limited control is to have consistency whenever possible. When I moved between Macs, PCs, and Linux for a period of time, even the number of mouse buttons and something as simple as cut and paste were all different. Macs are much more of a joy to work with, as they have a much more consistent interface across applications. Once you have mastered a certain technique, when you see something similar later on, you can do the same task and accomplish the same thing.

Consistency is the reason why you have to treat everyone the same who is of the same rank and why everyone follows the same rules. The military is designed to be a culture shock to people, who come into it from civilian life, so that you will adjust to the military way of doing things. Then, when you move out into combat, where nothing can be depended on, at least you can depend on your fellow military personnel, to act a certain way, in specific circumstances. There is one way to un jam a rifle, there is one way to move while under enemy fire, there is one way to respond when you have chemical attack, there is one way to set up a mine, etc.

Consistency is also important, when dealing with businesses, the law, churches, etc.

3.2.3 Commentary

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The Significance of Taoism

Taoism has had a considerable influence on Still Theory. What came out of this study was the first value system which fit my concerns fully. The major theme of Taoism is not skepticism or relativism, but a heightened sense of ethics. The focus of Taoism is not uncertainty, as much as it is on humility. The appeal to a lack of certainty is not for the purpose of lowering ourselves to situational ethics, but, rather to have compassion, for all creation. We are to love creation, because the Creator is constantly introducing new elements into life and fills the universe with His personality.

The Purpose of Gothic Art

The reason behind Gothic art is to show the contrast between Hell and Heaven, Good and Evil, and other common dualities. Gothic architecture came in the 12th Century, when European cathedral builders realized that the walls could be made much thinner and the windows much bigger, if the walls were straight, which did more than just save money; it brought in light. Not only is Gothic art obsessed with showing us suffering, but it also shows a very cultivated and cultured view of beauty. The Gothic perspective reveals that what society labels as good like luxury can be evil and what society says is evil like faith can actually be good.

Theology for Animals and the Inanimate

The Bible never says that salvation is exclusively for humans, nor does it define what human is genetically. According to the Bible's definition of Christian (having the fruits of the spirit) and Human (made in the image of God) animals score higher than most homo sapiens. The idea that animals and humans are created to be so different comes from medieval sensibilities, not from Scripture.

Existentialism and Humanity

Existentialism simply means human being and according to Kierkegaard it means you can't be objective. This doesn't mean that there isn't an objective standard of right and wrong, but rather that we can't have the mind of God. Only God can be objective, because we have a perspective limited by our flesh. Animals and the inanimate can have human being, because we are not going by biological or physical differences, but, rather by the Scriptural definition of humanity.

Rationalist Perspectives

Confucianism is the mainstream rationalism of historical China. Confucianism is about respect for authority and a belief that people can learn from others' mistakes. The difference between this and mainstream America is that in Confucianism the prevailing assumption is that humankind is good, whereas in America, we assume the worst in people. Confucianism calls for us to respect authority, not because they have power, but because in historical China officials were promoted based on their morality, not based on who they knew. Conservatives in modern times believe that businesses hold all the answers, but in historical China they believed that the state was a better instrument of God's power.

Spiritual Ecofeminism

Ecofeminism is a theory that brings environmentalism, gender, animals rights, and equal rights, under one roof. The assumption is that wealthy white men are the major powers, behind the abuse of all these groups, and that the reasons for the abuse are very similar and can be most effectively dealt with as a group. The main reason why wealthy white men abuse the weaker 95 percent of the population is that they were taught how to think in terms of the Enlightenment. The schools, churches, prisons, and hospitals indoctrinate our youth with: atheistic, materialistic, and systematic perspectives. Young people should be taught, that sentient beings (life or what is spiritual), is of fundamental importance and not how many toys they have. They should treasure relationships and memories, because they are the only things that have any permanence.

3.2.4 Vocabulary

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Still Life

sentient life that is inanimate of various textures

Texture

substance still life is made up of like wood, plastic, metal, stone, or plush

Humility

humble before God and equal to all sentient life

Salvation

method by which a person humbles themself before God, specifically confessing one's sins to God and believing that God raised Jesus from the dead

Compassion

respect for all sentient life, especially the "least of these"

Least of These

those looked down on by the powers that be, including animals, prisoners, and the homeless

Non-dualism

realization that the establishment does not determine what is right and wrong and that society is often deceived about what its true enemy is

Existentialism

a western rejection of modernism and Social Science, which recognizes Christ's death as the cornerstone, of what distinguishes humans, from other life

Humanities

historical, multicultural and natural perspectives on what makes us human, including: religion, literature, philosophy, history, music, art, theater

Modernism

descriptor, for mainstream European thinkers, who wrote, between the time of 1600-1900 (the Enlightenment) and based their metaphysics on materialism and their theology on atheism

Social Science

the application of Scientific methods, by Enlightenment thinkers, to control the way people act, through the establishment

Establishment

patriarchal institutions such as hospitals, military, prison, education, and churches.

Systematic

the breaking down of ideas into smaller pieces, but kept out of context, with the big picture

Berkeley

Christian philosopher who wrote at the time of the Enlightenment, who rejected materialism and atheism, but still used experience, including God's, as his method of inquiry. This resulted, in the idea that spirit is the only substance, that has eternal significance and that matter only exists as an idea

Montaigne

Christian philosopher, who wrote in his essay in defense of Raymond Sebond's work, concluding that we should be skeptical of man's powers and that, by raising the status of animals, to that of man, we take on a more Christ-like perspective.

Confucianism

Chinese philosophy that emphasized a love of learning and looking after relatives, but on the negative side, supported hierarchy and emperor worship

Taoism

Chinese philosophy meant to reform the negative aspects of Confucianism, to promote equality and respect for all sentient life

Gothic Art

Christian medieval response to suffering expressed in the cathedrals through the introduction of light into architecture and in music through the chanting of monks

Well Written

text is very readable, easy to understand and ideas are communicated clearly and concisely

Fine Literature

classical text that contains ideas, that have affected major events or movements in world history. Must also lift the human spirit and inspire people to be humble and compassionate

Liberal

seeks move in new direction from the status quo

Conservative

satisfied with the status quo

The Sabbath according to God's Law

God wants us to work six days a week, but to rest on the Sabbath, from our work, either doing service, for the needy, and/or honoring God.

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

118

Exodus 20:10

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein : it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

119

Leviticus 23:3

And he said unto them, "What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? " "How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days."

120

Matthew 12:11-12

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

121

Psalm 92

3.3 Introduction to Belief and Schizophrenia

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3.3.1 Forward

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I am an orthodox Christian, but I am an independent thinker and I enjoy studying cultures other than my own. I can learn useful things from philosophies and religions that I don't agree with. I enjoy studying about non-dualism in Meister Eckhart, Existentialism, Chinese Philosophy, and Sufism, because that makes the most sense to me from a poetic and ethical perspective. I believe that when Sufists and Hindus were praying to their God it is the same God I worship. I still believe that the only way to be sure of salvation is through Christ, but I don't believe that God sent all these genuine believers who went by another label to Hell. And there is still much Christianity has in common with the revealed religions and can learn from them. The point isn't to be the opposite of another group of people who goes by another label. We should rather hold ourselves accountable to Biblical truth and, if reading poetry or philosophy from another culture helps break down the atheistic and materialist assumptions we were taught in school about the Bible then it is good that we have found the truth and the labels are less important. Calling yourself Christian or just reading the books that are in your church library does not get you in to Heaven. Following what Jesus said and how He acted does. I have learned from Meister Eckhart that it is the attitude and the inner life that matters, from Existentialism that being a critically thinking Christian is the way to be fully human, from Taoism that humility and compassion are at the heart of Christianity, from Buddhism that the world is a reflection of my mind and is sometimes an illusion, from Sufism that we should be passionate and joyful about our faith. No other book other than the Bible has continued to interest me for more than several reads and I see the other philosophies and religions as offshoots of certain principles of Christianity. The issues that Nietzche and Buddhism bring up are addressed in Ecclesiastes, while Taoist issues are addressed in the Gospels. The Bible, although it is brought down to a human level, is complex enough to encompass all other systems of thought. I enjoy learning these different systems of thought, so that I can express more complex feelings creatively. Chinese thought, especially, is more about psychology than about religion. Using what I have learned from Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism helps me manage my symptoms that are caused by my mental illness and how to communicate the powerful feelings that I have with others. I am especially concerned about people referring people with Schizophrenia either away from religion totally or into the occult. There is also a forceful segment of the psychiatry community that tries to persuade people with mental illnesses to not take their medication. In order to keep people away from the extremes of atheism and Animism, I have done original research in mental illness from multiple religious perspectives. I have done this to help out people who may not necessarily be willing to become Christian, although they are all consistent with a Christian world view.

3.3.2 Schizophrenia

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My Situation

Schizophrenia is a brain disease caused by genetics and is brought out by a stressful situation. For me and many others, it was the military. The fact that the medicine works - I have not been in the hospital since December of 1999 (I was only in once) proves that it is chemical. Depression, another mental illness, has many causes and could be spiritual as well as chemical and stress to name a few.

I have Schizophrenia and I take medication, but it doesn't mean that I don't deal with delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. There are also a number of other symptoms of Schizophrenia which are arguably more disabling, including: depression, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, and inappropriate facial expressions.

Modern medications like Geodon do not cause people to be lethargic or gain weight as much as even Risperol. I have done some of my most creative work while on anti-psychotics and the quality actually went down right after my paranoid episode.

The problem with alternative treatments vary according to the methods. Meditation isn't effective, because it is almost impossible for a person with Schizophrenia to be able to concentrate to the necessary degree. Nutrition has not proven to have much of an effect, but avoiding caffeine especially and sugars too does help.

Bringing religion into it can be helpful, if done as a secondary treatment, in addition to the medication, to combat delusions. Religion alone does not deal with the chemical imbalance. Although non-dualism is effective, other interpretations of mysticism that are involved with the occult are a bad idea. This is not just because they anger God and hurt people, but because a person with Schizophrenia has less control of their mind than the average person and to be a Shaman, Wiccan, etc. it take great mind control. Delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations are often based on grandiose religious themes and so mixing in the occult makes treatment more complex.

Schizophrenia encompasses a wide range of brain imbalances and effects people very differently. After 10-20 years, lowering medication may be more effective.

777 Jesus Won Paranoid Episode

I had been having some problems with spiritual warfare. I had written some stories that I merged my life with Middle Earth. I accidentally put myself under a Witchcraft spell. I walked out of my house that day with my Army jacket. I was ready for warfare. I rushed around downtown. I dropped off my books, that were loading me down in my pack, by the side of the street and an angel flew off with it. I went to the Church and knelt down before the crucifix and prayed to God to spare me. I took my web site off line with the offensive material. I saw "Jesus loves you" engraved in the side of the street that I didn't see before or afterwards. I saw a double rainbow when I went home.

I made an altar out of our fireplace. I piled in it all my Buddhist, Feminist, and Atheistic books and lit it on fire. I kept loading books in for several hours. Some that I was unsure about I took to the fire place and, if they survived the flames, I kept them. I tore down the Buddhist goddess of mercy down from the wall and our black cat meowed out side. He was in cohorts with the Devil. I threw in the plastic snake in the fire and commanded evil out in Jesus name and turned my back to the altar. I laid on my bed and weeped for the suffering of the Church during the tribulation. I saw a vision of Star Trek as the future. I started singing "Joy to the World" as my eyes were moisturized with my tears. My eyes had hurt for 3 1/2 years before. They needed the salt they weren't getting from flushing them out several times a day for that time. I looked down at my Bible. It was the Parallel New Testament. We were in a parallel time kept that way by people making the Bible into too many versions.

My parents put out the food for the homeless for the postman to deliver. They spoke to me in code that I was the homeless person this Christmas. I walked out of the house when my parents left. I stood on the porch walking back and forth. The radio dial spun out of control. Many years now went by.

I stood on the porch, until my parents came back. I saw them come back with the dog. I had to decide whether I was going to go out and marry my friend's sister or go down to the Church to pray. I looked at my bank receipt and then put it in my pocket. I knew when I took it out again there would be enough for my marriage. I headed down the grocery store to buy a paper and look for a job. The paper had on it the story of how the world fell apart.

Only Eugene and Springfield were left. On the front page, they said we decided not to hire you (I had been interning down at the Comic News). I went down to the corner and saw the number to the Comic News on a sign. I tried to hang myself on the sign. I was unworthy.

I saw the parents of my friend whose sister I was going to marry aged years and they drove off angrily when they saw me. I should have gone down to marry her. I walked along the sidewalk. I knew I couldn't go back home. Everyone had banned Christians from their houses. I looked for a sign. I picked up a wooden sign that said "777 indoor sale". It was a secret code. I covered up the Bible so the devil didn't know about the parallel time as I walked along. I got on the bus. I shared to them that I was a Christian and I was kicked off the bus with a scornful look.

I saw the devil car pass by, all red with antenna on the top, like horns. I turned aside and continued quickly. I continued up to the church. I stopped, where two ladies were talking. All men were now kicked out of their houses.

The world was controlled by radical feminists. I asked them, if I could go in where it was warm. I told them I was the prostitute. I asked if they were Christians. One lady tried to trick me into thinking that I should go to Eugene to the Mission. The other who was Christian told me there was a Bible study at the Church. It was the only one left. The other church had slipped into just doing good works and lost their faith. I came to the Church and I started to read my Bible.

I sat with my back to the world so no one could see the Bible. I picked a version and read it all the way through the book of John. It sounded a lot like Revelations. I was going to wait 3 1/2 years feeding off the Bible for food. I would have to wait for my sister as the only other Christian on earth. As I prayed I turned and saw the sky change color and sunlight came out and I was warm.

I was happy once I finished reading the Bible and knew things were ok. Everyone was racing into the city as they had been racing out before. Everyone was relieved. God played jokes on me with the signs to relax me. I was too tense. As I walked by now with the wooden sign up for everyone to see I smiled and yelled out "777 Jesus won". A motorcycle gang fled from me as I walked by with the police following them. The same police I heard before.

I returned to the store and picked up a copy of the newspaper. I showed a woman everything happened like in the paper. I also offered one to one of the bikers. I went back home and picked up the mail. All the letters were filled with the number 7. I went down to my friends house and dropped off the newspaper and the jam for the homeless person. I was accepted into the American Legion. As I walked down Main Street I noticed that the wind had blown away large clumps of trees and trash. The city was being cleaned up and there were red bows on all the city for me. I was welcome at any hotel.

I saw my parents and they picked me up.

Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

122

from The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut

1. hear God

2. everything works out perfectly

3. crying, social withdrawal

4. finding meaning in everything

5. visions

6. extreme effort for minor chores

7. lose patience

8. stop eating, sleeping

9. books become alive

10. think you are becoming enlightened

11. loss of coordination

12. overwhelming fear

13. confused about time

14. not wanting to see loved ones

15. falling in love with strangers

16. believe in conspiracies

17. think too fast

18. think world is ending

19. stealing

20. becoming violent

21. attempt suicide

3.3.3 Religion

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Psalms from NIV

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

123

22:11

To you I call, O Lord my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down into the pit.

124

28:1

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him

125

37:7

The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

126

51:17

Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught

127

55:1-2

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest - I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and the storm."

128

55:4-8

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart goes faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

129

61:1-2

Hear me O God as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the noisy crowd of evildoers.

130

64:1-2

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come up into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking fro my God.

131

69:1-3

Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.

132

69:15-17

Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.

133

70:5

Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit faints with longing. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

134

143:7-8

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

135

13:1- 2a

My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long "Where is your God? "

136

42:3

You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth from us; you have been angry - now restore us

137

60:1

O Lord God Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful. You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.

138

80:4-6

Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

139

90:13-15

For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

140

22:24

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

141

28:6-7

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

142

34:4

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

143

40:1-3a

Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice

144

55:17

For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help

145

72:12

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

146

16:7

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

147

32:8

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

148

34:18

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you

149

55:22a

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

150

54:4

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

151

56:3-4

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

152

71:20-21

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into your glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

153

73:23-26

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

154

94:19

But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

155

9:18

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

156

30:5b

Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so perturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

157

42:5

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love.

158

59:16

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

159

63:6-8

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.

160

126:5

The Poetry of Hafiz

161

a Sufi or Mystical Islam master

There is a madman inside of you who is always running for office- why vote him in, for he never keeps the accounts straight. He gets all kinds of crooked deals happening all over town that will just give you a big head- ache and glue to your kisser a gigantic confused frown.

162

"Crooked Deals"

Love is the funeral pyre where I have laid my living body. All the false notions of myself that once caused fear, pain, have turned to ash as I near God. What has risen from the tangled web of thought and sinew now shines with jubilation through the eyes of angels and screams from the guts of infinite existence itself. Love is the funeral pile where the heart must lay its body.

163

"Love is a Funeral Pile"

You could become a great horseman and help free yourself and this world though only if you and prayer become sweet Lovers. It is a naive man who thinks we are not engaged in a fierce battle, for I see and hear brave foot soldiers all around me gong mad, falling on the ground in excruciating pain. You could become a victorious horseman and carry your heart through this world like a life-giving sun though only if you and God become sweet lovers.

164

"Like a Life-Giving Sun"

I once had a student who would sit alone in his house at night shivering with worries and fears, and, come morning, he would often look as though he had been raped by a ghost. Then one day my pity crafted for him a knife from my own divine sword. Since then, I have become proud of this student. For now, come night, not only has he lost all his fear, now he goes out just looking for trouble.

165

"Just Looking for Trouble"

I have seen you heal a hundred deep wounds with one glance from your spectacular eyes, while your hands, beneath the table, pour large bags of salt into the heart-gashes of your most loyal servants. Dear world, I can offer an intelligent explanation for our suffering, but I hope it really makes sense to no one here, and come morning, you are again at God's door with ax and pickets, eloquent petitions and complaints. Think of suffering as being washed. That is to stay, Hafiz, you are often completely soaked and dripping. The only advantage I can see in this in the Friend's long-range plan is that when the Beloved bursts into ecstatic flames this whole world will not turn into a bright oil wick all at once, then divine ash, and ruin his winter crop.

166

"His Winter Crop"

All the craziness, all the empty plots, all the ghosts and fears, all the grudges and sorrows

167

"A Strange Feather"

I used to live in a cramped house with confusion and pain. But when I met the Friend and started getting drunk and singing all night. Confusion and pain started acting nasty, making threats, with talk like this, "If you don't stop 'that'- all that fun - we're leaving."

168

"If You Don't Stop That"

I can see angles sitting on your ears, polishing trumpets, replacing lute strings, stretching new skins on the drums and gathering wood for the evening's fire. They all danced last night but you did not hear them. If you ask Hafiz for advice on how to befriend their sweet voices and how to have the nourishing company of the finer worlds I would reply, "I could not say anything you could not tell me." Then, what was the use of this story? O, just felt like talking.

169

"I Can See Angels"

Sometimes a mule does not know what is best for itself. When the mind is confused like that it secretly desires a master with a skilled whip to guide it to the playgrounds on the earth's table where the Sweet One's light has made life more tasty. Hafiz always carries such a whip but I rarely need to use it. I prefer turning myself into the prettiest mule in town and making my tail sing knowing your heart will then follow.

170

"The Prettiest Mule"

Poetry of Kabir

171

the inspiration for the Sikh faith of India

Slander! Slander! People deride me- folks truly love to smear and tarnish. Slander's my father, slander's my mother. If your name has been blackened, you'll go to Vaikuntha- the true Name's meaning will set itself in your mind. There's so much calumny, my heart's purified- my vilifier scrubs my clothes clean. Whoever maligns me is my friend- my heart goes out to every detractor. The one who stops decrying me is my real critic- such a denouncer vexes my life. Defamation's my dearly beloved- revilement puts me in its debt. Everybody slings mud at Kabir- my denigrator drowns, I land on the other shore.

172

Adi Granth, Raga Gaudi, shabad 71

Madhav, sweet Lord, how will I ever be in your blessed company? If You're a niggard, I'll have to beg for Your gracious gifts. Don't starve your devotee: take back this rosary of Yours. I only ask for the dust of the saint's feet: I don't wish to be an object of someone's charity. All I want is a couple of pounds of ground wheat, a quarter pound of ghee, some salt to go with it: that'll suffice for survival twice a day. All I need is a cot with four legs, a pillow, a mattress. I ask for a coarse sheet to cover me: You'll have my adoration. I haven't been covetous. I've heaped ostentation on just one thing: Your Name. Kabir says, I've convinced my heart to be content: for when the heart's content, it comprehends Hari.

173

Adi Granth, Raga Sorathi, shabad 11

Hari has sent His Summons- Come Instantly. Your time to act is up- you have to submit a written account of your deeds. Death's brutal messengers are here to take you away. What have you earned? What have you spent and lost? Come quickly, now- the Divan has sent for you. You beg and plead: "I still have a few things left to do in the village. Let me wrap them up- give me a few hours- just tonight. I'll cover your expenses. We'll stop at a rest-house for our morning prayers, when we]re on our way tomorrow." They're the fortunate ones, all the folks who've kept the company of good men, and hence are imbued with Hari's color- they share in the Lord's substance. They've found perennial happiness, in this world, in that one- they've won the priceless object. In wakefulness and sleep, brother, you've squandered your life. You've stacked up wealth and material things- all of which are someone else's. Kabir says, those who're oblivious have lost track of their Master- they're buried, they're stuck, they're one with the dust.

174

Goindval Pothis, Raga Suhi, pada 4

O Lord, it's a conflagration! It's raging without fuel- one can't find a man who has the power to put it out. I know it has spread from You- it's burning down the whole world! The seed of this fire sprouts in water- it douses the water as it blazes. It consumes nine women, not just one- no one knows the true solution. The city burns- its guard sleeps contentedly. He says, "My home's safe- the town may burn, but my things are unharmed." O Rama, your color blazes, shimmers. A hunchback clings around one's neck- he worships the instruments of the intellect. A whole lifetime's wasted in thinking- this body remains unsatisfied. No one's more dim-witted than a pretender, a man who deceives intentionally. Kabir says, in Rama's eyes every thing's a Woman- I can't do otherwise.

175

Bijak, shabda 58

The warrior does the warrior's duty. His stock of good deeds, like money lent to others, truly increases by one-fourth. He kills the living to preserve the living- he gives up his life, yet stays alive and watches all this happen. The true warrior's the one who does the fighting to keep his promise to protect his clan. He kills the five enemy-senses because he knows the one true Self within. The hermit who has learnt this lesson from his master over- throws his mind right then and there. Drunk on the sense, his mind falls fighting the moment he wounds his target. Only the mind, that self-crowned king, dies in the battle- and not the Self, which never perishes. Love is a void without Rama, it goes about lost in itself.

176

Bijak, ramaini 83

Don't stay- the land's a wilderness. This world's a paltry paper packet- a spot of rain will wash it away. the world's a garden of thorns- snarled and snared, we'll perish in pain. This world's all tree and tinder- kindled it will roast us like sacrificial victims. Kabir says, listen, my good men, the True Master's name is our lasting abode- our station, our destination.

177

Kabir- vani, pada 130

Poetry of Meera

178

Bhakti or Hindu devotional path

What is my native shore but Him? What swims in my heart but his name? My boat when it breaks where call I but to him, time after time, then again? Let me hide, Meera says, in these folds. The tide of the world comes close.

179

24

Eye-lids that fall leaf-like are not for me. The city seeks its lord dark of hue as a night its moon. Under every leaf have I looked. The lanes, the secret nooks. The city, high on a hill. Below, the river dark as fear without its lord, says Meera.

180

19

Look how he wounds me again. He vowed to come and the yard is empty - food flung away like my senses - tell me where to find them. Why must you shame what you say? You've wisped yourself away, lifter of the mountain - left me here to splinter.

181

7

He had no words for me. Why can't my body release me, release me? He did not lift my veil nor move his lips and as I looked for sound I saw the dawn. It's spring, they say he'll come. The night is fearsome, lightning shows. On fingers seared with use, I count each instant as it slow breathing goes, then that too is closed.

182

8

The spring feast of color, with sprinkling and laughter, tastes like dust. Empty the bed, the attic, the fields. My walk swings empty because what weighted my heart is lost. I fear to seek and fear to think. Counting and counting each day, the lines on my fingers are scraped. The drums are playing, the jhanjh, the flute, the one-stringed lute. The light rain of spring has begun but the dark one is from home. Says Meera, I wait. Life after Life I stand by the road and look for a home with my lord, lifter of the mountain.

183

9

In Shravan do the clouds rush down until the mind is moist. In Shravan does my hope take leaf - almost I hear his voice. In Shravan four dark drums make war - even lightning hides. Rain frees itself and flees - makes in fretwork coolness - in the breeze it's time, says Meera, sing, join hands and welcome Him.

184

16

Why I started studying Philosophy and why I stopped

When one begins to carry out one's decision, care must be taken so that everything can proceed in a comfortable, relaxed manner. Too much must not be demanded of the heart.

185

"Mistakes during the Circulation of the Light" in The Secret of the Golden Flower

If when stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the impulse of being. If, when not stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the movement of heaven.

186

"A Magic Spell for the Far Journey" in The Secret of the Golden Flower

I was always philosophical in nature and challenged assumptions that people made. In Middle School, I did not accept that facts were true and opinions were false; I thought the opposite was true. In high school, I was concerned with ethics: animal rights, government reform, and sanctity of life. To help me decide whether or not the military was right for me, I wrote a research paper testing whether or not democracy was the best form of government - making new democracies was an obsession of the state department as I was briefed when I was back east taking part in a simulation of the US role in Somalia. I decided that I loved the United States not because it was a democracy, but because it was beautiful and it was my country. I was also always interested in other cultures starting in Middle School when we researched about the Middle East to try to bring peace to the region - I studied Israel. I also respected my Uncle Clive greatly and he always encouraged me to think differently and taught me to love culture. My father told me I would enjoy philosophy - he was studying educational philosophy and we got into a discussion about it. I was really bizarre in high school and so a number of people recommended that I read about eastern philosophy. My English teacher talked about how Existential playwrights didn't have characters or plots in their plays and that inspired me to write short stories where all the elements of the story changed randomly.

There was a quiet place in the storms of life

There was a stillness deep in side

There was a silence that grew within

There was a place where you could hide

There was an empty room unfurnished

There was a consciousness that had no beginning

There was a reality that you could not see

There was a breaking off from the world

There was a another that lived your life

There was an absence of self-awareness

There was a way that events didn't affect you

Mountains and rivers and the great earth are lit by sun and moon; all that is this light. Therefore it is not only within the body. Understanding and clarity, perception, and enlightenment, and all movements of the spirit are likewise this light; therefore it is not just something outside the body.

187

"Circulation of the Light and Protection of the Centre" in The Secret of the Golden Flower

My first introduction to philosophy wasn't a philosophy course; it was in a literature course. I believed, at the time, that literature was the way to learn about other cultures, as we were encouraged throughout High School. My great grandfather was a missionary over in China and so my mom's side of the family was highly influenced by Chinese thought and culture. So, to understand them better, my bias being literature, and to fulfill my nonbusiness breadth requirement, I took a year of Chinese Literature. I was very impressed by my professor's knowledge and I liked how the Chinese put so much into so few words. I read the Analects of Confucius and felt very self conscious. I read the Tao te Ching but I felt was sent into a zealous outpouring if spirit about one of the chapters - it was actually just an author's note. The next quarter, we were assigned portions of Chuang Tzu, and I started laughing immediately. It is amazing that it translates so well across language, culture, and time. Try getting moved that much by Shakespeare or Canterbury Tales. I was told in class that the Chinese followed Confucian teachings, when they were materially successful and followed Taoist teachings when they had failed materially. And I was having some trouble in school at the time. I didn't know that I was mentally ill until later on. I wrote poems about Chuang Tzu as the Chinese did and then reinterpreted the outlines of Tolkien's Middle Earth histories according to Taoist concepts. I looked up Taoism on the Internet and realized that there was a connection with computer networking. So I was going to set up my own server. Then my parents brought me back home and I completed credits I was deficient in and raised my GPA over the summer. I needed nonspecific credits, so I saw that Existentialism was offered at the right time and wasn't full so I enrolled. I got an A in the class, so I thought I was good at philosophy. So, now as a journalism major, I had a free credit and as most the classes were already full - it took me this long to earn the money - I decided to take a course in Beauvoir as philosophy. This class was the final stroke in leading me to my paranoid episode. I tore up the Second Sex and all the papers I had written and felt better.

There are feelings of darkness closing in

There are teeth that gnaw your stomach

There are words that repeat in your head

There are sounds you hear that are unutterable

There are paths that circle backward

This heart is dependent on the outside world. If a man does not eat for one day even, it feels extremely uncomfortable. If it hears something terrifying it throbs; if it hears something enraging it stops; if it is faced with death it becomes sad; if it sees something beautiful it is dazzled.

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"The Primal Spirit and the Conscious Spirit" in The Secret of the Golden Flower

After I had my paranoid episode, I could not read or write for months. Then I decided to read something worthwhile, because I didn't know how long I would be able to read. I read an abbreviated version of Concluding Unscientific Postscript by Kierkegaard. He talks about how he doesn't want to be objective. Instead, he wants to be subjective which is exactly what I told my English teacher in high school. I then moved into a group home. Several of the workers there were interested in Buddhism, so I decided to read some, to understand them. I continued to write up what I had learned. I stopped reading part way through the Baghavata Gita. I researched on the Internet the connection between religion and mental illness and almost ended up studying psychology at a Christian college, but I got stressed out. I continued to look for volunteer positions. I eventually gave up philosophy because people got turned off by it and uncertainty led to paranoia. Another thing that kept me on the path was I was told that meditation helped treat the symptoms of Schizophrenia. I researched this on the Internet but it seemed to lead to the occult, so I never did get into meditation. I learned along the way what Christianity is about: humility and compassion.

There will be followers without doctrine

There will be movements that have no direct cause

There will be a time at the end of history

There will be people climbing a mountain that is very remote

There will be a convergence of past and future

There will be no one to call

Because everyone will all be there

-action prevents a man from becoming entangled in form and image - materiality. Action in non-action prevents a man from sinking into numbing emptiness and dead nothingness

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"A Magic Spell for the Far Journey" in The Secret of the Golden Flower

Gothic Art

Gothic art was the first international style and the first to create fashion. Gothic was never a single style; it depended on local traditions. Gothic art was an advertisement of Heaven to come. Many of the forms were based on function, but began to take on symbolic meanings.

The Gothic style gave an impression of lightness and vertical movement. The features were not distinct and the forms exaggerated, to allow for a steep angle of vision. The pointed arch and the canopy serve to make the figures fit for inclusion into the Heavenly framework. Round Romanesque arches represent the Old Testament, whereas the New Testament is represented by pointed Gothic arches. Trefoils and quatrefoils were Gothic shapes. The statues can be identified with emotionally and feelings can be projected on them. The animated images gave people a personal relationship with God, where they felt distant during communion.

The light coming through colored glass symbolized God, as revealed to us in the form of light, but in a dark and mysterious manner. Light also contrasted with the shadows it also created and showed a dualism of good and evil. The walls were associated with this world and were lit by sunlight, whereas the altar was of another world and was lit by its own light, candles.

The Gothic style was most evident in the city. In the city, there was no feudal system, but it was the most policed space. Every architectural element stood for power. Pilgrims would have measured the distance to the cathedral in days. There were bells that told the liturgical time of the day and at sunset they would see the sun shine on the west side of the cathedral. Statues in the sunset light represented the end of times. In the scenes on the church walls, past, present, and future were combined. New Gothic forms were added onto existing structures. Time was measured by sundials, hourglass, and the stars. It was common to have a pictorial calendar, showing what the people did, at different times of the year.

The New Testament events are symbolized in Old Testament events. This was an interpretation of the past that made it significant to current theology. This was not a developmental version of time but one focused on symbols of salvation. The messages are institutional often, rather than spiritual. The characters were shown as if they existed in the present, because they were part of Biblical history too and it wasn't a so distant a past. Without books available to the average person, the figures had to be arranged in meaningful patterns and with obvious features, for easy memory.

People wanted their own private relics for devotional purposes. Of chief concern were the objects associated with Christ's suffering. People became fascinated with these symbols of horror. There were books and even jewelry for this purpose. Man was a part of nature. Nature was both beautiful and fallen, depending on how it was depicted. The blooming of flowers contrasted with them decaying showed the doctrine of the vanity of things of this world. The Gothic naturalism is not a uniform style, but the degree of naturalism employed depended on the message behind it. Nature wasn't symbolizing reality; reality was spiritual. Nature was still seen as made by God, but it was no longer a range of symbols.

The Gothic cathedral came from the tall tree forests of northern Europe. The foliage on the pillars emphasized the upward movement. Nature was considered to be more benign than before in Romanesque art, where people could handle it and be part of it. God could be experienced through His creation. People hung branches and flowers in the church on feast days and festivals, so the carvings had some very material significance. The plants carved were associated with the local countryside and city. Nature was considered to be a magical force. The nobles thought of a garden as a place of love and something to decorate their houses with.

The animals were drawn from real examples, but rather from tapestries, shields, or encyclopedias, drawn to entertain rather than inform, and were represented as universals, not as individuals. The continuous narrative was employed, showing numerous repetitions of a figure to indicate movement.

The world was seen in fragments. Human and animal are always kept distinct. In the monster, they combine. The grotesque is an important element of Gothic art. They are drawn for things that are not appropriate enough to be described, things that were considered unnatural. They are representatives of horrors of the flesh. They also come from folklore. Grotesques are on the roofs of cathedrals, on the edges of illuminated manuscripts, and on the back of church chairs. Gargoyles are one example.

People aren't drawn naturalistically, because that symbolizes sin. The first humans that were approved to do naturalistically were corpses. Because of the Bubonic Plague, death became popular in art. The artists were showing how life is fleeting. Before anesthesia, people preferred death. These were depicted in the martyrdom of the saints. This was because there was constant war and punishments were public to discourage crime. The naked body engaged in sex was outlawed, but it was ok to show tortured bodies naked.

3.3.4 Non Duality

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Kierkegaard and Chuang Tzu

Mainstream western philosophy is famous for its duality, where people are divided into two groups with the ones in power being in the better group. One of the artificial dualities are mind and matter, but Kierkegaard realizes the absurdity of this, because man is made of both mind and matter.

A more rational division is between living a life for temporal beauty and living a life for God, based on ethics, where each person has some of each. Man exists in time, while God exists in eternity. This is a real distinction, based on humility and taking compassion as a standard, for separate spheres of existence, within each of our own lives. This is similar to how Chuang Tzu speaks of false distinctions in society - society's duality, especially of good and evil. Its not just opposite like Nietzche said, because the basis is not on trying to be the strongest to survive by competition. The basis is rather on seeing all things as equals as nature/God treats all creatures equally. All are equal because they all are made up of the same thing: broken harmony (matter and mind). The distinctions are between when we use societies standards (aesthetics) and when we use God/nature's standards (humility and compassion).

Kierkegaard, who finally was nicknamed "Either-Or" on the streets of Copenhagen, was not interested in the Cartesian distinction between matter and mind. He undertook to contrast the aesthetic or pleasure-seeking life with the ethical life; but he came to see that ethical is not enough; the true contrast is with the religious-ethical or Christian life. His world of matter, thrall to indifference - moral indifference? -, where everything belongs to whosoever happens to possess it, is, like the carnal mind, the antithesis to spirit. He sees the gulf, not between matter and mind, but between 1 - man, made up of both matter and mind and existing in time, and 2 - eternity, the home of God and of spirit. This we shall find reappearing almost exactly in Karl Barth.

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It is a paradox that Jesus is the way to God. Since we cannot get to God by achievement, the path is one of humility. Humility is a recognition that there is an infinite difference between man and God, and God coming down to our level is the only way that we can reach God. One can only be one with the Tao through spontaneity or non-political action. It is a gift that you are given by the Tao, through separation from society.

Kierkegaard offers this great paradox of faith: Truth is not innate in man, but man has the ability to grasp it when it is presented to him. The Teacher who presents the truth is of absolute infinite importance,-the Godhead him- self, communicating directly with man, revealing the truth in the shape of man. The Teacher has traveled the infinite distance from God to man to reveal this truth. To get God's truth, he says, you must believe Jesus, the lowliest of men. Today as when Jesus was on earth in the form of man, faith is born of the same condition, "the resolute acceptance by the individual of the absolute paradox."

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Chinese Philosophy and Christianity

Man is not be nature evil, but became that way after the fall. Both Confucianism and Taoism, the two major native Chinese philosophies, were both based on the belief that man was by nature good but had become unnatural in Taoism, or not followed tradition in Confucianism.

Always mindful of the dominant view of Chinese people that mankind was not essentially evil, Martin repeatedly reminded his readers that man's nature had originally been good. Evil in the world, he asserted, did not originate with man's strange customs or ignorance, but from his deliberate disobedience to God's command. This initial rebellion caused man to lose his heavenly nature and resulted in a life controlled by sin. Even though man outwardly appeared good, he was not virtuous and needed to be redeemed and related again to God from whom he had been separated by sin. Even the small child, he observed, revealed his inherited tendency to sin. He made it very clear, however, that man was punished not for Adam's sin but for his own deliberate transgressions.

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Jesus died, not so much to fulfill the letter of the law, but to bring about a harmonious relationship with mankind. He died in our place, as the Chinese had a custom where one member of the family could take the punishment for the other member.

Could not God have forgiven man's sin without the death of Christ? Martin answered that this was an impossibility, since God, unlike man who no longer had a sense of holiness, must satisfy both his mercy and his justice. He illustrated this teaching with a story that Chinese, who emphasize harmonious relationships more than the letter of the law, may have found difficult to comprehend. A Grecian king had ruled that the sin of adultery would be punished by removing the offender's two eyes. When he found that his own son was guilty, he sought a method that would show mercy and yet meet the requirements of the law. He solved his dilemma by extracting one of his son's eyes and one of his own. Martin applied this by noting that the "country's law" permitted a relative to serve as an offender's "middleman," and that this was the relationship in which Jesus stood to God and man in satisfying divine mercy and divine justice.

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Wholeness Christianity

Embracing both theology and ethics, Wholeness Christianity is a way and a reason. This system combines the factual truth of Jesus, as part of a miraculous history and a future of redemption and the expressions of that faith in acts of compassion, done with an inward humility. In this system, we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that we should be kind and sensitive, in response to this historical fact.

1. Believe that all creatures are not good enough to enter Heaven, but that they can come in by their sorrow for not following God's natural laws, because Jesus paid the price for their mistakes.

2. Believe that our faith is only genuine, when we do thoughtful things for those, who are most in need, based on what we are good at.

According to Freud and many other critics of religion, Christians often practice religion with unconscious personal agendas and conscious moral expectations conflicting. Freud and many psychologists see religion as a problem, because they see Christians that don't change their character and grow internally, but rather develop rituals to cover up their underlying rebellion from God's will, and deny their real motives to their conscious mind. He believes that Eucharist, Lord's Prayer, Apostles Creed, Worship Hymns, and other Christian ceremonies are performed by many without concentration or understanding of the meaning. He believes that they are motivated solely by guilt and closely resemble obsessive compulsive disorder. And that Christians routinely project their sin on society, other countries, the devil, or other people.

He supports the claim that many Christians make a one way covenant with God, by doing in excess of what God calls us to do in one area, to make up for the fact that they are living in habitual sin, in another area. Wholeness Christianity is a way back to the heart, or the "Id" of Christianity, where God desires for His people to deny themselves not by giving away all their belongings, doing a certain kind of job, or praying a certain way, but by changing their attitudes and motivations of their souls.

This issue is common to all religions and in some of Freud's in depth analysis, he used earth religions as examples. I personally know a Buddhist who uses his atheism as a way to cover up his immaturity and is motivated by pride more than anything else. He picks and chooses components of his lifestyle from different philosophies and religions, without understanding the meaning behind the beliefs. He also is in-genuine and inconsistent in his application of Buddhist ethics.

Taoism is an important philosophy, to understand Christianity, because of the metaphysical concept of emptiness and its corresponding ethical concept of non-dualism. Many people think in terms of black and white or shades of gray: either in absolutes or situational ethics. The ethics of non-dualism, on the other hand is about thinking in terms of paradox. In the symbol of yin and yang, the yin has a seed in the yang and vice versa; any time you go to any extreme there is an element of the other extreme. Case in point: communism is seen of theoretically as the opposite of dictatorship, but in practice it is often very similar. If you try to be perfect, you end up being self-righteous; it is better to just act without thinking so much. In a number of not very well understood, but often quoted eastern philosophies, the absolute is represented by the metaphysical concept of emptiness. In Taoism, Chuang Tzu speaks of society always arguing between seeming opposites, by making false distinctions between them. Chuang Tzu is very practical and so applies this to society's ethical dualism of good and evil, which he rejects in favor of a more philosophically sound distinction between, with what is natural and what is not natural. Through meditation, a practical application of emptiness, a person finds their inner voice and behaves genuinely, without focusing on false distinctions, between natural parts of life, which cause suffering, like seeing death and life, or the useful and useless as being good or evil. Taoist ethics are important to Christianity because they focuses the Gospel, the Psalms, and the Prophets on the main principles of humility and compassion, which are fully realized in Jesus Christ's humility to be human and compassion to die on the cross. Emptiness keeps people from petty fighting over an ignorance of paradox so that we can see the classical struggles between concepts of: predestination and free will, God being three and one, Jesus being fully man and fully God, good works and faith as each being two parts of an undivided whole. We gain humility because we cannot make theology systematic, we do not think of ourselves as being perfect and act legalistically. The compassion arises out of being at harmony with one another, through contemplation of how we are all part of one another in the circle of life and, from a Christian point of view, through accepting the peace of the Holy Spirit and acting together through His power.

Since my youth, I desired to find a church that was humble and compassionate, but it was hard for me to understand why these qualities were important to me. It wasn't until I was reading through Jeremiah in college that I realized that God admired these same qualities. It certainly wasn't anything I learned from the various Protestant churches that I have attended.

But the first Sunday I attended the local Catholic church they talked about how the law taught by Jesus was about love, not rules. This was something I knew of course, but I never heard a Protestant minister say. I checked out their web site before so I knew they were committed to service in areas that really are close to my heart: unwed mothers and the poor. I could have been poor if I didn't serve in the military before, since I am mentally ill and can't work. And my dad passed on to my the importance of sanctity of life.

I tried the Catholic church, out of desperation, from not finding any Protestant churches that seemed committed to service. After reading through the brochure, I received from the Catholic church as well as a book on common misconceptions about Catholicism, I felt like I was asking the wrong question.

The question wasn't why did I turn to the Catholic church, but why did I stay with the Protestant church so long? It has to do with a lot of things I have heard second hand. This is the reason most people stay away from something that would be good for them. It is funny that I didn't research this before as I earned about Chinese philosophy and Existentialism in college and was open minded about that.

I so far learned that: Catholics don't worship Mary any more than the average Protestant worships their deacons; the pope doesn't change theology - he only changes policy; Catholics don't believe that you have to do a certain amount of works to be saved, but that salvation is a process rather than an instantaneous event (although explained with different terminology is not actually different than Protestants believe).

I have been baptized at an early age for a Protestant - 8. I am born again but I believe there is more to salvation then just accepting Christ as your savior. Not that you can earn it, but that there should be some way to express it. I help others with my money by: wearing simple clothing, using public transportation, using inexpensive software, not eating beef, using used furniture, giving to help those society does not value, not using leather, and using cruelty free shampoo. I have struggled to find a way to volunteer for others with my limitations - currently I help others with my website with the following: Liberation Psychology to relieve emotional pain, Philosophy of Fun to relieve economic problems, Existential ethics to reduce the physical pain of others, Still Theory to reduce spiritual pain, my drawings to provide humorous relief, my photographs to show the beauty all around us, my computer information to help others save money and help others creatively.

But I would like to have my faith and my service connected, so it would be a witness to others. Now that I don't have to compromise on theology, I believe that I should be part of the same Church that Peter started. I look forward to becoming part of the rich heritage of the original church. I have also started reading about some of the Christian mystics of the Middle Ages and it is exciting and meaningful to anticipate being part of this same church.

1. God invented sex

2. Adam was a biologist

3. Noah was an environmentalist

4. Canaan (all died off) was cursed, not Ham or Africans

5. Job had a terminal disease

6. Abraham lied

7. Ishmael was blessed (Arabs)

8. Jacob was a body builder

9. Joseph was sexually harassed

10. Joseph was a psychologist

11. Joseph did Kenysian economic policies

12. Moses was an unwanted child

13. Moses had a lisp

14. The donkey spoke out to Balaam for animal rights

15. Rahab was a prostitute

16. The walls of Jericho fell down with trumpets

17. Deborah was a prophetess

18. Samson had long hair

19. Ruth was a migrant laborer

20. Samuel heard voices

21. King David had an affair

22. Solomon wrote erotic poetry

23. Nehemiah led refugees

24. Esther fought for equal rights

25. Ezekiel saw UFOs

26. Daniel was a vegetarian

27. John the Baptist was counterculture

28. Mary was an unwed mother

29. Jesus was born into poverty and homelessness

30. Jesus stood up for children's rights

31. Jesus drank alcohol

32. Jesus was only judgmental of the intolerant hypocrites, not outcasts

33. Lazarus was brain dead

34. Mary Magdalene wasn't in the kitchen

35. Zachias was short

36. Paul was an intellectual

37. Peter was reprimanded by Paul

38. Heaven will be multicultural

God wants us to be genuine and is willing to look past our faults and enjoys our quirks. People who are mean to others and claim they do not sin anymore were never Christians to begin with and will not go to Heaven. God just wants us to admit we cannot be good enough to get into Heaven and let him change us into a nice person.

The Book of Ben

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Sacrificing full humorous effect for a bolder sarcastic wit

1. Commercials shall serve in the place of debates in the new order.

2. The people shall vote for the candidate who spends the most.

3. Whosoever challenges the leading candidate will be slung mud at.

4. Those who have the money will have adequate representation in court.

5. Success in court is won by the side with the most skilled attorney.

1. The highest grade point average is a sign of genius.

2. Test scores should be determiners of self worth.

3. The level of schooling completed by the age of 25 is a foreshadowing of your success in life.

4. Without personal tutoring, you are bound to fail.

5. If your paper is of publishing quality, the grade doesn't matter.

1. The length of time abroad will be a determiner of how many friends you will have.

2. The number of languages you speak doesn't matter as long as you can afford a tour guide.

3. The only important places to visit are the ones in your tour handouts.

4. Giving to beggars is a wise display of your wealth.

5. Burglaries only happen in movies.

1. The product quality doesn't matter if the price is low enough.

2. The product usefulness is only important as it is reflected in the commercial.

3. Repetition determines the truth of a fact.

4. The packaging is more important than the product.

5. Always cut product quality and employees when downsizing.

1. More is always better when it comes to decorating.

2. Things that kill bugs won't hurt humans.

3. Smart people can do any home improvement without reading instructions.

4. If the taxes go up, then the house must be worth more.

5. Zoning is only important to know for Realtors.

1. Health warnings are just suggestions from bureaucrats.

2. Whatever doesn't make you throw up is good for you.

3. Dieting is sabotaging your stomach.

4. If one pill makes you feel better, then two pills would make you feel better than that.

5. When the infection stops spreading, then you can stop taking your medicine.

1. Video games burn calories and are a complete cardiovascular workout.

2. Movies look much better when they are displayed twice as small on your computer.

3. The prestige of being able to sneak alcoholic beverages into a football game makes it better than watching at home.

4. If you yell loud enough at game shows on your TV they might change their answers.

5. Being able to understand the lyrics to songs usually detracts from the artistic integrity of the performer.

1. The more you pay for a computer, the better it must be.

2. People without High Definition TV will feel deprived.

3. Brand names make the electronics work better.

4. A person won't be able to appreciate the music if they can't hear it across the entire sound spectrum.

5. Digital devices are always better even if you don't have a computer.

3.3.5 Stress Relief

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Heaven and Earth

There is a rhythm that exists

Deep inside your spirit

When all you hear is breathing

And your mind is all alone

Thoughts take flight

And you see nothing

Returning the power to Heaven

And the ten thousand things

Follow your mind

Liberation is a subtlety

And freedom comes from control

The hierarchy reflects nature

And the order is transparent

Within an instant

Everything fades away

The mind is ruler

And the body follows

When the mind is empty

The body is fully alert

With each breath

Heaven takes more territory

And the Earth longs

For Heaven's leadership

A unity exists

When Heaven is patriarch

And his rule is sage-like

And shows perspective

The Way leads to your heart

And is illuminated by your breath

Heaven leads the Way

And each member settles in

For a long peace

And a stable rule

The Way is narrow

When your mind is a casualty of war

It broadens

As Heaven is seated on your throne

Subjectivity of Mysticism

The imminence of God in this picture is stretched as far as can be done. It seems to verge on pantheism. And yet, as close as it may appear "a hair's breadth" there is an infinitely wide gap between pantheism and what Eckhart teaches. For it is not the created order by itself that is divine. It is the redemptive act of God that transforms fallenness into union with him. What cannot be found in nature and cannot be attained beyond nature can be received from God.

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Is contemplation the reason for the daily routine?

Or is contemplation merely a part of the routine?

Do the angels sit in transcendental poses?

Is the voice of God most clear in silence?

Does the toilet become an altar because it is the polar opposite of the cathedral?

Or is the shelter of a tree in a hailstorm closer to God?

Is space really empty?

If the universe cannot contain God

When a person empties himself completely for the sake of God, and he no longer belongs to anyone but God, and he lives solely for God, then he is truly the same thing by grace which God is by nature, and God recognizes no distinction between himself and this person. But now I have said: by grace.

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Meister Eckhart

If the body of Christ is holy and we are washed in the blood of the Lamb

Then are not our bodies holy?

If the serpent was struck a death blow in the head with the resurrection of Jesus

Then why do we fight as one beating the air?

Thus we see that Eckhart is a part of a very small subgroup among those whom we traditionally call "mystics." In fact it has been commonplace over the last one hundred years or so to define mysticism in terms of a "typical mystical experience." In that case Meister Eckhart would not even be a mystic at all. His focus is on something that is real. Subjective experience is essentially irrelevant to this reality.

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If we think about nothing

Does that let us unite the mind of God?

If we are bought with a price

Then why do we hold on to life so loosely

from Prayers and Thanksgiving in Book of Common Prayer 1928

O Almighty God, the supreme Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; that we, being armed with thy defense, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

198

"In Time of War and Tumults"

O God, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

199

"In Time of Calamity"

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succor. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain life is, we apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

200

"In Time of Great Sickness and Mortality"

O father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

201

"For a Sick Person"

Almighty God, who hast created man in thine own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among men and nations, to the glory of thy holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

202

"For Social Justice"

O Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defense unto thy servants against the face of their enemies; We yield thee praise and thanksgiving for our deliverance from those great and apparent dangers wherewith we were compassed. We acknowledge it thy goodness that we were not delivered over as a prey unto them; beseeching thee still to continue such mercies towards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

203

"For Peace, and Deliverance from our Enemies"

O God, who art the giver of life, of health, and of safety; We bless thy Name, that thou hast been pleased to deliver from his bodily sickness this thy servant, who now desireth to return thanks unto thee, in the presence of all they people. Gracious art thou, O Lord, and full of compassion to the children of men. May his heart be duly impressed with a sense of thy merciful goodness, and may he devote the residue of his days to an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

204

"For a Recovery from Sickness"

Six Sounds Therapy

1. clean and restore organs

2. regulate circulatory system

3. stabilize nervous system

1. people make noises when under stress

2. music can influence emotions

Six Syllables create vibrations, in different parts of the body, which affect natural healing.

Sit relaxed on the chair's edge, keeping your back straight, and your head up. Have your feet level on the ground, while having your knees apart a little. Place your hands on your thighs. Breathe through your nose, down into your waist. Let out your waist, when you breathe in, and pull it back in when breathing out. You should breathe out for a much longer time, than you breathe in. Exhale the sound from your waist. After breathing the sound, breathe regularly a couple times, before breathing the sound again.

This sound helps the liver and gall bladder and helps with feelings of weakness. Squeeze together the lips, and say "shoo," while you breathe out with your mouth opened and fold your tongue up.

This sound helps the small intestine and heart and gets rid of anger. Stretch your mouth wide, and say "haa" while you breathe out. Hold the end of your tongue softly, next to the inner side of your lower teeth.

This sound helps the lungs getting rid of poisons and helps the spleen, pancreas, and stomach, while balancing your temperature. Squeeze together your lips, and say "hoo," while you breathe out with your tongue folded a little down.

This sound helps with the lungs and large intestine, and also with balance. Hold your teeth together softly, put your tongue behind your teeth and say "haa," while you pull your lips back.

This sound balances your temperature and helps the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands. Squeeze your lips together and say "foo," while your mouth is a little open and your tongue pulled back and to the mouth top.

This sound helps the circulatory and nervous and with stress, tension, and anxiety. Hold your teeth together, and place your tongue next to your top teeth and say "shee," while pulling your lips back. Do this 36 times.

Using Feng Shui to help with Anxiety

Reduce exposure to Northern Chi and become more Yang

Door at Northern part of house

1. paint red, metal door handle, or metal wind chime

2. surround door with red flowers or ribbon, or red doormat

Bathroom or Kitchen at Northern part of House

furniture is

1. wood

2. wicker

3. bamboo

Without Window in Northern part of House

plants also help reduce Chi stagnation

use ivy - needs little light

Furniture

1. glass

2. marble

3. stone

Diet

1. Fish, grains, root vegetables

2. No sweets, raw fruits, iced drinks, coffee, wine, sugary soft drinks

Exercise helps

Finding a Hobby

According to Viktor Frankl, a person with Schizophrenia needs not worry about what causes each delusion or paranoia, but, rather that he has a disease and that the medicine he takes does the battle for him. He needs to focus on something else, because if he faces the battle head on, his subconscious will overtake him. There is a place for religion proper: when dealing with acute symptoms; but it is also important to work with your hands, to find balance and meaning in life. Craft materials don't cost very much anymore and can help a person with Schizophrenia to express their feelings, through the arts. And the arts are very interrelated with religion. Music and decorative ceremonial objects are a vital part of the religious experience. Not everyone can write their own music, but handicrafts are a more universal creative medium. I have discovered 5 crafts that I enjoy. You might want to consider one or more of them.

1. Cross Stitch

2. Sculptey

3. Stickers

4. Laminating

5. Terra Cotta Pots

Cross stitch is a type of needle-craft. It is easy to master the several main stitch types and you can get complete kits with the needle, threads and stamped pattern. You also need a wooden hoop. These are available at any good craft store. One of the draw backs is that it requires good eye sight.

There are several brands that work almost identically, but the idea is that you mold this special type of plastic and then you bake it in the oven, at low heat, so that it hardens. It is easier to work with than clay and it already comes colored. You can buy it and books that give ideas on how to make animals and decorations with it at most craft or toy stores. This requires good eyesight, but to a lesser degree than cross stitch, as the sculptey comes in small squares.

This type of work requires a modest investment. To just do small stickers, it will cost you 20 US dollars for the machine, and the cartridge included. To make larger stickers, as well as laminate and make magnets you will have to invest 50 US dollars plus 20 US dollars per cartridge. It comes with a sticker cartridge and idea book. And the cartridges are about 8 feet long of sticky. I bought a Xyron 510 from Joann Fabrics online.

Terra Cotta pots can be used for more than just planting. They can also be used to make animals and decorative containers out of. I found some free designs at About.com and also bought a book for about 10 US dollars from the Craft Ideas online store. You can also likely get some designs at national chain book stores like Borders, or Barnes and Noble. I had trouble finding designs at even major craft store chains. The pots cost 50 cents and up, depending on the size, and can be bought at any craft store.

3.3.6 Stress Prevention

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How to Avoid Mood Swings

205

ideas from Managing Your Emotions by Joyce Meyer

1. use self talk

2. listen to the Holy Spirit

3. make emotional stability your goal

4. spend time with people who are more emotionally stable than you are

5. know God is in complete control

6. put our confidence in Christ

7. the goal is not to be emotionless, but rather to have control over your emotions

8. let God change the circumstances by calling for his help

9. take refuge in God

10. avoid extreme highs and lows

11. having joy in Christ means to have calm delight

12. do not boast when God brings joy

13. expect to feel bored at first, when you stop going through highs and lows

14. know that most of life is just routine

Overcoming Depression

206

ideas from Managing Your Emotions by Joyce Meyer

1. try to keep your emotions level

2. know that when you despair, God will always give you a way out

3. when you are disappointed, call on God for a new direction, so you don't get discouraged

4. think of tomorrow in handling money

5. don't get into fights

6. when you are downcast, look to God, to lead you to a better situation

7. choose that you want to live, with hope and joy

8. choosing to live in hope and joy means not letting the inevitable let downs get you down

9. the Holy Spirit will lift you up

10. keep your concentration on God, or you will lose it to depression

11. avoid guilt, so you don't have to be hospitalized

12. avoid focusing on your own human weaknesses

13. be aware that change is naturally accompanied by depression

14. fear is a normal reaction to change, but it must be controlled like any other emotion

15. confront your depression: ask yourself why you are depressed, instruct yourself, announce your response

16. worship God

17. resist the depression immediately

18. meditate on everything God has done for you

19. pray to God for help

3.4 Community through the Humanities

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3.4.1 Vision

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Pure Worship

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

207

Luke 10:38-42

Nothing to Say

She could not confide in anyone, because she did not really have anything to confide. When a person has dreamed, he can tell his dream to others, but what she had to tell was indeed no dream; it was actuality, and yet as soon as she was about to tell it to another to ease her troubled mind, it was nothing. She was fully aware of it herself. No one could grasp this, scarcely she herself, and yet it weighed upon her as a disquieting burden.

208

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

Beauty in Mystery

Erect was she and proud, mysterious and abounding in thought like a spruce tree, one shoot, one thought, which deep from the interior of the earth shoots up toward heaven, unexplained, unexplainable to itself, a unity that has no parts. The beech tree puts on a crown; its leaves tell what has occurred beneath it. The spruce has no crown, no history, is a riddle to itself--she was like that. She herself was hidden in herself; she herself rose up out of herself; there was a recumbent pride in her like the spruce's bold escape--although it is riveted to the earth.

209

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

Love as Many as Possible

To love one girl is too little; to love all is superficiality; to know oneself and to love as many as possible, to let one's soul conceal all powers of love inside itself so that each receives its special nourishment while the consciousness nevertheless embraces the whole--that is enjoyment, that is living.

210

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

In the Moment

She is being transformed within herself. The moment craves stillness; therefore no reflection is to disturb it, no noise of passion is to disrupt it. It is as if I were not present, and yet it is my very presence that is the condition for this contemplative wonder of hers. My being is in harmony with hers. In a state such as this, a girl is adored and worshiped, just as some deities are, by silence.

211

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

Dancing Alone

My relationship to her is like a dance that is supposed to be danced by two people but is danced by only one. That is, I am the other dancer, but invisible. She moves as in a dream, and yet she is dancing with another, and I am that other one who, insofar as I am visibly present, is invisible, and insofar as I am invisible, visible. The movements require another.

212

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

The Artist

I am shaping for myself a heart like unto hers. An artist paints his beloved; that is now his joy; a sculptor shapes her.

213

Soren Kierkegaard in "The Seducer's Diary" in Either/Or

3.4.2 About Me

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I am in almost 30 and have been studying most major belief systems of the world minus earth religions or occult for 9 years now. I have been awarded a doctorate, for my studies, and have developed college level curriculum for a number of topics in theology and philosophy which are now contained in my series of books. I have developed four different websites, showcasing my studies and writing and more recently I have developed visual representations of key ideas.

I believe that the systematic thought, which leads to specialization, from the philosophy of Aristotle, as interpreted by Maimonides, the materialism, that was started by Descartes, and the atheism, that comes from Rousseau are the reason for the exponentially increased suffering of people, over the past 500 years. These ideas are often collectively referred to as the Enlightenment or Social Science. The establishment has always existed, from earliest times and will exist until the end of times, and has operated according to the philosophy of Machiavelli or dictatorship. But, as the establishment used the power of Science to control people, they exponentially increased the suffering of the world, for the next 500 years. The Biblical response is to subvert the ways of the establishment in creative and non-political ways, but still follow its laws. Giving things away for free is a good start.

There are some general skills that I have picked up, from my extensive study of both religion/philosophy and computers. These are two fields, where most people have some very strong opinions, and even amongst people who are required to know about it for their job, know so little about. I have developed the ability, background knowledge, and experience to determine whether or not the person knows what they are talking about, whether or not the information is accurate, what bias the person is showing, what things are not known very well by anyone, things that you can't get reliable information about. And I can draw information, from many sources, and put together the information in a concise, accurate, easy to understand, and teachable form.

I am a disabled veteran and was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia almost 8 years ago. I live on my own completely now. I have had only one paranoid episode and have only been in a psychiatric ward of a private hospital. This was when I was diagnosed and I have been on my medicine regularly and have not been in the hospital since then.

I am now working on getting into better shape. I was always thin before I started on my first anti-psychotic, Risperidol. I gained 80 lbs. in 4 months and that is typical for this medicine. Risperidol numbs the nerves in your stomach, so no matter how much you eat, you never feel full. Anyway, I gained more weight, when I lived in a group home, as our food was very starchy. Since then, I have lost 50 pounds, just by changing what types of food I ate and eating less quantity. I am now going to use my treadmill until I can run again. I ran from middle school, all the way through the military, where I ran a half marathon, but I haven't been able to run since I gained the weight. I am also going to be building up my life force with Qi Gong once I get in better shape.

3.4.3 Personal Situation

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After All These Years

The fight is still in me

And I still remember

Dreams of success

Adventure and excitement

What is easy to forget

Is the training

The pain and the struggle

To build strength of mind and body

I still focus on the result

But the process is equally important

A soldier struggles in each task

Of his necessary skills

The most important ones

Are the least glamorous

The hardest ones

He forgets easiest

The ones he never did

Are recalled most often

I can imagine parachuting

Over hostile territory

But the voice of the drill sergeant

Continues to fade over time

My protective mask

Is not my greatest defense

Now I rely on freedom of religion

And the uselessness of my work

I am still a soldier

But my pictures are my rifle

And my words are my bayonet

I am determined to build my body

To the level of my mind

But I now know

That it is equally hard

As the piles of books

I struggled to understand

There will be years of work

And I will fail for most of it

But one day

Everything will come together

And I will be stronger

To face my greatest enemy

My paranoid mind

And deluded consciousness

Daydream

Nothing but the hum of the fan

And the beads of sweet on my back

I lean back on my love seat

Only getting up to drink

My stuffed toys look bored

And sit patiently near by

The heat is oppressive

But the silence is not

I ponder picking up my book

Where I last left off

But it is too late

To start another chapter

There is too much on my mind

To concentrate outside myself

As I slide uncomfortably

Outside the path of the wind

It is in the ordinary

That great ideas arise

In our quiet times

We plan great changes

It is in the midst of routine

That the words flow rapidly

The sequence of the paragraphs

Are arranged in a hurry

It is in the frustrations and annoyances

That fruitful insights come

And tonight my mind rests

Without deadlines or aspirations

Nothing to break my train of thought

Nothing to occupy my mind

No dreams of heroism

Or performance anxiety

I let my eyelids open and close

All I see is a clear night devoid of clouds

If I concentrate too hard

The stars begin to move

I start to hear sounds

From unidentified objects

My body is sore

But my mind is sharp

Thoughts flow in the wind

And the heat keeps me awake

3.4.4 Local Community

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Mixed Feelings

I love the culture that the University of Oregon brings to Eugene, but I am frustrated by their lack of support for diversity.

I must first explain what I mean by diversity. Diversity does not mean a certain number of women, it does not mean a certain number of people of color, and it does not mean a certain number of international students. The reason why I don't consider this to be diversity is because we continue to hear that people, who are of a different skin color, are no different than anyone else and that just because someone is a woman that doesn't make her any different than a man. So if they are the same, how can they be called diverse?

People, who have different sexual preferences, may make the University more diverse. I still don't see how they are any different than anyone else, based solely on having a different sexual preference. I don't see why this makes such a difference in opinions, about anything taught in school. To assume that someone is more liberal or of a particular religion, because they are gay or lesbian, doesn't make any sense and furthermore it is being prejudice to think so.

The real differences, that affect how people live, are income level, disability, subculture they identify with, belief system, and political views. I know that the University actively discourages students of certain income levels, disabilities, and belief systems, by policies that they could easily change.

The University of Oregon charges much more per class, for one class, than they do for a full time course load. This discourages people of a moderate to low income level from attending, as it is common to work while going to school, if you can't get enough financial aid, to cover your courses, which is common.

The University of Oregon goes to great links, to make sure classes are wheelchair accessible, and to make material available to blind students, but I was refused help for my disability, that the local community college volunteered to help with, before I even asked. We wanted either extra time for testing, oral testing, or a paper in place of testing, as I have no trouble learning the material but just need to be under less stress. Well, the University said that it was the choice of the professor as to whether they wanted to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to the mentally ill too.

The University of Oregon has a tremendous amount of courses, including a whole year of required courses, on western philosophy, but only has one course on eastern philosophy and they claim that they excel in Asian studies. I know that there is a religion major, that includes major eastern philosophies and religion, but why do the eastern philosophies get lumped in with all the major world religions and not get their own courses. I can understand, if they wanted to merge the philosophies and religions courses under belief systems, but why do the eastern philosophies get the short end of the stick?

The University of Oregon, for all its lack of support for diversity, does bring a tremendous amount of positive influence into the Eugene community.

You can see the differences between our sister city Springfield, which borders Eugene, on the east side. Driving or taking the bus down Springfield's main street, you can get an idea of what it has to offer. Almost every business deals with fixing cars. If their weren't cars, Springfield would be even more depressed. There are some nice parts to Springfield, like in its northern Gateway end and eastern Thurston end, which I grew up in. But the majority of the middle part of the city is very depressed. A big chunk of the city is the property of Weyerhauser, a multi-billion dollar timber company, whose paper mill can be smelled even in Thurston, when the wind blows that way. This is not to knock Springfield, as they have very different values, but it shows that the University of Oregon brings something different and good to the community.

So how is Eugene different? Eugene had a number of very different parts. One of the uniting factors is the number of small businesses. That is something common to most of Oregon. But we have some really unique businesses, like the Smith Family Bookstore, where people can get used books that are scholarly, which is right next to the University of Oregon and would not exist without it. We also have a number of theatre companies in Eugene, all throughout the eastern and downtown areas. We also have a number of art galleries downtown and we have Maude Kerns art center, which has classes on and exhibits many styles of art. We also have a huge hospital, which is faith friendly, Sacred Heart, and a community college, LCC. We have two Christian colleges, one a Bible college, Eugene Bible College, and the other a liberal arts college, Northwest Christian College, whose students can take courses at the U of O, which they can get credit for at the Christian college. We also have a huge stadium, for football and we have the county fairgrounds in town. We have a lot of unique celebrations in the summer, including the Country Fair and the Eugene celebration. We also have a local minor league of baseball, called the Eugene Emeralds. We have several venues, exclusively for concerts, including the WOW Hall and the former MacDonald theatre. We also have an independent films movie theatre, called the Bijou. These are just a few of the things the University of Oregon brings to town; each of these bringing many wonderful moments of joy and community to the Eugene area.

My Experiences with the Mental Health Establishment

June 6th, 2006

Today was not a good day. I was the victim of an abusive mental health worker. I have experienced the same thing, with many other people, who work with the mentally ill. They assume that they are always right and the consumer is always wrong. I continue to have to hold my tong and not say how I feel out of fear of retaliation, but they say whatever they feel like, regardless of my feelings and no ones stands up for me. The workers bring up very divisive topics, like politics and religion, and usually say some very negative things about Christianity. Then, when I try to respond, they say I can't talk about religion or politics. Basically, they are saying only their opinion counts. What I believe is not important, because I was born different than them. I was even told be one of the managers that I know more about mental illness than they do.

"What is Buddhism all about? " Aside: I only have time for a one sentence answer, but I won't communicate that to you

"Well, first of all, Buddhism is a form of atheism and is nihilistic. In Buddhism all deities are illusions and..." Aside: Why are they giving me a blank stare? They must not comprehend, but are unwilling to ask the needed question.

"I need help with my VCR; you are good with computers" Aside: I don't understand him but I don't want to look stupid, so I am just going to cut him off, in mid-sentence.

"Actually I don't know much about VCRs. What is your problem? "

"I can't get the TV back on."

"Just hit the input button or tv/video button several times, until you see the TV show."

"I don't know how to do that." Aside: I am not really listening to you because I don't want to learn how to do anything new. I would rather depend on other people, to fix my problems for me.

"I can hit the button for you then, but watch so you can do it next time." Aside: I just explained it to you. I guess you weren't even listening.

"I am so busy with work that I need you to do that for me, but I won't be around." Aside: I have no intention of doing that. That would be learning and that scares me.

"Ok." Aside: I wonder what she does at work. All I see her do is talk to the her coworkers and play games on the computer

I am no longer going to answer any questions about philosophy to anyone who hasn't first read through Philosophy Core curriculum and answered the questions at the end. Then after looking at the answers, I can tell if they are serious about studying philosophy. Then I will have them read books from the Recommended Reading List and I will answer questions about the books, only after they have read them. The Philosophy Core is based on my reading from 165 mostly classical philosophical texts and my conversations with people of various levels of education over a period of 7 years. I have finally simplified and explained it to the point, that if a person cannot understand it, they are most likely not making the effort, second most likely, they need to learn how to read better, or else they don't have the ability (the third possibility is very rare).

3.4.5 International Community

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Non Exclusive Patriotism

I voluntarily served my country and am permanently disabled because of my service. This is why I am receiving funds from the Veterans Administration. I am a disabled veteran. I served my country, because it is a beautiful country and it is my country.

Many people see America as being on offshoot of England and based on the Enlightenment and that our closest allies are England and France. They see American history and culture as that of rich white men, as taught in history books and the mass media, that is accepted by the mainstream of opinion leaders. The mass media, called popular culture, is all over the world and is developed by a couple of rich white men, who don't even pay taxes in the United States. These multinational corporations have nothing to do with America.

I see America as reflected, by the people who live here, currently and I see America as an immigrant nation, except for the Native Americans. The only thing that is exclusively American is Native American culture. When I study about the culture of historic and ancient Asia, this is as American as studying about the the American Revolution, the American Civil War, or World War II. I think that people, who got into America legally, from any other nation and follow the laws are just as much American as people who came over on the Mayflower who follow the laws. Not just those who sell out their culture for popular culture, but keeping their customs, from the countries they came from are just as American.

The really unique thing about America as I have, come to realize, after my service in the military is that we have a goal of toleration for people of different backgrounds and especially of other religions. That is one of the major things I seek to further, in my writings and artwork. This is often referred to as multiculturalism. I don't see why we need to put up artificial boundaries between us and other countries around the world. We can be seen as doing the right thing, as well as they can be, even if we order our society in different ways, or that they may appear farther ahead than us in some areas doesn't make us less of a nation. We don't need to think of ourselves, as the best nation on earth. We are one, among a number of great nations, and we don't need to be culturally exclusive to prove it.

How I support Free Software

Most people use a certain amount of software that is free. Much of that software is free, not only in cost, but is done by a community or network of developers, so that the software produced is not controlled by any one organization or company. The value lies not primarily in the cost savings, but in the inherent use of open standards and open file formats, that facilitate the exchange of ideas, especially in the future. As an artist, writer, and philosopher, I value that my ideas, writings, and images will be available in digital form, far into the future, because I publish my work in open standardized file formats and this free software helps drive their adoption.

I have so far supported free software by

making sure my web site can be viewed with free software

1. Firefox, Camino, Seamonkey

2. Safari

3. Konqueror

4. Kghostview

5. Evince

providing links on my website to free software

using free software to create my web site as much as possible

1. LaTeX

2. Open Lazslo

3. Gimp/GimpShop/Seashore

4. Sword Project - GnomeSword, Bibletime, or MacSword

5. gFTP or Cyberduck

publishing articles

1. about the importance of free software

2. on how to use free software

giving away graphics under generous licenses

1. greeting cards

2. wallpapers

3. slideshows

4. textures

5. vector patterns

6. fonts

licensing my web site with a generous creative commons license

making monetary donations to the free software movement

1. Firefox and Thunderbird - 50 dollars - web browser and email client

2. Gimp - 50 dollars - multi purpose picture and photo editing

3. Inkscape - 100 dollars - vector drawing program

4. Creative Commons - 50 dollars - develops licenses for sharing content that you own the copyright on

5. Project Gutenberg - 50 dollars - publishes books that have lost their copyright and distributes them freely on the Internet

For the common person, I still get blank stares, even from educated people, when I try to describe open source and its importance to an artist, writer, and philosopher. They understand the philosophy better than they do the software. They are still locked into an 80s mentality, where you have IBM compatibles and Macs, which are are from 2 separate universes and you either are all locked into one, or all locked into the other and you can't ever network them together or share files. They think they need the program that you created the document with and they only consider something finished, when it is printed out. They are still impressed by being able to change the desktop wallpaper, use attachments, and forward urban legends. It will be at least 20 years, before the average person understands open source, if it ever happens. Basically, we need to wait for my parents generation, to move into retirement homes.

3.4.6 Religious Community

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Myths of the Church

The most obvious parallel for the Pharisees in modern times is the Church establishment

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

214

Matthew 5:20

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

215

Matthew 12:14

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

216

Matthew 16:6

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

217

Matthew 21:45

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

218

Matthew 22:15

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

219

Matthew 23:13-15

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

220

Matthew 23:23-33

Having Christ like Humility means We are Always at Level 1

Jesus did not consider Himself equal to God, although He was and is God Himself

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

221

Philippians 2:4-11

Paul talks about the Church's immaturity

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

222

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

223

Hebrews 5:11-14

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

224

1 Peter 2:1-3

The symbol in Revelations for the Church is a baby

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

225

Revelations 12

We all sin, and if we say we do not, then we lie.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

226

1 John 1:8-9

Philosophy of Life and Death

Many Christians see salvation as an end and not just a beginning. They absolve themselves of doing any help in the world, because they see the world as corrupt and take the easy answer of letting the world fall apart. They look knowingly at each other and think they are so much better, because they are saved.

This is based on the theology of saved by faith alone, but it is not consistent, even within its own system. If God saved us, because we repent of our sins, then why do we think we are better than others? We are all equally bad and God's criteria for reaching out to us is just that we humble ourselves before God and consider ourselves equal to unbelievers. If we can't even do that, how can we consider ourselves to be born again or followers of Christ?

If Christ, who is God Himself, did not even consider Himself equal to God and submitted Himself to the authority of men, then where do we get off thinking that we are better than unbelievers. Often, theologians compare Christ's descent to being human as equivalent to us descending to being a bug, but this is a gross exaggeration of our worth and gross simplification of God's glory above man. Christ being born as a human is more equivalent to use giving up our existence permanently.

God is not limited by any thing and He is so far above us that we amount to a grand total of zero in comparison to God. It is a miracle that any of us is actually saved and the effort is almost entirely on God's side. It is not that our submission to God means anything, but just a rightful understanding of our place in the universe; it is the grace of God that does the work.

It is important that we make a choice, to submit ourselves before God, but this is just the beginning of the path. Just because we can't get beyond grace, salvation, and faith, does not mean that we do not make the effort to grow. Just because the world is going to end soon is no reason to let everybody suffer, without attempting any way, to help reduce the suffering.

The majority of the Bible tells about how we should live our lives, while on earth. If we really want mass conversions to the Christianity of the Bible, we are going to have to show unbelievers that we truly value life.

For a person to choose a philosophy of death and to totally give up on improving the world is a defeatist mentality. How can we expect to have victory in Christ if it doesn't start by reaching out to our own communities in Christ reflected love?

3.5 Topics in Theology

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3.5.1 Number 8

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The following article, explains how personal salvation and morality are the basis, for genuine humility and compassion.

Problem

As long as I act freely I am good and do nothing but good, but as long as I feel the yoke of necessity or human society I become rebellious, or rather recalcitrant, and then I am of no account.

227

Jean Jaques Rousseau in "6th Walk" of Reveries of the Solitary Walker

Solution

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

228

Mark 10:14:15

It is true that our modern society and civilization, in general, intensifies people's bad behavior, as they are more interconnected. We are also more aware of what others do, as people live closer together, either by technology or location. When people work together, in groups, the leaders get addicted to the power and lose the moral fiber, that supposedly brought them into the position, in the first place.

Many theologians will tell you that if you live in isolation, it is very hard to break God's law, as most of the commandments involve other people. But all the commandments are based on loving God and serving no other gods and that one you can break, by yourself.

But people commit sins individually. Even if they are leaders or do so in groups, each person is responsible for their actions. And the Bible tells us that we all have an inclination to do wrong and have not met God's perfect moral standard. Freedom is spiritual, according to the Bible, and is realized, in becoming part of God's family, by being sorry for our sins and humbling ourselves, before God. Our greatest enemy is not our leaders, but the inevitable outcome of our own free choice.

When it comes to how we act in groups, not everyone who is a part of that social contract is in agreement with everything a leader does. We may find that among our peers we agree, but are divided by our leaders misinformation. There is not the same responsibility, when we are only indirectly responsible and made the best compromise, as we understood, at the time.

Our system of government is flawed, no matter what system we live under, but we can be free spiritually, despite being deluded, in a corporate sense. God meant for us to live together, despite the problems and our leaders will face an account, for what they have done, sometimes in their very own courts, but all of them eventually will be subject to God's judgment.

God doesn't call us to be perfect, but, rather to be humble before Him and equal to all other people, and to be compassionate to others. Compassion is an evidence of faith, but humility is the basis. God wants us to grow up and act with love for others, but in His wisdom, not the world's, but before we can truly care for others, we must first be as genuine in our self reflection as children and look to God as our Father.

3.5.2 Thus Readeth and Interpeteth Ben from the Bible

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229

The Christian Response to Nietzche

Introduction

Have you always thought that, because Nietzche was a well known atheist, that everything he said is against the Bible and not worth reading for Christians? That is totally not true. Here is a sampling, of some of his statements from, Thus Spake Zarathustra and the biblical response.

Complete Agreements

He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but learnt by heart.

230

"Reading and Writing" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Jesus made the ultimate statement in blood with His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead and He definitely wanted us to learn the Scriptures, so that they were a part of us and not just words on a page.

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them

231

Hebrews 10:16

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen. False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

232

"The New Idol" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

233

1 Timothy 6:10

You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!

234

"War and Warriors" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to fight the armies of the aliens.

235

Hebrews 11:34

Partial Agreements

Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.

236

"The Preachers of Death" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

237

Romans 8:10-11

Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were delusion and faith something different. Raving of the reason was likeness to God, and doubt was sin.

238

"Backworldsmen" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

239

James 1:5

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding

240

Colossians 1:9

The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain! " And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto, and for that very purpose it is meant to think.

241

"The Despisers of the Body" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Does it matter what the cause of pain is? Does it hurt less, if I understand why? There definitely is a mind-body connection, as that is what all of Chinese medicine is based on, and has worked for thousands of years. I would just add, that there is a spiritual component or relationship to the body, and pain can be spiritual, as well as physical. God can heal people who are physically or spiritually sick.

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord

242

James 5:14

Complete Disagreements

Thus speak and stammer: "That is my good, that do I love, thus doth it please me entirely, thus only do I desire the good. Not as the law of a God do I desire it, not as a human law or a human need do I desire it; it is not to be a guide post for me to super-earths and paradises."

243

"Joys and Passions" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

244

Romans 2:14-15

My brother, are war and battle evil? Necessary, however, is the evil; necessary are the envy and the distrust and the backbiting among the virtues.

245

"Joys and Passions" in Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

246

James 4:1-3

3.5.3 It is Blowing Everywhere

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The Bible compared to other works

Karl Barth says

What distinguishes the witness of the prophets and the apostles...After all, they were men as fallible as we are...their morality cannot be binding for us...In many things they said...they contradicted each other...With few exceptions they were not remarkable theologians. God's word is never available to anyone. Gods word is God's Spirit, who blows where He will.

247

Karl Barth in "The Authority and the Significance of the Bible"

Ben Huot says

While I believe that much can be learned from other cultures, in their natural disciplines: philosophy, history, literature, art, music, and theater, the Bible stands as a universal truth and is relevant to all cultures.

The Bible stands up to Scientific analysis and our understanding of the universe. The delicate balance of every condition necessary for life and the complexity of biological structures and chemistry point to a Creator. The Bible also refers to events that can be verified and stands up to historical analysis, better than any other records. Its message meets the psychological needs and yearnings of human being, better than any other printed work.

I can understand other philosophies and literature, because the Bible is a super system, that encompasses all other forms of thought. The poetry of Psalms ministers to our emotional ups and downs better than any psychoanalysis. The best explanation of history is contained in the Prophets of the Old Testament.

The nihilism of Buddha and Nietzche are contained in Ecclesiastes. The ethics of Taoism are more eloquently stated in the Gospels. Existential freedom is best represented in the letters of Paul. Christ's death and resurrection and His gift of eternal life are the best answers to suffering.

While I am very critical of the way the church compromises to society's values, there are no grounds for honest criticism of the Bible. The values of the Bible hold man to the highest standards and are yet the simplest and most basic requirements, for interacting with others. God provided a very simple way to salvation, that is not beyond the abilities of the most intelligent scholar or the most simple minded laborer. The Bible is definitely a criticism of the powers that be and our precious Social Sciences, but that means that God really cares. I, as well as God, hold Christians to a higher standard than I do the world, because they know the truth.

While it may take a tremendous effort on our part to unlearn how our society interprets the Bible and get into a fresh way of thinking, reading the Bible honestly in its entirety and praying to God to understand it is all that is necessary. I got all my views from the Bible, before I read philosophy, and there is nothing that is said in other books that is necessary to understand, either the way to live or the way to salvation. I read them to understand other ways of thinking, because I have a love of culture. The works I have based my philosophy on are to counter the atheism taught in schools and bring God's message to non-believers, in ways they can understand, but the fundamental ideas are just restatements of Scripture.

3.5.4 The Brotherhood of Man

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248

A Conversation with Rousseau

Many think that Jesus Christ's message can be summed up, by loving your fellow man, or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The fact is that how the Bible defines love, in 1 Corinthians 13, nobody lives up to it, as stated by Paul in Romans 3:10-11 that:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one

Paul is quoting from Isaiah. The Bible directly says that we do not measure up to God's holiness. What is considered good, in the eyes of man, is such a low standard that, even in the eyes of the worst criminal, we could not be called good. People, not that long ago, thought it was ok to have slaves and considered women property; people even now think it is ok to experiment on animals and kill unborn babies.

It is true, God created a world in which sin is possible, by giving us a free choice and by creating us as individuals. But not only do we make mistakes, but we actually go out of our way to hurt others and don't seem to care when we destroy the earth's resources for ten thousand years in the future. We are producing radioactive waste, and using up our oil reserves. Buying an SUV is not amoral, when we have young men dying overseas, to defend our over consumption. Consuming vast quantities of beef gives us heart disease, which is often fatal and is not a fair use of resources, when other people are growing hungry or don't receive adequate medical care.

Most fundamentally, Christ's message was in His birth, death, and resurrection, giving us a perfect example of humility and compassion. When we say we have done nothing wrong, we are not being honest or genuine. More importantly, we are not being respectful of Jesus' sacrifice or the honor due God the Father. In doing so, we also think we are better than our fellow citizens and don't really believe in equality. Not only was God coming to earth as Jesus the ultimate act of humility, but He carried out the greatest act of compassion by dying on the cross for our sins, descending into Hell, and raised back to glory and Heaven, defeating death and the Devil. All God asks for us is to accept the obvious fact that we do wrong and ask for His forgiveness, and believe that Jesus rose from the dead (the historical event with the most factual proof and the only rational conclusion to be drawn from how Christ's body was missing out of the tomb).

3.5.5 First Impressions of Hinduism

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A Comparative Analysis of Indian and Middle Eastern Spiritual Traditions

The leaf or flower or fruit or water that he offers in devotion, I take from the man of self-restraint in response to his devotion.

249

Gita 9:26

Buddhism

Most people are more familiar with Buddhism than with Hinduism, so I will start my comparison there. Buddhism is a form of philosophy that is nihilistic, atheistic, and materialistic. It is an elaborate system of ethics and its ultimate aim is the annihilation of all desire, to the point of having no individual identity. This is because Buddhism is based on the idea that existence in any form always leads to nothing but suffering. Buddhist ethics call for isolation and non-involvement in society. To escape the cycle of rebirths, you have to accumulate no karma, not even good karma, so you are not supposed to get involved, even when others suffer. Although you rely solely on yourself for enlightenment, as the Buddha is in your mind, even the self has no permanent existence and ultimately is just an illusion.

Hinduism

Hinduism is a belief in a God which exists in everything - every sentient being and even in all matter. Enlightenment is obtained mainly by meditation and self-discipline. There are also many others paths, like chanting certain words. If you break from the cycle of death and rebirth, you join with the true Self, which is the ultimate reality. Then you have no personal identity, or rather have found your true identity, which is one with the ultimate reality. Hinduism believes this world was created by the ultimate reality, the true Self, which is eternal.

Buddhism and Hinduism

One major difference between Hinduism and Buddhism is that Hindus believe in God. They actually believe in One God/Reality, but followers worship different aspects of God, depending on how they see Him: Creator, Destroyer, and Preserver. Like Buddhism and most other religions, except for Judaism, Islam and Christianity, Hindus believe in reincarnation. Like Buddhism, there is no set canon like in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

Hinduism and Middle Eastern religions

Like Christianity, Hinduism has branched out and has materialistic and orthodox schools. Buddhism and Jainism are the main materialistic/atheistic schools. Sikhism is a combination of Islam and Hinduism based on the bhakti (devotional/mystical tradition) and a modern school of Hinduism is the Hare Krishnas. Christianity believes God has three major functions, but none of these functions includes any type of sexuality or violence, unlike the Hindu deities Vishnu and Shiva. While you can worship different aspects of God in Hinduism, God the Father is the only one who is to be worshiped in Christianity. Also, in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism God is separate from his creation, while in Hinduism everything has the same underlying reality.

Similarities to Christianity

So we are said to be what our desire is. As our desire is, so is our will. As our will is, so are our acts. As we act, so we become.

250 251

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

the concept of sin explained in the Hindu scriptures, known there as karma, but it sounds a lot like sin, doesn't it?

When he is seen within us and without, he sets right all doubts and dispels the pain of wrong actions committed in the past.

252 253

Mundaka Upanishad

the concept of forgiveness explained in the Hindu scriptures, referred to as the truth of the true Self

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is the principle philosophical work of Hinduism. It is part of the longest epic poem ever written and is the finale of the poem. Krishna is counseling a soldier, who does not want to fight. First, it says that all things are equal and then it contradicts itself by describing different personality types and tells people they have to do different things to be saved, depending on their situation. The problem with having people do different things to be saved implies that some people are better than other people. The ethics of Nietzche have a similar problem. This leads to the caste system in India and NAZI Germany. The Bible teaches that everyone is equal before God and anyone can be saved no matter what they have done, if they believe that Jesus is God and repent of their sins.

North and South

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by Ben Huot

4.1 First Things

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4.1.1 Logo

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I should explain what the logo is meant to be representing. The guy is a pen, which is me, which comes from my first poem in Philosophy Core, called Creative Process, where I refer to myself as doing Tai Chi, with my pen being my body. The idea is based on "the pen is mightier than the sword" so I created "the Bible is mightier than the pen".

The Bible is shooting out flames because in Ephesians it talks about spiritual warfare and the Bible is the only armament that is offensive. (It means offensive instead of defensive. These are common terms used in combat. The sword is the only spiritual weapon. All the other armaments expressed in Ephesians are protective and defensive in nature like a shield, a helmet, a breastplate, etc.) The flames are meant as in James when it talks about being purified by fire or struggles with temptation in our lives. Isaiah also was purified by a live coal to his lips by a Seraphim. So the usage of fire is not evil or anything violent. Think of it as purifying.

I would ideally like it to show the sword turned inward to his chest, symbolizing like in many fantasy books that when they defeat the great evil force in the world, they are left with the greatest task, which is to defeat the evil within. The Bible is said to be a 2 sided sword, with the ability to cut between bone and marrow, and show the truth. Christ's tongue is said to be a 2 edged sword in Revelations, to defeat the Devil with. The reason I didn't show this is it looks like he is committing suicide.

The spiritual warfare is not against people, ideas, or even spirits. It is about fighting for the purity of our own minds. It is an internal thing. Like the Native American proverb "my greatest enemy is myself." This purity is in regard to our own sins and does not refer to purity in any other sense. But this is a process, not an outcome, as it is not possible for us to live without sin.

This warfare is only spiritual in the sense that it is not militant, social, economic, or political. This is for my own moral and ethical development and consists of practical qualities I try, with Christ's help, to cultivate like humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness and do not correspond to anything supernatural.

4.1.2 Other Books

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My text books and picture books contain most of my work over the past 10 years. These include my reading of some 235 books containing the philosophical and religious thinking of the world's cultures for several thousand years and the application of the main themes of some of the major Old Testament Prophets and major works of the New Testament.

The main point of this work is to get people to stopping living their lives with their minds, but instead follow their hearts. I bring a radically different combination of viewpoints that you have not heard of before. I am not asking people to follow what I have written, but rather let the words stir up some sort of emotional response in your heart.

I challenge my readers to come up with their own unique ideas and that can lead the world in a new direction. We need a much broader diversity of ideas in our culture to deal with the problems we are facing in America and throughout the rest of the world.

4.1.3 For More Information

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For more books and information, visit me on the web at http://benjamin-newton.com/

Feel free to send me e-mail regarding the books and website at mailto:ben@benjamin-newton.com I even enjoy constructive criticism

4.1.4 Cover Graphic

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4.1.5 License

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This entire PDF is licensed together under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License as a whole, and nothing is to be separated, added on to, or modified in any manner.

Clarification on what no derivatives means:

No changes may be made in any way including but not limited to:

the material content and design must be copied as a whole (everything contained in this pdf file)

* with nothing added

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must be kept in its original form with no additions or subtractions to

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4.2 Postmodernism for Christians

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4.2.1 Essays

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Introduction to Postmodernism

Many people of my parents generation and many Evangelical Christians are perplexed about Postmodernism.

First, they fight the term and ask, "how can something be after the modern? " as that is often used as a term for the present. Postmodernism is a continuation of Modernism, as well as a rejection against it (more about this second part later). The word Modernism in philosophy is often equated with the Enlightenment and the two branches of philosophy that arose out of it: Rationalism and Empiricism. And Rationalism is another philosophical term that means something different than the common usage. Not being a Rationalist is not being irrational, illogical, or nonsensical, but, rather it means the person doesn't belong to a specific school of philosophy, which may very well mean that the person is actually more logical.

The second common reaction is to ask, "then what does Postmodernism mean? " The simple answer is that it is a shift in world views, from one dominated by a belief in a common set of values, like: that democracy is best for everyone, the idea of perpetual linear progress in society, the idea of the supremacy of Western culture, and the idea that Science answers all our problems (this is the one it keeps) into one dominated by Skepticism and atheism, where there is no dominant world view, except doubting anything that sounds like an absolute.

It is common thinking amongst many Christians that this puts Christianity in a negative light and that this is bad, for the spread of the Gospel. This is because they were taught theology from an Enlightenment perspective. They think that having more people claim to be Christian and to be agnostic or sympathetic to Christianity without having any personal faith is a good thing. They think that having more money and higher numbers of church members puts Christianity in a better position.

But there is a Christian response to this, that goes back to what the Bible really says and which has been around for 150 years, but Christians are only just now seeing it in a neutral or slightly positive light. The Christian answer to Postmodernism is Existentialism. When a Christian stops fighting about proving God rationally and says that salvation is a mystery, while still advocating being born again, they shift from being the status quo 'rich white men' in power and become a minority that can attack the establishment, by attacking their weakness: Science.

The Bible is a direct opponent of Science, in addition to the occult. I am not talking about rejecting technology and becoming Amish, but, rather that we attack prejudices that are advocated by people who see Science, not as a creative process, but as a world view. It is not about questioning the existence of the material world all together, but it is about fighting the things that Postmodernism acknowledges as absolutes, while at the same time supposedly rejecting absolutes. There is a commonly accepted idea in Postmodernism and this is about the supremacy of Science, to be our savior, in place of Christ.

This is what the 'rich white men' are really about: they believe that Scientific proof means that something is absolutely true, but Biblical ideas only might be true. This has reached deep into the Church and it comes from Christians not understanding what Science is about. This is the establishment's goal and it is the way of the world, not of God. Christians need to confront and expose the lies that are perpetuated as fact, through the Scientific establishment, be it: corporations, the media, the school system, or the Church itself.

The final step is to embrace the positive aspects of Postmodernism, that agree with Christianity, including: multiculturalism and diversity, seeing life as cyclical, and supporting the individuality and complexity of people, Christian or not.

The Theoretical and Everyday Life

In the first 30 years of the 20th century (1900-1930), discoveries made by leading physicists, challenged the old order of thought. Where we first saw the world in only three dimensions and fundamental particles as simple, solid objects, we now found that the absolutes, rules, and language that we were educated in did not hold true in many situations which we found ourselves.

Most people who believe in Science as a world view do not really understand the Scientific process. Science was never meant to be a world view, but was a creative process that would evolve its beliefs over time and continually change the foundations of its theories, as more evidence came in. Science does not have any definite assumptions, that which it does hold true is under a constant evolution, and science can not say anything about God one way or the other, but scientists are just as bigoted as anyone else. Scientists are experts about the scientific process and established theories, but they are not experts on ethics or spirituality.

And we don't figure in the circumstances under which scientists work: scientists are usually employed by research institutions and get funding from the defense department and big business. They are taught to reject theories that are not approved, not only by independent verification, but also by the culture of assumptions that the Scientific community perpetuates. Announce to the world that you are a Creation Scientist and see how many publishers will publish your books, feature your work in established Scientific journals, or what research institutions will hire you.

Modern physics challenges everything we were taught in school. We are taught that the more we know, the more our questions will be answered, the more we will understand the world, and the easier things will get for us in life. But 20th century physics has proved just the opposite for us. And it is true as much in our everyday lives as it is in theoretical physics.

In the Postmodern world, nothing holds up as an absolute and their is no central or dominant world view. We have nothing to guide us, but our own intellects. For every view, there is a counter and the only thing that is believed as wrong is actually believing anything is absolutely true, or being committed to anything besides your job. We have no compass in this brave new world and the more we learn, the more we realize our limitations.

We understand that we live in a world carefully crafted for us and we are standing at the edge of a cliff, trying to balance between chaos and totalitarianism. We cannot be free to the point of having no beliefs and no direction morally and expect to keep our affluent existence. We have to realize that building prestige and building wealth is not the answer to our problems.

There are two worlds in violent opposition to each other. We have the first world where we are dying from being so well fed and are biggest problem is getting rid of all our waste, where we are technologically advanced but morally bankrupt. The other side of the world is rich in culture, history, and diversity. But it is at the stone age in technology and the greatest problem is where the next meal is coming from.

We have to learn from each other if we are to survive, because technology doesn't always win. And when someone else is defeated, we lose more of our soul.

Phenomenology and Existentialism

The Objective world, the world that exists for me, that always has and always will exist for me, the only world that can ever exist for me -this world, with all its Objects, I said, derives its whole sense and its existential status, which it has for me, from me myself, from me as the Transcendental Ego, the Ego who comes to the fore only with transcendental-phenomonological epoch.

254

Edmund Husserl in "First Meditation" in Cartesian Meditations.

A Christian Existentialist believes in an objective God and doubts their subjective self/ego. An Existential Atheist or Skeptic believes in their subjective self and doubts the objective world/reality/God.

Which all boils down to the question: does God control people or do people control God? This all depends on your unstated a priori or basic assumptions about life.

Husserl shares the same a priori with Descartes, which is "I think therefore I am." So in the Husserl/Descartes view, ego is the starting point, but Hussserl, instead of deducing God from self/human existence like Descartes did, doubts the objective world, based on the limitations of the ego to be certain of of his perceptions (this is his subjectivity).

This also involves the idea that human evolution of culture is always progressive with Reason (or people in control) being superior to Mysticism (with God in control). I am a Christian Existentialist and I believe that Mysticism is superior to Reason, because I believe having God in control works better. And medieval and modern world history definitely proves my point.

Phenomenology can be reconciled with Science in that the transcendental subject (yourself) and the scientist exploring objective reality both gather information from experience. The scientist interprets it through an intermediary of measurement and analysis based on deduction, while the ego experiences the object directly, but must later filter out the psychological.

The Phenomenological a priori is fixed, but the ones of Science continue to evolve. This is because Science is based on a causality, viewed through the history of experiments and theories and phenomenology is concerned with the eternal present. This brings the modern mystical experience, as opposed to Biblical mysticism, or the general idea of Non-Duality, into a direct relation with Science, in the study of the paranormal.

The Christian Existentialist on the other hand focuses on the paradoxical nature of the foolishness of God where the mystery of salvation is based not on supernatural power or intellectual reasoning but on the free will of the subject and the undeserved free gift of the objective reality, Christ.

So in Existentialism, from a Christian point of view, while not denying the factuality of the supernatural or Scientifically understood phenomena, does not base his world view on either. Christians should not worry about Scientific or supernatural power, because it is in fact God who is in control of history and who has already defeated the Greek's wisdom and the miraculous of the world.

Rules of an Ashram

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith...

255

Philippians 3:4-9

First of all, I should start by saying, I have nothing against Gandhi, or any other civil rights/equal right activists. They probably were part of the inspiration for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which I am sure I benefit from, being that I am mentally ill.

If it is humanly possible to live up to these rules and someone does that, to say I respect them deeply would be a great understatement. In an age of so much violence, I have to agree that peace is more powerful than the sword. Many of our wars are so childish, on both sides, most were just for material gain, and could never even be worth the cost of one life, even insect.

I don't serve any guru or religious leader no matter how famous. I get my rules straight from God as revealed in the Ten Commandments and interpreted by Jesus. This doesn't mean that I follow all the rules all of the time. The Ten Commandments are an impossible standard and that was understood by Paul and even Jesus himself.

The difference in the rules is very significant in detail, but not so much in spirit. Some of the rules, like no sex between husband and wife, are hard to believe, but there may be value in this for some people. And I definitely agree that as an American, putting some ground rules for how much we eat has great value for our physical health alone. Also the rules on poverty should do wonders for our dealing with clutter and stress.

But I see the way of Christianity to be less about outward rules of behavior and more about attitude and relationship with God. I think it is great for there to be ways in which we can come together, from different belief systems, and work together for social progress. But I don't see true religion as the problem. I see sin as our greatest problem.

Our greatest division, according to Paul, is within our own lives: the struggle between the flesh and the spirit. I believe that there are many paths to God and many paths our lives follow afterwards, but true religion starts with repentance and continues into sanctification. It is very little about what we do, although that is essential, but almost entirely what God is doing for us.

We should learn to be more disciplined, as we grow in Christ, and maybe even many of us in planned communities, but we do not have the strength to go it alone. We may be good enough to start revolutions and win Nobel Peace prizes to the betterment of all humanity, but the only way we will live forever is by God's grace, in the form of the death on the cross and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Diversity, Freedom, and Confidence

Like phenomenology and theoretical physics of the early half of the 20th century, the modern art of Picasso was visionary for his time. The variety of his interests in art and the diversity of his creations reflect a complex person. His bold break from tradition showed a confidence in his vision. Picasso and his work are the epitome of freedom of expression.

The twentieth century has brought in many concepts that are poorly understood, because they are strikingly different, than any ideas in the past, and they are so sudden, that there are few frames of reference for evaluating and relating to the revolutions in: art, science, philosophy, and politics.

Although few people understand Picasso and can describe his art in a way that gives him the credit for the changes he inspired, and his personal creativity, confidence, and unquenchable freedom of human spirit, we can see his art bringing about a fundamental shift in the range of forms in which artists are able to express themselves and be accepted by part of the population.

It is hard to understand abstract art and it is even harder to create good abstract art. This is partly because our imaginations are often confined to what we can see, hear, and touch. We do not dream big enough, to allow ourselves the freedom to capture ideas, that we have not been told by others.

Art is not what people think photography is. It is not a Science, and it is not intended to be a reproduction of images or an exact duplicate of what was seen. Art is a way of expressing emotions and if we want everything to be recognizable without thinking, we would probably prefer photography.

Art transcends the limits of a strictly empirical and rational approach to life, where we observe things in a way that can be measured, and hold to some predetermined beliefs about life that other people have come up with. Artists have to have the freedom, to imagine a world of possibilities, and their works are meant to elicit emotions, beyond just what the subject can be described in words.

Abstract art also allows more freedom of interpretation and encourages diversity in points of view. It is not as accurate as a worded description, but is not limited to narrow interpretation either. The whole creation is greater than the sum of its parts in art, which is much harder to so with words.

It is not an understanding of life that is academic, in its strictest sense. It is something that must be experienced. The feelings it brings about, in the observer, are more important, than a technical understanding of how it was made, or the exact intent of the artist.

In a world when we get into wars over words, try to explain phenomenon in purely mathematical formulas, and reduce morality down to legalese, we need something to get us to see the world with our heart, instead of pursuing understanding, with only our heads.

4.2.2 Complexity Poetry

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Sources

My sources of inspiration

Are a web of relationships

Which cannot be numerated

In any kind of list

Books give me direction

And my experiences give me vocabulary

But the Holy Spirit

Is my muse

This is an oversimplification

Because I cannot track the source

Of each line of verse

Or how the topic came to be

All I know is how I feel

And what I want to communicate

The words come in a stream

Sometimes faster than I can type

But understanding my method

Would drive a person mad

Even understanding where I come from

Is quite a feat

What is important is the message

And hopefully nothing obscures the meaning

I take responsibility

For the errors

And God deserves credit

For the good points

Creativity

I reach but cannot grasp

I struggle but it never gets easy

The answers are numerous

But the question is singular

I simplify as much as possible

But some things are just complex

With a pen in one hand

And writing on my heart

My mind spins without ceasing

And my body shifts slightly

Where the light is bright

You cannot see

But even in the dark night

You can make out some things

You can know too much

And things can be too easy

Without struggle

There are no rewards

And without a path

There is no destination

I can change my mind

But I cannot change the world

Sometimes we think too big

And miss what is right in front of us

It is not that things are too complex

But that we expect them to be too easy

Big things can be divided into smaller things

And schedules can give meaning to lengths of time

We cannot expect to finish

What we have never started

We cannot expect to surpass

The skill of the ancients

We can invent something new

But to solve problems

We need to use our creativity

To keep under the radar

There is a way to change things

Without violence or patience

But we must think

In our own space

And not wait for others

To come on board

Organization

As numerous as

The needles of a Douglas fir

As irregular as

A guerrilla army

Each aspect is unique

And each discipline distinct

They come together

Like the organics in an ecosystem

Each plays their part

And each element is essential

A projects has its limits

A website can only be so big

There are not just theoretical boundaries

But practical ones as well

Complexity is easy to create

But difficult to manage

Simplicity is difficult to create

But easy to manage

Plan when you are small

And grow in a pattern

Focus is the key to being understandable

Consistency is the key to being clear

Write with discipline

Draw with intent

Organization is easy

When the components have similarities

Separation is easy

When the pieces are different

Management is intuitive

When you understand your field

Public speaking does not frighten people

When they know their audience

Creating and organizing

Must be done simultaneously

Creation must be done

With thought to the completed project

Organization must be done

With creativity in mind

4.2.3 Celebration Poetry: Asian Edition

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Clear Snow

Wind swept clouds of white debris

Brilliant blue patches of Heaven

Ascension means letting go

While transcending our limits

I relax my desire for control

Because what I believe in is true

With a step onto the bus

I set foot in another world

Of the Ten Thousand Things on my mind

I can only remember one

The ox is no longer yoked to the cart

The bird's wingspan triples

There is a subtlety

That cannot be transmitted by words

There is a reason some things are not written

Sometimes writing is too direct

But the joy of self knowledge

Is comfort for the perpetual student

There is little more satisfying

Than being granted vision

Of possibilities and potential

That cannot be quantified

The answers lie behind the dot

At the end of a sentence

But their complexity is too great for a supercomputer

And has more strangeness than a super string

I walk a line perpendicular to my thoughts

And I dance along the circumference of my room

I do not wish to advance forward

But rather to side step along

The world seems too small to me

And too many things are already answered

But I cannot even fit one Bible verse

In my head with a fraction of its significance

I feel as though I have completed a long journey

But the adventure has just begun

I wish I could explain one second

Of the dream God has for us

The snow has gone and it has come again

But the sky is always blue behind the clouds

And when the air pollution has dissipated

The sunlight shines more brilliantly

Abundance

A pagoda of bright orange

And bunches of arched yellow

The blue heavenly lights glimmer

Off the dew on the produce

The fragrance of natural sugar

Arouses the senses

Within inches of each other

Green leafy vegetables

Bound and invisibly covered

A brilliant rainbow of fruit from the tropics

Diced and neatly stacked in trays

People wearing matching aprons

Tend to the harvested crop

People wander in to smell and pinch

And gently place the chosen ones in a colorless bag

Weighing the fruits value

In steel gages hanging from the ceiling

The people place the bags in a cart with wheels

Which the person pushes

And they are loaded into brown bags made of paper

Then they take off in their personal transportation vehicle

Upon arriving at the place of rest and family

A blinding white door is flung open

And the lights flash on in their full glory

The packaged crops are loaded into drawers

And the door is swung closed

Such care and time is taken

For something we will dispose of in a few days

Cherish the moments

When the fruits you like are in season and ripe

And do not let brown and blacks spots

Spread across the delicate harvest

For every plant under the sun

Their is a harvest

For every season

There is a fruit or vegetable

We rejoice in our abundance

One day of the year

But we live in abundance

Every day of the year

My Home

I sit down on my couch

After a very full day

The wind pressing the cold

Through my jacket

Many decisions and errands

The routine and the rare

With each step my legs

Feel the brunt of the winter air

Looking through long shelves

For unforeseen treasures

The house is saturated with heat

And the cushions are fluffy and supportive

My home is comfortable to live in

And this is a great luxury

My power went out for an hour

A tiny inconvenience

But in many parts of the world

They are surprised when it is on

And we have no shortage

Of clean drinking water

If I were less exhausted

I would dance and sing

Because the elements are brutal

And a warm home is a treasure

I live in the suburbs

In a good part of town

Where the streets are safe

Even at night

And no one is pushing drugs

Or driving around with weapons drawn

I live in a college town

Where books are plentiful

The events are varied

And the venues are numerous

The Forest

My time in the forest was predestined

There was a reason for my forest years

But I was not cheated

And was not a victim of a petty game

The forest is a time of building character

And learning life lessons

I learned new ways to fight

I found weapons more powerful than a pen

The forest is filed with trials and traps

Mine were paranoid and obsessive compulsive

I feared things that are irrational

And was obsessed with the least important

I learned that play is as important as work

And that relationships with people are as important as ideas

I learned that I can survive things

Most people will never have to go through

The only way to learn is trial by fire

And the only way to live is with wisdom

God watches over me

As I am one of His children

And is ever ready especially in the deep forest

When it is common for the details to be violent

To help my character

As He writes the story of my life

With special powers I can do more good

The special power I want is to be normal

But unlike the epic hero

My forest journey is always with me

Because it is a part of who I am

And I am willing to go the distance

With my tribulations

If I can learn from each challenge

So that I suffer less each time

Overgrown Path

In the blink of an eye

I stop in mid sentence

I have absorbed the intent of the book

After reading one line of verse

Understanding is spontaneous

It is the result of many years of toil

When you are in the eternal moment

The path does not matter

Realization of the way

Is unique to each person

Studying the classics

Is a noble path

Truth is abundant

In books tested by time

Style is diverse

The substance is pure and discrete

Methods are multiple

But principle is a unity

It is most difficult to grasp

When you are almost there

With each concept

Clearly eluded to

Doctrine is clear as mud

When the qi is brilliant

There is no formula

That gives the same result

There is no way

To mark the solution

The answers are not in the texts

But in your heart

There is nothing I can teach you

That you don't already know

Don't seek a guru

Decide to become a sage yourself

The road is not indiscernible

But it is unclear where to turn

The way is overrun with vegetation

And the path is indefinite

When you are totally lost

You are almost there

And when you have arrived

Your journey has only just begun

Severity

I will never wear red again

When going to church

To miss the morning mass is a crime

Punishable with death

Before I set off for the Holy Land

I must quit my job

I must severe all ties

That bind me to life

Before I take the sacred journey

As the road is dangerous

I must realize that luxury is only temporary

And that I will rest in a tomb

I must perform the rituals

With seriousness and reverence

Doing the sacred rites correctly

Is the equivalent of ten thousand hail Marys

It is good to live as close as possible to Calvary

But to commit one of the seven deadly sins

Within eyesight of the Jordan River

Can send the soul straight to Hell

In our daily prayers

Our focus must be only on Jesus

Praying without concentration is like not praying

The proper attitude and mindset

Is what makes a prayer acceptable to God

Acknowledging the unity of God is the first step

But prayer and fasting are the bread and butter

Part of our crop belongs to God

And part of our income too

Fasting for Lent

Must not just be done in the light of the day

And after fasting

Succeeding meals must be light

To fast diligently

Only to return to gluttony

Is missing the point

Proper Methods

I run with joy

To great my boss

I embrace him

And kiss his cheek

He is everything I want to be

He is my best friend

Loyalty is next to Godliness

And friendship is just good business

With each new presentation

I bring my boss more business

I work for the government

The only game in town

I practice the only business

Of noble worth

After passing my government exams

I was granted oversight

Of many plots of land

I represent Heaven

To the farmers of the earth

I am overburdened with a pile of books

Which I carry everywhere

To be a leader is to be a scholar

Things must be run with virtue

We learn from the ancients

On how to cultivate manners

And proper business ethics

And how to avoid vice

Heaven must govern Earth

And everything has its proper place

Nothing is done without good reason

Which we find in our books

Planning is meticulous

Especially at funerals

We have so much respect for our elders

That we show filial piety

Long after death

In public morning for the proper time

4.2.4 Celebration Poetry: European and American Edition

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Dubious

See the reason for everything

But do not accept it

Understand the proof

Yet doubt its validity

Be able to explain the cause

But doubt the outcome

Understand causality

Yet see no connection

Between cause and effect

Just because you can measure it

Doesn't mean its there

You can understand the order of things

Yet be in doubt

That things will continue to function

In the prescribed manner

Develop a test

And ignore the evidence

Use a control group

Yet doubt the objectivity

What we perceive

Is not reality

And what we understand

Is only part of the truth

When Science explains everything

People will reject the conclusions

When there is a analytical reason

For human behavior

People will breaks the rules

When there is nothing unknown

We are totally ignorant

What holds the multi-verse together

Is something we cannot define

The power that lies behind matter

And the momentum behind energy

Is not fixed and logical

Nor is it concrete and linear

That which defies explanation

Is the source of order

The substance behind the material

Exists beyond the limits of time

The empty space between quarks

Stretches beyond the fabric of space-time

Gravity bends space time and even light

But the power that rules the entire multi-verse

Became a Man and dwelt among us

Deceit

It is the absurdity of life

That we revile in

And in the mistakes of others

That we celebrate

But our own foolishness

We are too blind to see

We seek the praise of others

Based on dubious claims of merit

We invent accomplishments

Out of thin air

We pad our resumes

And announce products

That will never be released

We revile in the gullibility of others

And end up deceiving ourselves

We get all the promotions

And lavish benefits packages

At the expense of others' retirements

We pat each other on the back

Even when we cost others their jobs

Our whole marketing plan is a scam

And we pay off officials to avoid penalties

We are corrupt to our very core

And our hearts were hardened at birth

There is no reason to confess

When we have no morals

There is no reason to start fresh

When we can continue the same scams undetected

Stalker

I am in love

With a young lady

She doesn't know me

And I have never introduced myself

But I see her everyday

Through my telephoto camera

To me love is a game

And I am there to teach a lesson

Not to commit and love

Each day I get closer

To meeting her

While the photos of her are so numerous

I have no wall space left

When I finally touch her

I relive it many times in my mind

I fixate on her appearance

I cannot forget her smell

I describe every detail of her life

In my journal in minute detail

Every aspect of her life

I analyze with amazing focus

My goal is to have her dump me

And find out love is a disappointment

I want to scare her away from all other men

I never want her to find love

Because I was never able to

Commit to marriage soon enough

And lost my love to another

I have this wound inside my heart

That never heals

I know not what else to do

But continue the charade

Consistency

I hear people of faith

Try to win arguments

As if they will convince others

To convert to their belief system

By cheap tricks

And petty games

True faith is a choice

Made freely and with conviction

Not based on who argues the best

But on the basis of which one helps

And which one makes life better

You can try to convince people

To give up on this life

With a promise of eternal bliss

But how can they understand

If they can't experience

A life more abundant in this lifetime

Doctrine can be beautiful

And rituals meaningful

But if faith is not freely made

Then there is no reason

For the trappings of religion

With a Bible in one hand

And a sword in the other

When people finally read the book

They will realize the messenger is a fraud

You cannot preach for toleration of the government

And fail to call the government on persecution

It is like talking out of both sides of your mouth

It is fraudulent and hypocritical

Without Faith

What is religion?

Belief in a supernatural?

How can we believe in a power

Higher than ourselves?

We explain everything rationally

And have no provable records

Of a more advanced species

We understand we share

Much in common with animals

So we are so much better

We are our own gods

But we are really

Just animals with over grown egos

How ignorant they must have been

How dull a society

Without facts people are naked

Without knowledge we suffer

Wars have caused more suffering

Since we believe only in ourselves

But we say we need more time

And Science is young

Will our planet survive

Another hundred years

With no reason for values

And no restraints on greed

If we survive that long

It will truly be a miracle

But we have no time for the supernatural

If we cannot put it in a lab

It does not exist

The only power is ourselves

We are our own role models

If there is nothing better than man

We have no reason to exist

Without a power

Greater than ourselves

We are just an accident

It would be better

If we were never born

Destructive Toys

When we were young

We made mistakes

But we were limited

By the power of our toys

As we grew up

So did our toys

As we began to learn

We got better at destruction

We found creating problems

Was easier than solving them

We began to compete

Bigger, better, faster

At any cost

First we dominated

The land and the animals

Then our mothers and sisters

Then we moved on to our young

And then to outsiders

Eventually we conquered

Whole ecosystems

It wasn't enough

To dissect and reassemble

Believing man could make better

Than what God created

We created powerful poisons

To destroy each other

With greater efficiency

People became afraid

Of each other

Instead of fearing

The wilderness and the elements

As we became stronger

Than God's creation

We became more arrogant

As we learned what we destroyed

And how to prevent it

We lashed out

On the animals and the land

And now little is left

And much more is wiped out

Faster and faster

4.2.5 Practical Poetry

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Addicts

I have heard more sermons than I can count

I have been to every church in town

They all blend together

And mean nothing to me

I have believed what no one else understands

I have written in koans for many years

I cannot find anyone to share my joy

I cannot find meaning in my culture

All that line the pews are empty faces

With blank stares

No has the time to stop and think

No one cares what is right

My neighbors only care about sound bites

And what is convenient

They only believe what they were told

There is no originality or creative spark

I carry the world upon my shoulders

And no one understands

They say I am important

But I am void of plans

And see no way out

God is always silent

But I can always feel evil

We are consumed by desire

Our economy is based on destruction

We don't care if the world ends tomorrow

As long as we don't miss our TV show tonight

We think we make a difference

By watching the news

But we are in too deep

We have brought about our own destruction

There is nothing more to do

But wait for the big one to get us

Our media is obsessed about the end

But we ignore the obvious

No one cares about tomorrow

No one cares if the white man

Lives or dies

We are a dying race

And just a blip on the radar

No one feels sorry for my country

And everyone plots its doom

There is no time for explanations

Or even just time to talk

They are too busy building bombs

And planning attacks

Will God intervene this time

On our behalf

Or will this time be worse

Than the holocaust?

Maybe if I clothed myself

In the finest fashions

And did a miracle diet

And got hooked on meth

Or acted like a fool on film

And sent it across the web

People would buy my book

And listen to me for 10 minutes

There is no reason to bore yourself with the truth

Or stop listening to drivel

There is a time for revolution

But only to avoid our taxes

We would rather save 10 percent on care insurance

Than give to the needy

We would rather watch NPR

Than take the time to think

Our solutions only cause more problems

And there is no one who really cares

A crowded vehicle

Each has their own destination

Each exits and enters at different times

Each stop is a routine

Each stop is an opportunity

We are all here for different reasons

Some made the choice

And some have no choice

Each route links us to another path

Each bus has determined ending and starting points

Each time the crowd is different

Some destinations are more popular

But they are never exactly the same

Each time the bus passes by

We know we are in for a wait

Each stop we are closer to our end point

When we board we seldom talk

On each bus there is someone loud

The rules are few

And the penalties light

Eating is a crime

And our feet must remain down

Exits are to the front and to the rear

The bus is heated in the winter

And cooled in the summer

It is a refuge from the elements

And we have time to dry off

Just say no

Just say no to beef

Just say yes to your bovine friends

When you look into their big brown eyes

How can you continue to participate in their deaths?

With each veggie burger and turkey jerky stick

A cow's life is saved

Eating other farm friends is not ideal

But sometimes soy beans give too much gas

Eat more pork products

My stuffed toy cows say

Because we had stuffed toy pig who was bad

It is not that I hate the taste

Or that I am afraid of getting sick

It is just that I cannot bear

The look of sorrow

On my little stuffed toys' faces

There is nothing worse than the sound

Of a crying stuffed toy

There is nothing worse

Than when you hurt their feelings

I continue to avoid beef

And they are happy

When they smell piggy on my breath

Ethics of shampoo

The brand of shampoo you buy

Is an ethical choice

Little furry animals will thank you

If you buy the right brand

Do you want rabbits and mice

To suffer for you saving a dollar

You don't have to sacrifice safety

For cruelty free shampoo

And the shampoo will be just as effective

Your hair will be soft and thick

Look for "not tested on animals" on the label

To save the little ones from torture

If you don't want to be a guinea pig

Think how much worse the little animal feels

We can see how much we care

By how we spend our money

We should not worship animals

Or torture them either

They are our friends

They are like little children

4.2.6 Memories of a Soldier

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The Dark

Is is dark now

And I fight to stay awake

I never was this tired before

But my time in the Army

Sure was exhausting

And many things I still remember

Happened at night

The night of our arrival

At Reception Battalion

Lasted far past midnight

It took us hours to get into formation

And to stop talking

I don't remember

What processing they were doing

That took all that time

The night watch was so long

I read my green Gideon's pocket bible

And scoured its indexes

Finding helpful verses

I still don't know

What we were watching for

At Basic Training

Day started in a flash of light

The light switch was flipped

And we jumped out of bed

And ran into formation

Then we ran out into the dark

And stopped under stadium lights

My arrival to my Duty Station

Was in the deep of night

So idyllic with the palm trees

And the fresh sea air

I was lost of course

Following Drill Sergeant's orders

I didn't get on the bus

With the rest of the soldiers

But I found my way to my unit

With a lot of help

Ironically the cab dropped me off

Within feet of my assigned battalion

I walked to and from my job

Usually in the dark of dawn or dusk

And I wore my sleeves long

And wore mountain boots

Because it can get chilly

With the air conditioning so high

Fear and Excitement

My experience in the Army

Was full of fear and excitement

I was terrified of being tortured

But I was thrilled beyond imagination

At being part of history

The risk is beyond human

But with the adrenaline going

You forget all the problems that could arise

I knew what I was doing was important

And it was exciting work

For someone just out of high school

Hawaii was a dream on earth

And the activities were plentiful

The land and ocean are breath taking

But the people are what keep you there

One bus travels the perimeter of Oahu

From North Shore to Waikiki

By Scofield Barracks and Pearl Harbor

Location is everything

And that was perfect

But my mind was tormented

With long bouts of depression and paranoia

In my barracks

I was kept awake

With fear of deployment

And fear of chemical attack

I had no trouble at work

My supervisors were amazed at my performance

I tested out of a year of college

And maxed out my sit-ups portion of the PT test

But worries worked at my stomach

And I could never relax

I saw the island

But had trouble enjoying anything

It was not that I was just negative

But my mood kept me on a bad course

When I went in for counseling

They knew something was wrong

Churches Numerous

God was very real to me

When I was in the Army

And the church was the safest place for me

A place where little was expected

I went to church during Basic Training

There were no Drill Sergeants there

And there were no orders to follow

At Advanced Individual Training

I attended a Methodist church

A block from our barracks

The other soldiers wondered why

I went every week

But that was all I had left of myself

When I arrived at my Duty Station

I tried a number of churches

I found a church next to my barracks again

But I was the only white person there

It was full of excitement

And people even danced in church

It was Church of God in Christ denomination

But I don't remember their theology

My roommate drove me to his church

At the other end of the island

This was the best church in Honolulu

It was Word of Life Christian Center

Or something like that

This was the First Charismatic/Pentecostal church

I attended regularly

It was a great place to meet

Nice young women my age

And they had activities for 20 somethings

Another church I went to was called

Oahu Church of Christ or something like that

They met in the form of potlucks

At a different place every time

And there were always outdoor baptisms

At every service

The final church I went to

Was just outside the base

Every Sunday was a salvation message

And members were expected to come

Other times of the week as well

Saturday nights the preacher answered questions

And there was prayer and speaking in tongues

Every other night throughout the week

4.3 Religion and Ethics

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4.3.1 Time of Great Change

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Time in the West is perceived as linear and progressive. We believe that Science will always bail us out of our social problems. We believe that we can create a Utopia, if we learn enough about Math and develop the Social Sciences enough.

In the Non-Western world, time is perceived as a cycle, where we have different problems at different times but the cycle repeats itself indefinitely. Most belief systems see our present time as a period of social problems and moral decline.

We are coming to an energy crises, because we in the West want to have more and more material things, to make us happy. We are especially addicted to personal transportation and we consume so much, that we are running out of resources, that are not renewable.

We continue to push our way of life to the limits, wanting free reign, to do basically whatever we, want and not prepare for the future. We don't want to invest in education; we would rather spend our resources on entertainment. We don't want to be moral sexually and we feel we have a right to unlimited amounts of others' property that we can easily copy. We are eating ourselves to death and dying as a consequence of our sexual immorality.

We are already fighting wars over oil and will continue to do so, until there is non left, and not even the promise of any. We are addicts to cheap energy, especially oil, and continue to expand our needs exponentially. And the multinational corporations are getting more and more control of the government and don't care what the consequences are, as long as they can make one more dollar.

Those who are far sighted will prepare now for how to live, without personal transportation and to live, using less energy. We are at a time of crises and we may very well fight a civil war over this. The time to really worry about is when we elect our first environmental president. By the time that happens things will have gone too far, and instead of helping the ecosystem gradually recover over time, we will take great risks, in the hope of solving our problems quickly. But the solution will create even bigger problems.

If we can get our consumption under control, we may well live thousands of years into the future, as the human race, but if we are unwilling to do with less now, while we rebuild, we may not make it to the end of this century. Ultimately it is in God's hands. If God wasn't bailing us out, then we would have destroyed ourselves long before, due to nuclear holocaust or a prolonged world war.

The best thing we can do is to pray for God's help and repent of our gluttony. The Lord our God is slow to anger and quick to forgive, so we still have hope in Him.

4.3.2 Heavenly Father Poetry

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The Perfect Programmer

God is the perfect programmer

We are all his programs

I am a flawed program

How can this be?

My source code was perfect

In every respect

But I let others add code

I started out stable and efficient

I was useful to my Creator

But the other code was sloppy

And my executable became corrupted

I kept on throwing up error messages

I blamed the kernel and other software

Everyone was wrong but me

My file formats were universally compatible

But I decided not to publish my new source code

Or even document my APIs

I would only release a software development kit

If people purchased a service plan

I used other peoples programs

I downloaded illegally off the Internet

I began to see nothing wrong

With being infested with viruses

I was getting more bloated by the day

And my features grew so great in number

That I became too complex to compile without errors

I began to seek other business models

I released some source code but not all

No one will develop me anymore

I rely on my my public relations staff

To buy my way into your computer

I claim no responsibility for damage

I would be recalled

But people don't expect computers to work

Praise and Criticism

I have a memory problem

And a vision problem

My eyes are fine

And my mind works great

But I have huge blind spots

I constantly pray for protection

And I have a great memory

For how people have hurt me

But it is only when I stop and rest

That I remember to give thanks

For all God has protected me from

My greatest problem is fear

And I have struggled with chronic

Physical and mental suffering

And my life has not been easy

For a middle class American's standard

But what I was saved from

Is greater than I could have imagined

I lost my mind due to my service in the Army

But I still have all my limbs and organs intact

I was able to get out of the military

When my mental illness interfered with my job

And my peace of mind

I had allergic pink eye for 3-1/2 years

But it ended with my first anti-psychotic medicine

When we watch the news

It is mostly negative

And people are quick to point out problems

But rarely offer solutions

It is easy to criticize others actions

When they do not act heroic

But how do we know what we will due

When we are in a crisis

Praise God for Everything

Praise God for everything good

We know of or have experienced

Praise God for everything good

We have yet to or may never discover

Praise God for everything good

We have labeled as a coincidence

Praise God for what we have learned

Jesus is the best teacher

Praise God for what we have learned

Sins to avoid and the way to salvation

Praise God for when we have peace

Spiritual as well as physical

Praise God for when we have plenty

God provides for His creation

Praise God for when we have stability

In our jobs and in the universe

Praise God for His forgiveness

For when we treat each other bad

Praise God for healing us

From bad decisions and from injuries

Praise God for everlasting life

If we only submit to God

Praise God for His suffering

For our bad choices

Praise God for our freedom

We can choose good or bad

Praise God for being who He is

Supreme in character, wisdom, and power

Praise God for loving us

Even when we don't return His love

Awesome God

God is not your little sister

Who you need to protect

God is not in debt

You don't need to finance Him

God does not need an advocate

He is God whether He is worshiped or not

God is not pressed for time

He has plenty of time for you

You do not need to argue God's case

Creation speaks out His name

God doesn't need you to fulfill his plans

God is in control of history

If you can travel back and forth in time

God is already there and everywhere else

If we travel to another planet

God is just as much in control

If we have a multi verse and parallel realities

It is there because God created it

God is not limited by having poor followers

God is all powerful in and of Himself

God doesn't just watch you in church

God sees all

God doesn't like Christians better than unbelievers

God loves us because He chooses to

God will not do evil

This does not mean His power is limited in any way

God does not play favorites

You don't get points for good deeds

God will judge everyone

And none of us will pass without Christ

God does not struggle to defeat evil

He destroys it in His timing and with His methods

God doesn't care what we think is immoral

He invented morality

God is not fooled like people are

God knows your heart

Family Appreciation

Thanks God for my family

Thank God for my mom

Whose encouragement uplifts

And who continually advocates for me

Thanks God for my dad

Whose advice has saved me from harm

His prayers give me hope

Thank God for my sister

Who listens carefully to what I say

Whose visits cheer me up

Thank God for my Uncle Clive

Who faithfully looks through my work

Whose careful words brighten my day

Thanks God for my stuffed cows

Who are always near by

Whose humor and thoughts keep my company

Thank God for giving my a family

That is always near in spirit

And who put my needs ahead of theirs

Who are anxious to hear what I have learned

And who consider what I say

With open minds and careful consideration

Who care enough to consider my feelings

And adjust their words and tone

Who I can consider colleagues

And who understand what I am doing

Better than anyone else

Thanks for your inspiration

And your love

Tolerance

Is is better that we not offend

The pride of those doomed to eternal death

Or better that more have eternal life?

Is the preservation of one more year of life

Of significance when we count in eternity?

Is it so important that we have personal transportation

That we sacrifice our young men's lives?

Do we seek to be so tolerant of the wealthy

That we let the poor suffer violence?

Are we so addicted to popular culture

That we no longer care what is right and wrong?

Are we so far devolved morally

That we throw away our future?

Because some people used Christ's named for evil

Does that mean that there is no truth in the Bible?

Why do we give to charity

When we vote against those in need?

Why speak out for what is wrong

When we don't even try to live morally?

Do we need to rewrite history

To prove what we are doing is right?

Isn't it a bad sign that we have no faith?

There is more to the world than white America

God values those in the Asia and Africa

Even if we won't even help feed them

When the rest of the world hates you

You might think you did something wrong

When you read the Bible and get offended

Do you think you are you better than God?

Who are we to judge the world

From our Postmodern point of view?

Atheism is a blip in world history

And the future is more Christian than pagan

And there are more Muslims than atheists

Do we only tolerate those with big lobbies?

Do we only look after those who can speak for themselves?

When we choose to give some rights and not others

What is the basis for this decision?

Why do we put women and children

Above the lives of our soldiers?

Why do we disregard the lives of animals

When our society is built on their labor?

There is more to life than American football

And there is more going on in the world

Outside Hollywood and Wall Street

God, Help!

We look around us

And we hear rumors

All point to our destruction

Our imminent demise

Our fresh water is infected

Garbage drifts in the sea

Our forests are destroyed

Daily more are burned down

Our food make us sick

And we eat ourselves to death

We generate dangerous waste

For ten thousand years

Deadly incurable diseases

Spread like wildfire

Our rich steal from the poor

And conduct scams without penalty

Our president is a dictator

He starts wars out of revenge

Our politicians don't care about us

They follow the largest sum of money

Our religious leaders

Preach hate and prejudice

The people don't seem to care

As long as they can see the football game

And there is plenty of beer

They will sell their souls

To not have to get up off the couch

God, we repent of our sin

Please have mercy on us

We take full responsibility

And are willing to pay the penalties

Please forget our sin

And be our God

And we will be Your servants

We will put the poor and the rejected

Above our own desires

We will honor You

With our actions and not just our words

Walking Forward

With back straight

And eyes level

A relaxed walk

With long strides

Brilliant blue sky

And radiant sun

Long rows of books

Quick glances

And moving on

With each turn

And a rapid survey

Passing by numerous sections

Already absorbed

With each step

I pass walls of books

And with each shelf

Years of study

I am beginning to feel

More relaxed

And sure of my ideas

There is a subtlety

That exists in the mind

And a slight change in pace

That signals growth

And increasing certitude

The times of clarity

Multiply in number

I still don't have plans

For tomorrow

But there is a stillness

And a gentle attitude

Overflowing from my heart

And my head is a little lighter

On my shoulders

The weight is slowly receding

And I get glimpses of peace

And times of conviction

That experience exponential growth

And continued enthusiasm

Morning Sunshine

In the cool of the day

Darkness fades gently

And the sun rises confidently

Over the distant horizon

At what point does it become day?

Where exactly is the horizon?

I learn sometimes in leaps

Sometimes at a slow walk

God continues to rise in my heart

I do not know when I will fade

But I know God will continue

To outshine the darkness of my soul

We bow to God's brilliance

And are blinded by His Presence

We are dark and low

Not worthy to be the dirt

On which He treads

We live most our life in the shadows

It is hard to watch the sun

We hide from the intense light

But are afraid when it leaves

We scatter far and wide

To our own devices

When night falls

But we need to return

To the radiance of our Lord

Before we start our day

Under the direct light of the sun

4.3.3 Son of God Poetry

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The Missionaries

God does not love America

More than any other country

God does not condone wars

Over natural resources

God is not Republican

He does not support the Religious "Right"

Bush is not following the Bible

America was never a Christian nation

The Bible does not promote capitalism

Christians should speak out against corporations

TV evangelists are seldom

Preaching from the Bible correctly

The Bible is incompatible with Science

The way it is taught in schools

The Bible is more Scientifically sound

Than the theory of evolution

God is not in danger of being outdated

America is regressing

God is worshiped in the Third World

Only Europe has no faith

Religion is not a competition

The Bible has no equal

We don't need to denigrate others

To support our beliefs

God is not White

God loves all races

God is not a God of hate

God loves all people

No matter what they have done

And no matter who they are

God Speaks

God speaks all languages

He speaks to us in our language

Arabic and Chinese

Spanish and Pali

Hebrew and Russian

Croatian and Pigeon

Farsi and French

There is a word for Christ

In every language

There is a word for suffering

There is a word for submission

There is a word for sacrifice

There is a word for humanity

There is a word for hope

There is a word for joy

There is a word for peace

There is a word for life

There is a word for eternal

There is a word for forgiven

There is a word for repentance

There is a word for belief

There is a word for sin

There is a word for good

There is a word for heaven

There is a word for love

There is a word for victory

There is a word for change

There is a word for compassion

There is a word for service

Religion Means Education

The Bible is not just words

For memorization and quotation

It is not a means to control

Or a way to win arguments

The Bible is not a set of rules

To conform to

The Bible is not a goal to achieve

Or a means to a higher consciousness

Christians do not ascend

And God is not trying

To advance us technologically

God does not make you rich

If you are devout

God is not a reason for bad behavior

Or an excuse to give up

God does not want us

To be workaholics

The Bible is a weapon

Against our own selfishness

And our pride and stubbornness

But we must plunge the sword

Into ourselves

God wants us to learn

He wants us to grow

Not to be wealthy or more advanced

But to be moral and healthy

We do not grow by secret knowledge

Or by special powers

We learn who God is

And learn how to submit to Him

We learn the source of our problems

Is our own poor choices

And we get deliverance from them

To the extent that we give God control

Of our minds, our hearts, and our souls

Campus Community

Under the cover

Of strong oak branches

And on the carpet of

Carefully manicured grass

The entire campus

Is overflowing with deep green

And on these memorial benches

Of weathered cedar and black iron

I watch with fading eyelids

As people pass the Frisbee by

Which dogs catch in mid air

And students cover the lawn

Leading up to the ornate marble library

Ivy is digesting the brick halls

And the sounds of construction

Permeates the adjacent buildings

All the vertical wood surfaces

Are covered in propaganda

A gray bearded man

Plays the guitar

And sings songs

Only fully understood by him

Softly a block away

What a community

What an idyllic atmosphere

I like to think that

Maybe some are believers

Open Market

You can smell the incense a mile away

And you can see everyone's toes

It is Saturday again downtown

The booths are all assembled

And manned with merchants

There are pamphlets and stickers

Posters and pens

All carrying the logo

Of a charity or small business

This is how capitalism was envisioned

This is a diverse gathering

Fresh picked produce

And organic baked goods

Hemp clothing and more

Everything is produced locally

Or a product of fair trade

There is silver jewelry galore

And every kind of clothing tie dyed

The local charities are out in

Solid numbers and well stocked

With sign up sheets

And passionate volunteers

There are dozens of groups

Fighting to save the forests

And dozens of groups

For equality and justice

Globally and locally

There is continual music

And the aisles are crowded

The lines slowly shift forward

And the restrooms are portable

A Christian group lurks in the distance

If you squint real hard

Epic Hero

Christ is the greatest epic hero

The most powerful and the strongest

But His goal was not war

And He did not kill

His message was second

To His example

And greatest of all

Was His humility joined

With His divinity

Conquering the spirit world

Or starting an empire

Was not His way

He conquered the greatest enemy

The most entrenched traitor

Our heart and our minds

And our sins and bad attitudes

He healed and He prophesied

He was merciful and had authority

He was a descendant of the Jewish people

And He was the One who created all

Because of my Hero, Jesus

I have eternal life

He did the hardest thing anyone has done

To make it as easy as possible for me

I do not have the energy to do yoga

Or the leadership to start an ashram

I don't have the discipline to pray 5 times a day

Or the money to journey to Mecca

Christ has provided the only way

For my salvation

And He has invited everyone to join

And the cost is free as in freedom

Ancestor

Born as a descendant

Of the Scottish monarchy

And with many castles to

Our family name

If we could prove it

Starting out to free Scotland

From the brutal English

I later gave up

The quest for nationalism

Not only did the Stewards

Inherit the throne of England

But I have a greater legacy

Which I have given up on

The previous ancestry for

I am born again

And grafted into

The lineage of Israel

And am part of the inheritance

Of the Son Of God

The second Adam

Christ, the Creator of All

Has chosen me

Before the beginning of time

To be one of His children

And any who will believe

Are all God's chosen people

Whether Asian or European

African or North American

Latin American or Australian

Center of Gravity

Night has fallen on Europe

And it is late afternoon in America

But the sun is just rising in Africa

And it is still morning in Latin America

And it is a few hours before dawn in Asia

Christ is universally understood

And is available to all believers

In Europe and North America

The white man is diminishing in numbers

And his power does not extend

Beyond his own continent

Even at home, foreigners from the south

Are overwhelming the West

But Christ loves the South

Just as much as the North

But the white man has lost his religion

And those from Africa and Asia

Are embracing and comprehending God

In ways that the West never could

Christ is not just a moral teacher

He is a living God

Christ loves the poor

And identifies with the losers of war

The spiritual world is real

Even more than Science could theorize

Christ is not an abstract concept

But a real force in everyday life

God is not just our Creator

He is our Ancestor

He wants to adopt us

To be a part of His lineage

And to share His inheritance

God shapes history

In ways we could never imagine

And God has a special plan

For those in the Africa and Asia

For the persecuted and the fatherless

From those rich in Spirit

Crossroads

We are at a turning point

As believers worldwide

We have passed on the torch

To our friends in the South

What does God have planned

For those who understand Christ better?

What more will God reveal

In the 21st century?

There is no need

To spread the Gospel southward

We need missionaries in the North

There is nothing we can teach the South

Now we need to learn from them

Africa is becoming the leader

The younger child that God loves

And we have become wealthy

We have given up our inheritance

For things of this world

We can no longer see the truth

Of God's divine intervention

And the miracles available

For those who truly believe

We look down on the humble

And reject those with problems

We blame the sick

The physically and mentally weak

For our declining power in the world

We don't realize

Our lack of character

And are unable to comprehend

What sacrifice means

We are an empire on decline

Will those in the South pray for us?

4.3.4 Ambitions Poetry

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Global Crises

I am tired now

I have stretched so much

To get where I am now

But my ambitions

Keep moving farther ahead

There is so much evil

In the world today

And most people in my country

Are a big part of the problem

We get used to having so much

And we struggle to give up

Even a little, now and then

But the planet can only

Withstand so much

And we are some of the most fragile

Forms of life on Earth

The planet may live on

Minus humanity and its people

Prayer is the only thing

That can save us now

We need God to intervene now

Because the problem is too great

For any human group to solve

We wait until the last minute

And then we do something radical

But it backfires and things get worse

This is what I fear of

For the future of humanity

There is so little time left

And so much left to do

If only I can reach someone

Who can commit to prayer

And inspire people to help in small ways

I am certain that God will be faithful

And multiply the effort applied

I believe that miracles

Are not just for the Bible times

But that God is amongst us

In purpose and in power

That Christ is willing and able

To bring us from destruction

If only we submit ourselves

To God and His plan

And we are patient for His timing

Self Mastery

Not only do I seek

To help the world

But I seek to conquer

My own pride and selfishness

I seek not to control others

But to control myself

To gain mastery of my mind

By turning my heart to God

In more and more aspects

Of my life and will

I seek to grow quickly

In wisdom and in purity

Sometimes I push for too much

And go forward too fast

But it is hard to be patient

When you know

How long the road is

And how difficult each step is

It is easy to get discouraged

When the reading only goes so fast

And I can think of little to write

There are no new technologies

To develop and improve with

There is no inspiration for art

And no images to draw

There is so much to absorb

In just a few books

If I knew how hard and long

The journey would be

I am not confident

That I would proceed

There is only so much

That a person can handle

All at once

Encouragement

With a long nap

And something to drink

I feel energized

My mood is up

And my depression has ceased

I am thankful

My depression has not the severity

Of my continual terror

There is much to do

And thank God

My strength is renewed

I pray that I have the will

To push myself far enough

And I have the elasticity

To rebound gently

There is little I can leave to others

My work is unique

Few understand the significance

And no one really grasps

The methods to my madness

People may be inspired to think

But they do not wrap their minds

Around the intent of my verse

Or the mood of my thinking

We are taught not to think

And we develop a weakness

For independent thinking

If someone can follow my thoughts

And the balance of ideas

But have the courage and the will

To chart their own course

I will be satisfied

That my work will carry on

To another generation

Fine Art

Fine art is not imitative

It is not photography

Creations are not just objects

They are representations

Of the epic heroes

And of the spiritual realm

Art is meant to teach

And people must understand

Not just feel something

The art does not mean just anything

The meaning is determined by the creator

Art is not meant to teach conformity

Or imitation of a specific style

It is meant to uplift the heart and mind

Art is religion and philosophy

We learn to create beauty

By learning morality

We improve ourselves spiritually

By God's direction

And this is what makes art classical

Art must communicate

And people must contemplate

Art is a reflection of culture

And it does not evolve over time

Or at least it hasn't in modern times

When we seek to be expressive

And to enjoy the appearance

This is not fine art

Art is serious and it is ancient

We learn from the classics

But emulate no one

4.3.5 Existential Ethics

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Nature and history and their kingdoms do not stand on the same plane as Him...The sovereignty of the Word of God is distinguished by the fact that it has no competitors

256

Karl Barth in "God's Word and the Decision of Faith"

Existentialism mean human being and is about defining what is human by what abstract qualities that are uniquely human, rather than defining humans by a certain set of DNA. Existential ethics emphasize the responsibility of the individual and are a way to be more moral than the establishment, not less.

Sparta was one of the major Greek powers, at the time of Plato and Socrates. The Spartans were the conservatives of their time. They held the locals in slavery, to produce goods, for the soldiers to consume. They made the slaves get drunk and make fools of themselves, as an example, for the soldiers not to behave like. They paid off the religious authorities, to support their frivolous wars. Their male children were taken off, to indoctrinate into warriors, and when they came of age they were assigned a male lover. The women were only educated and kept in shape, to make them worthy of serving their husbands. Many babies who were not of the right lineage were killed, even after being born.

Existentialism is a break away from this kind of Greek culture, that is the basis for our modern society.

Christianity and the establishment

If you hear popular evangelists on TV speak, it is often in blind support of the establishment. You might assume that the Bible says for us to give to the multi-national corporations that control these institutions and support their policies. What Jesus taught was non-violent resistance, a spiritual revolution based on humility to God and equality to other people and compassion for those society does not value. Jesus did not teach the detachment, that is prevalent in popular culture, nor the violent and negative view of the world, that is common of the establishment.

Why we should not support the establishment

Nietzsche based his philosophy around strength. He did not like Christianity, because the kind of Christianity he saw in Europe promoted weakness and was the basis for a slave race of workers, who in the name of Christianity had an unquestioning form of patriotism and support of the establishment, much like it is today. Tolstoy was Christian, but took the example of the New Testament Church seriously and understood that the basis of God's interaction with humanity is unconditional love and the Church should be separate from society because the goals of society are at fundamental odds, with what Christ taught.

According to Foucault, the judicial system, the military, hospitals, and schools (the establishments TV evangelists traditionally support) seek to make people conform to society's values by observation, normalization and examination. Kierkegaard realized that Christ's life on earth and death was based on a paradox understood by faith and was not something reason out and understood intellectually. We were to realize that we cannot think objectively and to have the sense to not use our theories to have God-like control over the earth and other people.

Why they support the establishment

These TV evangelists support the establishment, because they are funded by the establishment. People believe them, because they have been taught to think dualistically. Instead of recognizing that humans are both good and evil, and are free to choose, as the Bible says, people are taught today that man is at the center of the universe and that instead of all people having a dual nature internally, that some people are good, while others are evil and those who are in power are there because God put them there. They believe they can take everything apart and put it together better than God created it, because they believe in man and not in God. This can be traced back to the enlightenment with Descartes.

Free Thinking

Most people follow an average course out of a desire for safety or for a lack of creativity. There are some amongst us who follow their own way. Why do they follow their own way?

They do not do well following others. It bores them. They cannot conform to the ways that others want them to live. They must run free with their desires. They must struggle with death. They must find who they are.

Free thinkers have a desire to explore and be fascinated with simple things. Free thinkers don't give up on their dreams. They fight for them harder when there is opposition.

Being a free thinker is a state of mind. Having the courage to start your own course and a desire to teach others are a part of it. There must also be a special spark that makes you want to write or create.

Writing is important for a free thinker. It is where they can fight their ideas out against those of others. They can know for themselves whether they really believe what they say.

Being a free thinker is not just about following a different course. It is about knowing your heart and the hearts of others. It involves a respect for all life.

Thinking freely means not setting arbitrary limits on yourself like jobs do. Being a free thinker means working when other are playing. It means rushing in from a day at the beach ahead of everyone else to write.

There are sacrifices for being a free thinker. You must be first not always to think of new ideas but to fight for another's right to do so. You must encourage others to explore the limits of their own creativity.

Thinking freely means thinking. You can't just rush out and do something on a whim. Free thinking is hard work and you might just want to give up.

Most people are only free thinkers in certain areas of their lives. Free thinking in all areas of your life requires commitment. Not just time but mental effort when you are tired.

Ideas can come at any time. You have to fight for them. They can be easily forgotten but so hard to put down.

You must constantly struggle to see life honestly. The easy way or the pleasurable way is not always the way you choose. You want to live your life passionately and take risks.

Thinking freely doesn't mean you're a freak. There is no set music or style of clothes that defines a free thinker. Being a freak is cool though and special.

Evangelizing is important. You have to want others to be free too. You must want to work to help others break out on new courses.

You are responsible for letting the truth out. You don't have to live a lie. Choose your friends carefully so they don't compromise your search for truth.

Thinking freely doesn't need to occupy all your time. Its ok to be normal if you are honest about it.

Free thinkers are defined by their commitment to the truth that they find. They live by what they write, even though they may not live by what they write.

Being a free thinker doesn't mean you have artistic talent. It means you take the difficult road when you need to. Artistic talent does help you define your beliefs though.

Any generation can be free thinkers and you need to be accessible to different generations. There have been true free thinkers for generations and now there are a lot of wannabes.

Thinking for yourself doesn't mean defying the laws. Only if they violate truth that you believe do you want to resist the law. You don't get inspired very often in prison.

No one is going to confirm that you are a free thinker. Others will probably notice. You have to know what you are yourself. You can't count on anyone else.

There is no time when you reach a pinnacle of being a free thinker. You must fight for it each day. You must convince yourself.

You should be easier on yourself. Most free thinkers are too hard on themselves. You are already choosing to live life harder.

You don't have to be published to be a great free thinker. You're ideas are your ideas and you reveal them to others at your leisure.

Taking Responsibility for your Actions Means Thinking for yourself

Human being is defined by action and a person determines their own destiny. When a person becomes part of a crowd and makes their decisions based on a value system, they lose that essence that make human being stand out, from other modes of being. People are treated inhumanely, when people do not think for themselves on an individual level.

When a person is thrown into the world, there is not a manual to life, within reach. A person experiences a consciousness which something, that just exists-in-itself does not have. There are no laws or standards as to how humans interact. For some people, their lives are a constant struggle to suppress their innate desire to self-destruct and take down others with them. As they grow older, they learn how to hold these desires, within a certain set of established parameters. For others, pre-conceived notions about how they should interact with others do not answer the questions, that life throws at them. They embrace life for what it is. They celebrate all life, knowing that the suffering that serves to define consciousness and the absurdity that brings sudden joy play at each other much as shadows dance under candlelight. The joy is greater when the suffering is more intense.

Subatomic particles like quarks are the fundamental building blocks of all matter, in this space-time continuum. These particles have no mass and do not have definite locations. They exist, within a range of possible locations, and carry a given charge and direction of spin that define what they are. This kind of existence is being-in-itself. When people act within established parameters, and take on value systems, that were decided upon within a group, they do not have any more individual identity, than the fabric of space time. Laws and statistics describe how a person will act, to the same degree of predictability, that matter can be described, using Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. As the quarks exist, as separate entities, defined by their charge and spin, so can people, in mass, be defined by their value system and their economic status. People do not make use of their fundamentally distinctive quality of self-determination on a large scale.

When people behave in predictable ways, their consciousness can be abstracted. Abstractions like math and Social Science are the main vehicles that drive the technological buildup, that has changed the conceptualization of our bodies and our ecology as spiritual manifestations, that demand awe and respect to material ones, where components can be isolated and manipulated, without having any unpredictable effect on the whole. When certain pieces are singled out, that are seen on a given level of abstraction as harmful or useless, they are dealt with, without making any fundamental distinctions between human being and being-in-itself. When a human being is not treated, with a respect for qualities that are not transparently useful to the beholder instantaneously, there is no serious concern for ethics.

When people are not judged based on a value system and are not commoditized as material objects, they are treated with a respect that acknowledges their unique human mode of being. When people no longer take identity from the crowd, they are faced with feelings of anguish, abandonment and despair. Anguish is felt when we realize that we are choosing what is best for all mankind and realize that we have no right to do so. Abandonment is felt when we realize that, without God, everything is permitted and we cannot use values to legitimize our behavior, or base our decisions on feelings, that we have not defined through action. Despair is felt when we do not rely on supernatural intervention, or a default nature of man, to help us make our decisions. These feelings do not stop a person from functioning as a productive member of society, but, on the contrary, motivate them to thoughtful action.

Animal Rights

Should we pride ourselves on our ability to capture [animals] and make them work for us? But that is no more than the advantage we have over each other; our slaves are in the same condition

257

Montaigne in "An Apology for Raymond Sebond"

What does define a human? A popular modern answer is DNA. But even a frog has 95 percent of the same DNA as a human. And DNA differs among races and even among families, right down to the individual person. What makes a person human is their humanity: having ideals and not living up to them.

We are famous for our technology, but we can't make our robots swim as well as fish. We learn about art and design from nature. Are some cultures more human because they have faster computers? Even the largest computers doesn't come close to the billions of processors inside each human brain. And with all the more information in our century, do we cherish ideals as a possibility, or are we too overwhelmed by the violence of the 20th century and how our knowledge just turns into better weapons, weapons that don't make mistakes - they're just programmed wrong.

Animals also have compassion and humility as well as other ideals that we long to emulate. Does your cat get impressed by your new gadgets? Does your dog expect you to be economically successful? Does your cat comfort you when you are sick? Does your dog try to help you when you are hurt?

People often quote the Bible that there is a hierarchy of God, then angels, then humans, then animals. But, if animals are not considered to have humanity too, then are we considered to be less important or moral than aliens or angels? Is it ethical for aliens to experiment on humans? They are certainly more technologically advanced and more intelligent than us.

Even if we don't consider animals to have humanity by some technicality, then why do we not strive at least for our ideals of compassion and humility and consider their pain and their weakness? It is not because we believe deep down in our heart that animals are actually more cultured and sophisticated than us? Do animals destroy other species, in large numbers, or fight to kill off their own species, because they think differently.

Pumped up for War

1. Bush: bush

2. Cronies: martial artists

3. America: oil drill

4. Saddam: whip

5. Cronies: babies

6. Iraq: s and m shop

In a vast expanse of desert

For hundreds of miles in every direction

With no one to observe our every action

Anyone snooping can be seen from miles away

The small pools of water lapping at the sand

Are quickly and silently sucked up into the hot air

The wind caresses the soft sand

And smoothies the mounds rising from the desert floor

With a oil drill pumping up and down

Deeper and deeper it penetrates the earth

The sand falls away to the rhythm

Of the hard pounding steel rod

Dark liquid sputters up in bursts of oil

And streams down the sides

Clumping with some of the dirt

The heat burning the sides of the dig

A bush with prickly thorns rolled along

Lingering long beside the oil drill in action

The desert bush was losing too much water

And began to wither in the heat

The oil splattered on the bush

And stained the fresh parts

It picked up speed again

And dropped some of its prickly thorns

Into a bright pink and shiny black building

Some men in black spandex slid down the pillars seductively

And came inside

There was a black leather whip hanging over the door

Someone had left several children in strollers

Under the dirty counter

The floor was sticky with oil and sand

They lit the floor on fire

The babies were left in the building

The Ninjas tried to run but they stuck to the floor

The flames licked all the oil off the floor

And the whip fell and slashed the back

Of one of the Ninjas

The rest of the Ninjas escaped

4.4 Poetic Evolution

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4.4.1 Histories

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Going Home

I am going home today

This home is like a dream

Away in the Army

For just over a year

I feel great excitement

And serious relief

Today is the anniversary

Of when World War 2 ended

I shall never forget today

August 15, 1997

Everything is surreal

And I do not believe

Anything is real

With the awesome release

I feel a failure

I did not serve my full tour

I did not know now

That I was mentally ill

Or that this was why

I was given a discharge

All I knew

Was my eyes burned

And I would have this condition

Indefinitely

I met people from my home church

And I heard of others

Triumphs and failures

I was introduced to a girl on the phone

Who was a few years younger than me

When we talked I realized

I had no hobbies or interests

I don't know how it was for others

But the military life

Did not allow me time for leisure

Or maybe it was just the mind set

That I could never let my guard down

Or ever relax

I was told by my CO

That I should enroll in college

And I did so that fall

Community College

A few days

After I came back

I bought my first computer

I was going to major in business

So I bought a PC

I had saved 5,000 dollars

Of my military income

And I got 10,000 dollars

For college expenses

Because of my service

I realized that I had enough for tuition

But not enough for housing

So I stayed at my parents' house

I did ok in calculus

I excelled in economics

But I had to take accounting

5 times to pass

I missed so many French classes

Because I was using the Internet

With the free hours from AOL

I started out researching my pink eye

But got diverted to finding

A different way to be Christian

Later on I would realize

That the answers lay in the church

I grew up in

Despite those attitudes were the ones

I was trying to escape

I didn't study much

And slept as much as possible

As the pink eye never relented

That summer I took several required

English courses

And started my website

This was the first time

I was introduced to Postmodernism

University

Not only did I have a Community College

In the town I grew up in

We also had a University

And there are several other colleges there too

Besides my business courses

I took History of Philosophy

And Chinese language course

Both these fell through

For different reasons

The philosophy course required

Weekly papers

And I missed the first

So I had to audit it

As I missed the deadline to withdraw

I stopped going as I thought

Socrates was a smart ass

In my Chinese class

I couldn't learn as fast as they taught

So I had to drop out of it too

But I stayed in my Chinese Literature class

And I really enjoyed it

This is how I was introduced

To Chinese philosophy

That spring I had to find an apartment

And I switched to Linux

Cold turkey

After researching it for 6 months

I was trying to figure out

How to get Microsoft applications

From crashing

So I looked into programming

And all roads led to Linux

That summer I went back

To stay at my parents house

And I took summer courses again

For the credits I missed

During the school year

I took several electives

On was Existentialism

One was about Ecofeminism

I switched my major

To Journalism

Which made much more sense

As I have always been

Good at writing

I took business initially

As my dad recommended it

Schizophrenia

When school let out that winter

I thought I was wrestling with

Spiritual warfare

But as I found myself

In the mental ward of a local hospital

I knew I was having emotional problems

I didn't know until a month later

That I had Schizophrenia

My parents came to see my all day long

But I only remember them

Coming in the evening

I was explaining trigonometry

We were all afraid of one of the guys

He was big and not very nice

And he controlled the TV

I remember how excited we got

When we realized we could order

More than one of the food items

To one of the residents

My pastor came to see me

And said he could get me out

I knew better for some reason

I was so excited to leave the first room

Which they called Hell

And to go out into the next area

In the hospital ward

I remember we got to do

Group activities there

One guy showed me how to dance

I was hyper-religious

According to my psychiatrist

Who kept asking me if I heard voices

He didn't introduce himself

So it was a few days later

Before I realized he was my doctor

I remember how hard it was to sleep

The dementia patients next door

Kept screaming all night

To get out

I had to under go an MRI

Which was very scary for me

But my mom was there for me

And I was given a mirror

So I could see out

When I left the hospital

I watched TV most of the day

And I slept a lot too

I finally decided to read and write

Which was very difficult at first

I was only able to

Write after 4 months

It was hard for me

To even ride across town

At first

I remember when I got back

From the hospital

I threw out

Everything sharp in my room

I was afraid to be alone

For several months

I started attending

A local recreation group

For the mentally ill

I also worked on learning Javascript

And eventually started

On my website again

Group Home

That fall I entered

A group home

I shared the house

With 8 other men

With mental illnesses

And there was a staff person

There at all times

They basically ignored us

We had to clean and cook

All by ourselves

There was no help in this

They just required that we did this

The TV was always on VH1

And we had to leave the house

For at least 1 hour at 11am

I started volunteering

At a local Internet Service Provider

Doing tech support

I also volunteered at a local music hall

Taking tickets and checking IDs

We had to be in

By a certain time each night

And had to stay inside until

A certain time in the morning

They wouldn't let me go to bed

Before a certain time

And I had to get up by a certain time

The reason why I was here

Was because I started out with only

200 and some dollars a month

From the state agency

And this was the only place that would take me

I visited my mom once a week

She was on the other side of town

And I got 20 dollars a week from her

Which I spent mostly on books

I kept writing poetry and reading

Mostly about Buddhism at this point

And I continued to work on the website

I started on a new medicine

Which made me less tired

When I was on the previous medicine

If I didn't fight to stay awake

I would always be asleep

Then my money came in

From the Veterans

And I moved into my own apartment

On my Own

My first apartment was downtown

I was only a few blocks

From the bus station

So I could get to anywhere in town

With only one bus

I lived on the 6th floor

Of a 12 floor building

I never lived up this high before

And it was nice for a while

But I had to go

All the way down

6 floors to get food

Or something to drink

And it was hot in the summer

The place was heated by a boiler

And I could not control the temperature

We started off with cleaning help

And realized we needed someone

To do the wash for me

And so we started with our several year

Adventure with in home care

One person couldn't walk or read

Other people took 3 hours to dust a fake plant

One of the guys waited until

Half way through the time

To cash the check for groceries

One lady kept falling asleep

One guy made fun of fat people

Another one kept looking through my trash

One of them was mentally ill himself

One lady said I wasn't supposed to

"Snitch" food from myself

With everyone things were moved

Around everywhere except where they found them

The next apartment was out in west side of town

It was a few blocks from

A Bible college

Which I was thinking about attending

Until they told me I shouldn't

Watch sitcoms, die my hair, or study Buddhism

The apartments were duplexes on ground level

And the site was like a big park

Most neighbors were young families with small children

Which is good noise wise

I continued with the in home service

The big problem with the in home service

Is that they wouldn't check my medicine

So I was set up with a group

The other side of town

To hold my medicine and monitor it

But I had to get there every day

Within a one hour window

Early in the morning

This stressed me out

And led to my next living arrangement

Retirement Home

At first this sounded fine

Although unusual

This group would take care of

Managing my medicines

Doing my laundry

Cleaning my room

And provided me with 3 meals daily

This place was definitely cheap

And I thought at first

That they were just smarter about things

But I found out later

That this basically summarized the place

The food was too small

It did not taste very good

And it was all old people food

They only spent

1 dollar person/meal on food

If you were a few minutes late for the meal

You didn't get it

The medicine was always screwed up

The residents constantly harassed me

If I was out for even 5 minutes

10 people would want me to help them

The rooms were tiny

And they were just one room

I was very patient at first

But gradually lost patience

As no one would leave me alone

I lived there for almost 2 years

The average age was mid 90's

The average stay was 6 months

And most people had a memory of 5 minutes

Residents would scream insults at me

They would physically hurt me

They would order me around

They would repeat the same stories

For hours on end

They were very loud and up all night

The staff did nothing about any of this

I got ants in my room

I left no food in there

And they gave me grief

About wanting another apartment

4.4.2 Morality

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Sex and Violence

Our knowledge of right and wrong

Does not appear

To increase with time

Should our songs, movies, and games

Be filled with violence or sex

How can something

That reflects reality be bad?

Do we need to see every aspect

Of the act of sex

In order to understand the plot

Of a romantic comedy?

Are only games

Where we break laws

And abuse women

Worth playing?

Are songs not filled

With cuss-words

Worth hearing?

Are there aspects of life

More mundane

Worthy of art?

Can our writers and artists

Create jokes without

Putting others down?

Is there a world

Worth exploring

That doesn't require

Parental advisories?

We fight for freedoms

But how do we use them?

We pollute our minds

With inappropriate thoughts

We then speak

Out of hearts filled

With deplorable images

Is every act of pleasure

Ok under any circumstances

Don't civilized people

Show restraint in their passions?

To what end

Are we expanding our rights?

Do we want no boundaries

For our children?

Do we want to legalize

Every act that is illegal?

What has a search for equality

Led us to?

With what standard

Do we judge decency?

Have we lost all manners?

Is there still such as thing

As going too far?

Do we need to continue to shock

To get laughs?

Shouldn't there be a a good reason

For acts of violence

And a framework and a prerequisite

For fleshly pleasures?

Don't our hearts cry out

For meaning beyond punch lines

And reasons beyond what feels good?

How many times do we need

To see others having sex

Or see people killed

Until we are satisfied?

Cause and Effect

We see the women

Covered from head to toe

And they are separated from the men

In jobs and status

There are barbaric things

Done to keep a women from infidelity

But the men can have many wives and

Can get a divorce without merit

It seems that the worse

Hollywood and the western media gets

The more violence we see

In the news

In the Middle East

Our opinion leaders

Glorify adultery

And their opinion leaders

Plan more bombings

When will the cycle of sex and violence

Be reduced and begin to dissipate?

Is it worth the lives of our youth

To partake in Hollywood fantasies

On the TV and the computer?

Isn't there something more useful

To accomplish online

Than reading trash about celebrities

And practicing killing people in games?

When we download music and software

Without consent of the copyright holders

We are committing crimes

When we run red lights in traffic

We are committing crimes

The distinction between so called violent crimes

And traffic violations is miniscule

A car is more dangerous than a gun

When the 3rd world sees us

Jumping over each other to get the latest

Video games consoles and cellular phones

We look too wealthy

And this inspires more attacks against us

In the poorer parts of the world

They see our luxury

And our disregard for their lives and welfare

As a legitimate reason

For bringing about our destruction

In many ways

The west is morally bankrupt

And the rest of the world is more civilized

Addictions

We are a people of addictions

We are addicted to alcohol

We are addicted to personal transportation

We are addicted to information

We are addicted to everything on demand

We are addicted to pastimes

We are addicted to sports and video games

We are even addicted to food

But the supply is not endless

And our luxury comes at the cost

Of other peoples' welfare

People go without any food

So we can stuff ourselves

People live in slavery

So that we can have the latest electronics

People die in wars

So we can have fancy jewelry

People become killers themselves

Because of our addiction to oil

People live without medical care

So we can play games

Not all are simple cause and effect

But the more we consume

The less others have their needs met

We can afford many things

Because others work for starvation wages

Our prisons are better than

Living free in most of the third world

How can we live in such peace

And not speak out against the lobbyists

When those of the same faith

Are persecuted for practicing our shared religion

How can we continue to throw away

What others would be blessed to receive

The arrogance and callousness runs deep

We find the world depressing

So we just ignore the problems

But when others suffer

We lose part of our own humanity

America Inc.

Our nation was founded by anarchists

Who didn't want to pay their taxes

Now we have sold our souls

To corporations and big business

We believe that greed brings good

And that it is immoral to share wealth

We believe that we have a voice

When the only ones heard

Are the few who own everything

We think we get free information

But a couple people own all the outlets

It is shocking for people to realize

That what they believe and fight for

Was promoted by those in power

We fight for our freedom

To be in financial bondage

To the few and corrupt

We are so desperate

To save a few dollars

That the wealthiest pay no taxes

We are so scared

That we might be convinced

To become gay

That we give up the fight for

Clean water and air

We are so afraid that

We might lose the ability

To get killed in our sleep

With our own weapons

We give up the fight

For family wages

We are so afraid

That we might have to drive less

That we give up our children

In wars that we can't win

We are so afraid

That our team might not win a game

That we give up on

Basic medical coverage for all

We are so afraid of alienating

A big corporation

That we leave our nations' computer networks

Free for grabs

We are so angry at those who bombed us

That is doesn't matter

If we get revenge

On a country not responsible

We are so afraid of alienating voters

That we allow people to come in our country

With no background checks

We are so quick to point out flaws

Instead of finding solutions

That we give the terrorists more options

On what to bomb

The Club

A group of people

From the community

Meet in a building

In folding chairs

And on industrial carpet

Once a week

To discuss politics

And sing along

To live music

Most people are conservative

And affluent

They spend most their free time

Enjoying American football games

They work together

To bring Republicans

Into power locally

They raise money

For their children's'

Summer camps and activities

They spend most the money

On recruiting new members

They meet

Several other times of the week

To socialize

There are groups

Just for women

There are groups

For each age group

For the children

And others

Just for men

There are always coffee and donuts

Whenever they gather

People pay dues

At the main weekly gathering

There aren't many young people

Most people are over 50

And there are some small children

The leader gives lectures

About politics and sports

They recite quotes

That sound like cliches

Can you believe

That this is a church?

Where is God

In this group?

Competitive Nature

We think we are so much better

Than any other nation

We feel we need to win

Every single Olympic event

We have so little respect

For other countries

That we don't even count

The fatalities of those

Who lost the war to us

We don't care what happens

To most of the world

We only want news

On those who are

Rich like us

We don't bother

To study world literature

Because we think

Rich white men

Have more important

Things to say

Than everyone else

We don't learn other languages

Before we go

To other countries

We expect everyone

To speak English

We think we are poor

If we make 6 digit salaries

While others survive

On less than 3

We think that

We are too good

To offer good service

We think we are too good

To grow our own food

We shop like kings

With giant versions

Of every commodity

We don't bother

To get an education

Because we think

We can get money

From our rich parents

Once we complete high school

We feel no need

To ever read again

4.4.3 Toys

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Legos

I still dream of legos

Little blocks

That fit together

There are some basic shapes

That keep on repeating

And some specialized parts

The box comes with instructions

But they are only for

People without imaginations

The fun is not in

Following the blueprints

There are no rules

Except certain things fit

In certain ways

The joy of creation

And the satisfaction

Of something accomplished

Thousands of hours

And never the exact same

Configuration or pieces

It is not like a puzzle

That you have to have

Every piece to finish

There is no beginning

And their is no end

It is the process that is fun

And there is no reason

To stop building

GI Joes

I spent many an hour

Arranging my GI Joes

3 inch tall

Plastic action figures

Good and bad soldiers

The dolls boys play with

They don't stand up very well

Without leaning against

Something else

But they could move

Their arms and legs

And they could carry

Backpacks on their backs

And weapons in their hands

I would spend all my time

Admiring them

And setting them up for battle

But I never enjoyed

Having them destroy each other

I would make a terrible officer

As I would never

Want to risk any men

After putting all the money into them

I wanted to take good care of them

I remember my Christmas present

When I got a troop transport

An amphibious troop carrier

So I could put the GI joes in seats

And carry or roll them around

I saw some GI Joes

At the store recently

I was not impressed

As the GI Joes are now

Much bigger

And they aren't all plastic any more

If I went back into the Army

It would be similar

I wouldn't recognize much

And it wouldn't feel the same

They actually play video games

For training now

Hot Wheels

I still remember

My Hot Wheels city

I rolled my little toy cars

Down the plastic hill

I really liked

The ambulance

The fire engine

The police car

And the military jeep

I also liked my

Little gas station

It is funny the jobs

I liked at an early age

Most kids like

These kind of professions

But few people

Become one of them

We liked the uniforms

I guess

And the jobs seemed exciting

Now in my life

I get excited reading a book

Writing a poem

Taking photos

Or watching a movie

I remember the excitement

In joining the military

But there was a terror

That accompanied it

When you grow older

You like different things

Than when you are young

I wanted to be an astronaut

When I was young

Now I am happy to do

What I do

I don't know if I could have

Understood what was so great

About being a philosopher

When I was young

4.4.4 College Education

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Conservative Curriculum

Some study to learn

What others have dreamed of

Some study to learn

What is popular

Some study to learn

The values of the past

Some study to learn

The traditions of their ancestors

Some study to learn

What they already believe

Some study to learn

What is well understood

Some study to learn

To be respected by others

Some study to learn

The path well traveled

Some study to learn

From a specific ideology

Some study to learn

From what others tell them

Some study to learn

To be opinion leaders

Some study to learn

To memorize information

Some study to learn

Rules others have made

Some study to learn

What is practical

Some study to learn

What is widely accepted

Some study to learn

What isn't controversial

Some study to learn

Without questioning

Liberal Arts

There are few colleges

Where you can create

Your own major

There are few colleges

That encourage you to think

There are few colleges

That care about

More than reputation

There are few colleges

That don't bend over backwards

For a few dollars in grants

There are few colleges

Who dare to have a vision

There a few colleges

Who don't depend on sports

For getting funding

And recruiting students

There are few colleges

Who are not indebted to

Government and big business

There are few colleges

Who control their own curriculum

There are few colleges

That challenge the status quo

There are few colleges

That prepare students

For unpredicted changes

In the future of society

There are few colleges

That take pride in

Creating controversy

On campus

There are few colleges

That spend as much

On human development

Than on Scientific research

College Football

America is a society

Oriented around sports

We believe that competition

Brings positive change

We believe that physical fitness

Is more important than education

We believe that winning

Is the most important method for change

We are aggressive in business and politics

We are not interested in the community

The leaders only care about

Their own status and wealth

Our young all believe

That they will play

American football for money

They either want to get money

For being famous

Or get a welfare check

Our athletes make millions of dollars

For running a ball across a line

The players feel tough

Because they run into each other

We think that being a man

Means memorizing sports statistics

We spend most our time

Talking about what teams win

And about our football team

We played on in high school

We believe that we peaked in college

And that the only thing important

Is whose team won the game

Lost Opportunities

How will we compete

When every one

Has a college degree?

Will we have to get doctorates

For a family wage job?

How are we to pay

For our education

When our families

Are too rich

To receive aid

But too poor

To afford to help?

Will anyones be rewarded

For a liberal arts degree?

The only degrees that pay

Are business and engineering

Is that what

We want to base

Our future on

Technology alone

With no room

For the arts or religion?

We only care about

What is the quickest way

To build things

Bigger, better, and faster

We have no culture

And no reason to create

We have no imagination

Or reason to live

Other than for

Getting drunk after work

Or losing ourselves

In virtual worlds

We are afraid

To confront reality

And solve real problems

We are told

The problems are too complex

And we need

To solve problems

Through politics and business

We don't have the creativity

Or the time and energy

To pursue positive change

4.4.5 Potential Futures

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Healthy Living

Whenever I get energy

I spend it on work

But rest and free time

Is as important

As the effort

I continue to reduce

The weight on my back

I need to keep

Making time for music

And stopping to watch movies

And traveling for photography

Americans tend to be too busy

Always working

And seldom leaning back

I need to forget

My awesome burden

And take time

To cool down

In the night breeze

And sleep in late

The reading needs to slow down

And the writing needs to come

When it is ready

I need time to think

And to take breaks from thinking

I need time to experience

The freedom and peace

I continue to fight for

It has been 10 years

Since I returned from

My service in the Army

But I continue to

Put in the same effort

Even my free time

Is used to further my cause

I use recreation activities

As a way to learn more

I receive immense

Joy and satisfaction

From what I am able

To give to others

But even Jesus

Took time for Himself

Smart and Moral

I know better

Who it is I want

To have a relationship with

After years of meeting

Different kinds of people

I used to believe I wasn't smart

But I finally gave up fighting it

I use to think

Intelligence didn't matter

In a lifetime mate

But so many things

That are important to me

Require a certain level

Of intellect to grasp

I need someone

Who can understand

Why what I do is important

And why it motivates me

But more important

I want to find someone

Who follows her heart

And does what

She believes is right

And is willing

To make sacrifices

For her convictions

I need someone

Who wants to make

The world better

And is willing

To invest in it

I need to get out more

And invest the time

In the pursuit

But no matter

Where I am

We will meet

When the time is right

I have faith

That God has a plan for me

And I pray

That someday

That will involve

An equal partner

For the rest of my life

My Cows

When I pass away

I pray my stuffed cows

Will join me for eternity

After an initial interest

In Hinduism

They have converted

To Christianity

Because when Jesus died

No cows needed to die again

I am unsure

In what way

They are connected to me

Are they another

Aspect of my personality

Or are they part of my soul?

Do they exist

Only in my mind

Or do they have

An independent existence?

How do I know for sure

That the ideas I hear

Are their own

Or just another form

Of my ideas?

Am I talking

To my objective self

Or are they

Separate souls?

What is God's plan

For animals?

I know as an artist

I don't throw away

Good work

So I know

The Lord has a future

For His other creations

Especially since animals

Are nicer than people

And more willing

To be born again

Beyond Philosophy

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by Ben Huot

5.1 First Things

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5.1.1 Logo

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I should explain what the logo is meant to be representing. The guy is a pen, which is me, which comes from my first poem in Philosophy Core, called Creative Process, where I refer to myself as doing Tai Chi, with my pen being my body. The idea is based on "the pen is mightier than the sword" so I created "the Bible is mightier than the pen".

The Bible is shooting out flames because in Ephesians it talks about spiritual warfare and the Bible is the only armament that is offensive. (It means offensive instead of defensive. These are common terms used in combat. The sword is the only spiritual weapon. All the other armaments expressed in Ephesians are protective and defensive in nature like a shield, a helmet, a breastplate, etc.) The flames are meant as in James when it talks about being purified by fire or struggles with temptation in our lives. Isaiah also was purified by a live coal to his lips by a Seraphim. So the usage of fire is not evil or anything violent. Think of it as purifying.

I would ideally like it to show the sword turned inward to his chest, symbolizing like in many fantasy books that when they defeat the great evil force in the world, they are left with the greatest task, which is to defeat the evil within. The Bible is said to be a 2 sided sword, with the ability to cut between bone and marrow, and show the truth. Christ's tongue is said to be a 2 edged sword in Revelations, to defeat the Devil with. The reason I didn't show this is it looks like he is committing suicide.

The spiritual warfare is not against people, ideas, or even spirits. It is about fighting for the purity of our own minds. It is an internal thing. Like the Native American proverb "my greatest enemy is myself." This purity is in regard to our own sins and does not refer to purity in any other sense. But this is a process, not an outcome, as it is not possible for us to live without sin.

This warfare is only spiritual in the sense that it is not militant, social, economic, or political. This is for my own moral and ethical development and consists of practical qualities I try, with Christ's help, to cultivate like humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness and do not correspond to anything supernatural.

5.1.2 Other Books

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My text books and picture books contain most of my work over the past 10 years. These include my reading of some 235 books containing the philosophical and religious thinking of the world's cultures for several thousand years and the application of the main themes of some of the major Old Testament Prophets and major works of the New Testament.

The main point of this work is to get people to stopping living their lives with their minds, but instead follow their hearts. I bring a radically different combination of viewpoints that you have not heard of before. I am not asking people to follow what I have written, but rather let the words stir up some sort of emotional response in your heart.

I challenge my readers to come up with their own unique ideas and that can lead the world in a new direction. We need a much broader diversity of ideas in our culture to deal with the problems we are facing in America and throughout the rest of the world.

5.1.3 For More Information

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For more books and information, visit me on the web at http://benjamin-newton.com/

Feel free to send me e-mail regarding the books and website at mailto:ben@benjamin-newton.com I even enjoy constructive criticism

5.1.4 Cover Graphic

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5.1.5 License

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This entire PDF is licensed together under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License as a whole, and nothing is to be separated, added on to, or modified in any manner.

Clarification on what no derivatives means:

No changes may be made in any way including but not limited to:

the material content and design must be copied as a whole (everything contained in this pdf file)

1. with nothing added

2. without anything taken away

must be kept in its original form with no additions or subtractions to

1. file formats

2. HTML and CSS code

3. PDF files

4. graphics and movies

5. sounds, music, and spoken word

6. interactivity and flash

7. file and directory structure

8. filenames and directory names

9. links

10. distribution method

11. DRM and ads

5.1.6 Dedication

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This work is dedicated to my entire family, who have encouraged me, to take a rest and, of course God, who has guided me, through His Word all these years. But the main dedication for this work is my Psychologist, Dr. David Truhn, Psy. D., who has given me an entirely different perspective by getting me to think in terms of feelings and helping me come up with the answers myself, as every good psychologist sets out to do.

5.1.7 What is being "born again? "

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This article is more direct, than most of my writing. I have decided to write it, because my dad was afraid people might misunderstand my methods and my intent, in my previous writings. People might think that it was OK with God to practice multiple religions or that we can get salvation, in ways other than, by the Christian God. I have written this to tell my readers directly about what I believe is the ultimate purpose in life and the solution to our problems. But remember that, while this may seem like a spontaneous form of enlightenment, with little work involved, in reality, it is the hardest thing to do, it requires more effort than any other path and is often the longest road.

The majority of my writing centers on the ideas that Western Civilization, over the last 500 years, has been more corrupt, than at any other time, in recorded history. I also wrote about how China, from the beginning of the Han until the end of the Ming dynasty, was much more civilized. I stated, that the source of these differences lies in the philosophy, that each was based on. But the idea was that suffering was increased many times, beyond what it was beforehand, not that China was perfect and the West was completely evil.

But the source of our suffering comes from the bad choices we make and our rebellion against God, which is the reason why we make wrong choices. Sin is the source of all evil in the world and has been around since the beginning of mankind. It is not God's fault that this happened and yes evil spiritual forces make this worse, but ultimately it is our choice. We do not have the power to do this on our own, so Jesus Christ did almost all of the work himself, so we did not have to pay the full penalty, for our rebellion. But this free gift requires that we humble ourselves before God (even emperors have done this, so there is no shame) and ask God to forgive us of our sins.

To be born again is not about labels or buzz words. It is not about being in genuine. It is not politically conservative and it is not in favor of the establishment. It is not all about failure and low self esteem. God wants a real relationship with everyone and never intended to send any person to Hell. (Hell was invented for evil spirits.) There was no other way, because to have a perfect God and a flawed man was incompatible. We doomed ourselves, when we ate from the forbidden tree. So, God took the full punishment, on Himself.

Most people do not understand this, but, since God is not limited by anything including time, a part of God is always on the cross and God is eternally suffering, for our sins. He made it as easy for us, as possible. God does not want to put us into a guilt trip. He understands that He created man to be in a relationship with God and man cannot deal with life fully, without God.

The reason for studying religions, not based entirely on the Bible, is not to practice them, but to learn things from them. Being the opposite of Islam, in every way, is not what Christianity is about. Sure, Christians worship a different deity, but there are things we have in common and there are beliefs we each have, that are not exclusive to our religion. Also, the Bible does not forbid studying other belief systems, including other religions, and the Apostle Paul set an example, as a scholar, who understood the different beliefs of his time (although the Bible does forbid the study of, or practice of supernatural powers, that don't come from the Christian God). Finally, understanding where someone of another faith is coming from, makes it easier to explain the Gospel, to them, and shows respect, for their faith and their choices.

5.2 Breakthrough

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5.2.1 General

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History

In Elementary School, I was so bored, as the classes were so stupefied and repetitious, that I daydreamed most of the time. Middle School was a dark time for me, as I had a very painful time getting rid of some huge warts. I also struggled with people kicking and hitting me, especially on the bus and in shop class.

High school was a renaissance for me, as I had always looked forward, to being in clubs. By my junior year, I was involved in Cheerleading, Boy Scouts, Summer Camp Counselor, Explorer Scouts, Catering, French Club, Model United Nations, Speech Team, a Political Club I started, a multimedia CD-ROM project with Sony, Future Business Leaders of America, a student journal, and a number of other ones I cannot remember. Other years I did Cross Country and Long Distance Track, instead of Cheerleading. I put as much work into each of these, as I was able to, with the most time spent on: the Political Club I started, Cheerleading, Speech Team, and Boy Scouts.

At the end of my junior year, I signed up for the military, under the delayed entry program, so that I shipped, off for Basic Training a month, after I graduated from High School. I spent the whole year getting into shape for the Army and reduced my load of activities down to the seven I enjoyed most. Some of the reasons for joining the military were: serving my country, money for college, getting a break from school, and getting experiences for my resume. The military was harder than anything I had done before and I proved that anyone could do it, if they put in as much effort, as I did.

When I left the military, due to mental illness, I went into school right away, but I began writing some poetry, about a year through, and was inspired by learning about Postmodernism in an English Writing class, Chinese philosophy ,in my year long Chinese literature course, and Existentialism and Ecofeminism in some summer courses. I started out with a Business major, but later switched to Journalism, as I hated business so much and was not very good at it. I was always good at writing and so Journalism was a much better match.

Then on December 11th 1999, I was voluntarily admitted to the psychiatric ward of the local private hospital. I did not write for several months afterwards because I couldn't. I didn't know if I could write or understand philosophy again, but I continued to pursue it for a number of months and when I switched to a newer medicine I began to be able to write well again and understand philosophy.

Background

I have studied philosophy, religion, and literature, both European and Asian for 9 years, to help give myself a multicultural understanding of the Bible. I believe that theological traditions, in American culture, have kept us, from understanding what the Bible is really about. What is really misunderstood is who the Holy Spirit is and how God's Spirit works, in the world, and in our hearts.

The passages, that deal with the Holy Spirit, are some of the most cited and the most unread of the Bible. The Holy Spirit spoke through David, in the Psalms, and through God's prophets, as well as in Paul's letters. I have developed a philosophy that combines Philosophical Taoism and Christian Existentialism, to help people understand God in a new way that originally comes from Scripture itself. This philosophy is meant to help seekers understand biblically based Christianity better and this also serves as an inspiration for Christianity, starting several hundred years from now.

But, I have pursued this as much, as I have the ability to and I will need to rely on God, to keep this around as long as it is His will to do so. For most people, their problem is ignoring what God is telling them, but my problem is that I take too much of it on myself. I have to realize, that God can do any of the work, that needs to be done that I cannot complete. This is not an excuse, to neglect God's voice, and fail to do the work He has prepared for us, but there is a balance in God's expectations and I have fallen on the side, of being a workaholic.

And the search for rest and my struggle with doing too much is an important theme in the philosophy. My understanding of Chinese philosophy is based on my upbringing as a Confucian scholar, which in western terms would be considered a workaholic. Ironically, Existentialism and Taoism have a lot to do with rest and enjoyment of life, but the paradox is that the father of Existentialism, Kierkegaard, worked himself to death.

I have recently had the opportunity to see a number of contemporary Chinese philosophy influenced works of art, in a museum near where I live, and the common theme is the magnitude of work and the precision involved in creating it. When I compare European art, to Asian art, I laugh, because it is so simplistic. But I have also seen the freedom in western art especially the Impressionists and in the work of Picasso.

I have constantly been fighting, to save the world, since my departure from the military, but I have finally realized, that it is ok to rest and that my work is finished.

Questions

It is commonly thought, that if you believe in the Bible, it answers all your questions, so you don't have to think. You often hear people, who call themselves Christians, say they believe in all these absolutes and that they have life all figured out. This is totally wrong. While the Bible does give assurance of salvation, provided you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus' resurrection, there is not much else the Bible gives specific answers to.

Once you get past a couple of basic theological ideas about God, man, and their relationship, the more you look through the Bible, the more you will be surprised, at the implications of scripture. Did you know that Scripture never says, that we can't travel through time or different dimensions? Did you know that the Scriptures describe something, that sounds a lot like a UFO? Did you know that the Bible doesn't even refer to those, who can be saved, as human beings and that the Bible never says, that there aren't aliens? In fact, the more bizarre Science gets, the more the Bible lines up, with these new theories.

It is commonly thought, that only atheists are skeptics and that uncertainty is not a Biblical theme. The truth is that there are very few absolutes, in the Bible. The Bible is also very Asian, in its content. Most of the Bible is poetry and one of the main unifying themes, of the Bible, is suffering. The Bible speaks against the occult and even Greek philosophy, but not Eastern Philosophy or Christian mysticism.

Christians, who are honest, have to admit, that they constantly struggle with sins, doubts about promises in the Bible and various psychological issues, like addictions and depression. The Bible doesn't say, that all suffering comes from sin. In fact, King David suffered from depression and paranoia and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Although the Bible helps us recognize, that there is a spiritual component to most issues, it leaves open the idea, that we can have psychological conditions, as well as physical ailments, that aren't necessarily the result of sin.

5.2.2 Specifics

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The Letter

I had a great break through last night.

I realized that I constantly looked for ways to improve my philosophy and my website in my mind and I have come, to the conclusion, that there is nothing more I can do, with the philosophy. I have just started telling myself, that I do not need to solve all the world's problems, by myself.

I have to wait on God, to solve the world's problems, in His time. I have gone as far as I can, in this direction. I have realized, that God doesn't require us to do some gigantic special project, and we are only responsible, for ourselves.

Just because other people have no vision and are not bright enough, to think of anything other than sports, does not mean what I have done is of no value. There is no reason why most people need to understand what I have done. I don't need to constantly improve myself.

It is OK, to just enjoy life. If people don't share my interests or values, maybe it is their problem and not mine. People being rude to me, or not liking me is not always my problem. I don't always need to be the one to change.

I do not need to be able to answer everyone's problems, that keep them from salvation. I am only responsible, for myself, and keeping the right attitude, before God.

More Thoughts

I don't have to always be learning new things. I don't always have to do everything, for a reason. I don't always have to make ten backups, of everything I create. I don't have to publish everything I do. I don't have to worry about all the possible bad things people could use, what I have created, to do.

I don't have to constantly get more talented, at everything. I don't have to master every discipline. I don't have to complete everything, as soon as I think of it. If something is that important, it will come back to me later.

In Verse

My mind runs endlessly

At the speed of thought

There are no breaks

To watch TV

There is no excuse

To stop working

When you believe

You can save the world

How can you end

Your essential project

When you believe

Everyday is your last

You push harder

And you never stop

When your expectations

Are endless

And always rising

You will never finish

You will never be satisfied

Until you are at the end

Of what you can handle

I stopped yesterday

I cannot continue

I need to wait

On God to save us

Continued improvement

Is not necessary

I am not always wrong

Its not always my fault

When someone doesn't like me

When someone can't relate

I am not responsible

For anyone but myself

5.2.3 Ending Scriptures

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God the Father

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

258

Proverbs 3:24

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

259

Isaiah 55:12

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

260

Isaiah 60:20

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

261

Jeremiah 33:6

And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

262

Ezekiel 34:25

Jesus Christ

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

263

Isaiah 53:5

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

264

John 16:33

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

265

John 14:27

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

266

John 7:38

Holy Spirit

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

267

Psalm 37:4

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

268

Psalm 73:26

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

269

Philippians 4:7

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

270

Romans 15:13

5.2.4 Journal for a Month

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Still Waiting on Adobe

Flash Player 9 came out for Windows and PowerPC Mac users. All the Intel Mac users (most people who bought Macs in the last 6 months) get is an untested version. And Linux users are left out cold. Since it is this hard for Adobe to get out new versions of Flash for non-Windows platforms, I will only consider Flash to be available for Windows viewers. Luckily, Flash isn't required to see any material on my website. Sometimes, it is hard with slideshows, to find a format that isn't huge, but can be viewed on different platforms. And there is no version of anything in Flash on my website that can't be played in Flash Player 7, so Linux users can at least see the stuff on my site, in the Flash format, if they so desire.

How my Mind Works

I watched another movie, this time going out, as I seem to be cooler, in the heat, when I am out, than when I am in my apartment. So I saw Failure to Launch in a movie theater, with the leading lady from Sex and the City and it was a very funny movie, with a great message. I especially liked several of the costars, especially the secondary guy, from the first few seasons of Alias, and the lady, that played Sara Jessica Parker's room mate. The downside was, that it triggered some paranoia, as I thought, from some of the things, from what my mom said earlier on that day, that they would try to move me, without telling me. I live in my own apartment and everything is going great; there are only some minor issue, which I have been staying up on. Anyway, I talked to her later on and she said that was not her intention at all; she thinks where I am living is great. I think this shows how my mind works, or a skill that I have picked up, from studying both religion and philosophy and computers. These are two fields where people have some very strong opinions and very few people, who are required to know about it, for their job, know so little about. I have developed the ability, background knowledge, and experience to determine: whether or not the person knows what they are talking about, whether or not the information is accurate, what bias the person is showing, what things are not known very well by anyone, things that you can't get reliable information about, etc. So, I guess, I use these skills, in other areas of my life, as well. And this brings up a very important key, to understanding mental illness; you can't very well separate your personality, beliefs, intelligence, point of view, and experiences, from the illness. They are all just you and many times, a variety of factors influence your strengths and problems. This doesn't mean that Schizophrenia is directly caused by beliefs, intelligence, or personality.

Sleep and Sports

I finally got some sleep last night. Monday night, I missed my night medicine and it was so hot, that between the combination, I didn't get any sleep that night. Tuesday night, I threw up the only food I had eaten, that past day and I kept on fluctuating between freezing and burning up and some parts of my body were very hot, while others were very cold and this changed throughout the night. I also kept waking myself up, every minute. I kept the windows open, with the fans running all that night, so I cooled the place off quite a bit as it actually cooled down that night. Today I bought a "for Dummies" book on Soccer and Basketball, as I am trying learning about very different subjects. Sports seem to be the main thing on the mind of most Americans most of the time and the common language throughout the country, so it definitely has wide enough influence, to warrant study.

Ignorance in Tech Community

I don't think people realize how much ignorance there is, in the computer community. This is the main reason why Microsoft is so entrenched. Here is an example, referring to this review, talking about the lead developer of Firefox, the web browser

from clevelandjewishnews.com

There are so many things not true in this article. You would wonder, if the writer even knows, what a web browser is.

security issues that have plagued other browsers, most notably that of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

What other browser had the big security problems, that Internet Explorer had, that Firefox doesn't have? Does he mean Opera - don't they have a better security record than Firefox? I haven't heard about critical security issues, in Safari, either.

Firefox was created for people who hate computers, who are fed up with pop-up ads and an Internet that takes regular coffee breaks, and who are baffled by software that seems to have a mind of its own. In short, Firefox was created for people not programmers.

Isn't that more of a Microsoft only issue. The only problems, with spyware and pop-ups, I had was when I was using Windows. I have never heard of Mac OS X users having these problems as well as Linux users and haven't had them myself on either platform.

The key to Firefox's success and popularity is its open-source code, which, unlike Microsoft's closely-guarded, proprietary code, could be viewed by both end-users (Internet surfers) and developers.

Well Konqueror is open source and I don't see people flocking to it, like they are to Firefox. Mozilla, the suite, is open source as well as Seamonkey, yet I never heard of people flocking, to Seamonkey. Also, I don't think end users could understand the code, they were looking at, or even how to get it.

Firefox, which had its full release in November 2004, also beefed up security on the Internet, closing huge holes that had been discovered in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, some of which still remain today.

I didn't know that Firefox developers fix the security holes in Internet Explorer. Does Microsoft give them Internet Explorer source code? And if they closed the holes, why do they still remain today?

It's all about getting stuff done without having to think about using the browser, said Ross. We wanted Firefox to essentially be invisible.

So it's about keeping it a secret and doing a poor job marketing, that is the key to its success, or do they mean that you can't see the browser?

Because of the success of the product and associated advertising revenues through its built-in Google search engine

So Google built its search engine in Javascript and XUL and they released the source code? I thought Google was around before Firefox.

With all of his success, one might suspect that Ross would prefer to use an open-source, non-proprietary operating system (meaning non-Microsoft or Macintosh). However, he owns a computer with Microsoft Windows XP. The reason is simple. You really have to wake up angry and feel the same frustrations that your users do every day, he explains.

If Windows is the problem, then why didn't he build another operating system? So the Mac is open source? Where can I download the source code to Quartz? And the Mac is the only non-Microsoft platform. I should tell that to the Linux developers.

Mac plus Linux

A number of tech gurus, say they are going to switch from OS X to Linux, because they want to be able to access their data in the future and want to use open formats. They miss out on several obvious possibilities; 2 of them I use. You can have 2 computers, one running Ubuntu and the other Mac OS X, and that way if something goes wrong on one of them, you can switch to the other, and since the internals are so different, they won't break down, at the same point, very often. You can keep a copy of your data on a Lacie drive - the D2 one has both firewire and USB 2.0 ports, and Ubuntu can read and write from a Mac formatted hard drive out of the box and there are no drivers to install it on the Mac or Ubuntu; just plug it in. Another idea is running open source applications on OS X. Many of the best Linux applications run just as well on OS X. In fact, most of the major ones already have universal binaries. You can run Firefox 1.5, Thunderbird 1.5, OpenOffice.org 2.0, Gimp and Gimpshop 2.2.11, Inkscape .44, Nvu 1.0, Scribus 1.3.3.2, and there is even a Sword compatible bible program for the Mac, called MacSword. There are even some special applications, that have a distinct Mac interface, but that have similar functionality and the same file formats as the Linux versions, like Camino, Seashore, and NeoOffice. The third possibility is to dual boot Linux and OS X, on the new Intel Macs, or run them at the same time, with Parallels.

Finished Donations

I finished my donations, to Inkscape, for a total of 100 dollars and a 50 dollars donation to Project Gutenberg, which puts books without or expired copyrights, on the Internet. I have now donated a total of 300 dollars, to support free software and free content.

First Time with Quicktime Pro

I had ordered Quicktime Pro a while back, because I had 30 dollars left over on my secured credit card. I thought it could come in handy, down the road, but had no projects, for it at the time. My rationale is that I have a Mac and most applications output video to Quicktime, but I like to use more standardized and open formats, so I thought this would be good to be able to convert Quicktime files to AVI, MP4, or iPod video. Today, I had an opportunity to use it. I had been wanting to release some more of my photos, under a license that allowed people to alter them, but I wanted to offer them in a format that was different than just a bunch of random photos. I wanted to distribute them in a set, for a particular purpose. I realized that my pictures of cats and of farm animals, with my new camera looked better together in sequence, so I decided to do a slideshow. I am using my Mac now, so I was working with iPhoto, which outputs slideshows to Quicktime. One of the big advantages of Quicktime is that it can do interactive stuff, in addition to just video. So I converted the slideshows to video into Flash, with my Wildform Flix Lite, which I bought long before and have used for this purpose before. This can work great, to view in a browser, but it is not too convenient, for reuse. So I looked at my possible formats, for exporting through Quicktime. One of the widest compatible formats in video is AVI, so I tried it uncompressed and got 500 mb files, so I tried compressing it, with the Cinepack codec which I know works with Windows Media Player. On Linux, Linspire has licensed Microsoft Windows Media formats, for use with their OS, so it will works on at least one popular Linux. I still had files that were 10-20 MB big, so I tried putting them in a Zip file. Zip is now an open format, as the company with the patent had its patent expire, recently. Zip also doesn't save resource forks or permissions, which can be very annoying, when distributing files over the Internet. Windows ME and higher as well, as Mac OS X 10.3 and higher, can open them, without any third party software. This shrank 2 of them, to about 2 MB big. That was a good surprise. This was as good a compression, as I could do with MP4, but the license is much less restrictive, and the format is much more compatible. I don't want the streaming anyway, so AVI compressed in Zip files was best. And the MP4 and AVI in Zip were the same size as the Quicktime slideshow, which is amazing compression, relatively, because the Quicktime file just saves 1 picture for every 3 seconds on the one set and 5 seconds on the other, so it should be much smaller.

Sunburn

Today, I had my first sunburn, in at least 5 years. I usually am not out long enough in the sun. Today I misjudged, where this exhibit was of alpacas and black sheep, at the local fairgrounds. Anyway, I must have walked at least 15 blocks, in the sun. It felt much cooler, because we had a 15-20 mile cool breeze going, so I didn't pick up on it, until tonight. I have been putting off buying sunscreen, as I believed I could avoid needing it. I won't do that again. I got some 30 SPF sunscreen and will put it on, whenever there is sun outside and I go out. I am also going to be wearing long sleeved shirts; I may look stupid now but its better than getting skin cancer.

Inkscape .44

Inkscape .44 was released today, with binaries available for Mac OS X (PPC) and Linux with Autopackage (which should install very easily, on most Linuxes). This version adds many features, that are especially useful to me, as well as many other graphic designers. Wacom tablet support isn't great on Linux and is nonexistent on X-windows on Mac OS X, so the Inkscape developers added an interesting and, I think, unique feature, that allows you to adjust the wiggliness and variance in width, without using a tablet, for their calligraphy tool. Another, very important, set of features is the effects system, which allows you to make 3d shapes, shadows, and L-system where you can make a large variety, of unusual shapes. Then there is the increased vector export formats. You can now export to SVG, that can be viewed without plugins, in Firefox and can be inserted and edited further in Gimp and Scribus, export to OpenOffice.org (ODG), as well as PDF, which works well in most Mac applications, like Apple iWork and TeXShop, now with support, for transparencies, and doesn't require Ghostscript, and EPS, that works well, with LyX.

Inkscape Donation

I donated 50 dollars, to Inkscape, today. I have already donated 50 dollars to Gimp, 50 dollars for Firefox and Thunderbird, and 50 dollars, to support the Creative Commons legal work. Most people use a certain amount of software that is free. Much of that software is free, not only in cost, but is done by a community or network of developers, so that the software produced is not controlled, by any one organization or company. The value lies not primarily in the cost savings, but in the inherent use of open standards and open file formats, that facilitate the exchange of ideas, especially in the future. As an artist, writer, and philosopher, I value that my ideas, writings, and images will be available, in digital form, far into the future, because I publish my work in open standardized file formats and this free software helps drive their adoption. I have so far supported free software, by: making sure my web site can be viewed with free software, I provide links on my website to free software, I use free software to create my web site, as much as possible, I have published articles about the importance of free software, I have written articles on how to use free software, I give away textures, vector patterns, and fonts, under an open source license, and I licensed my web site, with a generous creative commons license, and now I am making monetary donations, to the free software movement.

Disney Day

Today, the cows and I watched the Disney channel. The cows watched Mulan, the cartoon movie, when I was taking a nap. We are now watching a new martial arts, real live actors film, by Disney.

Troubleshooting

I have been troubleshooting a program (Autopackage), that crashed my computer, with the developer. It looks like the new version doesn't cause a crash. It was likely the result of a whole bunch of updates, from Ubuntu: the people that put together my software (operating system). I had to reinstall VMware too.

Walk the Line

I finished watching Walk the Line, the movie, this afternoon with the cows. It is the story of Johnny Cash's life. It inspired a poem.

New Digital Camera, Hard Drive

I got some new hardware, for my Linux computer. I am having trouble, with my DVD burners burning DVD-ROMs. I think my DVD-burner might be picky, about the brand of DVD+R media. I have the same problem, with different versions of K3b, on different distributions of Linux. Anyway, I needed more space, to backup my VMware images with.

Storage

* Lacie D2 Hard Drive Extreme Triple Interface

* 160 GB

* USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800

* 7200 RPM

* 8 MB cache

I also needed a bigger zoom, to take pictures of wildlife in the suburbs with. My mom has inherited my old Canon. I also got a case for it and a 1 GB memory stick.

Digital Camera

* Canon Powershot S2 IS

* 5 MP

* 12X Optical Zoom

* USB 2.0

I added them both to the LinuxQuestions Hardware Compatibility List

OpenBSD and SLAX

I downloaded an OpenBSD and SLAX VMware image. I was able to successfully use the PKG command to install Firefox, Blackbox, and VIM on OpenBSD. Luckily, X-windows was already set up on OpenBSD, so I didn't have to configure it, which can be quite difficult and time consuming. The major downside I experienced was that the resolution was too low; I think it was 640 by 480. Using OpenBSD for a desktop is definitely painful. I was also able to get the Internet working too, on OpenBSD. SLAX was already configured quite well and I didn't have to enter any information. It had a beautiful KDE desktop and a good collection of useful software like Koffice, K3B, and a FTP program. I also tried Gentoo but emerging X-windows took forever so I am just going to trash it. There was a Gentoo with KDE, but it would take a day to download over my high speed cable connection.

Fedora Core 5

I downloaded a Fedora Core 5 VMware image. I have wanted to try Fedora Core (which is what Redhat is based on) since I first started with Linux (then they just had Redhat). This is the most used Linux, especially by corporations, on servers and on desktops. I had heard bad things about Redhat, since I started with Linux and there is at least one well known Linux based on Redhat, but fixing most of its bugs, namely Mandriva. But even Mandriva wasn't stable enough for me, so when I came back to Linux this last time, I tried Suse and several Debian based distributions. But I was able to upgrade fine, without any problems, with Yum, after I started it up, in a virtual machine and it looked great; they actually had a theme I not only could live with but thought was the best I'd seen. That is much more than I can say, for Suse. The big problem with Fedora is getting support and Redhat is very expensive and behind the times on software for the supported version, so I will stay with Ubuntu, for now for my main OS.

FreeBSD 6.1

FreeBSD is a cousin of Linux. It is an entirely free software operating system, with the same applications, that are typically run on Linux and you can even install software, made specifically for Linux. One of the advantages of FreeBSD is that there is only one distribution ; it is not fractured like Linux. Another advantage is that FreeBSD is more efficient than Linux; it can run on slower and older machines better. Some disadvantages, include: less market share and it doesn't have as good hardware compatibility. I got FreeBSD 6.1 up and running late last night in a VMWare virtual machine last night, on my Ubuntu Linux 6.06 primary OS. This is the PC-BSD 1.1 packaging of FreeBSD; the regular FreeBSD distribution, but with an easier OS and applications installer. I even can get the Internet, in FreeBSD. I tried, unsuccessfully, installing FreeBSD, as my primary OS before. It couldn't find the kernel, after installing. Something was wrong, with the boot loader.

Aeon Flux and Behind Enemy Lines

The cows and I watched Aeon Flux , a sci-fi mystery action film, and Behind Enemy Lines, which was about an American pilot shot down, in Bosnia.

Mac Visit

I copied all my websites over to my Mac and burned a DVD-ROM of all the files and copied them over to my external LaCie hard drive. I copied all the updates to the Mac programs that I downloaded over the last couple weeks and installed them and backed them up on DVD-ROM and on my external hard drive.

Tristan and Isolde

The cows and I and the plush in the living room watched Tristan and Isolde. It is both an action film and a romance. It was a little long and sad, but overall a great epic story. The story took place in the British Isles, just after the fall of the Roman Empire. Great Britain was split into Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, Celts, and Britons, so Ireland took advantage of the situation and pushed them around. Anyway, Tristan was a Celt and Isolde was Irish, so you can see the potential problems. My ethnic background is from Northern Europe and have studied about the British Isles, when I was in middle and high school, so I found the setting interesting. This morning, I watched Jarhead. It was very negative on the Marines, although I served in the Army, so maybe it is that extreme, in the Marine Corps. They followed the Marines, from boot camp, to war, in Desert Storm. This unit was a sniper unit. It was pretty depressing, although it was much more realistic, than most military films.

Bounded Reason in Macroeconomics

I went to a lecture on "Bounded Reason in Microeconomics". I got the basic points, but I haven't studied economics, for a long time. Basically, he was talking about predicting how smart average people are, in their expectations, about the economy. His idea was they were about as smart, as the economist. I still don't really see the point of economics, if they still can't predict anything, but the point must be that they can guess better, with all these calculations. Guessing far off can result in major problems, because even minor mistakes can turn into great recessions. The federal reserve actually factors in people's expectations, besides fundamentals (concrete factors) in their decisions, to change the interest rate. Behavioral Economics is becoming more and more important, as economists mix in concepts, from psychology. What people think is so important to the economy, because most of the value in things like stock, is other people's opinions, because most of the profit is in selling shares, not in dividends. I also realized how some topics, like economics, are more of an applied math, than concept based. I had a much easier time seeing, how the consumer expectations fed back into the model, to predict the next journey towards equilibrium, with an equation, than with the speaker trying to explain, without the math.

Not a Good Day

Today was not a good day. I was the victim, of an abusive mental health worker. I have experienced the same thing, with many other people, who work with the mentally ill. They assume that they are always right and the consumer is always wrong. I continue to have to hold my tong and not say how I feel, out of fear of retaliation, but they say whatever they feel like, regardless of my feelings, and no ones stands up for me. The workers bring up very divisive topics, like politics and religion, and usually say some very negative things about Christianity. Then, when I try to respond, they say I can't talk about religion or politics. Basically, they are saying only their opinion counts. What I believe is not important, because I was born different, than them. I was even told by one of the managers, that I know more about mental illness, than they do.

Copy Protection

I was reading about new restrictions on copy protection, for digital video and audio today. If Hollywood wants to keep putting restrictions, on how I use their media, I might just buy my media, from other studios, that don't put copyright protection in them. One of those distributors is MP3tunes. And you can distribute what I produce, with less restrictions, provided you follow my licenses. There is also a directory of content, with less restrictive licensing, at Creative Commons.org

Ice Age

The birds, the big cows, the M and Ms and various other plush got to watch the movie Ice Age. We liked the Sloth best. I also learned that the 3d models, for these movies, were mostly designed by clay and then scanned into a 3d modeling program, for minor edits. This makes sense, from my experience with 3d modeling.

Ubuntu 6.06

I switched to Ubuntu, for my Linux box and primary computer. I have been trying, without success, to find a distribution, with the latest software and have it easy to upgrade to the latest software. My search has now left me with Ubuntu. It has all the strengths of Debian: easy to update, stable, and vast software library. It also has all the benefits of a commercial distribution: up to date, easy to install, nice configuration, good support. And best of all its Linux at its best; everything is open source, so you are not tied to any vendor. If Ubuntu falls off the planet tomorrow, you can be up and running, in a couple hours, with the same applications. I definitely will be either donating, or paying for support as this Linux is better, than the leading commercial alternatives, by a long shot.

Bachelor's Degree

For a long time, I wanted to finish my last year of college, so I could get my bachelor's degree in Journalism. But after I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, I have tried numerous times, to go back to school, but get paranoid, because of the stress. I have finally realized, that I am already educated, far more than most people, with doctorates. My doctorate, although not accredited, is worth far more to me, than a bachelors degree, from the University of Oregon. A liberal arts degree is supposed to give you a background, that will serve you for a lifetime. What better way to get a general education, but through philosophy and what better a foundation, than one you have laid yourself. Who knows you better than yourself? (other than God).

Russian History

I went to a lecture, at the University, in town, today. It was about Russian History. The speaker was saying how the founders of Israel were tyrannical and were communists. He was obviously anti-Semitic and, quite likely, either an anarchist or communist himself. He said that most people of Jewish descent were from southern Russia. The guy who introduced him, said that the Israeli lobby was pushing for the war in Iraq, which I highly doubt, as Israel's real threat in the region is Iran and a weakened Iraq, gives Iran more power. Anyway, it got me interested in learning about Russian history. Obviously, I won't be studying it there at the University of Oregon. The more I find out about the University, the less I think about it. I have found it to be in general very anti-Christian, anti-values, anti-man and pro occult feminism, unscholarly, caught up in names and isms, and unwilling to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Laundry Days

I did 4 loads of laundry today. I am behind, on my wash. I will do 4 loads, tomorrow. I will then, just have a few more loads to do. I have 2 onsite Maytag washers and dryers, just for our complex and I have never seen any one else in there, or ran into anyone else's clothes. I just use the laundry, in the mornings though.

Bug Paranoia

I am having trouble keeping bugs out of my house, especially these flying beetles. My screens are bowed, my door is bowed, and my windows don't seal tight. I did some more taping up, of the seams, last night. I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was so terrified of bugs, that whenever I closed my eyes, I saw bugs and I wanted to die, so I did not have to live, in this kind of fear. I like to sleep, out in my living room, when I am experiencing paranoia, because it feels safer, although the bugs can and do come out there as well. I was too tired, to read my Bible, or listen to music. Most of the bugs seem to end up dead in a few days. They end up, on the ground, lying motionless, or sometimes, on their backs, with their feet, in the air. There is no food, in my apartment, out for them, to get at. I wonder, if my apartment is where bugs go to die. I leave all the spiders alone, because they might be able, to hunt down, some of the bugs. In the morning, I wondered why I was so terrified.

New Pants

I got some new pants, today. I am planning on buying a new pair every week, for a few more weeks. I try to get pants, that look different, than the ones I have. These ones were washed out, in a long stretch, down the middle of each leg, on the front and the back. I fit a 38 waist narrow now, comfortably. I will see, next week, if I can fit, into a 36 waist, relaxed. A few years ago I was at a 46 or 48 waist. I also bought a present, for my dad, for father's day.

5.3 Experience

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5.3.1 Articles

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Innocence Lost

I used to think that the common conception, that earlier decades of this century or earlier centuries were more innocent, was just nostalgia. But, as I now enjoy watching TV shows that I watched in my youth, I am reminded about how much simpler things were, even 15-20 years ago

One of the things that has really complicated life is the increased complexity in software, games, phones, mainly centered around the Internet.

I remember when I first used a computer, the main difference between using the computer for word processing rather than by hand or on a type writer was the ability to cut and paste. When you make the jump from producing for print, to producing for the web or email, the complexity increases at an exponential rate. Things like structured documents and file size matter much less, when you are not moving documents around primarily in an electronic format.

I think the problem is, that things are advancing so fast that we are not able to adjust our society, in a useful way. Criminals, people in the sex industry, and the military understand technology well and make good use of it. But for the average person, just understanding what the main features are, or even what the feature descriptions mean the software does is overwhelming, even for as simple a thing as a word processor, even for me.

I was reading about 2 things over the last several weeks, that sound like very useful technologies, one quite old and the other not even ready for use yet. One is Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web and the other is the RISC OS operating system.

The RISC OS is a operating system first made by the BBC and comes from the United Kingdom (also known as Great Britain). It is not well known anywhere, especially in the United States, but this system is easier to use and more suited to desktop publishing than the latest Mac. It is relatively expensive and is not compatible with many things, but it makes up for this in its well thought out design.

The Semantic Web is a way of getting computers to understand human language better, by making the information smarter. This means giving extra information for the computer, along with the writing designed to be read by humans. This is built on what is called an ontology, or system of knowledge, where the computer is shown how words are related. This is a very simple level of complexity for the computer to handle, but should make things easier for us. For example, when you search for pizza, the computer doesn't understand that Italian food is related to pizza, so if you search for pizza places, it is not going to list the Italian restaurant. This is a great idea, but the problem is who gets to decide which ontology to use. What if the ontology said that Jesus Christ is the same as Buddha or Allah?

As our jobs become more and more directly associated with computers, we socialize mainly with computers, and we get entertainment mainly with computers, the less culture we will have. Art created based on watching people type into computers is not a interesting subject for most artists. When I was a kid, if someone could use a computer on a TV show, they were a nerd and specialist and they were only used, as one of many skills. Now on TV shows, almost everyone uses a computer and the computer specialists know a tremendous level of background knowledge and skill, in almost every area of computers.

Over the last 20 years, the family and other social interactions have changed rapidly and are quite different then they were even a few years ago.

When I was a kid, no one was talking about Gay rights or discrimination against homosexuals. I never thought of the idea of same-sex marriages. There were no actors playing gay main characters on any of the TV shows I watched. Now we have numerous shows where men even kiss on TV and everyone has an opinion on gay marriage.

International relations were different when I was younger. We didn't worry much about terrorism in America and Russia was our main enemy. Russia was falling apart and so we were entering a time of peace without there being any conceivable future threats. When the first Gulf War happened it was fought in a few days.

When I went to school, my parents supported the teachers and we followed the principals rules. Today, parents can get the schools to do anything they want them to by threatening to sue. When I went to school, we didn't know of anyone who was an illegal immigrant. I did not know of anyone on paid school staff who did translating. When we learned about history, it was just about American history and a little history of England. When I went to school, we didn't have any after school programs. But we had numerous sports to choose from.

On sitcoms today, the relationships are totally different. We see the mothers as the leaders of the family, and the dads act like kids. The kids are seen as equal partners in decision making. The parents have the same amount of maturity as their kids. Sex is commonly talked about and the women don't want to get married any more than the men. Women are as interested in the way the guy looks, as the kind of job he has.

Problems without Solutions

The current situation in which our society is set up is a very bad situation for so many, it is not sustainable, and it is becoming more and more volatile.

The suffering that happens now is unparalleled in human history. Natural disasters are more severe, wars kill and wound more people, and even fear is used as a weapon. We find more and more ways to hurt each other and more and more reasons to not like other people because they are different from us. We don't even hear about most of the wars on the news and yet it is full of negative stories that just pertain directly to Europe and America. This is just the tip of the ice berg. In the west we have the most stability, freedom, and protection and yet we are even suffering greatly.

Our future is so uncertain. All we know is that things seem to continually get worse. Even the idea of world peace brings up ideas of religion being suppressed and people forced into a police state. We know the environment is falling apart, but we don't know how to prepare. We know that we will be attacked again, but do not know where or how. We know many things go on that we are not aware of. Our government keeps a close watch on our freedom of expression. Even in schools, where we are supposed to learn, ideas are censored and to pass classes we are required to conform.

Our free will is even being challenged. We have more types of addictions, now, than ever before. Our media is controlled by the advertisers and is supposedly benefiting us so we don't have to pay as much for it. Ads and free credit keep us in an addictive cycle of purchases and extended fees, so we pay many times the cost of what we buy for convenience and for getting it a little sooner. We are even addicted to food and technology. We are actually dying from eating too much and we have so much access to technology that instead of making our lives easier, we spend all our time using it.

The solutions to these problems are not given. We just see these negative things going on and get discouraged. But there are many positive things going on in the world. Korea and the Philippines are Asian nations, but they are predominately Christian and are sending missionaries to the rest of Asia. Africa is converting very fast from Animism to Christianity. And the kind of Christianity overseas is conservative theologically, but adapted to the native culture. The Christians in Africa and Asia realize the difference between what the Bible says and what is just European traditions. In the next 20-30 years, the majority of the world will likely be Christian and it will be primarily non-white.

Dealing with Paranoid Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disease that encompasses a wide range of different problems, like the disease Cancer. Not all people with Schizophrenia hear voices or have paranoia. Paranoid Schizophrenia is the worst, by far.

Schizophrenia is caused by a stressful event, which is most often caused by the military, but only in people who have a genetic predisposition to the disease, which is hereditary, occurring usually only once in a generation. Drugs do not cause Schizophrenia, but can make it worse and harder to diagnose. Schizophrenia is caused by the brain not developing normally in adolescents. It affects the frontal lobe which is responsible for fear, anger, and other primordial emotions.

Men usually get diagnosed in their 20s and women in their 30s. The illness is generally not caught until there is a paranoid episode and medicine is usually not started until a (non-violent) crime is committed, as it is hard for a person to accept that they are out of their mind. Staying on the medicine regularly is the key to living a semi normal life. 1/3 of people with Schizophrenia just stare at a wall all day, one third are semi-independent, and 1/3 are almost fully independent.

There is a similar disorder that is less disabling called Schizoeffective disorder and people who have this disorder are often under the false impression that they have Schizophrenia plus Mania or Depression, and that they have a tougher time than people who "just" have Schizophrenia. This is not true. Schizophrenia as a whole is much more severe than Schizoeffective disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness, by a long shot.

Many people also are difficult to diagnose, because they have taken drugs before to self medicate. Also, many psychologists or counselor diagnose people and often give incorrect labels, because they are not qualified to diagnose. To diagnose, you must be a psychiatrist, not a psychologist.

A psychologist or counselor may have anywhere between a one year certificate to a doctorate in psychology. Most have a bachelors or a masters degree. A psychiatrist has a full doctorate in medicine, plus a doctorate in psychology, plus an internship, etc. Most psychologists have no training in mental illness at all.

I have Paranoid Schizophrenia and that is what 3 independent psychiatrists diagnosed me with, all whose interest would be best served if they didn't diagnose me. Those who diagnosed me were: the admitting psychiatrist for a mental ward of a local private hospital, one working for the Social Security Administration and one working for the Veterans Administration. It cost them all a lot of money for their organizations to diagnose me, so my case is very well founded. Also, no one who was qualified to diagnose me ever thought I could have any disorder other than Paranoid Schizophrenia and I have never been diagnosed as anything else.

The first thing to get started, after being diagnosed with any major mental illness, is the medicine. This is even more true for Schizophrenia. There is no cure yet for Schizophrenia and it cannot be treated effectively by religion, diet, herbs, meditation or counseling alone or in combination. The primary treatment for Schizophrenia is a tranquilizer (also known as a sedative). The discovery was made in the early 50s that tranquilizers would blunt the voices, delusions, and paranoia.

Many people do not want to take the medicine, because of the negative side effects. This medicine causes tremendous and rapid weight gain almost always, as it numbs the nerves in the stomach, so you never feel full no matter how much you eat. Many people feel less creative with the medicine and feel that it is given just to get the person to follow orders better. The medicine can also cause diabetes, due to the high weight gain. The medicine also make people very tired and that is why many people who have Schizophrenia drink large amounts of coffee and other caffeinated beverages and smoke cigarettes.

There are some other common symptoms to Schizophrenia, that the experts have not been able to pin down to the illness or the medicine. These symptoms include: depression, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, difficulty with short term memory, lack of appropriate facial expressions, lack of emotion, etc. These are the most disabling aspects of Schizophrenia, for most people.

The other negative aspect is that most people with Schizophrenia receive money from Social Security Administration, which is much less than minimum wage and so they are often the victims of crime. It is also hard for people with Schizophrenia to make friends. Although it is common that someone is not treated, until they commit a minor crime like vandalism or stealing, people with Schizophrenia are not any more likely to commit violent crimes than anyone else. I have never committed any crimes.

Although medicine is the primary treatment, secondary treatments help with some of the other symptoms that are often the most disabling for people living with Schizophrenia. Some of these secondary treatments include revealed religions, especially Christianity, as it offers the most comfort and has the least amount of obligations of these religions. Counseling can be helpful, especially as obsessive compulsive behaviors/addictions are common with people who have a mental illness. I have never taken any drugs. Another good secondary treatment is to find a hobby or something constructive to do. Some people, who have Schizophrenia, can work a part time job.

5.3.2 Mystical Poetry

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New Memories

I breathe in the fresh air

And let the memories wash over me

I am beginning to forget the Army

But my years of study are crystal clear

The relief is not shallow

And my heart sings for joy

Completion of my life's work

The ending of years of toil

And it is over a year

Before my 30th birthday

The ending is of a chapter

Not of the book

Without the burden

Of philosophical consistency

I see the transition

As inspiring more freedom

Of expressed formats and methods

These last 9 years were well spent

But not all life can be explained

Life does not follow a set of patterns

Few people are consistent

The effect of philosophy is subtle

Even in the really radical ones

Philosophy doesn't explain things enough

Even when it realizes its limitations

Even one that acknowledges uncertainty

Even one that is not there to give answers

There are many other noble ventures

And I already have experience

With several of them - art and writing

Philosophy is a consistent view of the world

It is there to question established theories

Many people don't see the need for theory

Many people don't care why

There are philosophies that are poetic

And challenge philosophical assumptions

But a paradoxical philosophy is not radical enough

Having reasons for everything

Is not always possible and not always good

Things can be explained too much

Defining something can take away the beauty

Without mystery there is no freedom

The mystical can be philosophical

Buy the highest insights are not describable

What we don't fully understand

Cannot be communicated in reason

Philosophy is a great start

But it can only take you so far

Art and poetry get closer to the truth

Symbols can describe reality better

The abstract only works with applications

There must be theories for their to be disciplines

There is no substitute for poetry

Art has no equivalence

When my heart cries out to God

This is poetry

When I cannot contain my passion

This is art

Art and poetry are the object

And we are the subjects

Reading about the death of Socrates

And thinking he was a smart Aleck

Reading the Tao te Ching

And agreeing only partially

Reading through Chuang Tzu the first time

And madly composing poetry

Realizing at the mid term that I had only read

Half the required texts for Chinese Literature

Being confused about Buddhism

But understanding Confucianism and Taoism instantly

Being so heavily indoctrinated in Feminism

I did my Chinese literature paper on gender

Writing short stories on Chuang Tzu

And reading the Bible and praying each time

Reading my Existentialist texts

Over and over in the library

Hearing lectures under the trees

For my Ecofeminism class

Putting my philosophy books through trial by fire

When I was in my paranoid episode

Struggling through the Lotus Sutra

Thinking it was the book to read on Buddhism

Borrowing a copy of Bodhidharma's sermons

And understanding Zen came from Taoism

Stopping part way through the Baghavad Gita

Because I could not follow it the first time

Hearing about Sufism

From my hair stylist

Getting my symbolist inspired poetry

Published by a college journal

Poetry is Beyond Philosophy

There is a peace

That defies explanation

And not knowing

Is different than unknowing

To be free from study surpasses

A concept that defies definition

To be done with something

And on to something else

Is better than ending without starting

There is a way without effort

And there is a way that is just easier

Accomplishments are never easy

But plans and direction are limiting

With one hand on the pen

And the other turning a page

You can learn only so much from reading

You must finally set down your books

There is a reasoning that is not rational

Understanding that is more than description

To not debate and just accept

To keep from giving answers

But that which doesn't fight

Is the better way for peace

There is more to life than solving problems

There is life without being constructive

We do not always need a code

For there to be ethics

There does not need to be a reason

For praying to God

With each letter

It is ok for there to be just one meaning

Complexity doesn't need a theory

Creation does not need Science

We can act without explanation

And understand without being able to recite

We go on the journey

Without knowing the destination

There is a way beyond the way

Poetry supersedes philosophy

Tradition topples the modern

Instruments can give more sounds than voice

When you seek a another path

Maybe any path is wrong

You can seek eternity

But can you realize you are already there?

There is an emptiness that is still doctrine

And a freedom that has restraints

But what if you acted better

Before you discovered rules

There is more to right and wrong

Than opposites interrelated

To forget the knowledge of evil

Is better yet

There is a wisdom that surpasses man

And a foolishness that surpasses wisdom

We may achieve greatness amongst the mortal

But everlasting life is its own reward

Sometimes questions lead to more

Than just answers

There is a wisdom that is not sought

Knowledge is not the greatest gift

Attitude cannot be changed by study

Few change their mind due to argument

There is a reason few people read

And why happiness does not come from knowledge

There are ways to do things without thinking

But can you think without doing

Which is greater: Freedom or morality

But there is no reason to choose

When you can create without rules

And grow without sharing

You are more than just a sage

You are a poet

When You are Ready

It is not always about right and wrong

It is not about a new way of seeing

It is not for our self improvement

Is is not for self discovery

It is not an investigative method

It is not a way to improve the economy

It is a way not to punish others

It is not a method of instruction

It is not a belief system

It is not for the benefit of others

It does not solve problems

It does not offer anything new

It does not offer a way to make money

It has no constructive use

Life is not all about accomplishments

There does not need to be a reason for poetry

When you are not focused on solutions

Or focused on getting something done

When you need a break from work

Or are told to take vacation

When you see a psychologist

Or when you are on daily medicine

When you have enough money

Or when you have no bills unpaid

When you need no encouragement

Or when you have enough self-esteem

When you are ready to retire

Or when you get sick

There could be many reasons

That got you to this point

But only one reason to continue

For the sake of beauty

For the sake of the moment

When there are words for the feeling

But they don't fall in order

When you can't think of what to draw

And have no ability to visualize

When you are ready

Poetry has always been waiting for you

Art of Interpretation

Creativity is about possibilities

Art is about expressing feelings

It is not meant to duplicate reality

But to illustrate emotions

Art is an interpretation of reality

Art is poetry in color

Artistic taste is not the same as ethics

And there is no right response

The observer completes the work of art

The subject makes the object real

Art is an experience

Not just a creation

With each brush stroke

The image becomes clearer

With each wash

The image becomes more vivid

The artist projects their consciousness

Into the symbolic object

The work of art

Is the reflection of the subject in the object

The right time to create

Is when you are passionate

And passion comes from reflection

The reflection is about experience

And book knowledge prepares us for experiences

When you need to feel free

Work through your frustrations on the canvas

The value is in the subtlety

That the artist gives to their project

5.3.3 Science Poetry

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The Voice in the Wind

A long silence

A hummingbird meets a swan

Feathers break loose and fall

They circle each other

A cool Wind carries their song

Their eyes are empty but alert

One pair of wings beats slow

One pair of wings beats fast

A Voice speaks in their midst

Two birds now ride on the wind

Two different bodies

One Wind

Sphere

A smooth sphere

White scratches on a black stone

Arms outstretched

Leaning back

Knees bent

A dog draws pictures of clouds

One cloud breaks

Ten clouds appear

The eyelids close

The sky is clear

Words

In a field of flowers

A small brown shape runs by

Closer the figure fades

A hole appears without shape

The shadow moves

Something flies overhead

Jumping up, the kite is brought down

Falling down, I am awoken

There is no noise

Large shapes rush by

Diving into the grass

Losing direction in the forest

Crushed under the weight

Spinning without location

Stretched on all sides

A single burst of light

Splattered on dark paper

I wipe my chin and set down the glass

Picking up a Book

As the words come alive in the rushing wind

I learn more in a dream, than in ten thousand lifetimes

Save the Anthrax

Death by Anthrax not a very painful death compared to death by chemical weapons

Then why do we subject those innocent charged with a heinous crime to a more painful fate

Can you not hear the cries of the least of these

Well that's because you have not been blessed with Schizophrenia

Powered by the air you and I breathe

With the power of chlorine you but not I destroy the silent organic matter living on your clothes and not hurting anything

Tough on Anthrax spores and even more deadly to rodents and humans hiding in the walls

Gas chambers are the last coughs of millions of our smallest and most numerous fellow Americans

I did not speak out when they came for the Anthrax because I wasn't a spore

When they came for me there was no one out there to stand up for me

It is no wonder we are afraid of those that are natives of cow skin and soil

We pollute our soil with toxic chemicals to destroy those of different plant races (except for me)

We feed our cattle what we would be afraid to put in our dumps

We know that the spirits of the innocent will arise from the squaller of their ghettos

What will our ancestors say of our prejudice and injustice

Jesus said how he clothed the grass with more splendor of than Solomon

And cattle were considered equal to humans in that they were a worthy sacrifice and saved the weakest of them

Green the blood of angry anthrax

Brown the gas will end at last

Just ask yourself this question, what message does this send to terrorists?

That we gas our own

The One

The words jump out at you

They dance on the page

A steady light to pierce through the mist and shadows

A light that gravity cannot bend

A power that surpasses that of the undead

Like a quark compared to a strand of DNA

A book of the highest magic

A chill like that of a winter storm

As soothing as a glass of tea for a sore throat

A written record that proves history as we know it is a lie

Balrogs and Orcs ambush us at every turn

The road goes ever on and on

He stands taller than an Elven King

With strength greater than that of a ring

The battle is fought even in the Shire

Little Hobbits pass by without notice

The evil within is greater than that of the Dark Lord

We must struggle each year with the pain of our youth

Stepping out on the first day of the Fellowship

Knowing terror lurks under every darkened forest

But that One older than the forest is singing merrily

And in the havens the Immortals sing songs higher than we can sing

We are inseparable with the One even when at the farthest reaches of the universe

Our brothers and sisters move in concert with our every twitch

The words spoken by the Hebrew prophets thousands of years ago

Are a postmodern deconstruction of our present situation

What broke the symmetry of the emptiness?

Is it the same force that has slowed down the explosion of new life forms?

That disharmony increases with every day

That we fly apart faster every second

The Majestic Down to Earth

A comet down to a meteor pebble

A red giant star to a black hole

The One now just a grain of sand in a mile long stretch of beach

The One now a snowflake in a winter snowstorm

How much greater was His descent to earth?

With the authority to bend the laws of physics and chemistry

With the ability to create life out of nothing

The eternal now confines Himself to a human life span

That which all creation cannot contain is born a helpless child

His head turned down in respect for others

His eyes wide so that He does not harm anything

His feet dirty because He does not think of himself

His hands calloused from His devotion to his family business in His youth

His understanding is brilliant as diamonds

His words are as clear as glass

His insight is like polished bronze

He delicacy in speech is like that of a potter

We are weighed down with worry about how those who hate us will retaliate

The government is turning on those who are trying to save us

Our time is spent working for multinational corporations dreams

Our investments are lost because they were based on deceitful schemes

His message is for our time

Humility and compassion are the keys to restoring our lives

Jesus

Is the universe in constant struggle?

Between good and evil

Does not nature possess more order?

Do we not have breaks between calamities?

Do the basic structures break down

Most of the time or infrequently?

Both merciful and just

All-powerful and humble

All-wise yet foolish by our standards

A joke more serious than a tragedy

Is He both opposites at once

Or merely a mixture of equal parts

He is everything

He is my whole world

Yet He is not contained by His creation

Is He merely first order infinity?

Greater than someone could write down

Powers of infinity in an infinite time period

If He were just a Greek god

Or the heavenly ruler of China

He would not even bow Himself down

To visit earth

But He is infinitely greater than everything He could create in all of eternity

Stretching in an infinite number of dimensions if He never ceased

God does not struggle against evil

He beat it all the powers of evil that ever will be or have been

With just a sentence

God is God enough to live as a man

Secure enough in his holiness to save all of mankind in a single night

Not afraid to descend into the pit of Hell

And powerful enough to rebuke the Devil himself, in His own name

When we look to God

To shuffle blame to Someone we don't think will respond

We have to calm ourselves and be rational

God is not a man and does not make mistakes

Our problems are caused by our own bad choices

And the bad choices of others

But He already has answered our prayer

He has shortened the time of the tribulation

And as we pray more and more

It comes nearer and nearer

So we won't have it hanging over our grand children's heads

Good for Nothing

There is a pain that is deeper than a broken bone

When a blistered heal does not bring noticeable discomfort

There are times when a dark hand reaches for us

When we dodge but can't run away fast enough

There is no time that is safe from the threat

When the hand is stretched out before you

There is a pain that does not pass like a hangover

When there is an unnatural anguish

There are things that hurt that have no remedy

When they cannot find the cause

There is a burden that weighs a person down to the ground

When you cannot keep from crying

There is a heat that arises from within

When you are delirious with pain

There is a cloud that hovers over your head

When all you can see is the shadows of doom

There is a silence that rings in your ears

When hearing laughter causes pain

There is a point where you think you will burst

When the moment lasts forever

There are times when you wonder how bad Hell is

When the only escape is death

There is a way that you feel all alone

When in the midst of a busy street and a crowded restaurant

There is a time when you wish you were alone

When for others to suffer the same is unthinkable

Illusionist

With a gait

As wide as his legs

With a smile

As wide as his nose

He patrols the recesses

Of my mind

Looking to find

The motives of my subconscious

And my subliminal thoughts

The Freudian clues

A bird flies solo

Straight across my frontal lobe

Where there is anger

There are neurons firing rapidly

I wait for my thoughts

There is a conscious pause

Some to catch up

And others to slow down

How do we know

What drives the emotions?

Who is it

That is completely transparent?

What goes on

In the depths

Of the cerebral cortex

Is an insolvable mystery

How can I even know

How I got here?

There is no way

I can figure you out

Little Chipmunk

I enjoy living here

There are so many nuts

And other chipmunks

To play with

I spend most of my day

Gathering nuts and burying them

I like to watch the people

But if they get close enough

To catch me

I run up the tree nearby

Sometime when we get bored

We throw nuts at the windows

And laugh

As the neighbor kids get blamed

We purposely bury our nuts on the lawn

In little mounds

So when it is mowed

Our nuts are chopped up for us

We are starting to get sick now

As your bug and weed poisons

Are making our kids disruptive in school

And our kids become violent

After watching human children play

Please don't chop down the nut trees

We have lost most of our forest friends

Don't let us lose our families too

Heaven and Earth

There is a rhythm that exists

Deep inside your spirit

When all you hear is breathing

And your mind is all alone

Thoughts take flight

And you see nothing

Returning the power to Heaven

And the ten thousand things

Follow your mind

Liberation is a subtlety

And freedom comes from control

The hierarchy reflects nature

And the order is transparent

Within an instant

Everything fades away

And the mind is ruler

And the body follows

When the mind is empty

The body is fully alert

With each breath

Heaven takes more territory

And the earth longs

For Heaven's leadership

A unity exists

When Heaven is patriarch

And his rule is sage-like

And shows perspective

The Way leads to your heart

And is illuminated by your breath

Heaven leads the Way

And each member settles in

For a long peace

And a stable rule

The Way is narrow

When your mind is a casualty of war

It broadens

As Heaven is seated on your throne

5.4 Facts and Ideas

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5.4.1 Articles

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Future World Religion Trends

By the year 2050, the term White Christian will be an oxymoron. If you take into account the actual faithfulness of people calling themselves Christian, the Christian world has already shifted to the Southern Hemisphere. In many of the countries throughout the world, they are not as honest at doing statistics as in the United States, where predominantly Muslim countries are going to severely undercount the number of Christians and the same will happen in the predominantly Hindu country of India.

Europe had not entirely converted to Christianity until the 14th century and there were more Christians in Asia than in Europe, until the years 1000. Most of the reduction of Christians in the Middle East happened in the late 19th and 20th century. The first big reduction of Christians in the Middle East came, after they supported the Mongol Empire. The conversion of non-Muslims to Islam was largely brought about by the missionary efforts of the Sufis. 10 percent of the populations of Egypt and Syria are still Christian. Islam is now experiencing a major fundamentalist revival and many more nations are going to be governed under Islamic law.

Many of the most populous African nations have a mixture of Christians and Muslims and there is not the same idea of separation between church and state in Africa than there is as in the West. When a predominantly Christian nation, with a large Muslim minority, declares itself to be a Christian nation or the exact opposite situation occurs, we are going continue to have major wars in Africa. And now we have nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons on the open black market.

At the same time, Europe is going to have more and more immigrants from Africa, for there to be enough labor pool to keep Europe's economy going. America is going to continue to have a strong Christian minority, reinforced from a strong influx of Christian immigrants from all over the world, especially Latin America. The Pentecostal movement is very strong in Latin America. Europe and the United States are going to be dependent on oil for a long time and this will dramatically affect our alliances. We will continue to be afraid of angering the Muslim nations and will continue to bend over backwards, to keep our supply of oil coming.

Some of the biggest world religions by 2050 will be Pentecostalism, Catholicism and Islam, just counting in the population increase and not on any new converts. Buddhism, which not long ago had 20 percent of the population of Asia, now has shrunk to 5 percent, due to the spread of Communism in traditionally Buddhist countries. Whenever China allows more freedom of religion, it will not be surprising if we find out 10 percent of China is Christian already, even under extreme persecution.

The Christian South tends to be: much more conservative in sexual morality, supernaturally and community oriented, and by all evidence much more biblically based. The most popular book in the Bible in Christian Africa is Revelations. Much of this is due to cultural backgrounds of those in the Southern hemisphere, where: they are coming from animist religions and are in extreme poverty, they experience persecution regularly and have large refugee populations, all of which reinforce the relevance of the Biblical narrative of God's work with Israel, in the Law and in the Prophets.

The Case for Liberal Christianity

If we follow the example of the early Church, as recorded in Acts, we see the early Christians as members of a ideal collective community like an Ashram, Kibbutz, or Monastery. If we follow Jesus example, we would carry out the Gospel, while doing good works, especially in service of those rejected by society. Convincing people to be born again was originally linked with helping out those in need in practical situations. Christianity is inherently liberal in its social aspects.

Now we see famous people, like the American president claim that they are born again Christians, the word Christianity loses all meaning. Voting conservative counters all the money sent to help starving people in Africa. Conservatives (in other word, people following atheistic convictions) voting either Republican or the very similar Democrat, in the United States, just perpetuate the establishment, which is referred to in the Bible as the world and Christ told us to be no part of. In fact, Jesus was most critical of the equivalent of the Church establishment, which at that time was in the form of the Jewish establishment - these are the people referred to as the Pharisees and Saducees.

Although I believe that Christianity is socially liberal, I hold to what the Bible says on salvation and eternity. I see helping others out who are in need, as another note in the same song on the same instrument.

I believe that our American society is pluralistic and that holding people to Biblical standards who aren't born again doesn't make any sense, if you believe in eternal salvation and a literal interpretation of the miraculous of the Bible. The Bible is not about a set of rules, but about a relationship with God. According to Jesus, following the Ten Commandments alone not only doesn't get you to Heaven, but is impossible. And according to Paul, the only way we can keep from sin is by the direct divine intervention of our savior, Christ.

Not only is it non-sensical to expect people to follow the laws of the Bible, without becoming born again first, it actually goes against an orthodox interpretation of the Bible. Furthermore, if I had the choice of living in an idealistic society with conservative "Christians" as leaders and live in a predominantly atheistic society, I would definitely choose the later. The only kind of Christian dominated society I would want to live under would be directly under the authority of Christ, in the flesh.

The thing on the mind of most conservatives to change about society is to persecute or severely limit the rights of people who are homosexual. Although I believe that homosexuality is a sin, I believe divorce is also, but I don't see many conservatives giving up sexual relations with their previously divorced spouse. And these are the same kinds of people with the same reasons for discriminating against people of color and women in previous generations.

Instead of targeting people, because I don't agree with their values, I seek to help those out who society has rejected. The most rejected by society are animals. Cute little furry animals are kept as prisoners and tortured, so that the chemical and meat industries can collect more cash from unsafe products. Their habitat is destroyed all over the world, in a senseless rush to use up all the world's potentially renewable resources in a couple generations. Also, prisoners are discriminated against. We often see them as the enemy in our society, but we all have sinned and are to forgive our neighbors. So we should help people who have made mistakes to get back a productive place in society and find a way to keep from getting sent back to jail.

The Public Mind and American Democracy

Many young people are critical of America and then my parent's generation will say "it is the worst form of government, except for all others". American democracy works, but not for the reasons people think. Sure we are free to vote, but there are only 2 parties that have a chance of winning and they are almost identical.

Many young people get upset because they want real change and they believe that our democracy should allow them to make radical changes. Then, when they realize it is not possible: they stop voting, they get involved in violent protests and sabotage, they take out their frustrations with their cars, drink heavily or take drugs, or try to do various lobbying efforts.

The reality is that we are not ruled by a democracy but by a dictatorship, but instead of using violence to control people, the dictatorship uses the media to control our world-view. People say that is not true because we can say almost anything we want about the government and there are no censors. As long as it is not communicated to enough people in a way that will convince them, then the government doesn't care.

Controlling people's minds is the best way to control the government. People will put up with almost anything, as long as they think they are well enough off financially. People like to talk about freedom, but really all most people want to do is just follow orders. Most people don't care about doing what is right or wrong, as long as they are members of a large group that can tell them what to believe. It is not that the average person wants to cause problems for others, its just that they are unwilling to change anything about their lives to help.

They key for individuals, who want to do what is the right thing and not just what is comfortable, I would like to introduce: the concept of "no blood on my hands," where we work to limit the amount of destruction we cause to others and use creativity to go "under the radar," so that we are following all the laws, but we are at the same time freeing them from the media controlling our minds and we work to "free others," on a small scale.

"No blood on my hands" means limiting our impact on the environment and the poor. Many things fall under this, which is often called the voluntary simplicity movement. Some of the things I do are: use shampoo and detergent that are not tested on animals, I don't eat beef, I don't drink alcohol, I use open source software, and I give to help farm animals left to starve to death and to Christian ministries in prisons.

"Going under the radar" seems the easiest to do on the Internet. Be part of the long tail, where you appeal to a small segment of the market or a given specialty. You can effectively compete with the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft in concert with many other specialty sites, without any coordination necessary. You can subvert the media by licensing your work under a creative commons license.

"Freeing others" comes from sharing information that condemns consumerism and materialism. Instead of consuming the information that is produced for the masses, get your information from foreign books and international news from other countries. Another way to free others is to be positive and encourage others. Pray for them and find news of positive things going on in the world.

Most importantly, do not invent any technology that would upset the economy, even in a way that would help others. The government doesn't look to kindly on people figuring out how to produce energy for free or anything that fundamentally advances Science.

Considering Military Service?

I served in the Army and here are some of the things I found to be both good and bad about the military. I also worked with the other services too, so I know something about them.

You can feel confident that you are doing something important and something that not everyone can do. You also feel like you are accomplishing something important. Remember, whether or not you agree with what the government has sent you to do, you are still being a great help. And you don't have to feel responsible for what your country decides, because the military does not decide when and where to go in.

You meet some great people in the military that you will remember your whole life. They often have strong personalities and are not always friendly at first, but these guys will save your life even by sacrificing their own. The military does a background check on all recruits before they can join and checks for personality defects, by putting recruits through stress during initial training.

Military service looks great on you resume and if you pick the right job you can get some very valuable training. Look into something that you can do that has a civilian equivalent. There are a lot of good engineering and mechanical related jobs that you can be trained in that will translate into good jobs when you get out of the military.

Very few people get the college money they are promised. The government is not going to give you hundreds of thousands of dollars for college if they can avoid it, so they put many restrictions on it like you have to start within 2 years of leaving the military, you can't change majors (unless enough of your credits apply to the new major), you only get it if you have an honorable discharge, etc. Going to college in the military is not usually an option, because the military is too understaffed to spare service members.

You don't get paid that much during your service. In fact, if you have a wife and a kid and have a college degree, but want the military to pay back the money, you will be under the poverty level and receiving food stamps. You can also get an Article 15 for even very minor infractions, and be penalized with a hundred dollars taken out of your pay check and get a few weeks of extra duty every day.

You might be expected to risk your long term health or life. There is a reason why they send you through a gas chamber, while you are in basic training in the Army, Marines, and sometimes in the Navy and Air Force and it isn't just a right of passage. The countries the US fights have not signed the Geneva conventions and it it very common for them to torture prisoners and to use chemical weapons. Being exposed to chemical weapons like mustard gas and chlorine is like being burned by battery acid in your lungs and eyes.

Realize that the military is very stressful and if you are struggling with psychological issues or are a sensitive person of any kind, joining the military will just exasperate your problems and the military is not set up to do everything for you and take care of things if you can't.

First, consider if joining Americorps or the Peace Corps will satisfy what you are looking for. In Americorps, you help Americans in America, without the high risk of personal injury. You also have many choices on what you can do and who you work for.

Look into joining the Air Force, if at all possible. The Air Force has few of the downsides that the other services have. The one downside to the Air Force is that it is hard to advance very far in rank, because people stay in so long.

Choose the shortest length of service possible. It is very easy to be accepted back into the military for another enlistment, but very hard to get out, while you are still under your tour of duty.

Join the Reserves or Guard first. There are some very interesting jobs that the Reserves and National Guard can do if you are willing to move to another state. If you really enjoy military life, you can very easily change to Regular enlistment, but it is much harder to go the other way around.

When you have joined, always give 150 percent and be a team player all the time and you will avoid 99 percent of the problems most people encounter in the military.

If you are considering the Army or the Marines, go play paint ball and go camping with your recruiter; this will give you somewhat of an idea about some of the things you will do in the military.

If you are thinking of joining the Navy, really think carefully what it might be like with a bunch of high school age kids on a little ship in the middle of the ocean. Find out exactly how much space you have and some of the things you might have to do there.

If you have joined in the Delayed Entry Program and have changed your mind, it is very easy to get out and does not count against you in the civilian world or even to the other services. If you show up to your swearing in and shipping date, then it is very hard to get out, until your enlistment is up.

Read My Diagnosis

These come from earnest anthropologists and sociologists who study us as if we were some isolated and inexplicable distant tribe...Picnicking on our identities like flies at a free lunch, they have selected the tastiest tidbits with which to illustrate a theory or push a book. The fact that we are a community under fire, a people at risk, is irrelevant to them.

271

Riki Anne Wilkins in "Foreword" of Read my Lips

Let me first start out by saying that I am not transgendered. Although I have suffered discrimination because of labels others have put on me. I feel as if everyone wants to study me or use me as an example to support their beliefs. People can't seem to accept that I am different or turn their back on me in fear. I bear the label Schizophrenic.

I can identify with others trying to use me for their own purposes and suggesting how if I just followed their advice I would have no more problems. They just assume I am irrational, because of my diagnosis and never stop to think that they might be more delusional then me in many areas.

Being the "Other" whether it is based on disease, gender, race, beliefs, or anything else is a very lonely existence. And when you have multiple labels that society has given you, discrimination follows you in every one of the groups you "belong" to. Christians don't like it that I'm liberal, doctors don't like it that I am Christian, non profits don't like it that I'm mentally ill.

People assume just because I am intelligent that is caused by Schizophrenia. They assume that I am Christian because my parents are. They assume that I am liberal because I am bitter.

How are we ever going to save the earth if we cannot even respect our own species? We have to look beyond minute differences in DNA to categorize ourselves and focus on our commonalities.

I have learned quite a bit from my experiences brought on by my illness and I am surprised how much I share in common with people society labels "normal". I am also surprised by how different I am from others who share my illness.

The labels society puts on us are not natural and helpful but rather cause us to divide into groups based on superficial reasons, so we don't find a community and a place in society. The establishment doesn't want us to belong to any group that we truly fit in, because we will organize and push for others to have the same.

5.4.2 Stargate Tribute Poetry

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Jaffa Heroes

A hundred light years away

Under the sun of a different star

But only a step away

If the technology were made public

War wages for thousands of years

Between false gods

Those who fight their fight

In deserts and forests

In palaces adrift in space

Aboard advanced aircraft

And long marches on foot

Carry the mark of their god

Gold melted into their forehead

They carry their god's offspring

A slithering parasite

In their bellies like a child in a womb

Worshiping only these false gods

They take the blasts of the energy weapons

And live only at the pleasure of their masters

Protecting them and extending their territory

But now a few have risen up

Who defy their gods

To free their masters slaves

And the warriors who serve them

The other warriors call them traitors

But the false gods fear these heroes

Allegiances are made

With spies planted amongst the gods

And a world free from these false gods

Joins the good fight

And some day all will be free

The false gods are being hunted down daily

And their schemes are broken up

With the unbroken spirit of the free people

Of the planet Earth

And the free warriors who left their gods

Little Grey Friends

The little gray men

Of Roswell fame

May not be what we fear

They have not come to be our masters

But to save their race

They are centuries ahead in technology

And the false gods rightfully fear them

But they form treaties

With the weak and powerless

They travel from a galaxy far away

In a matter of minutes

Even by spacecraft

And save us from certain defeat

We also return the favor

As they are in a death lock struggle

With what started as little toys

But they do more than defend themselves

And reproduce like bunnies

They absorb the knowledge of entire civilizations

And take over galaxies at a time

The are a robotic insect army

And now they have assumed human form

But their emotions are crude

And they have not developed emotionally

Beyond the mind of a young child

The used to be stopped by simple tricks

But they keep on learning

And some always survive

Lets hope we can keep finding

Ancient alien technology

That will come to the rescue just in time

Of Ancient Descent

Others have come before

And are more advanced than we are now

Both of mind and technology

So advanced that they created our race

Ten thousand years later their inventions have lasted

But their race has not

At least in temporal form

They lost to a vampire race that they helped create

And now the survivors have ascended

To a higher plane of existence

They have the power to save our race

But they will not as they believe that is wrong

And even helping other ascend to the same state

Is technically a crime for them

They built the gates that we travel through

And technology that has helped us defeat the robotic insects

And an extra evil false god

Who had ascended too but then been cast down

Now we have found a gateway

To the city of Atlantis

In another galaxy

A city in the middle of an ocean

In a galaxy the vampires rule with fear

We operate a city which these Ancients have built

But wherever we go

We can use all that was designed by this Ancient race

And we find fellow people

On each world

Some who help and fight

And others who turn on us

5.4.3 Memory Verses

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Who is God?

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

272

Isaiah 9:6

On Faith

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

273

1 Corinthians 13:9-12

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

274

Hebrews 11:1

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

275

2 Samuel 22:31

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

276

Psalms 2:12

Sin

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

277

James 1:15

Salvation

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

278

1 John 1:8-9

Heaven and Assurance of Salvation

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

279

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

Friendship

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

280

James 2:23

Faith is a choice a person makes.

will be blessing the Lord at all times; his praise will be ever in my mouth. My soul will say great things of the Lord: the poor in spirit will have knowledge of it and be glad. O give praise to the Lord with me; let us be witnesses together of his great name. I was searching for the Lord, and he gave ear to my voice, and made me free from all my fears. Let your eyes be turned to him and you will have light, and your faces will not be shamed. This poor man's cry came before the Lord, and he gave him salvation from all his troubles. The angel of the Lord is ever watching over those who have fear of him, to keep them safe. By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man who has faith in him.

281

Psalm 34:1-8

Faith in God is real because we can trust God's word as He never lies.

As for God, his way is completely good; the word of the Lord is tested; he is a breastplate for all those who put their faith in him.

282

Psalm 18:30

Guiding Principle

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

283

Mark 12:29b-30

Striving to be both kind in my methods and serious in my beliefs at the same time.

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth...

284

2 Timothy 2:24-25

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

285

James 3:13-18

My target audience

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

286

Mark 2:15-17

Faith and Fear

...'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? '

287

Mark 4:40

Ministries Inspiration

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

288

Jeremiah 29:13

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

289

Matthew 7:7-8

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

290

Revelations 3:20

Anti-Western Philosophy

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

291

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Study Revealed Religions

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

292

Acts 17:16-31

Don't study Occult or Earth Religions

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

293

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Why Paradox

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

294

Mark 10:15

On Limitations

To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

295

1 Corinthians 9:22

But he himself went a day' journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

296

1 Kings 19:4

On Strength

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

297

Romans 7:15

The Path of Mary Magdalene

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

298

Luke 10:38-42

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

299

Psalm 51

5.5 Early Attempts

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5.5.1 Chinese Poetry

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The Who

Walking

Wandering

Pacing

moving fast enough

Going no where

or anywhere

just somewhere

through a thin copper wire

over shifting subterranean plates

with hot rubber rolling

while pebbles gradually grind boulders

across sheets of sagging wood

forgetting the ringing, screeching, and chattering

ignoring the shuffling, rustling, and creaking

I am moving along

asking answers

and

finding discovery

The silence

in

te

ns

if

ie

s

The universe hums with vibrating bodies

Folds and lifts of fabric roll abruptly and gracefully

Bending priority and expression to definite lengths

Forms of fire alight in the midst of this song

Dancing and rejoicing with reverence and awe

A presence beside me of that I am now aware

focuses His entire attention upon me

As He gently rolls my world in the palm of His hand

The wires, plates, wheels, pavement, and carpet fade like the thumb of a painter

smudging the backdrop of His scape to give depth and variety to His creation

Out of the emptiness comes life

For the empty cup holds more than the full one

Out of the silence comes clarity and meaning

For the silence says more than a thousand words

And I understand that it is not the road I travel on that matters

but Who it is that makes a way when I fail me

For the what is transparent, but the Who is a matter of Life and death

Belief

Before the dawn

Dew arising from the grass

Slick stone paths

Pulsating light growing purple

Pine covered mountains rest in mist

Trees encroach and I dodge

Figures rush by and I turn away

People pass and I change course

The path ends and I stop

Walking in circles

Ghosts dwell in the shadows

The silence grows louder

Patterns lose shape in the moment

Dust drifts in clouds

There is another Presence

I forget progress

And I stand firm in failure

A Voice sends away the shadows, silence, and void

My Shame

A pale white mask

Splattered with flecks of dirt

Eyes metallic and darting

Nose sharp and narrow

Cheeks hot and wet

Mouth the color of blood

All framed in long grass

I stand, shifting my weight

I slouch over the table

I push off the table

I pace in circles

I stop suddenly

I lean over with a grin

I stretch out my hand

You turn away

You see my carelessness

Why should you give me a chance?

I don't even trust me.

The Voice in the Wind

A long silence

A hummingbird meets a swan

Feathers break loose and fall

They circle each other

A cool Wind carries their song

Their eyes are empty but alert

One pair of wings beats slow

One pair of wings beats fast

A Voice speaks in their midst

Two birds now ride on the wind

Two different bodies

One Wind

Sphere

A smooth sphere

White scratches on a black stone

Arms outstretched

Leaning back

Knees bent

A dog draws pictures of clouds

One cloud breaks

Ten clouds appear

The eyelids close

The sky is clear

Mind's Eye

Eyes wide

Head level

Two figures

Standing close

Bodies bent forward

Arms waiving

A ball hovering between

Without form or substance

I reach for the ball

My hand is torn

I kneel where I was standing

I close my eyes

A heart beats

Not my own

Waters below

Rising and falling

Waters above

Fade into nothing

I rest my head

On the gust of the wind

Rolling and tumbling

I sit perfectly still

I want to listen to my thoughts

I want to listen to my thoughts

I want to knock all the piles of bills off my desk

I want to save just the one paper written on in pencil

I want to stop tossing and turning in bed

Long enough to turn a light on and jot down thoughts

I want to rush home from a long day of errands

Before I lose the structure of my thoughts

I want to lean back on the chair in the study

And turn my back to the world a while

I want to let the background noise fade

So I can hear myself in a crowded store

I want to dream again

I want to run in the rain again

I want to take pictures again

I want to spend time in Middle Earth

I want to leap down imaginary waterfalls

I want to lose myself in thought

I want to pause too long before answering

Unemployed

Living it up

Living unemployed

The wind blows in from the street

The curtains flow in the wind

The papers fly across the desk

And descend into the trash

I dance in the living room

I sing in the bathroom

I ride the sail of a book

And spend time in Middle Earth

Reality bites back

I eat out of a tin can

He stands over me invisible

Maybe I can work for Him

Death and Sleep

I want to feel good about my life

I did tonight

Is it wrong to feel good

for taking a nap?

The days are long

The hours pass by slowly

It is so silent

When the others lie down to sleep

What will get me through the night?

What will get me through the afternoon?

I look up verses

I search for answers

Death will come slowly

It will be long before I lie down to sleep

Even if its quick

I can dream right now

5.5.2 Buddhist Poetry

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Emptiness

There is a seriousness that I cannot smile at

There is a depth that I cannot see into

There is a history that has no beginning

There is a dream that I cannot awake

There is a feeling I cannot share

There is an event that I can no longer remember

There is the presence of the eternal

There is nothing to see or hear

There is a way that an animal yawns

There is a way that the trees bows before the wind

There is a subtleness to a person's speech

There are phrases without definitions

There is a name in the Bible I cannot remember

There is an attitude that I cannot relate with

There is a person that does not seem to be needy

There is a mystery that I have overlooked

There is a deviance that is not abnormal

There is an irrationality that is closer to the truth

There is a pain that does not accompany an accident

There is a sorrow that has no cause

There is a voice that does not wait to be named

There is a noise that comes from within

There is a obsession that does not come with a compulsion

There is a dirt that cannot be removed

FRiEnD

Too stuffed to eat fish

His daily bread is meditation

His mouth is always turned up

But his eyes stare out at us with compassion

He wears a blue robe

Blue stands for the eternity of the ocean

Flowers sprout up on his robe

He spins the laws of time and space around his little paw

His imagination surpasses my own

Why else can he be content to sit all day?

He does not think of death

He knows that our waking world is really a dream

As we dream that he moves in our sleep

So he sees us the same as him

He sits leaning up against the wall

With his bear feet sticking out

He knows not what tomorrow will bring

But he knows his surroundings are only the product of his mind

His mind growing for hundreds of years

His fur will become rough but his dreams will be clear as the day

He smells like fabric

I smell like flesh

He will live longer than I

But who of us has a greater chance of dying without regrets?

He appears to serve no use

In this form he swindles us and outlives us

I have thought of taking him for a boat ride

But how will I clean the dirt off my heart if he falls?

Stupid and blockish I follow him

He has many requests

But my one desire for him is greater than anything he could ask for

Intellectual History

There was a quiet place in the storms of life

There was a stillness deep in side

There was a silence that grew within

There was a place where you could hide

There was an empty room unfurnished

There was a consciousness that had no beginning

There was a reality that you could not see

There was a breaking off from the world

There was a another that lived your life

There was an absence of self awareness

There was a way that events didn't affect you

There are feelings of darkness closing in

There are teeth that gnaw your stomach

There are words that repeat in your head

There are sounds you hear that are unutterable

There are paths that circle backward

There will be followers without doctrine

There will be movements that have no direct cause

There will be a time at the end of history

There will be people climbing a mountain that is very remote

There will be a convergence of past and future

There will be no one to call

Because everyone will be there

5.5.3 Something Else

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* J.R.R. Tolkien wrote more than just the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

* He has a whole library at his Oxford home that is being published posthumously by his son Christopher

* Most of these other stories are only in outline and are not ready for mission critical applications

* I have provided these interpretations of my own to be more user friendly :-)

* I am incorporating a more concise writing style, Taoist philosophy, the paranormal, and my own mostly paradoxical and sometimes dark experiences to make these more accessible to the lay intellectual.

Clay Vessels

The One conceived of a thought and a dream was born.

A great bubble swelled up and broke apart from the rim of the spoke. The bubble began to turn about itself as it hurdled through the confines of this maze of energy. The bubble also spun across its surface down deep into the center of its geometry.

Out of the deep blue expanse there arose form and substance that broke the symmetry of nothingness. The blue expanse spread out and hung thinly from that which it came. Something new separated the great waters above from the great water below.

The land was hard and empty. There was nothing more than the hint of footprints across the thin layer of dust that coated the plain. There were piles of rocks falling as they pleased from detailed patterns that began to break into disorder.

The air was cold and silent. There were only thin trails of mist that hung down beneath the piles of rocks. The sky was dark and still. There were a few small lights that flashed in the sky and the silver sliver was smooth and bright without a blemish. There were several small dark patches that appeared to be moving across the silver surface.

A cool Wind arose in the midst of the night. The spoke tore open with a brilliant Light that made the night turn into day. As the Voice in the midst of the flame pierced the silence with song, the lights in the great sea above began to multiply and join the chorus.

A nearer light was given a new theme and the sky turned silver and faded into gold. There were streaks of blood and passion that streamed like ribbons around the nearer light.

The surface burst open in an instant of flying rock and heat. Where the river of rock flowed into the waters below, there was a cloud of dust and steam that rose up to meet the waters above and returned to the edge of the dry land.

Where the great wild sea lapped at the edge of the dry land, pools of warm and gently circulating dust melted into the cool water. As the water circulated, the dust collected into mounds of clay that became smooth and thin. The sea pulled back into itself and placed the clay vessels up onto the dry land, as the nearer light drew back and faded into a purple shimmer over the horizon.

Rocks came flying in from all sides out of a new tear in the great expanse above and there was a new color that drew its life from both the nearer light and the great sea. Thin and small forms of this same color began to root themselves into the damp mud that formed the clay vessels.

There the clay vessels hardened under the presence of the nearer light. The green trees began to wander about under the new light and spread over the land wherever they could still taste the great sea below. The music grew more intense and the entire spoke shuddered as the Wind stirred up in a great breeze like that which comes from the great sea but with another intensity.

The vessels were set aflame by the great fresh gust of Wind and they began to roll down the mountain from under the forest that grew up around them many years before. As the clearing was awoken with the rush of smoking clay vessels, the nearer light fell down over the horizon.

When the clay vessels cracked open, it was a clear dark night with a thin layer of mist. The stars filled the sky with a gentle and magical light. Creatures stirred from within the clay vessels. The first few awoke from nothing into His dream alive and, upon walking out, beheld the wonder of the night sea of light as they gazed upwards.

Strange Gift

The great light tore open the darkness and reached out in all directions, consuming the darkness at its leisure. Shadows grew as the light became more intense. Figures began to rise up and stumble in the mist that covered the valley as far as their eyes could see.

The trees spoke and wandered somewhere between waking and sleeping. The eagles rode on the back of the wind and occasionally just let go and fell out of the sky suddenly. Somewhere between non-being and death, a Voice echoed in their minds.

The figures let the thoughts dance in the corners of their minds as they explored all things with equal intensity. Armfuls of branches were thrown high into the air and leaves of wild flowers were exchanged between person and plant. Animals and people chased each other down through the open valley, while others leaped off trees and rolled down through the various bushes.

When they were all alone or all together, dreams would dance in their minds to the rhythm of their Father's voice. There would be adventures so clear and intense that waking and sleeping were only like night and day. Some people started to imitate animals in their noise and their movements and others made simple rolling grunts in response.

Other things awoke in their minds and that enhanced their desire to explore and experience. When they had seen a new animal or a new mountain, there was a desire to express this to other people. Events became distinguished from experience and there were names to describe these. Harmony was broken.

Then there were many who desired to make things that they dreamed, so that others could see the wonder of their minds. Some wandered beyond the mountains and were not seen of again. There were shapes that seemed to come from the edge of existence and gave people dreams and power that did not bring harmony.

When these dark shadows grew over them, their interaction became functionally fixed and they began to patent what they learned. They saw one, that came as a bright light, who led the others to separate himself as morally superior. They were persuaded to differentiate between things and to assign different values to them.

They did not have to wait as before to make what they dreamed, so they were afraid to abandon their bill of rights. They were told that they had an enemy: the Voice that gave them dreams to dream. They were told not to listen to the first Voice, if they wanted to have what the commercials told them they wanted.

They began to fear the second voice and they no longer got premium service. They had to sacrifice their young kids to be burned alive for the housewarming gifts. The first Voice spoke once more and gave them the freedom of death to part from the dream in which they could not now awake on their own.

Some hearts were divided between the voices and death was feared more and more. People now starved to death because others wanted gourmet food, others suffered with mental illness because of the electromagnetic radiation, and others grew weary from polluted water because some people didn't have time to recycle. All this was started because they loved life and feared death. Those who embraced death were killed and rested and those who embraced life lived in fear.

A remnant ran as far as the ocean and found that they could not escape from the alien hovercraft.

The People of Stone and Leaf

Walls of stone kept the long hallway cool even in the heat of the day. The stones were being broken into rubble by a soft and wet form that draws life from both the nearer light and the great sea below. The empty air was full of stale sea life.

The hammer pounded faithfully, as the steady hand beats form out of thought. Iron continued to strike iron, until the extra form of the stone figures fell away into great piles of rubble. The chisel carved the figures into pillars of stone, as the clay vessels were washed onto the edge of dry land.

Seven figures were arranged about the inner chamber, and the rock that they were made of was hardened by ten thousand blows of the hammer. Standing low to the ground and with thick limbs and middle, the faces were weathered for many ages of great sorrow and violence.

The great hands cast a mold of a curious metal. Radiant and flexible, light and impenetrable, there were none that could compare. As the figures were fitted with the special coats, a Voice spoke and the hammer fell to the ground with a piercing clatter.

Challenged by the One who made the spoke of time, he who beats the hammer to the anvil gave up that which he could not cause to wander. How would the people of stone become a nation without dreams of freedom? There was room for those whom the world would seldom see for how hard it is to set aside that which the craftsman has made.

By a heart sinking down in shame, the mighty hammer was cast down wildly as the stone people fled for cover. The Voice that made the people flee suffered the stone people to be His adopted children and to share in the wealth of His first children.

The great craftsman accepted even the foreshadow of rivalry as a gift of which he was not worthy. The craftsman now laid his people down to sleep in the heart of the great trees of stone, until the clay vessels would first dream of magic and light.

There was need to share this story with she who made the form that draws life from both the nearer light and the great waters below. Secrets held long make friendship seldom and painful. What does he who beats the anvil in the darkness of the halls of stone, think of that which dances in the symphony of the raging wind and flying streams of water?

Hold thy mind now fast on that dream that brings thought into form. The forest shall be alive with shepherds and not all trees will sleep through their own death. The sky and the great trees of stone shall be filled with those who come and leave as if from nowhere. But the stone people will still need wood.

Flame Light! Flee Night!

The sky was filled with the sound of beating wings and dull gray shadows that held back the rays of the nearer light. The howls made the trees shudder and they dropped piles of leaves in horror. The multitudes were frozen to the bloody ground with terror.

As the whips struck in the midst of the multitude, there arose dark and dirty clouds that reeked of poison and smoke. The horse would not stand fast under his rider, for the other horses cried out in pain and fell to the ground in torment.

The Steadfast one flew through the forest, bounding over the mounds of moss and cones. Hugging each tree in an instantaneous request for comfort, nothing held him from his course. The way appeared cloudy for a second, but then upon blinking came back in clearer than before.

The forest began to grow silent and all he could hear was his own heart pounding, big gulps of air, and the flying of the forest floor under his feet. His knee seized up and he fell down, but caught himself and continued on with a slight hobble. He heard rustling coming from several bushes in front of him.

He heard a click. There was a glint from behind a tree that blinded him. There was a dim light that appeared in the place of the forest and large bright eyes framed with a sullen expression invaded his thoughts. Bound to a dark chair, he was forced into a large cave without dimensions.

He felt he was being pushed into a hole that did not exist, because he seemed to lose his will upon entrance. The air burned into his bones like a bitter winter chill. The voices violated the secret corners of his mind and he fought for his memories.

Lies melded with truth and he saw a reflection of himself in the mirror above him that he did not recognize. Not only was he aged several generations, but there was a ghostly hue to his face and his mouth had shrunk and his eyes swelled. Pieces of him faded into nonexistence and shifted form in the dark light.

He was forced to watch his family suffer from plague and misfortune, because he dared to challenge the voice that tried to rewrite his memories. His village was led away into slavery, his wife taken by force by an evil man, and his son married his sister.

Blades were inserted about his body and he was cut into pieces and filled with poison. Sharp teeth coming from an empty void sucked all hope and joy out of his withered limbs. His mind with form removed by one long night of howling of his mother's voice, outside drowning in flame, inside drowning in poison, burning from within his bones, eaten alive from within by colonies of insects, and breed with beasts was filled with torment and fear.

Many generations latter he walked aimlessly out of the darkness a beaten man, empty of life and love. The fresh spring air stung his face and the clean water burned his skin. The kind people felt distant and abusive. The trees leaned away from him and the river would not go by him.

A Face without Expression

The light fell from the sky in droplets and formed in puddles, so that the entire landscape was covered in sparkling light. A wind arose from the ground and carried the freshly cut leaves of grass along the dusty road. A statue of a strange creature that resembled the face of a man rested next to a fallen tree.

Night fell upon the land suddenly. The sun retreated earlier than usual for this time of year. The moon was just struggling to come into the foreground.

Silhouettes of apes appeared on the horizon and grew larger in sudden flashes. The herd progressed in broken rhythm. Whips whistled through the crisp night air and landed on the backs of their guests with moaned greetings, garbled and indistinct.

Lanterns sailed through the air, from ape to ape. Hairy toes left bloody stains on the thresholds of the rustic villas. Blackberry bushes were uprooted and the wild flowers were stripped of blossoms beneath the feet of the horde.

From inside the houses there were heard sounds of commotion and confusion. Dark shapes darted under the glimmer of moonlight reflected off the windows. Fire was released into the side of the house as a gruff fist landed onto a swinging lantern.

Dropping to their knees, those inside turned away from the fire. Hand to mouth and heart in mouth, they called on the One for help. Apes fell in piles to the iron fist of the guardian stone.

Stone feet beat the heart of the fire until its will was broken. The light died and silence returned. The darkness remained and there was peace.

Holding fast to the One that sustained him in that dark hole, the pain broke before it penetrated to his soul.

The sky awoke flaming red as he wrapped his blistered feet with herbs and bandages. He arose and searched over the grounds for the guardian statue, but it was nowhere to be found. Strangely, he noticed pieces of char strewn several yards from the scene of the attack.

He looked up and saw the stone face with charred legs resting with legs crossed and foot broken off. He leaned up against the stone and rested in the early morning light. When the sun had reached full height, he awoke to the sound of another voice.

The man of stone needed to stretch his legs.

All the Glitters is not Gold

A stream of bright light spilled into the river and sank to the bottom heavily, even against the rushing of the raging rapids. The river foamed up and a spray hung in the air and fell deliberately on those braving the might of the current. Nearby fish fought the current up the cascading path to less indefinite waters with more room to swim in the moonlight.

Lying on out of sight and out of mind, the Ten Thousand Things were all rolled up into one little wooden case on the desk in the corner of the room. Darkness would not hang around, and neither would the papers lay in their proper order. The Ten Thousand Things were rolling in the hand of him who sat at the same end of the table every evening.

The heavy metal was brought back to the conference room by those fishing the river. Several fisherman's backs gave out and, upon crying out three times, they laughed and continued on without stumbling. Unmarveled at the uselessness of the Ten Thousand Things, the man gave it to a traveler passing through.

The traveler talked only recklessly, but he was certified with the skills to improve the Ten Thousand Things with the rubbish pulled out of the river. The rubbish would set off the Ten Thousand Things in all their glory for the masses to see, in the sense of a foil, of course. The Ten Thousand Things made strange noises as it began to be given attributes, so it was cast aside.

The necklace being with identity, but not form was quickly lost. The traveler let go of his memories, set aside his learning, and cast away all thoughts of himself. Standing in a stupor and mumbling, he found the Ten Thousand Things in the bottom of his glass.

When found, the traveler saw no need for a souvenir of his labors. He had mastered his art so that he saw the absurdity of expecting a finished product or even an end to his effort. The Ten Thousand Things hung very lightly along the man's neck, and the chain wandered carelessly around his his shoulders, so that he carried it with such ease that he appeared to be wise.

The traveler was cramped and busy. He cast little words back and forth between his friends. They wove webs of gold late into the night and without time to dream, they began to tremble and be overwhelmed. He asked for half the gold for his labors and that was too much, so he asked for the other half. That was all right, and he was gone.

Sea Voice

The sea lapped up along the pile of rocks and pieces of wood drifted amongst the soup of seaweed and the salty foam. The wind tore open the carefully built fire rings and live coals were whisked along the beach with the children. Suddenly alone in the midst of the ocean's edge, a wave arose that hung high in the air as a mysterious green light.

The solemn chants that permeated the night rituals faded into memory and there was a place for the sound of Another Voice. The wind came forth and echoed faintly in the empty parts of his mind. Their was no voice to hear nor any errand for him to run.

There was Formlessness that stood where there is no change between life and death. Not knowing what to accept as event or experience, he lets his mind stay clear of expectation. Remembering how he failed to wander outside of the realm of form before, he knew that he did not deserve to be spared from his carelessness.

He was there to hold onto Something Greater than his sanity; his mind was no more than the guest of reality, as it constantly raced when he sat in the empty tower searching for explanations. Broken free from the illusions of defending his homeland and going down in a blaze of glory that chained him to finding solutions too quickly, he was ready to follow the seagulls down the shoreline.

Having no chance against the cleverness of the Great Swindle, he had not the resolve to continue. The road way parted before him, and, along the way, his character took no form. Day and night he shifted form and mingled within all camps, without a trace left behind.

Realizing that the messenger was a friend of the ruler, he created a moment within his mind. Sustained with his well-preserved packets of Heavenly Gruel, he had the form of a man, but not the feelings of a man. The gate stood open and the form passed through having a face given from Heaven.

Arriving before the ruler, he was still not worn out, as he did not let the attitudes of the guards get under his skin.

Divided Heart

Rolling hills frame the sweet green scent rising from the many fields of low-lying plants. Piles of dirt spill out at the edges of the fields where the expanse of symmetry is broken and the farmers stop their labors short of completion. A few minutes down the road one can see the ocean meet the island.

Here there is no one who seeks to tame this great expanse. At times lapping gently up the shore and wandering along sensitive toes, and at others suddenly taking the entire beach. Letting people wander out and once within its form, driving them to their knees in a toss of its wrist, those who know know that they do not know.

At the other end of the island, one can see out farther where the ships of war patrol in sight of whose parents they took. The path was long and steep, but the grass was kept low enough, so that the memories of ones past long ago were not entirely shrouded in the dust. The flowers left a week after they arrived. Those seeking answers had only empty praises carved in stones already fading in the wind of time waiting to greet them.

Once one has heard the call of the sea, how can they be content within the confines of the island, if only to seek it again upon landing on hither shore? Was there some form of ritual to express this as separate from the simple pain that drove this madness? Then some artificial peace would keep this wanderer from resolve that required so long a struggle.

Those around were satisfied with this life of conflicting desires. Making the inadequacies of youth and false relief of maturity dance within the confines of purpose gives one a strange breath of energy for a night that does not end. If there is no stillness in intensity and deep sadness in relief, then there is no balance.

Finding within a Breath that brings joy in empty hands to live beyond death and drown without the soul leaving the body. There was ritual to bring the mind back to harmony and let that be clear and sharp on the inside that was dull and confused on the outside. Pain without acceptance brings madness and torment without relief brings purposeful action.

The island would not resist the ocean and the journey began. It was not that hither shore had some thing to discover or that there was time to explore, but the journey itself was that which would let the Breath flow within an open mind.

5.6 Family Influence

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5.6.1 Blood, Sweat, and Tears

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300

An Epic Poem (in memory of my dad)

Arising from the Inland Empire

In a land of Opportunity

He toiled all summer

As a peasant farmer

He broke his back in the fields

From dawn until dusk

Chasing headless chickens

And de-feathering them

The more he argued

The more his share of the work increased

Proving himself with the pen

And finding fulfillment in homework

He pioneered the laser industry

And his original research can be seen everywhere

A leader by heart

He broke into the ranks

In a trial by fire

Leading young boys

To build forts in the forest

Immersing himself in Native American lore

And dancing the funky chicken

He earned himself a place

In southern California surfer country

Camping out in the library for weeks on end

He struck out for a career in social work

With his passion for learning

He played the pivotal role

In saving Israel from its neighbors

Leading his line of dishwashers

And outperforming the trained sanitation workers

In Yom Kippur, 1972

He was the American with the propeller hat

He came home to break into the seed industry

The man behind all distribution of seed

In the back woods of Idaho and Washington

Graduating from his studies

His life changed forever

As his soul-mate returned his love

And clumsy attempts at romance

The most eligible young woman on campus

Made him the happiest man in the world

Finishing his schooling in Denver

He had me, the highlight of his life

And my sister

As he prepared the dead for a banquet

And sent them to greener pastures

Blazing across the country

Styling in a compact hatchback

They settled close to family

In the Willamette Valley

His hand bled all day and night

As he struggled in the steel jaws

Creating beams for houses

And wood that was stronger than steel

Fighting for years to break into management

He decided to change course midstream

The school sirens beckoned him

And he could not resist their call

Living in the back of a station wagon

For over a year

He studied all day

And worked all night

Keeping a 4.0 average

He was beyond human

But he yearned for more challenges

And he had the opportunity

So he applied to be a teacher's teacher

And his first job he had his own school

And now he is a leader of that small town

And he doesn't mind the smell of the mills

His dog and 3 cats keep him busy

And his wife takes care of him

He had a nice life despite the fact that

His life was filled with blood, sweat, and tears

5.6.2 Mom and Grandma Poetry

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With Her

My first memory is of

Taking her to the hospital

The sunrise was beautiful

And I was so young

My next memory is of me building

With Lincoln logs she had given me

It was a dark rainy morning

And I could see my sister going out to school

I remember bringing home stacks of schoolwork

And she after each one, gave a comment

We pined up a flannel character

For each day of Christmas

We made crafts for Cub Scouts

And we went to the Blue and Gold banquet

She felt my hamster

To check if he was dead

We traveled in the nation's capitol

After my conference was over

She came to watch me run

Even though I was dead last in every race

She came to be a chaperon

At a speech conference

She kept me alive with her letters

As I trained for war

She supported my leaving

And gave me a place to stay

She brought me to the hospital

And filled out paperwork

She gave me furniture

And helped me with my finances

So now I am independent

And these are just a few

Of the good memories I have

With her

How Long?

What is a single tear worth?

What would one more minute be like?

How can I count past a day

When each hour tears a piece of me away?

What would I do with an hour?

How would I remember you?

Can I last a week?

Each moment lasts forever

Sitting in anticipation

Sleep beckons me

Will a dream draw me closer?

There are no visitors at night

Maybe this afternoon

You can wander amongst the panorama of my longing

Tears hurt too much to continue

Silence is too hard to keep

How will I show my affection

When I am so weak?

I can barely remember your face

Your voice is weak

What would it be like

For you to call out my name?

My memory grows faint

I grasp at straws

The longer I think

The less I can imagine

Did you love me less

When I saw you more often?

Are a few hours too much?

Do you try to silence my voice?

The days drag on endlessly

There is plenty of room in my heart

Why do I feel so down?

Why does Wesley cheer me up?

When I answer the phones

How can I stop from thinking of your hang-up?

Will the therapist want me to see you less?

Will companionship count for therapy?

The longer I am away

The sooner I get to see you again

If only the wait

Would pass by much quicker

Talking

Another day

Another phone call

What do you want?

I called to say

You are my friend

You are the mustard on my soy dogs

You are the casserole at just the right temperature

When I feel like crying

When the world seems so large and I so small

I think of you and smile

There is no medicine that acts more quickly

Than the comfort of your voice

One moment in time

Is what four hours with you is like

The world stops

And your thoughts make a soft light

And a warm glow

I stop to think of you

And I am at ease

When I dial the phone

It is like I am calling home

In one word

You restore sanity to my mind

Your prayers

Flow the current like a gentle creek

You watch over me

Like a tree that stretches over me

An inch above my head

There is no fear

When you are serious

There is still hope

Even when you are sick

We walk at the same pace

But you are more steady than me

And you can walk a mile more

There is nothing that could keep you from caring

No frustration could keep you from trying

You have more impact on me than the military

You are more important to me than finding a wife

Even in my darkest hour I know I can count on you

No voice is stronger than yours

In a moment

We watch the grass change from green to yellow

We wake up to fresh air and new light

The days have rhythm

And the years do to

Our life we take at one day at a time

Looking forward to a night of restful sleep

When something changes

We take baby steps

But sometimes things happen more quickly

Sometimes there is no time to stop and reflect

We spend much of our time preparing for these moments

But how could one be ready

It all changes in a moment

We hurry to make it in time

But we must wait again

Injury can happen in a moment

But healing takes much longer

Flowers can bring beauty

And cards hope

But a friend is what brings joy

How do we love without crying

When those we love are hurting?

Job made time to thank God in his trials

But we are not patriarchs

We are only sheep looking for a shepherd

We all fear the inevitable

But there in lies our greatest hope

It is in these times we look for guidance

But all we have to do is look around

In our midst is a peace

A Comforter that never leaves

Who can say there is a a reason

Why the grass is not always green

Or why we can not always be young?

When time stands still

It can be a blessing

Every word can be meaningful

When we look to our special verses

And awkward pictures

And handwritten letters

Sometimes a moment can last forever

And that is not always bad

Just a Token Memory

I can hold it in my hands

I can appreciate the significance

But what I would only give

To have the person behind the memory

I pass by the painting

And I get a glimpse of a shadow

Is she there?

Within one minute

I see back to my childhood

Of house owned by others

And events long forgotten

What joy there was

In an hour of anticipation

What a time we had

With simple pleasures

Picking out cereal

And waking up in our second home

Years later we were closer

And we could ride our bikes

Over there

The same people

All older and more their own person

A walking pace

I could not match

Cats I could not catch

A talk that seemed to go one forever

I not grasping the accent

She patient and forgiving

Then flashing forward

Like a dream I saw her

Meeting me in the hospital

And there was little to say

I could not even

Keep my sanity

But I was always a little weird

And she was so much more sophisticated

I don't know if it was really a shock

As I began to recover

She was given only a little more time

And she moved again

And I saw her more at the end

Than ever before

She had humor to the very end

And picked up on the slightest subtlety

Beary and Bow sat with her

And they were very well behaved

5.6.3 Parents' Advice

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301

dedicated to my parents

Tapping the Maple

302

A Philosophy for the Disease of Diabetes (in honor of my mother)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

303

1 Corinthians 10:31

By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of merrymaking, not sexual love, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest disturbances take possession of the soul.

304

Epicurius in his "Letter to Menoeceus"

It is common for someone, who is starting as a Buddhist monk, to be required to get their diet under control before going any further into advanced practices like meditation. In traditional China, before someone could be a politician, they had to master being a doctor, and before they could become a doctor, they had to master their own health. In modern times we like to isolate problems and pull things out of context and in so doing miss the main point in keeping ourselves healthy and our community harmonious. We like to say that all you have to do is drink diet cola, and only eat high protein foods. But the body needs variety more than any thing else. We cannot trick the body into thinking something is sugar or fat, that is not, or consume carbohydrates, that can't be digested. In the end, the body will manage the best it can, but your weight will go out of control and you may have some of your organs fail on you. Your diet will likely need to be even more restrictive. The problems could have been prevented in the first place, by just eating a wide variety of foods, with the appropriate serving sizes. We try the same things in our modern culture, on a political level. We make complex laws, so that they can get passed through congress, but they end up with so many loop holes that the problem is just masked, not resolved. We wait for problems to get so big, that they require radical solutions and often they create even more serious side effects than the problems they were meant to fix. A hundred years ago, children had to work long hours in order to feed their families and their working conditions were inhuman. Now our kids roam the streets in gangs, because they aren't allowed to hold jobs. Instead of teaching kids what is relevant to what they need to get employed, like how to read, write and do math, we have them: play games on computers, learn about how we guess the world was created, how the government is supposed to work, play games with balls, and learn the corporations' version of history. The kids are bored and then they cause problems, for the rest of their class.

Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

305

1 Corinthians 11:33

Of all the means which are procured by wisdom to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.

306

Epicurus in "Principal Doctrines" (Article 27)

All of the ten commandments God gave to Moses involve our interactions with other people. God never intended us to live as high-tech hermits. But that is what we have become as we "advance" technologically. We now can see the world through our computer screens, get virtual dates, and form communities, all with out leaving our rooms. It is true that some things can be done much easier by computer, but although good writing and art can be communicated effectively across the Web, in order to create them it requires experiences outside the computer screen and reading real books and going to real places. The best way to tell if you are out of balance is to live in close contact with other people. And relationships that are formed through physical interactions will survive longer and are more fulfilling.

Fading Shadows

307

A Philosophy for the Disease of Depression (in honor of my mother)

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

308

2 Peter 1:5-7

The value of Virtue is therefore peculiar and distinct; it depends on kind and not on degree.

309

Cicero in "Cato's Defense of Stoic Ethics"

Virtue depends on certain defining moments, whereas happiness depends partially on the length of time it occurs over. So suffering for a longer period of time does not necessarily build character, while struggling at critical moments of life can bring about growth. Depression for some people, like myself, can happen when I get overtired and will almost always go away after I go to sleep. But depression can be caused by a variety of factors and some are less intense and more easily treated than others. Clinical or major depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and lasts for six months or longer despite treatment. This kind of depression is all consuming where a person will not get out of bed for weeks at a time and they sink as if into a pit, where they can see no escape. There is hope with modern medication and despite the fact that medication may be necessary, attitude also helps, because, as it is with most medicines, the symptoms are only reduced, they are hardly ever taken away completely. But it is the lessening of degree where the depression can be reduced, to the point of being useful in growing patience and sympathy for others. Because, while at its full strength there is no way out, at a lower intensity it can be effectively dealt with.

We deem health to be deserving of a certain value, but we do not reckon it a good; at the same time we rate no value so highly as to place it above virtue.

310

Cicero in "Cato's Defense of Stoic Ethics"

Although staying healthy and being financially secure can increase happiness, what gives eternal joy is living a holy life. Health is more than just your physical well-being. Your relationships with others, as well as what you do when no one is watching, define who you are and are the basis for your true self-worth. When you suffer in pain for what seems no reason, there is not much redeeming out of the experience. But the attitude you choose to approach the inevitable situation with can give meaning and value, despite the suffering involved. Depression is in one sense simply painful like physical sickness or serious injury. In another sense, though, depression can be greatly affected by your attitude. Certainly, with major depression, your whole mood is changed by your brain chemistry and at a certain point it is to powerful to fight against successfully, unless under the influence of powerful antidepressants. Fighting against your melancholy, once brought under control by medication, if necessary, can bring a sense of control and can be a way to grow from the experience. I know when I struggle with paranoia, which in some ways is like depression with the simple pain, medication factor, and attitude component, it is empowering when I am able to identify certain thoughts as irrational or not useful. This is the basis of meditation: to gain control over your thoughts. Meditation uses the method of focusing on one thing, or letting go of each thought as it enters your head, as a way to strengthen the mind. Unfortunately, I get too exhausted by my medication to be able to put the necessary effort into meditating.

Living with Passion

311

dedicated to my father

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

312

Ecclesiastes 9:9-11

We spend our youth growing strong, our child rearing years growing wise, and our career building years growing our skills; but this is all of no account. Our life is mostly a product of our circumstances, but we need not worry as God is Lord of our lives and has a plan for us. All we can see is a hint there of what we can't explain, which we can attribute to God with faith, but it is in the times we never stop to notice that God really works miracles in our lives and is faithful in watching over us. We can easily count the times that we have suffered loss, but we never seem to keep track of the blessings we receive, assuming some other source than our Heavenly Father. Our earthly life is not the end all of our existence, but it gives us an opportunity to learn skills that are unique to our time on Earth and to enjoy our family. Life is just a set of experiences, that means nothing in and of itself, but as we live a life of faith, we can see how God's grace gives everlasting meaning to our lives. But while we are here we have opportunities to learn and grow in skills and God is asking us to have a passion about it. We don't know what we will do after we die and are raised to Heaven, but there must be someway in which we can use our skills to some eternal significance. And we can't know how our passion that we live our lives will affects others. We need not fear the unknown and the lack of purpose we feel in our lives, but use it to grow our faith.

After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

313

Jeremiah 31:33

All God asks us is to follow our conscience and do so in the faith of Abraham. We don't have to worry about whether we know the Law well enough, or our pastor has a direct line to God. We are given an opportunity to always know what is right and wrong. We need only follow our hearts. God wants us to live our life not thinking through every possible ramification of what we do and worrying whether, or not it will net more good than problems. We can only live by faith and by the grace that comes from God's side.

Diligence Pays Off

314

dedicated to my father

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

315

Proverbs 12:24

Diligence is a universal language and those that give 150 percent regularly will always be respected by their employer.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

316

Proverbs 13:4

Working hard is a reliable way to be sure you are provided for.

n all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

317

Proverbs 14:23

The gift of gab is not respected in the workplace and is frowned upon by management.

Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

318

Proverbs 20:13

Working long hours shows your commitment to the job and helps secure your place at your workplace.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.

319

Proverbs 21:5

Patience will keep you focused and your job will remain secure. 

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

320

Proverbs 22:29

If you want your employer to treat you well then work faithfully every hour of your employment.

He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.

321

Proverbs 28:19

Focus on your work and do not trouble yourself with trying to impress your coworkers with anything besides your work ethic.

And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

322

Ecclesiastes 2:10