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Complete Introductions Collection

Table of Contents

Complete Introductions Collection
Benjamin Huot

Title Page

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Complete Introductions Collection

Ben Huot

June 28, 2011

Chapter 1

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First Things

by Ben Huot

1.1 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

1.2 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)

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11. DRM and ads

1.3 Background of the Book

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This book introduces my totally original perspective on Christianity and the world today. What makes it original is my: research, experiences, my personality, my family, and where I grew up. I grew up in a working class town, next to a college town, in one of the safest and most beautiful part of America, that no one has heard of. I planned on becoming an International Businessman. Things changed a lot, after I joined the military and I became very serious and also became mentally ill. I decided to study Asian religion, literature, philosophy, history, and art for the next 11.5 years and wrote a number of books, in the process.

I am: a disabled veteran, a person with Schizophrenia, a Christian, a scholar, a philosopher, a poet, a mystic, a student of history, a futurist, an artist, and a designer. I am: very intelligent, very serious, very creative, highly sensitive, a fiscal liberal (politically), a very good writer, very direct, very clear and concise, and very independent. I am most influenced by: Soren Kierkegaard, the Apostle Paul, the Prophets of the Bible, Chuang Tzu, and the global and historical church, especially in Asia and Africa. I am very close to my nuclear family and they have been essential in helping my become who I am today. I enjoy studying about different cultures and different ideas. I enjoy nature and animals.

I am very concerned with the direction the world is headed. I think the most major problems today are: the global climate change, running out of resources (not just oil), general lack of interest in education, laziness, and ignorance about everything. Worst of all, neither the people or the government seems to take any of these issues seriously. My entire writings are based on paradox - the most important of is what the average person needs to change about themselves and what I and people like me need to change about ourselves.

1.4 Introduction

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This book, Complete Introductions Collection, contains all the introductory material, from all the other books. This includes all of the Fastest Route (which contains all the intros from: 10 Years Collection, Free Thinking Christian Collections, and A Different Worldview). The rest of the book includes intros from: Encouraging Words, Insights and Frustrations, Continuing Philosophy, some additional intros from my website introduction, and the entire contents of the Little Book of Philosophy. The next sections include some later work, that I thought important, to include, in this introduction. This last section, New Lessons Continue, goes very fast and covers a lot, in a small space, (including many more details, not expected, in an introduction). This final section also brings this introduction, up to date, with critical details, from my latest research and understanding of the: world, religion, history, and politics. All this was created, to help the reader, to understand the context, of the next 2 books, in this series.

1.5 Paradoxical Message: Saving Faith = Free Thought

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I know that I appear to have two contradicting opinions, namely: that I believe that Christianity is the best religion and want people to have the peace and joy that comes from that and, at the same time, I want people, to follow their hearts and make their own choices, independently of what I believe. I have a lot of faith in Christ and believe that I do not need, to put any pressure on anyone, to accept Him as their Savior. God very much believes in our own freedom and would rather we spend eternity in Hell, than be forced to obey Him and enjoy everlasting life with Him, if we don't want to.

Throughout the centuries, people were forced to convert to various religions, in order to avoid death, but as John Locke said, in his Letter Concerning Toleration, as the reason for toleration, is that becoming a Christian must be done as an exercise of free will, so that people can only be granted everlasting life through God's grace, if they believe of their own free will and are not manipulated or fooled into believing by any means - even by argument or by trying to please others. God actually holds Himself back, because He wants us to be in control of our future and so praying and living a life of submission to Him is the most effective way to change the world. Even one or two people worldwide make a huge difference spiritually, which is the key way, to effectively solve our major world problems.

Not only does God want salvation to be given, to those who choose to accept the gift of grace, without any pressure, so God wants us to approach theology the same way. The Bible was deliberately written as, to be obvious on certain theological points, in some areas, like that Jesus was fully man and eternally is God and that there is only one God who created the world and is all powerful, and in other areas like in the end of times prophecy and in issues involving free will and predestination, God wants us to accept Biblical theology that we don't understand and cannot explain, in a way that humans can comprehend, by faith alone.

God also wants us to realize that it is ok to have different opinions about theology in the Church. If God wanted us to all have the same opinions on all of theology, then He would have made Biblical doctrine absolutely clear on every point. The same spirit which allows differences in opinions is also a humble spirit that is in emulation, of Christ's submission, to death on the cross. God hates arrogance more than anything else. Instead of arguing about issues we will never comprehend let alone resolve, we should focus on following all parts of the Bible, which we do understand and in which we fail to follow.

Chapter 2

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The Fastest Route

by Ben Huot

2.1 Preface

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1

To Philosophy Core

2.1.1 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

2.1.2 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

2

My Method of Logic by Ben Huot

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

By Ben Huot

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

by Ben Huot

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

2.1.3 Definitions

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What Philosophy is and How is it Useful

by Ben Huot

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?

by Ben Huot

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

2.1.4 Description

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6

of Philosophy Core and Understand, Clear

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.

7

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...

8

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.

9

James 3:13-18

2.1.5 My Creative Process

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10

For Understand, Clear By Ben Huot

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

2.1.6 Intended Audience

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for Understand, Clear by Ben Huot

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.

12

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.

2.2 Motives

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13

behind Understand, Clear

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

14

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.

15

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.

16

Revelations 3:20

2.2.1 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.

2.2.2 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.

2.2.3 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

2.2.4 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

2.2.5 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.

17

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.

18

Acts 17:16-31

Why I don't 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.

19

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

2.2.6 The Significance of Paradox

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Recommended reading for Evangelical Christians

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

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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.

2.2.7 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.

22 (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.

23

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

24 (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

25

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.

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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.

2.3 Essentials

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to comprehending Understand, Clear and Philosophy Core by Ben Huot

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

28

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.

29

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.

30

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

2.3.1 What's Inside?

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Former Website Introduction for Landscapes of Ben's Mind by Ben Huot

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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).

2.3.2 Son of Strength

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by Ben Huot

We are not as strong as we think we are.

43

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.

44

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.

45

1 Corinthians 13:9-12

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

46

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.

47

2 Samuel 22:31

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

48

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.

2.3.3 Biblical Paradox and Value Ethics

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Freewill and Predestination, Duty to Government and Corruption of Government by Ben Huot

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.

50

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.

51

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.

52

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

53

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

54

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.

55

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;

56

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.

57

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.

58

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.

59

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.

60

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.

61

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.

62

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,

63

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,

64

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.

65

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

66

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.

67

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

68

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.

69

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?

70

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."

71

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.

72

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.

73

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.

74

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.

75

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.

76

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.

77

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.

2.3.4 Background

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78

to Plush Heart Subculture by Ben Huot

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.79

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.

80

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.

81

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.

82

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

83

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.

84

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.

85

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

2.3.5 Frequently Asked Questions

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86

to Plush Heart texts by Ben Huot

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.

2.3.6 Galleries Frequently Asked Questions

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87

to Landscapes of Ben's Mind by Ben Huot

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.

2.4 Background

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I wrote a series of books, entitled collectively, the Free Thinking Collections, in which I explained my philosophy, my own unique combination of philosophical Taoism and Christian Existentialism. One of my big inspirations was Kierkegaard. His approach was to author his different works of philosophy from different points of view and he was very much against the idea of forming a consistent systematic approach to his philosophy. He just wanted to make a number of separate writings that solved a particular problem or gave his view on one thing. The combination of both these approaches makes his philosophical work seem very disjointed. Maybe that is the effect that I have given here, with my introductions. Let me explain the significance of each: the first part talks about my unique approach to philosophy, the second part explains why I have decided to write books about philosophy, the next part talks about unique issues I deal with as a Christian, and the final part talks about my frustrations about the future generations.

2.4.1 My Approach to Studying Philosophy

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In the following section, I want to explain some things that may seem either very obvious or ridiculously pointless, but are important in understanding my approach to philosophy. First, I want people to know that philosophy is as critical to self knowledge as psychology is, for similar reasons. Second, I want people to know that it is ok to rely on experience as the "proof" for what you believe, as I do. Thirdly, I want people to remember that we don't need to just accept some random person's argument and give up what we believe, because this person knows how to argue well. I also want people to know the importance of relying on sources of knowledge other than just facts, like feelings and faith.

Why Study Philosophy?

Many people wonder why a Christian would study philosophy. Many Christians would ask why the Bible is not enough by itself. Philosophy is like psychology, in that if you don't learn about it, you are going to end up doing things that you don't want to, without knowing the reasons why. By not examining why you believe what you believe does not means that your beliefs are more secure, but rather that you will continue to following things you don't really believe, for some unknown reason.

If you have any faith, then your basic beliefs will stay the same and you do not have to worry about losing your faith, because you examine your beliefs closer. I have never changed my faith or basic beliefs, since I was a little kid, and I have studied most major belief systems, outside the occult. The point of philosophy is to give you an accurate view of who you are, so you can make the decisions to believe what you want, without being unduly influenced by outside forces.

People might also wonder why I study Asian philosophies. Asian philosophy is very different than Western philosophy. Asian philosophy: is usually also fine literature; is primarily concerned with the problems of suffering and uncertainty; applies mostly to psychology, ethics, art, literature; is much more ancient than most Western philosophy; is part of very different cultures; is an alternative to mainstream thinking. These are some of the many reasons why I like Asian philosophies so much, both Chinese and Indian in origin.

Changing Minds

In making decisions, there are different sources of truth to draw from. Most people are familiar with a logic argument, which is based on a set of assumptions. People can also base beliefs on: a set of sacred texts, the testimony of an eyewitness, traditions developed over time, history of a nation or locale, and personal experiences, to name a few.

The most common ways people become convinced of something is not through reasoning, but through experiences or through repetition. When I write, I base my claims on what I have experienced and others, who have similar experiences, might be more likely to agree with me. I realize that, if I try to argue something with someone, if they don't already believe in the same thing, it will be very unlikely that I will change their mind.

Think of the last time you changed someone's mind. It doesn't happy very often, does it? And if you do change your mind, when someone presents a convincing argument, you are no closer to the truth, then you would be, if you based your beliefs on experiences you have had or on sacred texts. Remember that everyone has a bias and an agenda, even if they are not aware of it. People only claim to be objective, when they have little self knowledge.

How do we determine what is true?

In my parents' generation, there were fewer media sources and people were less corrupt and more honest (at least they thought so). Life was simpler. Now that we get so much of our news online, from unknown and unverified sources, and we find out that our traditional media basically write for their advertisers, not their subscribers, how do we determine what is correct? Some people would really say they rely on logic and will get persuaded by the first well crafter argument, but to use only reason would require complete objectivity, plus complete information, both of which are only possible for God.

There are many things to draw from to determine the truth. One would be to learn as much as possible from as wide a variety of sources as possible. Try to find people who have direct experiences with what it is you are trying to find out about. Try to find a way to get directly involved with with this subject yourself. Draw from your own life experiences, be sure to follow your instincts, and pray about it. Read up on related Scripture and then consult people you trust.

There is no easy way and no one way to be absolutely sure of anything, except for the Scripture. Realize what works for you depends on: the kind of person you are, your situation, your experiences, and your amount of free time. Some things may not be worth the time to go through as exhaustive a search as others. But we have all sorts of tools to work with and more information then ever to draw from. We just need to have the confidence to use all our resources, to put together the answer that is best, for our situation. Remember, no one know you better than you, except of course God.

2.4.2 Why write all these books?

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I was good at writing

I have always been good at writing. I had been in advanced placement literature, all through Middle and High School. In my last 2 years of high school, we were required to write an essay from scratch, during part of the class period and turn them in that same period. I learned to write very well, very fast this way. I won the first place state prize in a national peace essay contest, while in high school. I wrote a lot of poetry for a girl, about my age, I was interested in, while I was in the military, in advanced training. When I overslept my final, in a college US history class, while in the military, at my permanent duty station, I took an 8 page essay final on it and got an A.

I started writing poetry about philosophy, as I was reading Chuang Tzu, for my college Chinese Literature class, for the first time. I felt that I failed, as I was having trouble in school, due to what later was diagnosed as Schizophrenia. I had given up on writing poetry for women after it didn't work out, with the girl I was interested in, while in the military. Then, I decided to write poetry for God. I continued to write, as I studied about Chinese Literature. I posted these poems to a website, I started about then, to share them with my Uncle, who lived overseas at the time, because the files were too big for email.

I was then diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, after being voluntarily hospitalized, in the psychiatric ward of a private hospital, for my paranoid episode. I didn't read or write for several months, but then I returned to reading the Existentialists I had studied during a previous college class and I began writing again. I lived in a group home, with 8 other mentally ill men, for 9 months, and then moved to my own apartment, when I got my veteran's disability

I was going to finish my writing and then work on something else and then 9/11 happened and I realized that I had much more to say. I continued writing on my website, for several more years, as I read most of the major works of philosophy and religion, both Asian and European. I lived on my own, with in home care doing the cleaning and making sure I took my medicine. Then I moved into a retirement home, for 2 years, and I got really stable on my medicine.

In the last few years I have put my writings into books, first printing and binding them out at an office store, and then finding out about print on demand and Lulu (and after learning LaTeX better, which I had wanted to learn for a while) I formatted my first books. I thought it would be too big a job for me, but it was so expensive and would turn out so low quality, to have someone else do it for me, that doing it myself was the only viable option.

I had something unique to say

The reason why I wrote on the topics I did was that there was really nothing like it in print. There were very few Christians, who read any philosophy, especially Eastern philosophy and nobody I could find had combined Philosophical Taoism and Existentialism. There are lots of Christian writings about the New Age movement or about various heresies that claim to be Christian, but nothing on Eastern philosophy and definitely nothing creative.

I realized what I was writing was something many non-believers interested in spirituality were drawn to, but Christians continued to think I was promoting a heresy. But, as so little is done to help unbelievers, and so much is done to help Christians, I didn't feel a need to get the approval of other Christians. Ironically, it was because I was so committed to being Evangelical, that Evangelicals were uncomfortable with me.

2.4.3 Christian Challenges

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When studying philosophy, their are some unique challenges for Christians. One challenge is that many Christians expect other believers to use the same narrow approach, that has been done to death and isn't very effective anymore. Another challenge is that when you study other religions, Christians think you are giving up your beliefs and trying to confuse others about the unique place of Christianity in the world religions. They assume, because you study about God from the point of view of someone who thinks God exists in nature, that you will stop believing that Christ is a personal God. They often group all of these ideas together, referring to them as New Age, although that is based on a misunderstanding. Finally, many people have a hard time accepting that God can both be a personal God, still exist everywhere at once, and even be the fundamental building blocks of nature, and yet that God is to be worshiped as a personal God and is completely separate from nature. The final piece is a conversation with an Evangelical Christian, who I am trying to explain the importance of a creative, artistic, holistic, and original approach to Christianity.

Two Choices

I have had two choices in my approach to Christian theology. The first was to do what almost every other Christian does, namely: continue to repeat over and over again about sin and salvation, until my readers could repeat everything from memory, and continue to rebuke people for lusting and committing a variety of sexual sins. Since almost every other Christian is saying that, I think people understand well that Christians don't believe in sex, outside marriage, and that salvation is by faith. I don't feel the need to repeat it and I have never denied it. And most Christians have used the method of repetition, to convince people of this. I cannot add anything more or useful to this approach and it would be a great waste, to go for this goal, because of that. Also, these are the problems of my parent's generation, not mine.

The more logical choice for me, was to focus on my generation and the future. I am not worried about people being confused over Christian doctrines. I am worried about the relevance of the theological debates we have. My generation is very eager to give up on the ways of the past. We have been handed down more problems than any other generation has been given by the previous one. We are interested in the supernatural, but don't want to do the same things our parents have done in religion, either. We see that the Bible has a lot of good ideas in it, but that there is little passion or creativity in the Church. We see a big difference between the main ideas of the Bible and the Church, but we aren't going to give up easily. We are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to solve this problem, namely: there needs to be a difference in the way Christians behave than the way non-Christians behave. We are not interested in how good a theologian can argue. We want to have theologians who can tolerate a diversity in points of view. We are tired of fighting and want to include anyone we can.

New Age vs. World Religions

The New Age movement is hard to pin down to a certain set of beliefs. The practices of the New Age movement originate with Theosophy. This movement is one of practice more than ideology and consists of an eclectic combination of supernatural practices. These practices are done predominantly to get powers for the practitioners. These practices are drawn from almost all religions and continents. For Christians, it is against the First Commandment to worship anything other than the one Creator God. For Christians, any supernatural interactions that are not done by God, using the methods and message consistent with Scripture, are strictly forbidden. These include a wide range of different practices that are the same or similar to most the New Age practices.

Many Christians confuse Asian religion and philosophy with the New Age movement, because some people in the New Age movement claim a connection. There are some traditional Asian practices that violate the commands of Scripture and have been adopted by the New Age movement, but, on the whole, the key ideas of the major Asian belief systems are focused on ethics and discipline and are strikingly similar to Christianity values. The New Age movement does not incorporate these values of ethics and discipline.

For non-Christians, it may seem unimportant to avoid these practices, but you have to realize that the only way things can be done supernaturally is by supernatural beings. If these beings are not servants of Christ, they serve the devil. While angelic servants of Christ come and do a mission and then leave, the evil spirits will continue to stay around and harass you, telling you lies and abusing you, for their own aims. They are then very hard to get rid of and may continue to bother you, even after becoming a born again Christian.

Since there is some crossover between what is forbidden by the Bible spiritually and some well know Asian writings, I don't recommend just reading any classical Asian religious or philosophical texts. If you read the books recommended in my Book of Lists, you will be fine. Some of the major supernatural practices in Asian religions come from the Kabbalah, some branches of Sufism, the Vedas, Tibetan Buddhism, Religious or Esoteric Taoism, and the I-Ching, to name some obvious examples.

If you want to study the different Asian philosophies and religions, I recommend studying Hinduism before Buddhism and Confucianism before Taoism and also to study Legalism, Neo-Confucianism, Jainism, and the Sikh faith as well to get a more complete picture. I would recommend ideally reading: the Analects of Confucius, Chuang Tzu, Han Fei Tzu, and then Chu Hsi first, in that order. Then, I would recommend reading the: Upanishads, the Baghavad Gita, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Pali Canon, the Dhamapada, the Diamond Sutra or Heart Sutra, Bodhidharma, The Sutra of Hui Neng, Dogen, and then the Tannisho second, in that order. Then I would recommend finishing up with reading: anything classical you can find on Jainism - I found some medieval short stories, then the Saying of the Desert Fathers, the Philokalia, Deliverance from Error, Hafiz, Meera, Kabir, and then Guru Nanak finally, in that order. It would also be good to read up on the history of China and India and any scholarly summary of the history and beliefs of the various Hindu and Buddhist branches you can find.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

God is Lord of His creation

Which is all that exists

In any kind of reality

And every realm of existence

Both spiritual and material

Both potential and actual

Throughout all time

We worship God, the Father

But that is just one aspect

As the Head

He directs everything

Just as we create

And manage things

With our minds

But that is not all there is

To our Lord and Creator

He also exists everywhere at once

And anywhere instantly

Because it is His Spirit

That makes up the fabric

Of the multiverse membrane

Just as we are sustained

By blood which is our life

That is in our body

But still direct everything we do

With our mind

So we direct our worship

To God the Father

We pray to our Heavenly Father

Like we look in another's eyes

When we speak to them

Even though the part that has the life

Is distributed throughout them

We treat God with greater respect

Than His creation as we recognize

A person not as a collective of cells

But as the person associated

With a given mind

Just as we differentiate between

Plywood and a tree

And a pork roast and a pig

So we realize

That although God's Spirit

Is the fundamental fabric

Of all realities

It does not make God

A synonym for His creation

Creativity and the Analytical Worldview

When someone proves their point, and makes it seem as if what you believe is in error, does this inspire you to adopt the new view, with any passion or commitment? Is it better to be right on every bullet point of Christianity, or is it better to have Christ's love? If going to church makes you angry and bitter, is it better for you to not come at all? If people are so easily confused, that you need to simplify your beliefs down to the same wording, as everyone else in your church, isn't it likely that people will still be confused of their doctrine, and basically be following out of fear, or out of a lack of trust in themselves and their own judgment? How can your faith be your own, if you do not allow yourself the freedom, to choose your own words and your own expressions of your beliefs?

There is a usefulness of clarity, up to a point, and that at that unnamed point, being direct turns into being hostile. Being sure of some things is good, but being sure of everything leads to folly. It is good to be accurate, but you should not use precise language when the meaning is not easily determined. When you plan your doctrine down to the finest detail, you have already lost the joy in your faith. It may suit some people, to only make well-planned choices, in every situation, and then they will likely stay out of trouble, but there will be no sense of freedom or adventure. It is great to give direction to an artist, but if you micro manage all his choices, then you have stolen his ability to be creative. With purity of language and with taking steps that are always deliberate, you maintain your doctrine, but is it worth it, at the cost of losing your fellow believers?

You may prove me wrong, on every point, and yet I am still going to believe what I believe. You can split hairs over wording, but I understand all the main ideas. I may not comprehend your doctrines, or be able to pass a theology exam, but I know who Jesus is, because I have experienced His compassion and humility. You may have trouble defining how Christ fits into your theology, but I know He is real, because I can hear His voice. I know you think little of me and that I am flirting with evil, because I don't agree with you on all your fine points, but I follow Christ, not the doctrines of man. I may not be able to explain it to your satisfaction, but God is pleased, so I think I will take His opinion, over yours. I have chosen a different way and it serves God's purpose, but by all means choose which way you want, but just don't expect me, to follow you.

2.4.4 Frustrations about the Future

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I am frustrated about some trends in society I see now, which can be summarized by a general apathy amongst the next generation. People seem to have given up on reading and on education all together. They want really simplistic answers and are unwilling to make sacrifices that need to be made to solve the many problems facing my generation. I am not optimistic that we have much hope for the succeeding centuries.

Future of Reading

There are a lot of things that bother me about the future, but the thing that concerns me most is that a world is emerging where people don't care about art or creativity or have any interest in spirituality. It seems that the American corporate "culture" is so addictive that people don't want to make the effort to think. They just want to be entertained and do not have the attention span to appreciate literature or religion, let alone philosophy.

People seem to think that there is no reason in learning anything or even reading, because they will always have the information available. That is quite an assumption that just because you found something on the web now, that it will be there in a year or that you can get the right copyright releases to use it, even if you had the foreknowledge to save it. I have used the Internet to find books I never would have found otherwise, and still read more than most people did even before computers, but it seems that people may have even less time for books in the future.

It is hard for me to imagine life without reading and there are many ideas that just cannot be captured through pictures or explained in just a page. Without reading we isolate ourselves culturally and give up the opportunity to grow emotionally and intellectually.

And when people do make the time to read, it is often fiction or some text book type book that takes all the joy out of learning. There is so much effort that has gone into making books available online and yet very little goes into making sure more books are translated into English and people seem to only be interested in American literature, if they read anything other than romance novels or fantasy.

All or Nothing Mentality

One of the things in the West that seems to unite our society is an all or nothing mentality. This is where people think you have to accept everything is true about a certain belief or you have to totally reject every aspect of it. Many liberals think you have to be for abortion and that you have to abandon moral absolutes to be a liberal. Many Christians think that the desire to save the planet or to study Asian religions and philosophies means that you cannot be Christian. Many conservatives think that any kind of protest is a sign of disloyalty to our country. We have been told for decades that you cannot be communist and still be Christian just because Marx was anti-religion. We seem to think that we need to be the best country in the world in every measurable way and if not then we are worth nothing. Many people refuse to use Non-Microsoft software even after having only 5% of the problems they used to because it is not perfect. Many potential athletes never try a sport because they are not sure they can win all the time. Most people in the West would think the world has ended if the electricity went down for more than a week. Many people don't want to do anything to change or even acknowledge that global warming is happening unless Scientists can explain exactly what problems we will face in our neighborhood. Most people either believe that any religion is ok or that we should persecute unbelievers. Many people think you need to promote homosexuality or they believe that homosexuals should be verbally and physically assaulted. Many people think that if it is legal, than it is ok to do it. Many people believe that you cannot save lives by being a soldier or that you cannot be both smart and risk your life for dubious wars. Many people are for wars when we are winning and against them when we are losing and never think to question why we got involved in the first place. Many people think that you cannot be smart and yet have faith in Christ because it is common for intellectuals to challenge Christian theology. Many people think that Christians are all conservative because many surveys show that there is a strong correlation. Many people think that to prepare for disaster is to secretly long for it to happen so you can be proven right. Many people think that you are a hypocrite if you believe in moral absolutes and you make any mistakes that conflict with your beliefs. Many people think that you cannot be a leader if you have done anything politically incorrect or stupid some time in your life. Many people think you cannot both cooperate with them on some things and work towards opposite goals on others. Many people think that you have to have the same beliefs in order to go to the same church. Many people think that they alone are the critical difference between some cause failing or succeeding. Many people expect that companies act like charities or they think they are all criminals. Many people seem to believe in what their group says, but if someone else says it, then it is not important. Many people think that if something is important then they would have been told. Many people seem to think that technology needs to always give them exactly what they want for the price they want or else it is garbage.

This mentality of all or nothing is what I face in my research and writing for consumer/citizen advocacy and is one of the reasons why I stress the importance of paradox.

Fighting for the Future

Why are You so silent?

I am so afraid of multiple futures

Either we descend into chaos

Or we will have no rights left

It is so easy to fall into

An endless depression

And for fear to be

My constant companion

What good do we have

To look forward to?

We are entering a deep winter

And spring may never come

I fight with all my might

And with my entire being

To prepare myself for doom

And to bring people to You

It is such a thankless job

Am I really improving anyone's life?

Does anyone care about

What is right?

Does anyone still have room

For their Creator?

How can I still proclaim

Your love for humanity

When I realize my own weakness?

And You are so hidden

I realize that You don't want to

Scare me with Your messengers

But can You bring some source

Of substance that can bring me peace

No matter what happens

I will always believe

But it is hard to imagine

Your power

When at the same time

There is no mistaking the power

Of nature and of evil

We are on this tiny sphere

Where entire galaxies collide

And black holes

Fly through solar systems

I am only one person

And most those in power

Have hearts that are cold as stone

Please inspire me and give me hope

So that I may continue

The good fight

2.5 Briefly

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2.5.1 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 worlds 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.

2.5.2 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.

2.5.3 Future World Religion Trends

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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.

2.5.4 The Case for Liberal Christianity

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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.

2.5.5 The Public Mind and American Democracy

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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.

2.5.6 Non Exclusive Patriotism

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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.

2.5.7 A Unique Approach

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to Asian Philosophy, Religion, and Literature

There seems to be a tendency among those in the West to go to extremes in their approach to studying the Asian classics. Many Christians see any other ideas that don't come directly from the Bible as either not important to study or that lump all non-Christian books together as New Age and therefore see them as forbidden. Many non-Christians think that anything that is not the Bible or is not an Abrahamic religion to be legitimate for study. I have chosen a third option. Not every belief system should be totally rejected or totally embraced.

I think that there are many things that a number of Asian classics can teach people that have ideas that can be compatible with the Bible. I think what Christians don't understand is that there were centuries of time and billions of people who never heard of the Gospel and did their best to find the truth as they knew it. Many traditional cultures in Africa and the former communist countries in Asia are very open to the Gospel and did not intend to worship anything the Bible would describe as forbidden or evil.

I think that many non-Christians are ignorant about the dangers of just embracing any belief system without being a critical thinker. Not everything is as it appears at first. Ironically, many things that turn non-Christians away from Christian beliefs and the Bible, are actually forbidden by the Bible. Many of the things that bother non-Christians about the Bible are true about other belief systems as well. There are also negatives about belief systems other than Christianity that Christians don't have to deal with.

Another thing to realize is that it is considered perfectly acceptable to mix and match different aspects of different Asian belief systems other than the Abrahamic religions, while the Bible forbids just taking select aspects of Christianity that they prefer. So, for a Christian to bridge this gap, they should embrace all Biblical doctrines but only select the elements of the other Eastern belief systems that are compatible with Christianity, or, in other words, say something similar.

Another thing to realize is that although you may find similar meanings in Asian classics other than the Bible, that they don't necessarily mean the same thing the Bible does and almost definitely are not meant to be understood in the same context. Taoists were not all trying to find Christ and in Hinduism, the 3 major gods are not equivalent to the Christian Trinity. Another consequence of this principle is that there is not the same perspective on what is forbidden, so although some philosophies and religions may be useful to Christians while some of the combinations of those beliefs, could likely be forbidden by the Bible. What the Bible forbids are the things that people keep hidden or do in secret. Some of the terms for this are esoteric or mysteries.

What is the point of Christians reading about other belief systems? One of the reasons is that Biblical doctrines have already been compromised and changed in order to mix better with Greek philosophy and paganism. Some of the things that has been compromised is that many Christians think it is ok to study Greek mythology and the Church has tried to ignore the supernatural aspects of the Bible and its implications. Another corruption of Christian doctrine caused by the Greek pagan and philosophical influence is that the paradoxical doctrines of the Bible have been altered to a divisive theology where people think they can pick one or the other when the Bible clearly specifies both.

Studying Asian philosophies helps a Christian to see the Bible more closely to what it really is - an Asian religion. Another reason is to study non-White cultures and understand why many non-Europeans believe different than Christians and how this affects world history and politics. If you understand what people believe and elements of their culture, it is easier to share Christian beliefs with them. Another reason is that Paul was an intellectual and understood the belief systems of his time and showed us by his example that we should do the same.

So, where do you start? To find some great books written by Asians, look at my Book of Books, which has 78 Asian classics, other than Bible books. You will find all the information about how to obtain them and which ones to choose, based on your interests. I promise that if you stick to the list, you won't find anything that is forbidden by the Bible.

2.5.8 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.

2.5.9 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.

Chapter 3

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Discover the Website from Encouraging Words

by Ben Huot

3.1 Why So Serious?

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3.1.1 Childhood Experiences

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I am a very unusual and a very complex person. I also had an unusual childhood and have had untypical experiences as a young adult. School was really boring to me, but I enjoyed learning on my own through reading, especially: historical novels, news magazines, and encyclopedias. I was also very silly and had a slap stick style of humor. I grew up in the 90s when the economy was going good, America was thought of as the good guy, we had relative peace in the world, and it looked like people in power were going to take the environmental problems seriously and fix them before they got real bad.

3.1.2 The Military Experience

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But all this changed, when I joined the military. In the time that I got off the plane, to when I met my first Drill Sergeant, I lost all my appreciation for the lighter side of life. When I signed up for the military, I didn't realize the life and death decision I made, until I went into the Gas Chamber at Basic Training. This is the time that the psychiatrist that first diagnosed me believed I had my first psychotic episode. A few months later, I got an allergy induced (not contagious) pink eye, which I suffered with constantly, until I was on my first antipsychotic in the hospital for a week (I realize that my allergic reaction was increased dramatically, due to the stress of being mentally ill, without medication).

3.1.3 College Experiences

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I went to college, when I got out of the military, for 2 years and I picked up another year, after I tested out of a year of college, at the end of my time in the military. I was only in the military for 13 months, but I completed all my training and made it to my permanent duty station, before I left the military. I started taking business classes, because I thought it was the best way to get a good job, but hated it. I was in constant pain due to my pink eye. I changed my major later on to Journalism, shortly before I ended up in the mental ward of a local private hospital.

3.1.4 Experience with Mental Illness

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After I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, I had trouble reading or writing, but finally started again and then, at the end of that summer, I entered into a group home, with 8 other mentally ill men. I didn't have much money: less than $300 a month, at first. Then the following summer I got my permanent pension, from the VA (100% disability) and I got my first apartment. I got my disability a few months before September 11 and, if that had not happened, I would likely be an infantry soldier in Iraq now.

3.1.5 Experience Recovering

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We tried various in home care workers, to help me with cleaning my house and making sure I took my medicine, but got so frustrated working with them that I entered a retirement home, for two years. After being picked on for all that time by senile people, I left for my own apartment again, next to an apartment complex for the mentally ill, who had their medications managed for them, and I contracted their services for about 6 months. Now I live totally independently.

3.1.6 The World Today

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The situation in the world today is a very serious one. We don't just have an economic recession. We are at the very limits of what our planet can provide in terms of oil, soil, and drinkable water. At the very least our economy has permanently contracted. We cannot leave Iraq or Afghanistan any time soon, even if all of Congress and the White house were in agreement. Whenever oil gets too expensive, our entire economy will collapse very quickly and we will have to learn to live without electricity and modern plumbing. We are also going to have some great problems with most major cities having to deal with sea level rises, we will be getting El Nino every year on the west coast of the Americas, and New York city and Boston and everything down to Florida will be getting hurricanes bigger than Katrina, every year. Europe could go into another ice age and India is going to have a major water shortage.

Being intelligent does not make life easy and knowing the answers to problems does not help, because the people in power don't listen to us.

3.2 Main Ideas

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3.2.1 Why Study the Old World?

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* Have you attended public school but didn't like it precisely because you wanted to learn and you were bored out of your mind?

* Were you more interested in clubs and extra curricular activities because your school work was so repetitive and dull?

* Did you get so disillusioned by the public school system that you decided to put off college and join the military or start out in a trade?

* Do you enjoy reading and learning about other cultures and are tired of studying the American Revolution and the American Civil War?

* Are you tired of reading white American and English literature?

* Do you enjoy learning about other cultures?

* Do you see the supernatural as important in everyday life and realize that Science is not the solution to our fundamental problems?

* Have you had trouble classifying yourself into a particular social group and are more interested in helping a few friends and close family than becoming famous?

* Do you really want the world to be transformed and realize that God is the answer?

If you have had similar experiences and feelings, I invite you to Discover the Spiritual Old World with me.

3.2.2 Main Objective

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Broader World View

When I present different ideas of mine, I am not doing so to persuade you, but to stimulate your thinking and help you find a broader view of the world. I think that the world is becoming too analytical and is relying too much on facts and on Science as their only sources for truth.

Holistic Worldview

It is not that there is no place for linear thinking, but that there is also value in holistic, artistic, and creative approaches to problems as well. I am not trying to get rid of Science, but rather show people that the spiritual world is just as important and that emotions are as useful as facts in decision making.

Think For Yourself

I could have argued some of my main philosophical ideas more directly to the point that they would be much more persuasive, but I am more interested in getting you to think for yourself rather than just getting my ideas adopted. I want people to come up with their own ideas and take responsibility for their outcomes rather than just regurgitating what they were told.

What God Wants

I believe this idea of coming up with your own ideas is an integral part of the Bible. God wants us to freely choose to follow Him and to choose to follow him with our intellect and emotions as well as our spirit. He wants us to really believe in what He values and take risks in applying these truths we need to accept whether we understand them or not in the best way we know how.

Christ and Christianity

We need to see beyond a set of doctrines and realize that Christ is more than what a systematic theology can explain and accept Him as a role model and as an individual. We need to pursue a life as it was lived by Christ in its entirety and to do so we must use our intellect and emotions to apply His personality and values to our very different situations.

3.2.3 How I Can Both be a Free Thinker and a Christian

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Christianity is about Free Choice

Many people associate free thought with Atheism and Science. But the most real part of the world is the spiritual world and the thing that defines humanity is our free choice. Although Science is not rejected by specific Biblical Scriptures, a worldview that sees things only from a material perspective misses out on so much.

Christianity is Multicultural

Many colonial powers tried to use Christianity, to control people in the third world and in their own countries. But, if you read the Bible and talk to most people in the world who call themselves Christians, you will realize that they come mostly from the third world and are very often very anti-western. Christianity is the world's most popular and culturally diverse belief system and it did not get to the point it is today, by advocating the domination of people.

Christianity is Misunderstood in the West

The reason why Christianity has been used to support the establishment is because it is a poor person's religion, but all the negative ideas people have tried to make the Bible say are not in there. People in the West need to read the other books of the Bible that you don't here often in Western churches, like the Prophets and they need to re-read the Letters of Paul in a totally different context, to really understand what the Bible is all about.

The Church is not the Problem

The Church dominated Western Civilization, in Medieval Times, but the basis for Democracy and Capitalism has nothing to do with the Bible. The basis for modern ideas of toleration are often thought of as a result of the Enlightenment. But, if you read John Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration, you will realize that the basis for not pressuring someone into believing in something comes from Biblical concepts.

Why Christianity is the Best Religion

Christianity is the best belief system, because it effectively deals with our spiritual selves, in a way that no other belief system does. The Bible explains the way to freedom and dignity, for all those suffering. Christ is a loving God, who saves us from destroying ourselves and we are now seeing the destruction of Revelations taking place before us. We are beginning to realize that our Apocalypse is self induced and the environmental disasters, that we will be experiencing, are all the direct result of sin and greed. Our problems are not a matter of us not being smart enough or things that can be avoided through technological advancement.

Solving our Problems

Our true enemy is not the devil, but our own selfishness. God wants us to be creative and happy in life, but He knows, as He has lived as one of us, that we need Him in our lives, to find fulfillment and joy. We need to embrace the spiritual side of life and live as God intended us to, or else we will destroy ourselves, not just economically, but morally and emotionally. But God wants us to make this choice of our own free will. And God has different paths for all of us, but they start with a simple prayer.

3.2.4 My Style

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What is Unique About Me

What makes me unique is not the topics I write about, but the situation I am in, as well as my passion and commitment to pursuing truth. I have lots of time, unusual experiences and a unique perspective, and I don't have to earn a living, so have pursued education in a number of areas. Since I enjoy helping others, I decided to give back, by writing about what I have learned. I even give away my creations for free. I can promise you that I will not write about something, unless I thoroughly understand it and can give a unique perspective on the topic. I also do not profit from anything I write about.

Clear and Concise

The simplest explanation of why my books are so short is that I believe that people don't have much time, so I don't want to waste it with unnecessary repetition. I find it hard to read long books and believe that most books can be shortened to a twenty page essay. I also find repetition very frustrating, as I get it the first time. I was inspired, by seeing how brief some of the most famous Chinese writings were, like the Tao Te Ching. My books are a compilation of many shorter essays and poetry.

Why Non-Fiction

I write mainly non-fiction as I that is what I read. I read non-fiction, because reading is very difficult for me, since I have Schizophrenia and if I make the effort to read, I want to learn something. Reading is not enjoyable in and of itself for me, but I do enjoy learning. I have also liked reading mostly non-fiction as a kid, as well.

My Interest in Philosophy

Many people study philosophy to learn how to debate and are interested in the technical subtleties of the discipline. Philosophy affects me very personally and in very practical ways. My interest in philosophy is about learning to make better use of my life. To me, one of the most important parts of philosophy is ethics. The reason I have been interested in philosophy so long and why Asian philosophy interests me so much is the passion mystics and philosophers have for their beliefs. If you read Hafiz, Kabir, Rousseau, or Nietzsche; you will understand what I mean about having passion for their beliefs.

I write about what I know and what I have read a lot about. I started reading philosophy in college, as I found out I was good at it and the Existential and Chinese Philosophies I studied in school explained much of why I thought the way I did. I actually had been a Christian Existentialist and Philosophical Taoist as a kid and just had not known the proper terminology. As early as middle school, I understood paradox and believed that people couldn't be objective.

When I was in college, it seemed like every class blamed White Christian Males as the source of all the problems in the world, but I realized that things started getting exponentially worse as atheism became more acceptable and mainstream. The world was not nearly as screwed up in medieval times when the church was in power, as it has in the twentieth century, where atheist ideas were the basis for policy. Most of the world that was supposedly persecuted by Christianity is now more Christian, than any other religion. Most people in the developing world understand that Christianity has nothing to do with Western Civilization.

Managing Complexity

There is something more to my style and how I design. My desire is to keep things as simple as possible. I constantly have people I know say that what I write or explain is too complicated and people who think they are experts say that I am oversimplifying. My desire is to make my communication as clear as possible, while being faithful to the message.

I already think that most things in life ten to be too complicated for not a good enough reason. Simply said, I hate splitting hairs, using advanced words, and do not use subtlety much at all. I want to be very clear about what it is I believe and what it is I stand for and I don't want to waste people's time with unnecessary details.

I do at the same time strive to keep things complex enough to do them justice. I can simplify things down to certain point, but beyond that people need to realize that not everything is a simple as operating an iPhone. Not everything can be reduced to a Powerpoint presentation or bullet points.

3.3 Research Issues

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3.3.1 Why Spend So Much Time and Effort?

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I have been studying and writing about philosophy, religion, literature, history, and art (the humanities), for 11 years, for a number of reasons. First, I am a disabled veteran and get a full pension from the VA, and do not work for an income, so I have lots of time. Second, I want to make a difference and when I do something I fully commit to it. Third, I have chosen a very complex and broad field, so it has taken this long to get enough material for writing books. Fourth, I enjoy it and have complete control over it, while I do not have that kind of control in many areas of my life. Fifth, it helps me to deal with my mental illness by keeping busy.

To really be good at something and to make a difference in the world requires a tremendous effort and a big commitment. Things that are worth doing take a long time. You cannot expect to accomplish something important without a real struggle and a lot of patience.

Books are not written overnight and websites are very difficult to design and maintain. Many people want to put as little effort into something as possible, while I do the opposite. It really shows how much you know, when you write about something. You cannot take the easiest route and get good results. We only live once, so we need to get the most we can out of it.

3.3.2 The Scope of My Research

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The books which I have read and recommend, which are the basis of my understanding of philosophy and religion, were chosen very carefully. I have deliberately chosen not to read certain books, for various reasons. I only chose books that were well written and clear and concise. I have focused my reading mostly on Asian classics and most the books I have found to be helpful in improving myself.

I have specifically avoided many typical Greek, Roman, and white American and English writings, because they are so over read and recommended and represent a very narrow view of the world and most of what I want to change. I usually only read one book by each author, unless I feel it is very important. I also have avoided books that were very expensive and/or very difficult to find. I don't read many female authors as I usually cannot understand them. And most importantly, I have avoided reading certain book or areas of philosophy because the Bible forbids them.

The following list includes my exact reasons that I have quoted form my Book of Lists, which lists the books I recommend, as well as survival equipment and various other things as well.

* If you see a book that you think should be on the list but is not, likely I have already read it and didn't include it because it was too hard for others to read or it was poorly written including being too repetitive or not being clear and concise.

* I have also particularly focused on Asian and classical texts, and have especially tried to limit the Greek, Roman, white American and English writing to as few works as possible, because I think those areas are over read and I have little interest in them after having to read so many of them in high school.

* Most of the works I have included I agree with or at least partly agree with and believe can be useful for personal growth except for most the books or the topics contained in "History - Establishment" categories which I believe are only worthwhile for understanding history.

* I also have usually only included one book by each author and not necessarily the most famous, but rather the most useful one.

* Another consideration is the cost and availability of the works. For works that are difficult to find or expensive to buy, I have generally stayed away from.

* I generally avoid female writers as most of them I cannot understand.

* This is also a great list for Christians who want to study world religions and philosophies without studying the occult.

3.3.3 Why Reading is Good Research

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Misconceptions about Expertise

Many people learn most of what they know from conversations. Many people also think that if someone is a different religion or that they are from a different part of the world that they are an expert on the subject. Many people think I am an expert on Schizophrenia because I have the disease. This is all nonsense.

Most Knowledge is in Books

The bulk of knowledge is contained in books (and most of that is only in print). I remember the first time I heard about the Library of Congress being available online. I was really impressed that they had scanned in all the books, until I found out that they just digitized the directory system. I remember in the early 90s people thought that all information was going to be available in digital form, but Amazon.com understood that books were going to be around for a long time and made a business with it, entirely with people who already had access to the Internet.

Books Work Better

There is a reason colleges still use text books and have people write papers. It is hard to get the same amount of information put into video or multimedia presentations. I first tried to explain philosophy in multimedia, but it did not work well.

Writing Preserves Information Better

The written word helps preserve things as they were originally designed. Have you ever spread a rumor around and found out after going through several people that it evolved into a life of its own. People even when they are witnessing the same situation like a car accident give totally different explanations of what happened.

Culture is in the Written Word

The only way to reliably transfer information into the future is through the written word. And that is one of the sad things about this generation becoming functionally illiterate and having little interest in reading anything is that the basis for our culture is in writing. How could you turn the philosophy of the Enlightenment into a movie or explain the Bible in a multimedia presentation?

3.3.4 Frustrations with Web-Based Content

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Problems Networking

At one time, I had hoped to expand upon my work and get other people motivated to create their own, from their point of view, but I have found there is no interest. I see great things on web pages sometimes, but it is all copyrighted and I can never get anyone to return my email. Most people put everything in the junk folder, unless they already know the person and are so afraid of scams that it is very difficult to network with other web site owners.

Barriers to Sharing

The problem with anything good you find on the web is that you cannot use it or copy it, but that the same time the person who created it takes it off the web very soon, so we lose all record of it. Also, people seem very resistant to putting thing in PDF files, which make it much easier to archive information. Then most people, if they can write well or produce great art, cannot produce a site that is not visually offensive, or know so little about it that it is inaccessible to even the most advanced users.

Why I Do It Myself

Since no one else is willing or able to create free content and keep it available consistently, I think long and hard before I link to someone doing something similar to what I do. And most people are motivated solely by money, so I would have to pay, to get anyone to contribute anything, but I don't have the money. I hear people all the time recommending I use professional Adobe software, but I cannot afford to, as no one will pay me for what I do.

3.3.5 Why I Didn't Read in the Original Languages

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Another branch of the humanities that I have not gone into is languages and linguistics. There are several reasons for this. One is that I cannot speak or listen very well and the other is that it would be impractical and for not much gain.

I have wanted to learn Chinese and Arabic, but I took French in school and never learned it very well, as I have trouble hearing different words that sound similar. I was also very bad in Speech Club in high school. I even have trouble speaking and understanding English.

I don't move my lips enough, because I have learned to not move my lips, while thinking out load, as I don't want my thoughts to all be public, for people who can read lips. This happened once in high school. I also speak very fast and have such a wide range of knowledge that it is hard for many people to keep up with me.

Another barrier for me learning another language is that, if I have to do something every day, it really stresses me out. To keep up languages skills, you have to practice daily. I also would have to find someone who knows the language to practice with and then I have to meet with them at regular times.

If I wanted to read even the most basic selection of Asian philosophy and religion in the original languages, I would have to learn at least 10 languages and many of those are not in modern usage. A tremendous number of the most important texts have modern English translations, so I did not have to limit my reading, by not knowing the original languages.

3.4 Distribution Issues

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3.4.1 Reasons for Websites

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I am giving my books, songs, and artwork away for free, because I am a disabled veteran and if I sold them, 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, songs, and artwork 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.

The website also allows me to reach people all over the world with similar interests with relatively little cost. And as media is going more and more digital, it makes sense to make use of this relatively new media.

3.4.2 Why I Don't Sell my Books in Stores

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If I wanted to have my books sold in store, I would have to sell all rights (the copyright) to each of my books and would likely only get $5,000 for each. Then I would not be able to release them for free or sell them at cost or distribute them online or in any other way at all.

Second of all, I would jeopardize the long term survival of my books. When you sell your copyright, since copyrights extend for 75 years after the author's death or 95 years after the date of creation, unless my book sells well enough for that entire 75-95 years, then it will be discarded and totally lost to future generations during those years. No one else will be able to distribute or copy the book until that period is over, so there would be no way to "save" it.

To promote a book in just one store costs $10,000. I tried giving my books to my local library, but they turned me down when they saw the word "Christian" on some of the books. Also, it is more likely for me to find several hundred people interested in my work worldwide then I would find in my home town.

Also, I think most people who would be interested in this kind of work already have Internet access. As my books are freely distributable provided you don't change anything in them, you can print them out and give them to other people you know who don't have Internet access.

3.5 Religious Issues

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3.5.1 Philosophy and Religion

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Philosophy is Going Beyond the Basics

So you already have a religion and you wonder why you need philosophy. Philosophy is to religion, as math is to science. You can be born again and have eternal life without learning much about philosophy, but if you are the kind of person that just does the basic to get by, than all means don't bother. You don't even have to be literate, to be born again. Many people get by without the most basic understanding of math or science.

Philosophy is not for Most People

Not everyone has time to learn about everything in depth. Philosophy is not for everyone. Society needs many more engineers, than it needs philosophers. But if you don't want to learn about philosophy, because you already have done the bare minimum for you religion, then you might at least want to re-examine your attitude, as it will not get you far in life. Doing the bare minimum will keep you at a boring, unfulfilling job, for the rest of your life.

What Kind of Person are You?

Philosophy is for those who want to get more out of life, for people who know life is short and they want to discover what is most important in life. They want to understand why things are the way they are and what they can do to change things. Philosophy is for people who cannot live life without examining themselves and their place in the universe. Philosophy is for people who cannot be satisfied, by a one sentence answer. Philosophy is for people who enjoy thinking and learning.

3.5.2 Popular Misconceptions about Philosophy and Religion

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Just as with any other topic, in philosophy and religion the same word can have more than one meaning and most people have an inaccurate perception of the way things work. Just like in computers, the popular sound bites are based on people writing about something that they have not read enough about and many people who do know enough about it have agendas and are trying to push a certain viewpoint (which they have no problem compromising the facts in order to do so).

The bulk of my books are used to explain how different things like Christianity, Existentialism, Taoism, Mysticism, Paradox, Liberal, and other terms are used incorrectly or have alternate meanings (that are different from what people imagine them to have). These inaccurate conceptions are the result of faulty common knowledge and the oversimplification of writers.

One very widely held misconception about Eastern Philosophy from the Christian community is that it is somehow related to the New Age movement and so is incompatible with Christianity. The reality is that Christianity has already been synchronized with Greek Philosophy and Paganism, which has kept the Christian community divided, because of a lack of understanding of paradox (which is the basis for most Biblical theology). The New Age movement has taken things from every religion and has taken as much from Christianity as it has from Eastern Philosophy and what it is has taken from Eastern philosophy does not include the ethics or emphasis on discipline, which are the most important parts.

3.5.3 The Kind of Christianity I am Promoting

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I do not wish to change the theology of Christianity: I take both sides of most divisions in the church in theology. I believe that Jesus was a man and eternally is God, that salvation is by faith alone and still by faith plus works, that Free Will and Predestination are both true, and that Jesus came at the end of the 1st century AD and will come in the future at the same "time".

What I do wish to change is everything else. I do wish to change the philosophical, political, artistic, generational, regional, organizational, and perceived opposition aspects of the way Christianity is practiced in America. Philosophically, I wish to bring the church in America to a mystical and existential Christian approach to Scripture. Politically, I wish to bring a fiscally liberal approach to Scripture to the church in America. Artistically, I wish to bring a multi-cultural approach to Scripture to the church in America. Generationally, I wish to move the focus onto the generations succeeding the baby boomers, to the church in America. Regionally, I wish to bring a developing world center of gravity and approach to Scripture to the church in America. Organizationally, I wish to have the church in America organized by network, instead of top down and linear. Finally, I wish to to move the focus on threats to the church from Atheism to Paganism.

3.5.4 Another Perspective on Orthodoxy

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For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 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. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

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1 Corinthians 1:17-31

Some would say that I have an more open view of what is acceptable for Christians, but in reality I just have a different view of what is orthodox and Biblical and what is not. I am really hesitant to learn anything about spiritual warfare or the occult especially from non-Christian sources.

One of the reasons why I have studied about Asia so predominantly is because I am interested in other cultures but I didn't want to get involved in or learn too much about Animism which is an important part of many ancient African and Latin American cultures.

I also believe that the Church has been synchronistic in its use of Greek philosophy and religion in the development of Christian doctrines and the the study of Scripture. The warning against that comes from the first part of 1 Corinthians before the Apostle Paul starts to talk about sex and is quoted above.

The Bible is fundamentally Asian and makes more sense and is more accurately interpreted if thought of from a traditional Asian worldview. A good way to get this point of view is by reading classical texts in Asian philosophy, literature, and religion.

I also do my best to avoid learning about mythology other than the specifically Christian-based Tolkien view on English mythology.

3.5.5 Rich White Men

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Some people have assumed when I refer to "rich white men" that I am talking about community leaders or small business men. This is totally not true. When I talk about "rich white men", I am referring to, at the most, a few thousand people who control most of what goes on in the world. I am referring to organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations or 33rd degree Freemasons and similar groups.

I believe that these kinds of secret societies are pushing for a one world government and are pushing the ideology of the New Age movement and are supportive of an occult worldview. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but there is little secret about these groups' objectives.

I believe that the Theosophy movement was one of the early organized efforts to bring about these objectives. I believe that this is also a white male dominated group who are principally English and American in nationality.

The methods of these groups consist mostly of starting big wars to shift the balance of power in the world and have infiltrated public education and the media to promote the occult and a one world dictatorship. I believe that all of the national leaders of most world powers and anyone else who has a chance at winning an election at that level are supportive of these objectives or realize that they do not have the power to work against this movement.

Either way, no one consequential in world politics is working against this effort and many are willing participants. I do not believe that we really have a democracy in America, but rather that people's souls are owned by the media and public education, so that there is no effective resistance to this effort politically , economically, or socially.

3.6 Artistic Approach

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3.6.1 Overview

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I do most my art with the computer and the themes I illustrate are typically based on my reading and writing which is primarily about the religion, philosophy, and literature of Asia. I am not talented at the technical skills of drawing and painting but I do have an eye for what looks good and that cannot be taught.

I have had basically no formal training in art and like doing so as a release and a way to relax, so I am not interested in learning new artistic skills, at least in the short term. I use my skills on the computer to craft my illustrations. I use a wide variety of different programs to get different effects. I generally use free programs and programs from small companies, often with restrictions, so that I almost never pay over $150 for any one graphics program.

The last part of the book is done with Scribus and Inkscape, 2 open source graphics programs. I vectorize the illustrations with Inkscape by: clicking on the PNG image I open up, then choosing "Path", then "Trace Bitmap", choosing the "Colors" option, and then clicking on "OK" to apply. I then move the vector image over and delete the bitmap version, move the vector image back to where it was, and then save as in the default SVG format. I use Scribus for the publishing program part. I import the SVG versions of the graphics, resize them to fit on the page, and then I create the PDF, with the following options: under General, choose "PDF 1.3" for "Compatibility", check "Compress Text and Vector Graphics", choose "Lossless - ZIP" for "Compression Method", "Maximum" for "Compression Quality"; under Fonts, choose "Outline All"; and under Color, choose "Screen/Web". This works well for publishing with Lulu.com.

For the screen versions, I use the PNG versions with iPhoto and export to web page for the web gallery version and with Keynote I use the plain black theme at 800 x600 resolution, export to Quicktime format for the interactive slideshow version, and then I compress it in Zip format to reduce the size.

3.6.2 World Beliefs Illustrations Book

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My first illustrations book, World Beliefs Illustrations, is organized by belief systems and I used a wide variety of programs for each illustration that looks like it was done in a different style.

I used Expression before Microsoft bought it, the "lite" version of Painter, Toon Boom Studio Express with Photoshop Elements filters, Gimp, and drew some by hand which I later scanned in.

3.6.3 Ethics and Discovery Illustrations Book

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For my latest illustrations book, Ethics and Discovery, each image is generally a composite of work done in multiple programs. Most of these illustrations has a photographic component.

The first part, Justice and Common Sense, was done with my photos plus using a plugin in Photoshop Elements. I used the Alien Skin nature textures plugin, I purchased separately, in Photoshop Elements to create the effects in the illustrations plus I used the shapes and layer styles features, that comes with Photoshop Elements, and this was all done on top of and with my my own personal photographs. The ideas the graphics were illustrating different are things that bother my a lot about modern society including injustice and just plain stupidity.

The second part, Discover the Old World, was done with a variety of different programs. The graphics come from web graphics used for my website. I also included some of the original images used to create the various composites.

I used Carrara Express for most the logos, the "Discover" word with the lighted candle, and for the landscapes which also utilized a number of models, I purchased at the DAZ3d online store plus what I was able to download free from them, and what came with Carrara Express. The logos are explained in the website themes section. The landscapes have some other features on them including Asian art form my previous book as well as a rendering of water, done with a Photoshop plugin called Flood.

The background for most the images is a spotlight on a golden-orange-yellow textured background. I created this each time it was used from scratch, with Photoshop Elements, by first creating a layer with just one color, applying the golden textured layer style, simplified the layer. Then I created another layer, by choosing black and a yellow orange for the foreground and background colors, and then applying the render clouds filter on a new layer. Then I changed the opacity on this new layer, so that you could see a glow over the golden texture, and then merged the 2 layers. I then applied the same render lights filter setting each time. This background was to symbolize the idea of "discover" with the concept of someone using a flashlight to explore a dark and undiscovered treasure with a gold surface.

The maps were copyright free from 1812 or were given away for free online and a lot of the lettering was done with a Mac OS X only program called Art Text, which utilizes the built in Mac only graphics feature, that small developers can use to differentiate their programs and be able to sell for a very low price.

I use Toon Boom Studio Express for a lot of drawings, because the limitations of this cheaper version apply to the animation abilities and the draw features are very impressive, especially with the latest version, after they have added most my suggested features. A number of the original images, used for the different website type of content/multimedia sections, were created originally in Toon Boom Studio Express. I then I used the "auto paint" feature, with different settings for each drawing, in Painter (the full version) to give a more natural painted and organic look, to the simple 1 dimensional illustration. Then I brought the image into Photoshop Elements, cut out the white parts, and then applied various artistic filters to each image. I later added a cut out photograph, I took from living nativity, to each section to make it look more Asian.

3.7 Other Issues

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3.7.1 Philosophical Issues

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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.

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2 Samuel 22:31

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

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Psalms 2:12

The ideas come together like this: I don't think that anything happens as an accident. I think there is a reason for everything and everything fits together to form a meaning. We just aren't able to understand it because of our limitations. We assume that because we have free choice the universe can't be planned. We think that because of suffering and uncertainty that life is meaningless, because we can't accept that God places limits on himself too. I accept that there is meaning in life with faith, not by reason. God respects and values our freedom to the extent that he will allow us to spend forever in Hell if we want to reject His love and His plan for our lives by the simple step of praying a prayer of accepting that God is greater than us. God also allows much suffering to happen on earth because he values people and want them to carry out His plan for reducing the world's suffering. Unfortunately, few people follow God's lead and because of this we are primarily responsible for the world's suffering.

3.7.2 Family Values

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The main problems that this site deals with are not things I learned from reading, but things I have felt from an early age. My family was influential in fostering my imagination, independence, and my concern for others. Naturally I was interested in philosophical problems of suffering, uncertainty, and free will. Recently, I have had to learn about limits very quickly to deal with a recent living situation. So it is natural that I devoted a website to sharing with the world some of the the things that are important to my family.

3.8 Branding

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3.8.1 Website Themes

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All my website addresses are named benjamin-newton with different extensions, including: benjamin-newton.com (Simply Ben), benjamin-newton.us (The End of the Beginning), benjamin-newton.net (Ben Academic Fast Track), and benjamin-newton.info (Ben Labs).

The Simply Ben (pink and orange benjamin-newton.com) website is named so because it is a simplification of my website which was reduced to about 1/10 its number of files mainly due to assembling the texts together as complete books and narrowing down the number of photos on the website. It is more streamlined and clearer in organization. The logo is of a cross and the yin yang symbol as my philosophy is based on Christian Existentialism and Chinese Philosophies (Taoism, Neo-Confucianism, Zen Buddhism) and the wheel symbolizes influences from the major Indian belief systems (Bhakti Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikh faith) elements.

The End of the Beginning (blue and tan benjamin-newton.us) website is based on the idea of a new era of my works. It is has an African and New World theme. The logo is of a guy praying to God, either Muslim or Christian as those are the major rapidly growing world religions of the 21st Century.

The Ben Academic Fast Track (green and blue benjamin-newton.net) website is themed after the concept of a business school in Portland, Oregon for working students going back to college to further their education. It is the Fast Track to getting all my books together with maximum efficiency. The logo is of the front of a tall building.

The Ben Labs (black and orange benjamin-newton.info) website is the place for my new developments before I can find a place for them. The logo is a "play on words" as Taylor was my sister's dog who was a black Labrador Retriever or "Lab" breed. If you see writings here, that later disappear, then they are likely in the books section. Follow the link "philosophy books" from any of the front pages, to get there.

3.8.2 Logo Explanation

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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.

Chapter 4

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Vision from Insights and Frustrations

by Ben Huot

4.1 Ethical Vision

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4.1.1 Why Avoid Objectivity?

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Fear of Controversy

It is a sad situation today where so few writers of non-fiction know so little about their subjects that they find a need to hide behind facts and statistics. Writers are afraid of having people not like them, because their readers disagree with their conclusions. Most people think that religion and politics are controversial, but in any discipline in even the most narrow and academic subjects are constantly torn part by bitter and nasty debates and whose participants are in a constant struggle to get followers to their approach. It is sad that where there used to be a belief that the free exchange of ideas was of utmost importance, there now seems like there are only certain opinions that people are allowed to have, if they want to be considered as serious or an educated person.

Believe in Yourself

My approach is that I want people to come up with their own ideas and I actually don't want any followers. But I still have very definite opinions on almost everything and I will argue in favor of what I believe. It is great that others disagree strongly as I enjoy real diversity caused by real differentiators like: income, regional history, belief system, political beliefs, family influence, sub culture, hobbies, career, talents, life experiences, and the like. Lets learn to disagree even on important issues and have some faith in what we believe in enough to know that it will prevail. The only thing that I hope to agree upon with my readers is the avoidance of the mainstream beliefs and of the supernatural.

4.1.2 Definitions

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Defining Terms

One of the most important aspect of debate is at the very beginning, where you define your terms. Many arguments are in opposition to each other mainly because of a difference, in what the key words involved mean. Philosophy is largely about defining words and philosophical schools are often branched out, according to the philosopher's understanding, of key terms. When you are not clear on how someone is using words and what they mean by them, you cannot fully understand their message.

Denotation

Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word. Although words evolve over time, according to how they are used or misused, the denotation is a more precise and direct understanding of the word in question. Denotation is the official definition, although there can be more than one and the wording used differs by dictionary.

Connotation

Connotation is based on what a word is thought to imply, rather than what its official definition in. The word Christian communicates a wide range of different stereotypes. that have nothing to do with what the word Christian means. Many other loaded words can divide people, not based on the standard meaning of words, but rather on what prejudices people assume to be true, based on public education, government and powerful lobbies propaganda, peer pressure, group think, and political correctness.

My Use of Connotation and Denotation

When I use many of the words I frequently refer to, I often am writing about how I perceive the connotation and how it corrupts people's understanding, of the reality of the situation. I also use certain words, for their connotation, rather than their denotation. I believe that the word Christian is used very stereotypically and challenged by poorly formed arguments. These arguments are based mostly on inaccurate assumptions, personal experience that are not typical, and on looking for arguments against Christians, instead of trying to find the truth. In other words, because many of those arguing against Christianity do not stick to facts and are not consistent or rational in their arguments, I feel fine with treating Atheism and Science the same way. But I will not claim to be objective, like those, who often attack Christianity, claim.

4.1.3 Radical Equality

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The Principle

The big principle that unites most my ethical beliefs is a principle I call "radical equality". My sense of fairness is not based on getting my own way, but, rather on every body being completely equal in every way. People, animals, and the entire ecosystem should be treated with equal weight and should all be empowered to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities. All rules should apply in every situation and should be based on general principles, instead of detail oriented laws that were designed, for rich people to not have to follow them, but are targeted for poor people instead.

Same Application in Every Situation

I believe that animals should have the same rights as people, that employees and employers both have an obligation to each other, that immigration law should be the same for every country, that women should be treated exactly the same as men, that if it is wrong to kill or hurt a person the same applies to an unborn baby as applies to an animal as applies to the environment as applies to any one else.

I believe that social services are as important, as law enforcement and national security; that businesses and individuals should pay the same taxes and have the same responsibilities; that father and mothers should have an equal access to their children, when they get divorced; that the environment is as important as the economy; that everyone should get the same financial aid for college; that everyone should have an equal choice as to what education they get; and people should always follow laws, no matter how unimportant they are, how hard it is to get caught, how little the punishment is, or inconvenient they are.

I believe that laws should be more severe, based on how many people are hurt and that economic crimes will get the same penalties as "violent" or physical crimes; that our polices toward other countries should be rated on how they treat their people and not on how much money corporations can make off of their resources; that we should give equal consideration in transportation funding, per person, based on how much energy they consume, in their method of transport; that any organization that has employees and receives money should be taxed equally, no matter what the organization is: a small business, a non-profit, or a large corporation.

Consistency Plus Holistic Worldview

In my writings, I have combined the ideas of radical equality, or extreme consistency, with a holistic worldview. I apply the same values or ethical standards to both: religion and politics, to my use of money and my treatment of others, and to my philosophical reasoning and my writing style. I don't see the environment and the economy, labor rights and animal rights, or my personal morality and my expectations of others as separate things. My religion affects everything in my life including: my beliefs, how I spend my money, how I relate with others, what I choose to write about, and what I expect out of others. My key value is radical equality.

Reality and Ethical Ideals

I realize that I don't have the ability to change the course of government or the culture and even if I do eventually have an influence, it might be centuries away if at all. But just like we still try to follow the ideals in the US Constitution and our religious writings, even in the face of corruption and greed, so we need ethical/moral standards to strive for. Just like in Christianity we get forgiven for everything we turn from and feel bad about, we still need to do our best to reform our ways, to have deeds that provide proof for our faith. We should continue to do as much as we can and not give up just because change is hard or that we can't get others to fully change their ways.

4.1.4 Redundancy

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Plan on Being Short

It seems like most people like to put everything to the last minute and the last dollar. Not having extra money and extra time to do something or buy something is asking for trouble. It almost always takes people 4 times as long to finish something than they thought. There is always something unexpected, that you need to allow extra money for. Car repairs can cost thousands very easily and medical bills can easily be in the tens of thousands.

Be Self Reliant

Never rely on anyone else, to do something, or to be on time for anything. Always have backups of your backups, for your important computer files, as backups and the originals can easily fail. Everything fails and you will fail yourself.

Murphy's Law

Redundancy is needed in every walk of life and in every aspect of your life. The one thing I believe in with my whole heart other than the Bible is Murphy's Law. Everything that can go wrong will. Just plan on everything, that could, by any possibility, not work, always assume it will not work and plan ahead accordingly.

Have More Than You Need

Of course you cannot plan out everything and not everything is so important. But anything you value must have an alternate plan. Plan for not having power, running water, or sewer, for at least 72 hours, in the worst time possible. Always be prepared for the weather to change. Carry extra money in cash, to get yourself home, no matter where you are. Do not depend on battery power or credit cards. Always have at least several months of salary saved. Make sure you can get to the money, even if your home is destroyed.

Risky Investments

Don't invest any money, you cannot lose, in anything less reliable than US government bonds or in the bank, earning interest. Never put any money in the stock market that you cannot afford to lose. Most investments are risky to the point of being educated gambling and like gambling in Los Vegas, you can lose everything you have. Do not depend on anything you do not have in cash. Real estate has lost considerable value periodically. Never buy on credit, if you do not have the money, on hand, in the bank, already.

Natural or Man Made Disasters

Plan on your house being destroyed by: flood, earthquake, volcano, or civil unrest. Live in a safe neighborhood and in a city, that is not big enough, to be targeted by terrorists. Have alternate locations, where you can travel to, on foot, where you can live, in the case of natural or man made disasters. Store valuable information, in other locations, than just your house. Keep a list of important phone numbers and addresses.

What to Have on Hand

Always keep water on hand, in enough quantity, to last for, at least 72 hours. Have a sanitary way to dispose of your human waste, without modern plumbing and sewage, on hand, in your house. Keep some sort of self defense on you, most importantly, to keep dogs off you. The best way to deal with animals is pepper spray or even better, do not be in their way. Never feed a wild animal, block its exit, or bother its children.

What the Government Will Do

Do not expect the government to help you out, when you are in a bad situation. Even during natural disasters, the government is their to contain you, rather than help you. If a disaster happens that affects your town, expect people to come to the door, asking for your valuables, with no badges or uniforms, who have firearms, loaded and ready to shoot.

More than Necessary

When you learn multiplication and division, you are getting good at addition and subtraction; when you are learn algebra, you get good as multiplication and division; when you learn calculus, you get good at algebra. In the military, you always train to a higher standard than what is necessary in your job. If you need to run a 5km, learn to run a 10km. If your boss tells you to arrive a 9, get there by no later than 8:30.

Above and Beyond

The only way to be on time is to arrive early. The only way to pass a test is to practice beyond what you are tested on. Always do more than necessary. Always go above and beyond and you will always accomplish what you set out to do.

4.2 Spiritual Vision

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4.2.1 No Perfect Solution

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You Pay for What You Get

There is no perfect solution to any problems. Everything has its upsides and its downsides. You can't have your cake and eat it too. There are no silver bullets. To get something worthwhile you have to pay for it and not buy something else with the same money. If you don't want to save for something before you buy it, then you will be in debt and you will pay many times the amount you would have before, long after what you have used up what you bought. There is no way around it.

You Can't Get Everything You Want

In computers it is often said that you only get 2 of the following 3: cheap price, easy set up, and works. In software you can have any 2 of the following 3: efficiency, cross-platform, and easy to create.

Roots of Problems with Economy

The problems we have with the economy that have faced almost every government throughout history is that either the government, the leader, and/or the people want to get something without having to save for it and then they want to either get out of paying for it, delay paying for it, and then they try to avoid the inherent risk of doing this. The easy way to solve the problem with credit is to not use credit and instead of taking on a huge risk by borrowing money for a given venture, you save up your money before hand to buy whatever you want to.

People Want Everything without Working For it

This is the way with every issue including politics: people don't want to have to pay taxes, but they want all kinds of government services. Businesses and non-profits want to use someone else's money to borrow, but then they don't want any outside group that they borrow the money from to exert any influence. People want to win a war fast and cheaply, but they don't want to have to volunteer to fight in it, make sacrifices to support those who have volunteered, and they don't want the ones they are fighting to not like them or their country. Businesses want to be able to use up limited resources and leave their waste without cleaning it up and not have to pay the cost of this permanent damage.

Things Don't Just Happen

Just understand now that no one can give you anything for free, even if they want to. You must fight for everything you have got. You won't win the lottery, but you probably will get cancer. You may work hard, but you probably won't become famous, wealthy, or powerful. You will probably not make any more money than your parents did. You will not find the perfect job, wife, or have perfect children. Things do not just fall in your lap for free. Bad things will happen to you but good things will only come to the few, the lucky, those who know the right people, and will fade away fast.

The Real Solution

To be free of this, accept reality and focus on helping others and secure your place for eternity. The only thing you know for sure will happen is where you will go after you die. You will have to give up everything for it, but it will be not be enough, so God will give it to you for free, as He has already paid the price. You can either have a brief time with lots of money or everlasting life. Choose now. You cannot have both. Either way it is not free.

4.2.2 How to Help Our World

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Most Problems are Spiritual in Nature

Most of the major problems our country is facing now, including our debt crisis, environmental crisis, energy consumption crisis, and the increasing power of terrorists are all spiritual in nature. The judgements in Revelations are all caused by environmental disasters, the esistance to the West in the Muslim world has been very effective in blocking the growth of Christianity, and the reason for most wars (including the present ones in the Middle East) for the last several hundred years at least are planned by those who spiritually control the world behind the scenes. So to deal with these problems politically is not effective, because they are spiritual in nature.

God's Rules

We have no power directly over the spiritual world, but God places certain rules on what things are allowed by whom in the spiritual world. God wants people to be in control of their own destiny, so He allows us to take part in His plans, by praying for His will to be done. This takes away the limitations God places on Himself and increases His influence throughout the world. Why God has chosen to work this way may not make sense to most people, but I know it does work this way.

God is in Control

We do not need to fear the problems in the world today, because God places special protection on His people. It is true that the spiritual forces that hate God, what He stands for, and His people have plenty of power to destroy us, and the reason why we have not been defeated from the beginning is because God is in the world with His Spirit and doesn't allow those behind the scenes to directly hurt His people. The forces against God have the most power when they are doing things in secret and they can get people to stop praying and reading the Bible.

What We Can Do

We are in control of our future very directly. We can take up the cause and choose to be a part of God's plan for the future, or we can do it our own way, but either way God will ultimately win and we will serve one master or another. The best that we can do to help improve our world is to: pray for God's will to be done, have the right attitude before God, read the Bible, and show God's love in the way we treat others in everything we do.

4.2.3 Solutions for Our Addictions

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Our Problems are All Addictions

All our problems in America come down to addictions. Our addictions to drugs and alcohol, addictions to fighting the appearance of age, addictions to games and sports, addictions to information and the Internet, addictions to sex and fetishes, addictions to work and networking, addictions to money and investments, addictions to coffee and sugar, addictions to food and weight loss, and all the other ways in which we distract ourselves are caused by our fear of the increasing signs of global catastrophe. The number one reason why our youth pursue distractions is because they seriously believe they will not live past the age of 30.

Real Solution is Prayer

The real solution to our addictions is to solve our environmental, economic, cultural, and religious divisions, that are increasing in their violent confrontations, because we are at the limits of the oil, water, and soil that we need to survive. There are only 2 solutions: stop our addictions to our distractions in the West or a massive die off of the poorest part of the population in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We already know which solution those in power would prefer. The only way to avoid this solution is to pray.

Rebellion Against God is the Cause

We know that all our problems are rooted in our rebellion against the Christian God and His laws. The way to break the cycle is to submit ourselves to God and pray that His will be done. There is no other way to affect change on a global scale. Only God's intervention will save us and will only come when we are truly sorry for our addictions and stop participating in them. That is the power of consumerism of American corporate culture: that we are addicted to it.

The Weak are Hurt Most

The consequences for our addictions is that the poor, the weak, and the sick are going to be trampled upon by our masters - the corporations. When we sin, we hurt pollute the natural world, the animals and our soil and water. There only defense is God's divine intervention. It is the only way to destroy the disease of sin, where it breeds. Our only liberation is through our choice to pray that the will of God happens, in our lives, as it does in Heaven.

Our Heads and in our Hearts

If we try our way out by science and technology, we will face the same problem within 50 years. The only way we will last to the next century is for us to turn to God. The underlying problem is not a war in the Heavens or on Earth, but the war in our hearts. We need to defeat our carnal self and empower our spiritual self, and that is the key to our survival on earth. We can only do this, by first submitting to God, in all areas of our lives.

4.2.4 Why So Negative?

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Reasons

Sometimes my writing may appear negative, but there are good reasons for that. For one, writings is therapeutic for me and helps me accept the things that I cannot control in my life that causes my problems. Second, it is very hard to write something positive and uplifting or humorous. A third reason is that we live in very serious times.

Things are Going Well

What I want my readers to know is that most the most important things in my life are going very well and have been improving greatly each year for the last 10 years. I have learned a lot about myself, my illness, and what caused the major problems in the world today. My mental health has improved greatly as well as my independence. I have a great family and have enjoyed spending my time with them and sometimes I have been able to help them with some things. I have read about computers every day over the last 7 years and have increased my ability to fix or avoid problems as well as my ability to create better graphics and publish books. I have continued to do better financially each year and I have more money saved and my income is very secure.

Chapter 5

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Little Book of Philosophy

by Ben Huot

5.1 Introduction

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This book contains selections from my biography, Art and Ecology and my Theoretical Breakthroughs. If you want to see what my writing is like before committing to a larger work, try this book. Once you see how good a writer I am, how interesting and different my ideas are, and how clear and concise my writing style is, you will be coming back for more.

5.2 Selections from Autobiography

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5.2.1 Non Exclusive Patriotism

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by Ben Huot

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.

5.2.2 Total Isolation

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by Ben Huot

When you enlist in the Army

Your life is no longer your own

Joining is the last decision you make

Your intelligence is of no use

And your training a waste of time

There is no way you can get prepared

For a life without freedom

When you lived a life with

Choices for everything

There is only one way to march

One way to shoot a rifle

There is one way to make your bed

And there is only one way

To don your protective mask

There is one way to throw a grenade

And one way to dig a foxhole

There is no time to think about

Theories of war or the Geneva conventions

There is never a time when you

Can let your guard down

Your life is totally committed

You have your reasons for enlisting

But they matter less and less

Enlistment is a one way tunnel

And there are no stops or ways out

You can shoot yourself in the foot

But then your job will just be harder

You can follow your job to the letter

And yet be valued the same

As the biggest screw-up

You could follow directions exactly

And still get captured

The others fail you all the time

But if you ever fail them

The cost is enormous

If you fail to listen to instructions

You could be the next victim

Of the war on terror

You could pay attention to

Every last detail

And still end up needing to be

Identified by DNA

5.2.3 The Dark

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by Ben Huot

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 Sergeants 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

5.2.4 Fear and Excitement

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by Ben Huot

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

5.2.5 Commitment and Freedom

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by Ben Huot

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

Your 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

5.2.6 Desert Mist

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by Ben Huot

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

Firefights 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

5.3 Selections from Art and Ecology

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5.3.1 Diversity, Freedom, and Confidence

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by Ben Huot

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.

5.3.2 The Theoretical and Everyday Life

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by Ben Huot

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.

5.3.3 Animal Epic Poem

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by Ben Huot

Ecclesiastes 3:19

In a blink of Gods eye

We share the animals lifespan

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 Gods 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 kings 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 devils 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 dogs brother was in the kennel

And you left him to die

Your 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

5.3.4 Plush Valentine

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by Ben Huot

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

Lets 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

Lets be more than friends

Lets make memories together forever

And walk into the everlasting pastures

Hoof in hoof

5.3.5 New Calf

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by Ben Huot

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

5.3.6 Today an Ox

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by Ben Huot

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

5.4 Selections from Theoretical Breakthroughs

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5.4.1 The Case for Liberal Christianity

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by Ben Huot

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 worlds 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.

5.4.2 The Public Mind and American Democracy

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by Ben Huot

Many young people are critical of America and then my parents 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 worldview. 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 peoples 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.

5.4.3 What is Rational?

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by Ben Huot

What is the definition of rational?

Believing that man is the highest good

Or that his intellect can grasp everything

Do you think you can disprove God

By quoting a famous atheist?

You win an argument

But just show your own limitations

And your own weak intellect

Not everything is meant to be

Analyzed in the Scientific method

What cannot be dis-proven

Is greater than that which can be proven

Guess and check can only go so far

And scientists are as bigoted

And resistant to change and new ideas

Than as are any other bureaucrats

The ideas of Science may have

At one time been an area for non-conformists

But it is no longer

Everyone believes in Science

And that is a great weakness

The masses can be convinced of anything

Scientists fail to realize

That it was their community that

Made a fool of Galileo

The first scientist was a smart ass

When your belief system

Can only understand matter-energy

Aren't you smart enough

To realize that it cannot explain

Anything important

It is not wrong to have a theory

To explain something

But when you use it as an excuse

To hide from spiritual realities

Who is the greater fool?

It doesn't matter how good you are at debate

Or how many facts you have on your side

Some things just don't make sense

Just because the entire Scientific establishment

Believes in one thing, the masses think it is true

No matter how many times

Society confuses facts with truth

The number of believers is growing worldwide

It is interesting that those who think

They are so enlightened

As to be better informed than God

And think that they are the enemy of the establishment

That their ideas resonate best with

The people who create the problems

They are trying to fix

If the same system that said the world is flat

Now even admits they cannot observe

95% of the mass of the universe

Why should I believe them about evolution?

For a community that shuns innovators

And anything unusual or different

And is mainly motivated by prestige

Why would I believe anything

They print in numbers

And collect evidence for?

If scientists would study other philosophies

They would start to realize that the world

Is much bigger than Science

And that the real problems in life

Are not going to be solved by more technology

That we are never going to resolve

The true cause of suffering through education

That the innovation that will bring solutions

Is something that was written down 2,000 years ago

That the most unusual ideas were some of the oldest

That we are just re-inventing what China

Designed thousands of years ago

Without the Scientific method

If the Chinese were not smart enough

To keep the empire going

How are we going to be able to survive

A few more generations of Science?

One of the big problems with Science

Is it has no ethical foundation

Just as you cannot add security onto technology

Not designed with a firm foundation

Ethics are not just an add on

People do not become ethical by

Attending a one semester course

Or even after earning a Ph.D. in philosophy

It is not that we do not know enough

To do find a solution to our problems

But that we need a way to stop

Ourselves from creating more problems

Self control is the key to our survival

But the solution is not an invention

But supernatural intervention

5.4.4 Theology includes Philosophy

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by Ben Huot

Everyone has a perspective

Everyone has opinions

There is nothing theological

That is not influenced by philosophy

We do not live in a vacuum

And ideas come from somewhere

There are no new philosophies

Just restatements done with less eloquence

There is no way to only study the Bible

We are only fooling ourselves

And no one else

We cannot distance ourselves

From our own foolishness

We are corrupt to the core

It is not possible to read the Bible

Without prejudice and without feelings

The Bible is not meant to be

A list of rules or a systematic theology

Dont you think there is a reason

That there are so many views on

Every branch of theology?

The Bible is not meant to be interpreted

The same by the entire church

The Bible is not about a set theology

No one will ever uncover

The full philosophy of the Bible

The greatest theologians

Have only scratched the surface

And were wrong more times

Than they were right

Verses don't mean just one thing

The Bible should not

Be read in any set order

Verses should not stand alone

There are no hidden meanings

But few meanings have been found

There is more to a single phrase

Than can be understood

By the human mind in all eternity

And the Bible is only one small part

Of who God is

To say we were only influenced by the Bible

Or that we believe what the Bible says

Does not adequately explain our beliefs

We have presuppositions and experiences

But these aren't necessarily stumbling blocks

Feelings are great and mental exercises are of use

But we need to reflect on our background

Or we will be repeating the mistakes

Of even the greatest of theologians

It is ok to not be right on even the main points

To disagree creates a healthy diversity

The church does not need core beliefs

Our doctrines only hold us back

There is more to life than theology

And there is more to the Bible

Than your statements of faith

5.4.5 Conservative Curriculum

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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

5.4.6 Liberal Arts

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by Ben Huot

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

5.4.7 Heaven and Earth

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by Ben Huot

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 heavens 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

5.4.8 Toy Society

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by Ben Huot

Children are prized above all

They are the friends

Of the powerful elite

The presidents dump truck

Is pushed by a toddler

And the famous actors

Sign the diapers of their fans

The toy entrepreneurs

Load up the toy boxes

In their factories

And the children

Drive around the boxes

In battery operated

And joystick controlled

All terrain vehicles

The children go to play

At the toy research centers

To see what toys

Are the most popular

And for quality control

They are played with

Under supervision

Of the toy managers

To make sure they

Are safe for play

Day care for the toys

Is provided by toddlers

And teams of seamstresses

Are trained to be

The top surgeons

Of the toy leaders

Each toy is treasured

For its entire life

The toy gets a new

Assigned kid to look after

When the previous kid

Begins to grow up

No toys are ever given

To animals to martyr

There is always

A loving home

For every toy

They will always be warm

And kept clean and dry

There are always activities

To keep the toys busy

They have a great Christmas party

Where they meet new kids

And a holiday parade

Where all the toy stars

Are dressed up and honored

There are award ceremonies

For the kids favorite

Toys of the year

When the kids grow up

They are used as heaters

What if farm animals ran the world?

Chapter 6

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Extras from Continuing Philosophy and more

by Ben Huot

6.1 Kierkegaard Quotes

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6.1.1 On Bible Interpretation

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'But,' you perhaps say, 'there are so many obscure passages in the Bible, whole books that are practically riddles.' To that I would answer: Before I have anything to do with this objection, it must be made by someone whose life manifests that he has scrupulously complied with all the passages that are easy to understand; is this the case with you? Yet this is how the lover would respond to the letter- if there were obscure passages but also clearly expressed ones, he would say, 'I must comply with the wish- then I will see about the obscure parts. How could I ever sit down and ponder the obscure passages and not comply with the wish, the wish that I clearly understood.'

91

Soren Kierkegaard in "What is Required" in For Self-Examination

6.1.2 Too Busy for God

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As a matter of fact, the connection was actually this: first they all tried to demonstrate the truth of Christianity with reasons or by advancing reasons in relation to Christianity. And these reasons fostered doubt and doubt became stronger. The demonstration of Christianity lies in imitation...And the imitators truly needed his Ascension in order to endure the life they were leading- and therefore it is certain. But someone who sits in idleness and ease through good days or is busily astir in busyness from morning to night but has never suffered anything for the sake of truth has no need. It is rather something he imagines or lets himself imagine for money; he concerns himself with this Ascension more as a curiosity- and so, of course, he doubts, since he has no need; or he invents some reasons, or someone else has the kindness to hand him three reasons for- well, now, neither is that person's need especially great!

92

Soren Kierkegaard in "Christ Is the Way" in For Self-Examination

6.1.3 Faith is Not Reason

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According to the diversity of natural endowments, we are all born with a stronger or weaker immediacy; the stronger, the more vigorous it is, the longer it can hold out against resistance. And this endurance, this healthy confidence on oneself, in the world, in mankind, along with all this, in God, we call faith. But in the stricter Christian understanding it is not faith. Faith is against understanding; faith is on the other side of death. And when you died or died yourself, to the world, then you died to all immediacy in yourself, also to your understanding. It is when all confidence in yourself or in human support, and also in God in an immediate way, is extinct when every probability is extinct, when it is dark as on a dark night- it is indeed death we are describing- then comes the life-giving Spirit and brings faith. This faith is stronger than the whole world; it has the power of eternity; it is the Spirit's gift from God, it is your victory over the world in which you more than conquer.

93

Soren Kierkegaard in"It Is the Spirit" in For Self-Examination

6.2 The Source of Contemporary Anti-Christian Sentiments

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6.2.1 The Idea of the Barbarian

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It seems to me that the reason why there is so much of the intellectual movement that is anti-Christian comes from the assumption that European attitudes about thinking that other races were less than them, because they were thought to be barbarians, was some how based on Christianity. I honestly don't care and am not surprised that the Islamic world was so much more advanced in material wealth, in vain displays of this wealth, and that they were as materially successful, as the West. This has nothing to do with what I value or would impress me. I base Christianity on what the Bible says and evaluate the status of civilizations based on their morality, much as the Bible does.

6.2.2 The Acceptable Scapegoats

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It is widely assumed that being anti-Christian is some how objective and it seems that the only acceptable bias now is being anti White Christian Male. Some how they blame the wrong things that Europe did that I had no control over and many times wasn't even alive in that period, but it is widely considered ok to blame me for that, just because of how I was born and my religious beliefs.

6.2.3 Everyone wants an Empire

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I am not saying that a very small percentage of Rich White Men didn't victimize a lot of the third world and were in pursuit of world domination. I just believe that the Muslim world was just as interested in world domination as well. Even as we see multinational corporations dividing up the vast majority of the world's wealth amongst themselves, this does not mean that the Muslim world is not trying to do the same thing in the name of their religion, and it also doesn't mean that the majority of Americans or Christians support these multinational corporations.

6.2.4 State Religions

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One of the things people seem to confuse about Christianity, before the last century or two, that most countries required you to be a certain religion, in order to be considered patriotic. This was throughout the whole world and not just in Europe. At the most, if other religions were tolerated at all, it was only allowed to have one of several approved religions, as under the Mongol empire, or different religions were allowed under Muslim rule, in such a way so that over time, due to attrition, most people were pressured into becoming Muslims, due to various ethnic cleansing techniques.

6.2.5 Europe and Christianity

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When we talk about the terrible things that the governments in Europe did to the third world, it was not based on what the Bible said, but rather on the interpretation, that was designed by the politicians, to legitimize their behavior. One of the main reasons why the European rulers, of Medieval age Europe, accepted Christianity was, because they saw the Christian God, as more powerful, than the pagan gods and believed that this new God would allow them to conquer more territory, which is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. I would be just as wrong to blame Islam as the reason why the Islamic world is the way it is today. The Pope does not represent all Christians and neither do Evangelicals.

6.2.6 What is Christian?

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Another thing to understand is that not everyone who claims to be a Christian actually believes in the Bible, in a specific set of doctrines, or tries to follow what the Bible teaches. There are a variety of different heresies that claim to be Christian, which I will not name, as there is no point in arguing about it, because those people, who follow those heresies, are not willing to change their views, no matter what the Bible says. Also, in the West, Atheism started first in the leadership of the major European powers and expanded over a period of hundreds of years to the point, where the only places in America or Europe where Christianity is still strong now is in the American South.

6.2.7 Atheism Transformed into Paganism

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There is actually a connection between the secret societies, who on the outside preach an embracement of the ideas of the Enlightenment, but in the upper leadership actually practice New Age or Pagan religious rituals. This is not surprising, because the Roman and Greek ideas, that were so cherished by those in the Enlightenment were entwined with pagan beliefs. The goal of the secret societies is to use the idea of free speech to make it easier to advocate anti-Christian ideas with the ultimate goal of latter shutting down any free exchange of ideas that is counter to the New Age/Pagan views.

6.3 The Source of Hope

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6.3.1 Finding God

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I pray that you may learn from my writings who the Christian God is and how you are His beloved creation. People have manipulated most religions throughout history and it is hard to find what is true, in a time where you can easily find your opinion regurgitated, but never find someone committed to the truth. It might seem that every opinion and every practice should be acceptable. But once you find He who created you, your life will never be the same.

6.3.2 What is Faith?

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In an age where people have such a high opinion of themselves, that they cannot accept, that they are destroying themselves, by their arrogance and low opinion of the resources that sustain them, it is hard to understand, that what we see is of the least importance. Faith is based on what you can barely imagine and living as a believer means that you shrink in size and the world grows. You realize that the most important things in life are not the things you can measure and explain.

6.3.3 The Artist

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There is hope in the belief that we are only one creature of humble power and the magnitude of our potential lies in our connection with our Creator. When we see life through faith, we come to understand that we are but a paint brush and the Artist is the one, who moves the brush. Our experiences are based on the Artist's use of color and shape. We start out as nothing more than light sketches and by the interaction of the colors, with our outlines, we are transformed into a more beautiful creation. We are formed in black carbon and we are given color by the hand strokes of our Creator.

6.3.4 Submitting to God

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We see our lives in terms of what happens to us or by the choices we make, but we are dancing with our Creator and as we let Him lead us, we stop tripping over ourselves. We need to realize that our free choice is there, not to make the choices that advance our own interests, but rather that we grow in wisdom, as we learn to make choices, that are part of our Creator's plan. Exerting our own independence makes sense when we are young children, but we need to learn to sacrifice our own wishes for the betterment of others, as we grow older.

6.3.5 Spiritual Truth over Scientific Fact

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It is the constant dance with our Creator that comes to define the most important aspects of our life. We have so few years on earth and it is filled mostly with sorrow and frustration. Life only has meaning, if we choose to value the spiritual over the material. We need to stop accepting facts as truth and instead choose our belief in God over our belief in Science. The only way to have peace with this world is to not be part of it. We can exist in this world, while not having ourselves invested in its interests, but rather invest in spiritual qualities and our eternal future.

6.3.6 God is Our Future

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That is what encourages me: to have my future in God's hands. I cannot trust myself or my control over my fallen nature. I need to daily submit myself to the will of God. What is best for us is for the the will of God to rule in our lives, instead of the being slaves to our corrupt desires. We are in need of help beyond what Science can provide. We cannot rule ourselves - We need God as our boss. God never designed us to live our lives without His direction. We are the hardware and God is the software.

6.4 Latest Introduction

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6.4.1 Background

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A True Alternative Worldview

For hundreds of years, Christians have fought for their cause, by using the tools of reason and logic, to reclaim a mainstream following and dominate the academic debate, but this is not the approach of Christ's ministry. We need to re-examine the role Christianity should play in the world. Instead of focusing on getting political leaders, to champion our causes, fighting to be the establishment, and holding to the ideals of an imagined perfect past, we should accept the role of the outcast and the victim.

Throughout most of Christian history, we have not been the establishment, but rather a counter-culture movement. The Bible does not represent itself as the champion of the rich and the powerful, but as an Asian mystery religion, of passionate mystics, in opposition to religious scholars. Christianity is the underdog and the alternative to the way society is evolving.

Instead of clinging to our grandparent's generation, we need to go far in the past and embrace the future at the same time. We need to see the battle for Christianity and the problems in the world today as essentially spiritual. We need to take back the ecological movement from unbelievers and abandon the wealth and power, that believers have given up their first love for.

We need to re-imagine the lines of contention, giving up our worldly status and human support, for a model focused more on who Christ was, rather than what theology and religious traditions we were taught in schools. We need to embrace reality and the way the world is and take our stand, on the most essential battle. Christianity needs to return, to champion the cause of the rejected and the persecuted and stop using wealth and power, to destroy those who deny our theology, but embrace the life of Christ.

Christians should be on the right side of history. There is a clear right and wrong. There are clear positions to take. But we have collectively chosen the wrong path. We need to stop trying to explain ourselves to unbelievers and choose instead to win them, by our actions. Yes, I embrace an evangelical Christianity, not in terms of traditional theology, but in terms of objective.

The problem with Christianity today is not that we embrace the mainstream worldview, but that we reject the wrong things about it. We need to start doing what we know is right and stop arguing about theology and explanations, for things that we cannot comprehend. Essentially we need to live a life of faith, in rejection to a secular life, which is based on the authority of reason.

The authority we need to answer to is Christ and He too is Who we should emulate. Simply, we need to be like the disciples of Christ, instead of being like those religious scholars, who rejected Him. If most people see Christians as the contemporary Pharisees, we need to learn from this and follow the spirit of the law and not just in outward displays of moral superiority.

Who Do You Believe?

It is commonly believed that if someone can prove something Scientifically that it is true, but that which cannot be explained, no one can be sure of. But how does a person know if: the data collected by the Scientist is valid, that their math is correct, and that their methodology is of the highest standards. The reality is that most people do not have enough education in the right area, to prove whether an expert is even trying to be objective.

With the advent of the Internet, we have more information available than ever before, but how to we determine the validity of statements? Even before we had the Internet, we often believed people by: their reputation, their education, their experiences, and their job. We have relied on experts for a long time, but what objective qualitative or quantitative method do we measure their expertise? If you are not already an expert in a particular field, how do you protect yourself from urban legends?

Now that anyone can write anything, how do you know what to believe? Definitely don't believe those, who have a financial interest in a certain field. And then who does that leave you with? Then all you have is people who are trying to push a certain ideology, or are good at making up things that are believable. The reality is that no one is objective and there is no way to conclusively prove anything. Reason will not save us, because of our corruption.

Who do you believe now? Why not believe He who created the entire multiverse? Why not believe what has helped people, for thousands of years, before we had Science? If you are going to never know for sure about anything, why not try having faith in something real. If you cannot rely on your own judgement or that of so called experts, than why not believe what your Creator says?

Why Believe in God?

How do you know you can believe God and take Him at His word? If you want a reason, there are many: other people's testimony, sacred scripture, and your experiences. Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the world, outnumbering Islam 2 to 1, with Islam having over a thousand year head start.

Do an experiment in your own life. Read through the entire Christian Bible in a year. This is not hard to do. There are many plans you can find that tell you just what to read each day and it only takes a matter of minutes.

Then focus on doing the obvious things, that you realize right away, that the Bible asks of you. Then keep at it, for a whole year. If your life is better or you like yourself or other people better, than you have a good reason to become a Christian. If you honestly try to do this, the Christian God will back you up.

Will you like my writings?

If you are opposed to the way most Christians believe and the worldview of atheism, then who are you writing to? There is a third group that I am appealing to: seekers or people spiritual but not religious. I am appealing to the kind of person who likes what they know of what the Bible says, but would never go to a church. I am appealing to those people, who are moral, but do not believe in organized religion. People who no other Christian is targeting. Just as I realized early on that what I was taught in school and learning new things were 2 totally different and unrelated endeavors, so I hope to show people that what the Bible says and the way most Christians act are two totally different things. I am seeking to help those who do not want to accept an established path: people who truly think different.

You do not have to have completed any college courses, to understand my writings, as even I do not have even an accredited bachelor's degree. But, if you have not gone to college, because you are not disciplined or smart enough, than you will not understand my writings. I wouldn't recommend attempting them. Also, if you don't enjoy learning new things or if you cannot read things you disagree with, than you will not like my writings. I generally do not take the positions of almost any idea that is mainstream. I am a Christian and if you hate Christians, then you will hate my writings. If you are a stereotypical Christian, you will probably hate my writings as well. For everyone else, I am sure you will enjoy and learn a lot from my writings.

Most of my books are based on the concept of paradox. Many people think that paradoxes are the same as contradictions, but Biblical paradoxes are like the Chinese yin-yang relationships between male and female. Many people also think that East Asian philosophies don't have any morality, because they mistakenly think that good and evil are a set of paradoxes. This is untrue because the major Chinese Philosophies as well as Buddhism and all the other Indian belief systems all have a very highly developed set of ethics. There very much is a definite right and wrong in both Indian and Chinese philosophy and religion. Most of Biblical theology is also based on this same concept of paradox.

The major paradoxes in my books are: humility and compassion, kindness and seriousness, global north and global south, hope for salvation and social justice, heart-soul and mind-body, personal God and holistic worldview, imagination and self control, discipline and creativity, submission to God and equality to other people, and the last one is still unpublished - joy and purpose.

6.4.2 Problems and Solutions

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Why so Worried?

We are undergoing an information revolution, which is going to create a transformation of society, on the scale of the industrial revolution. What I am concerned about is that the powers that be don't seem to take the situation seriously enough. The entire order of the world and the balance of powers is depending on the transition going well. Even China and Saudi Arabia care about our unemployment rate, because the US is still the primary market of world producers.

At this point the only thing keeping white collar jobs even as advanced as engineering, computer programming, accounting, medical, and journalism is the number of businesses that aren't aware of what they need to do to stay in business over the next 10 years, or have a market that is not competitive. I am worried that everything is set up for just in time delivery and people have no extra credit or alternate skills in case they get unemployed.

Another major problem happening a the same time is global climate change and the problems that will definitely happen, because of this are more violent weather and natural disasters, which means that a lot of people are going to experience what happened in New Orleans and don't have even basic survival supplies to last even 72 hours.

Philosophy Inspired Solutions to World Problems

ECONOMICALLY BASED

* Make Ethical Decisions in the Products We Buy

* Find Creative Way to Reduce Our Expenses

* Get Supplies and Training to Survive Disasters

* Promote Internet Usage to Empower Individuals

* Give Away Free Content to Support Alternate Opinions

SOCIALLY BASED

* Network to Expand Our Circles of Influence

* Form Relationships with Our Neighbors

* Encourage Others

* Stay Positive and Increase Our Positive Influences

* Avoid Mainstream Assumptions

SPIRITUALLY BASED

* Pray for God's Will to Be Done

* Improve a Specific Animal's Life

* Increase Our Understanding of the World

* Raise Our Kids to Be Good Citizens

* Take Time to Relax

6.4.3 Concluding Thoughts

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Disclaimer on Science

I wanted to let people know that I am not anti-science. I believe that scientists do very valuable work and my sister is a scientist. There is a big distinction between using Science as a belief system and a source of morality and using Science as a discovery process. What most people do not realize is that contemporary ecology as opposed to the Enlightenment ideas that brought forth the first wave of Science are very different.

The philosophical basis for Ecology is closer to mystical religion and philosophy than it is to the bigger, better, faster mentality that came along with the original Science and where most the money for Science presently goes to. A scientist can be as moral as anyone else, but the person who practices science needs to leave it compartmentalized in the role it is designed for and not use it in solving philosophical and religious problems. Science should not be considered as a belief system and when it is it takes on something that it has no way to deal with.

My Ultimate Goal

If I leave you with just one thing, this is it: you should never follow someone else. I don't mean that you shouldn't follow laws, but you should not follow any person's ideology, especially not mine. Everyone knows what is true and what is right and wrong. The best you can do is follow your conscience.

Take a creative approach to your problems. Realize the reality of the things you cannot change and change the things you can. The biggest source of our problems is that we seem to be unable to draw connections and have a lack of imagination. Einstein once said that creativity is more important than intelligence.

I do not want any followers, just as Kierkegaard and Nietzche both felt. I would be happiest, if you formed your religious and philosophical beliefs, by your own experience and research. I do believe the opinions that I wrote and am not ashamed of having strong opinions and risking being wrong. I want you to have passion for doing what you believe is right. You cannot go wrong by following your heart.

If I was able to change anything about my life, I would try to enjoy life more and not be so serious. Make sure you don't spend all your life thinking: take time to relax and meet new people. It is important to have balance in life and to listen to the advice of other people who care about you. The only way you grow is from learning from forming relationships and taking risks to improve your life. Other people can see things you cannot, so benefit from their experience and differing points of view.

Chapter 7

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More Insights and Inspiration

by Ben Huot

7.1 Politics, Religion, and Empathy

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7.1.1 Empathy

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Understanding the World

I have come to the conclusion in my 12 years of independent study that the two factors that are the most important to understand if you want to know why the world works the way it does are modern psychology (starting with Freud) and history (especially before 1500 and especially Asian). The key thing to understand about psychology is that most people's decisions are almost entirely emotional.

It is very dangerous to play on people's emotions in things like religion and politics, but it is the key to motivating large groups of people. The key to understanding history is to start from the very beginning and read as much, from original sources, as possible. Read Buddha's explanation of Buddhism, read about the Coptic church and the Syriac churches to understand Christianity. Then continue to follow the development, of the major belief systems, into the major modern branches.

Risking Empathy over Objectivity

The idea that unites both these endeavors is the concept of empathy. Empathy means understanding something, from another person's or group of people's point of view. Most people use the term objective, in their study of people and history, but saying you are objective is like saying you are perfect. Only God can be truly objective.

Instead of ignoring your emotions and others' emotions, embrace them. Feel what others feel. See things as other people see them. It is hard, because you have to not think about your beliefs at that time, but, at the same time, you still need to see with your heart, as you have to care and take a position. Too often students are afraid of having a controversial opinion, but forming an opinion helps you understand the situation much better, because you are forced to give adequate support, for your decision.

7.1.2 Creativity

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Creativity and God

There is never just one solution to a problem. And being creative in your solutions will always be more effective than trying to make the most common and obvious move. One of the biggest reason why I continue to be interested in learning more about God and enjoy this pursuit is because God is not just perfect and perfectly objective but that God also feels as we do and is even more creative than the greatest thinkers.

Outmaneuvering His Enemies

God is very subtle and He often takes an approach that appears like He is giving up and forfeiting His success, to those who oppose them, but then ends up outmaneuvering them, because He sees and controls the greater picture. God always takes the hardest route, and allows the enemy a certain degree of success, because He really enjoys being creative and wants to show all His followers, that they need not fear any enemy, or any situation. Where His followers look outnumbered, He wants to grow their faith and surprise them, so that they learn to trust Him by their faith (or our lack of understanding), because of what He has done in the past.

God's Personality

God is always perfectly consistent and His personality is always the same. God always does what He promises and is in direct and complete control of everything that happens, could happen, or could be imagined, but He does so in His own way and in His own timeframe. God knows the future perfectly and has come up with a plan, for everything, that will happen and He follows it. But no one knows what it is now, anytime in the past, any time in the future, or in any different reality. Things are rarely as they appear and truth is much stranger than fiction.

7.1.3 History Lessons of God's Work

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Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We can look at several major events in history to see how God has out maneuvered His enemies. The first major surprise, that we are all very aware of, is God coming to earth as Jesus Christ and allowing His enemies to kill Him, but then outmaneuvering them, by taking on the sins of the world, rising again from the dead, and defeating death and hell, in the process. His enemies were outmaneuvered, because they thought that Jesus would fight a political and military battle.

The Threat of Islam, Then Atheism

Many Christians are afraid of the growth and the power of Islam today, but the Islam was at its zenith of power, during the time of the Ottoman Empire. If Western Europe had not risen, to become world powers, at the time they did, then Christianity would likely have been wiped out in Europe. Then, as the enemies of God tried to push the entire world, into unbelief, in the last few hundred years, culminating in the Cold War, they focused too much on Europe and America, and at the same time, a much larger part of the world became Christians.

Total Reversal

In just a matter of about 20 years, the situation has turned totally around. Now Christians are afraid of people of other religions of becoming too religious. This is a major victory. Paganism is on the rise in the West, but this next generation has too little knowledge of Christianity, to share their parents rebellion from it, so they are equally interested, in other spiritual things, like Christianity. Christianity has had the most success, in recruiting people, from polytheistic faiths, than from any of the world religions. Most of those, who are willing to convert, are from these polytheistic religions, who already prefer Christianity to Islam.

Christ has Already Won

Islam may be growing and may be the religion of a billion people, but it took over 1,000 years to happen and Christianity has grown to twice that size, in only the last 100 years. Christianity is still growing much faster and is considered more culturally relevant, to more people, than Islam. The ironic thing is that the enemies of God tried to convince people that Christianity was the religion of the rich and powerful and unbelief was the religion of the masses, but the poor masses chose Christianity when these rich and powerful rejected Christianity.

7.1.4 American Social Split

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Bitter Division

In America, we seem to be culturally divided between an emotionally driven conservative movement and a rationally driven liberal movement. There are positives and negatives to both sides, but they seem so bitterly divided so that half the people in America hate the other half of Americans. Then our national foreign and domestic policies flip flop back and forth between 2 extremes after each elections, both presidential and congressional.

Religious Motivations

I think one of the big reasons for their animosity is that there are religious undercurrents that fuel a lot of the divisions. Both seem to only see the negative side of the other one. One of the reasons why I think so many Christians are so emotionally motivated is that many Christians are convinced they had to choose between Christianity and reason and they chose their religion.

Politically Correct

I think much of this goes back to the resentment that many Christians feel towards the education system which has pushed many anti-White, anti-Male, and anti-Christian points of view and so many white male Christians were not going to believe that they were wrong, because of how they were born, and were not going to give up their religion, so they just decided to reject the pursuit of education. We have this term politically correct, where the government claims that you can have any opinion you want, but really only want you to take their position. And they use the word objective, to describe this one politically correct government-sponsored opinion.

Finding Common Ground

Most Christians are social conservatives, in that they oppose the direction society is going, in legalizing many things, that were for most of history considered anti-social and deviant. I and many of my generation are fiscally liberal, in that we want people and animals in need, to be taken care of and, without government funding, these needs will not be met.

Win-Win Solution

Many Christians would be willing to support things like the environment or increased funding for the poor, if the same politicians adopted a more socially conservative point of view. Basically, two opposing groups can pick the things that they want most and compromise on the things that are not as important to them, then everybody gets something they want instead of one group winning and the other losing.

7.2 History and the Future

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7.2.1 Religion and History

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Religious Tolerance

In America today, we take for granted, that we have one of the most inclusive of religious beliefs historically. In the recent the past, even more religiously tolerant governments, like the Mongols only allowed certain religions. The major writing, that put weight behind tolerance, in modern Europe and America, was written by John Locke and, in his letter, he talked about the reason for tolerating religions, other than the dominant and government supported religion, of the country, but he did not extend this toleration, to those without a religion (atheists).

Patriotism=Faith

Throughout most of history, being patriotic and loyal to your country was the same thing as practicing the state approved religion. One of the reasons why the Church did some of the great persecutions periodically was because of politics and not due to theology. During the last thousand years or so, Christians from different countries fought each other and politics and religion were intertwined.

Major Christian Churches

This is because each of the different original centers of Christianity were political, intellectual, economic, and linguistic rivals. Most had imperial support, after the first few hundred years of Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox (Greek) church was supported by the Byzantine Empire, the Nestorian and Jacobyte (Syriac) churches were supported by the Persian Empire, and the Roman Catholic (Latin) church was supported by the governments of Western Europe.

Success of Islam

The fighting, between the Persian and Byzantine empires and the persecution of the Syriac church allowed the Arabs, to take over the Middle East, all the way, from Spain, to India. The Christians living there (who were most of the population, for hundreds of years, before and afterwords) actually invited in the Arab armies, as they thought they would be treated better, than under the Byzantine Empire. And they were for hundreds of years. This changed history profoundly.

Islam as a Unifying Factor

This is what allowed Islam, to become a major world religion and, over many hundreds of years, Christianity shifted its center, from the Middle East, to Western Europe. One of the big reasons why it will continue, to be a capitol offense, to convert from Islam, to any other religion, in the Middle East is because just like the Afghan or the Scots, the Arabs are a tribally organized people with a common language. The thing that unifies the Arabic people is the Islamic religion. In other non-Arab Muslim-dominated countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan the country includes multiple ethnic groups and Islam also provides a unifying factor.

Latin Church as Unifying Factor

Christianity also served as a similar politically unifying force, in Western Europe, as Islam was, for the Arabs. The Roman Empire adopted Christianity, because the emperor at that time believed, that the Christian God was more powerful, than the pagan gods and so believed he would win more battles, if he and his empire became Christian. The Germanic tribes eventually converted to Christianity, for similar reasons. The Roman Catholic Church was then the only institution, that survived the Dark Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire, and was used to keep the royalty in power, until the French Revolution, when the government took all the money, from the Church, to fund Napoleon's war campaigns.

Paganism and Christianity

The Roman Empire and Greek and Roman culture were preserved, by the Latin Church, during the Medieval period. They are the basis, for modern European culture. The Roman Empire was not the biggest, or most important empire, of its time, even in the Old World and the city of Rome was a backwaters during that time, but Europeans glamorized it, because it was a successful empire run by a white racial group. It is ironic that the Church, that is so afraid of the New Age movement, voluntarily chose to synchronize itself with the pagan Greek and Roman philosophies, religions, and cultures. Some of the big sources of tension between Scientists and the Roman Catholic Church were not over Biblical doctrines, but came about as a side effect of the Latin church adopting pagan Greek and Roman views of the world.

Importance of Middle East

The big reason for the success of the Roman Empire and any other empire, that controlled the Middle East, was because the maritime technology of the time allowed easy navigation, of the Mediterranean, but was not able to allow navigation in an open ocean. Basically, there was some very important trade, that happened, between Europe and the Far East, including China, India, and Southeast Asia. The Middle East was the central point, in this trade, and those who transported these good back and forth became very powerful and rich.

7.2.2 No Rules

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Why Liberals are Progressives

Many people believe the conventional wisdom, that people get more conservative, as they get older, but when people get older, they change less and less. The reality is that society is going more and more in a liberal direction and has since the Renaissance, to as recent as the last 50 years, depending on what part of the world you are living in. The reason why liberals sometimes use the term progressive is because what is now considered liberal will be considered conservative in the future. Liberal is another word for change or "progress".

The Slippery Slope

I think many of the changes, in the last generation or two, of American society are good, but I think several more generations, in the future, it will be taken too far. The big problem with being more and more liberal is not about being liberal fiscally but about being liberal socially. We now are making it acceptable for two men or two women to marry, which, I think, makes sense.

Many social conservatives see this as a slippery slope, where the sexual revolution goes so far, that certain things, that most people consider morally wrong sexually (even radical liberals) may become common place and socially acceptable, far into the future. I don't see this even starting to happen in my lifetime or even the generation after that's lifetimes, but later on this could well be a serious problem, in the making. Think about how much has changed in the last 50 years and how things are changing, at an accelerated pace. Think about what might happen, if the current trends continue, to be pushed, at a exponentially faster pace. Where will it end?

Not Enforcing Laws

What I am concerned about is something quite different. What I am concerned about is the desire of those in power and the average citizen on making more and more things legal and even not enforcing laws, that are unpopular, but are there for a good reason. For some people, this brings up the idea, that our government makes laws about what the criteria must be, for someone to legally come into the country. Then we decide, instead of changing the laws, that we should just not enforce them, and so some people, from certain countries, get away with things we would never allow people, from other countries, to do.

Taking Risks with Safety

But even more basic is the unwillingness to follow, even the most simple and obvious laws, designed for safety. For example, people seem to think it is ok to run red lights and not signal, when they turn. This happens so often, that you never know, which way a car will turn. And the reasons for these rules are so obvious and following them so simple, but people are still unwilling to follow even these rules.

Fear of Hard Work

People in various jobs, I come into contact with, refuse to show up on time, or even follow the most simple directions. The average person toady is an expert in how to give impressive arguments about why they are unwilling to follow directions. It seems that most people's greatest fear is having to perform an honest day's work. And this still happens, when many people still have no jobs and if someone loses a job, there are no jobs open, but this still doesn't motivate people, to do their work properly.

Too Cheap

Now that we have budget cuts, because of tax cuts and welfare for the big corporations, we have to cut basic services, like public education and law enforcement. We have so little money left, to even keep public order, that crimes against property are not prosecuted. We won't even spend money, to repair bridges, never updated for over 50 years, even though they are crumbling, right before our eyes. We refuse to even provide the most basic security updates, for computers, that run our critical infrastructure, because we are too cheap.

Unwillingness to Save/Invest

Businesses seem unwilling to save up money, before they invest in new projects, so when they lose money, they go bankrupt and the average citizen ends up bailing them out. And businesses seem unwilling, to invest any of their own money, into improving their business, and never adopt any new ideas, or take any risks, to differentiate themselves, from the other brands and then are surprised by their failure. Most people are deep in debt, because they are don't have the discipline, to save their money, before they buy new things.

7.2.3 Fundamental Problem

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Victim of our Success

The fundamental things that is ruining America is that we are the victim, of our own success. Things are too easy for us, which has made us weak. Since even national governments are unwilling, to even think one generation ahead, and the public is unwilling to make any measurable effective sacrifice, things are going to get exponentially worse, before we even realize, what has happened. One the critical amount of momentum has happened, it will be very costly, just to slow down the increase in damage.

Exponential Growth

One of the biggest problems, we are facing today is that our leaders and our citizens can't seem to understand how exponential growth works. Exponential growth explains how when the English came to America, that the fish in the rivers couldn't move, because the rivers were crammed full of fish. We had so much timber in America, that we used old growth wood, that we can't even find today, for firewood, or just cutting it down, to start farms. When we started making cars, we never thought that all of the people in China and India would eventually be able to afford one and that we would have billions of cars.

Exponentially Greater Problems

This is the same way, that diseases spread, from one person, and then infect hundreds of millions. When we wait 10 more years, to solve environmental problems, the damage could easily be 10,000 times harder to fix then. The reality of Global Warming is that when the temperature rises just a little bit, the entire ecosystem falls apart and the natural controls, for the climate stop working. Then the weather gets exponentially more destructive. This is the reason why environmentalists made such a stink about it, as early as the 1970s.

Out of Our Control

People made fun of Jimmy Carter, when he pushed alternative energies, but how much better would the world be if the country had the political will, to get the problem under control then. At this point, the US has lost their ability, have the leverage, to push other countries, to use less fossil fuels. At this point, the bulk of the environmental losses will be the result of India and China, so that if we give up a certain amount of fossil fuel consumption, they will increase their consumption, to the point, that it will offset our reduction.

7.2.4 Solutions

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The "Easy" Solution

I have already talked about a return, to an earlier level of technology, as a way to deal with our current lack of resources, to solve our energy problems. Most people would consider that giving up, but there is another, more popular solution. This solution would involve finding a much greater source of energy. But the problem here is that we need more than just 100 or 1,000 times as much energy, and we need to continue to find exponentially increasing amount of energy, every generation, or else we end up, with an earlier level of technology.

Many More Solutions Necessary

Basically, we are addicted to energy, and out energy desires will increase exponentially, so instead of us needing a one time increase of energy, we need to find, either an almost unlimited amount of energy, or else we need to keep on finding more and more powerful energy sources. So this problem will keep happening, every 20 years, and we will be in the same situation, that we are in now then. That is the biggest problem, with keeping things comfortable, and avoiding a collapse, of the world, as we know it. The largest amount of energy will be needed, to engineer projects, to protect people and society, from the increased destructive power of weather.

Will God Return?

Many Christians think God will come, if society collapses, but that is not Scriptural. Jesus talked about returning like a thief in the night and that no one wold know what hour or day He would return. You can basically be sure nothing will happen, at any time, that is forecasted. So, if people give a date, when they think the world will end, you can almost guarantee, that that will not be the time. History proves this.

Very smart and good intentioned people, with great faith, a lot of good evidence, and good scriptural support gave exact dates, when Christ would return, and all were wrong. I think it is a waste of time and resources, to continue this pursuit. Remember, that that even the devil and the angels have no idea about this, as well, and they are much smarter, have more resources, have had much more time, and want to know more badly than us.

God's Return will Surprise Everyone

The timing will likely come, when things are very peaceful and society is very stable. Before Jesus comes, people will have tired, of being afraid of His return. We will likely experience things, in a different order, and in a way, as surprising as how Jesus came and what He did, compared to what people thought would happen.

Jesus will return, when there is a spiritual crisis, that we will likely be unaware of, and it will not likely be at a time of a political or environmental crisis. The fist half of the tribulation could happen, without us knowing, until we were half way through. Only God knows and controls when this happens. When it does happen and the government wants us to take the mark of the beast, it will be the number 666 exactly and you will be crystal clear of what that is, when it happens.

The Best Solution

The best solution is a solution, that God will bring. Prayer for God's will to happen, keeping a Christ like attitude and doing our best to avoid sins are the best way to help. What is spiritually significant is different than what is socially, politically, militarily, or financially significant. We need to have faith in God and follow His will.

The only way to be sure, that what we attempt, will succeed is to make sure that we are doing what God wants us to do. If God wants you to do something, He will make it crystal clear. And success will need to be defined, as serving God's purposes, which we will unlikely know how, what we do, will help God's plan. God doesn't need us, but we need God. We will fail God, but God will never fail us.

Chapter 8

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New Lessons Continue

by Ben Huot

8.1 Religion and History

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8.1.1 Middle East, Africa, and Christianity

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African Origins

Many consider the Middle East, to be part of Asia, but the more I study about Africa and the Middle East, the more similar they seem. Biblically, Ham is African and the major descendants are Mizraim (Egypt, North Africa, and Crete/Philistines), Canaan (Modern Israel), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put (Central and Southern Africa). It is likely that the Garden of Eden is in Central Africa and modern genetics can trace the origin of people, back to Central and South Africa.

Genetically, it seems early humans travelled from Central Africa, to North Africa and the Middle East (likely through Ethiopia, across the Red Sea). Linguistically, based on archeology, it is most likely that the major Middle Eastern languages like Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic were descendants of languages, that originated in Ethiopia. Also, North Africa was a huge forest, about 10,000 years ago, and most people lived there, before they migrated to Egypt, once the Sahara turned into a desert, due to a 1 degree shift, in the Earth's orbit.

Race and Skin Color

Interesting enough, there is no Biblical evidence that the descendants of Ham were all black and color and race are not necessarily related. This is very evident in the Middle East and in Libya, where you cannot tell if someone is from the Middle East based solely on skin color. And in America, people don't ask you first, where you are from, before they discriminate against you, but rather discriminate racially, against anyone with darker skin, whether Latino, African, Indian, Native American, or South/Southeast Asian.

That is why dividing people into groups, like African American and Latin-American make little sense, since there are white people from Africa, there are both light skinned and dark skinned Latinos, and I wouldn't be surprised, if they are treated very differently. Also, if anyone in America that is black is called African American, then why aren't white Americans called European Americans, and what do you call someone, born in Africa, who emigrated to the United States? - they likely have more in common, with recent immigrants, from other parts of the world, than black Americans. Also, much of the world outside America is biased, against people, with darker skin.

African History

Africa was also connected, to the Middle East, via trade, for centuries. Islam spread in Africa, mostly through traders, which one of their major commodities was the sale of human slaves. The Swahili trade language, common in East Africa, is derived from Arabic. The major areas that Islam spread most successfully were in East Africa and just South of the Sahara desert, along what were both referred to as the "shorelines" (of the Sahara Desert and of the Indian Ocean). Up until the Ottoman Empire began to lose its power in the region, the Ottomans had the most political influence in Africa. It was because of the power vacuum, that happened once the Ottoman Empire left in Africa, that lead to Europeans moving in to colonize Africa.

The reason for the lack of stability, in any modern African country, and the common political situation being dictators, running the countries, that keep in power, due to the wealth gained, from mining, is due to the Europeans leaving, during the early Cold War, so quickly and not providing a smooth transition, to independent rule. Later, during the Cold War, Russia tried to befriend many of the new nations, but the US knew they would never leave and so many in Africa blame both the US and Europe, for their situation, but is is a little more complex than that.

Christianity in Africa

We often think of Christianity as coming into Africa, via white missionaries, from Europe and America, but this is not very accurate. Some of the very earliest Christians were in Egypt, North Africa, and Ethiopia, long before most of Europe became Christian. Ethiopia even practiced Judaism, before even the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, and the most logical explanation, as to where the Ark of the Covenant went, is Ethiopia, as well. Much of the early doctrine, of the Church, was formed in Alexandria and North Africa (including such famous theologians as Augustine). Most of those who were recently converted, in Africa, were converted by fellow African prophets, that often came back, from slavery, in America.

There is a common saying about Christianity and Africa, that goes something like this: When the Europeans came, we had the land and they had the Bible. We closed our eyes and prayed. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land. Some of the biggest Churches in Africa are Catholic, Anglican, and the AICs. It is likely that there are more Africans, who are members of the Church of England, than there are in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand combined.

The AICs are the fastest growing churches, in Africa. They are often called African Independent Churches and often take their inspiration, from the Ethiopian Church. They have no connection, to any Churches in America or Europe. They follow the Bible well, but very differently, than we do, in America. They are very often supernaturally aware (one of the greatest fears in the African churches is witchcraft) and often follow many of the laws of the Old Testament.

Future of Religion in Africa

The US once feared that communism would take over Africa, but that is very unlikely, because not only is Christianity very compatible with African traditions, most Africans are extremely religious, and it would be hard to be atheist and still be part of the tribal community. Even as more and more Africans move into cities, religion is still fundamental for the average African. Many Africans are proud of being African and actually feel sorry for Americans, because of how most Americans, even though rich in material wealth, are poor in spiritual knowledge.

Africa will likely be the center of Christianity and fulfill an important prophetical role, for a long time to come. Christianity outnumbers Islam 2 to 1, is growing faster than Islam, is culturally relevant in more countries and regions, and Islam had over a thousand years head start. There are now more Africans sending missionaries to Europe, then the other way around. There are also a number of American Anglican preachers being ordained, by bishops in Africa, to avoid having to accept liberal social values, like gay marriage (because of recent decisions by some American Anglican leaders).

8.1.2 How Greek Philosophy Influenced Christianity

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How Greek Culture Came to the Middle East

The Greek language and culture first came, into the Middle East, via the conquest of Alexander the Great (who was educated by Aristotle) and the setting up of Greek centers, in a few cities, throughout his empire. When the Roman Empire took over the Middle East, it reinforced this Greek culture. Greek became the international language of scholars and of those in major cities. The elite spoke Greek, while Aramaic was spoken in the higher interior lands and Hebrew was spoken in the lowlands. Syriac was an important dialect of Aramaic, which became the scholarly language, of the medieval era, in the Middle East.

Much of this land was traded back and forth, between the Persian and the Roman Empires, depending on the success, of the current military campaigns, of each side. Persia was slowed down, by having to fight the Mongols, on their eastern borders. Rome was an opportunist and took more and more territory, as situations opened up, but only became a world power once they were able, to take over Egypt and the Middle East, which had a very lucrative trade based economy.

How the Church became Greek

The chief proponent, of Greek culture, was the Christian Church, that was based on the open and international center of scholarship, in Alexandria. Greek philosophy was considered, to work well, with Christianity, because all the scholars were raised in a Greek culture and they outnumbered the Jewish converts. Early Christians' worldview was that philosophy supersedes religion, as they were obsessed with explaining theology, in a rational manner.

From the Greek point of view, religion progressed in 3 stages: first there were pure rituals, second came moral agency, and the third step was speculative philosophy. The Greek view on Christianity was, that everything was guided, by a philosophically based theology, that set about a higher rational purpose: to explain the problems of existence. Morality was based on the speculation, as to the human place, in the universe, duty was involved in our reason for existence as well, and that rituals are the expressions of morality, based on doctrine. Basically, both ritual and law came out of a rationally explained reality.

Rivalry between Christians and Jews

The main rivalry, of the time, that shaped later religious debate, in the Middle East, was started, with the rivalry, between Judaism and Christianity. Many, of the early persecution, of Christians, was pushed, by Jewish zealots, and their influence, upon the political powers, that be. Just as Christians were opening themselves up, to a wider world and embracing new ideas, the Jewish community decided to take the opposite approach.

The Jewish community started a reformation, that pushed for increased focus on rituals and the law and the separation, between the Jewish people, and outsiders. The Jewish community went back to an earlier, more conservative era, while Christians decided, to be progressive, and embrace a more open future. This early persecution was one of the major causes, for the spread of Christianity, beyond the confines, of the Roman Empire.

Why Reject Greek Philosophy?

The problem. with the Greek view. of Christianity. is that it is based on a pagan world view. This comes. from an intellectual approach, to Christianity, based on the flawed understanding, of the relationship, between the rational and the mystical, in the Biblical tradition. The universe and humanity are designed by a rational Creator, but we can only understand Him, by faith, because all the Biblical doctrines are based on the concept of paradox. Just because God is rational does not mean we can explain Who God is, or our relationship, with Him, relying on reason alone.

Christianity, from a Biblical point of view, is not going to be accepted, by those who are elite intellectuals, because the only way, that we can understand God, who is a mystery to us, is by faith, in what we cannot explain. The Bible gets both those who are obsessed with supernatural power and those, who are believers in human wisdom angry, because it shows clearly, that they are both wrong.

The Bible is a sore point, to non-believers, because they cannot reduce it down, to what they can accept, from an emotional, or rational human point of view. The Bible requires, that we first humble ourselves, before God and are saved, not through what we know, or what we can do, but based almost entirely, upon what God has done for us and gives us freely.

Starting from Scratch

This means, that accepting Christ, as our Savior, means giving up doing things our own way and, so we no longer get to receive credit, for what we have done. We give up everything, when we come to God and He then gives us everything. What separates us from God is not unforgivable sin, but our pride, in our own abilities.

Just like when die, we give up all earthly possessions, so, to before being born again, we first give up doing things, our own way. We have to start all over again, in Christ, after we have spent many years accumulating earthly success. The reason why Christianity is so popular amongst the physically weak, materially poor, and persecuted is that there is less for them to give up.

8.1.3 Unknown Religions

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Forgotten Religions

Major world belief systems have had different times, in history, where they were at their peak, much as countries have, as well. Buddhism, for instance, peaked, at about a thousand years ago, and Islam has likely peaked, within the last couple hundred years, while it will likely take Christianity another hundred years, to peak (mainly depending on the growth of Christianity in China and the (resurgence) in the US, as well as how the situation evolves in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia).

Some of the major religions, of the past, are not as relevant today. Two of these religions were popular, along the Silk Road, during the Asian Golden Age: Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism. We still have Christian histories, covering this period, as Christianity was also very popular, in this part of the world, in this time period, as well. Today, very few people practice either of these religions, although the very popular Kabbalah likely shares much in common, with these religions.

Origins or Zoroastrianism

The Zoroastrian origins are highly debated, but these early Christians were convinced, of the commonly held belief, that Zoroastrianism went, at least as far back, as to when the Jewish people were taken captive, by the Medes and Persians (Iran). This was about the same time, as the Old Testament prophet Daniel lived. Zoroastrians were famous for their fire temples.

The three wisemen, who came a few years, after the birth of Christ, to deliver expensive gifts, following the star, over Bethleham, were likely Zoroastrian priests. Ancient Persia and ancient India had some very similar religious ideas, one of which was an aversion to writing, which helps explain why there is so little evidence, of exactly when Zoroaster lived, or when the Vedas were first composed.

Zoroastrianism and Christianity

Zoroastrianism is described, by early Christians, in Iran, to be a combination of astrology, sun and star worship, and the indigenous pagan religions of ancient Assyria and Babylon. Also, Christians were persecuted, by the Zoroastrians much like they were, under Islam, or the Jews were, during the Medieval Period, in Europe. Zoroastrians were forbidden, from converting, from Zoroastrianism, to any other religion and Christians were made, to pay higher taxes.

Often, their bishops were prohibited from traveling, to their congregations, or proselytizing, and there were even officially recognized persecutions. The pope of the Persian Church was appointed, by the Shah-in-Shah (King of Kings of Persia), the priests were paid by the Persian government, and the members of the church there were required, to follow the rules, of the church, that they were members of.

But the Church was encouraged to split, by the government, as it was thought to weaken the Church. The state involvement in the Church was so accepted, by the Persian Christians, that they would not all accept a new Pope, until he was approved by the Shah-in-Shah and Christians leaders often used their connection, with powerful Zoroastrians, to help them change Church rules and doctrine.

Practices that Angered Zoroastrians

When Rome first legalized Christianity, things went down hill, for Christians, in Persia, as they were thought, to be disloyal, as the official religion of Persia was Zoroastrianism, and Christianity was always in the minority, in terms of followers. The things, that really upset the Zoroastrian priests (Magi) the most were the burying of dead bodies and the popularity, of taking vows, of chastity, amongst the Christian population.

The Church later encouraged Christians, to marry, and have children, as they found it difficult to find new converts, due to the legal situation. Christianity was popular amongst the artists and craftsmen, the nobles, and the best doctors will usually Christians as well. This also angered the Zoroastrians. The Persian Church successfully spread the Gospel further, along the Silk Road, all the way through Central Asia, to China and India (in areas that presently are some of the most hostile to Christianity).

Church of the East

Many people think that the Persian Church was part of the Antioch Church (which is modern day Beirut, Lebanon), but, although they did use the Syriac language, from the rural areas of Syria (Greek was spoken in Antioch originally), they formed their own Church, called the East Syrian Church, Nestorian Church (although they disagreed with the Nestorian heresy), or Church of the East. The center, of the Church of the East, was Ctesiphon/Seleucia, which was near, what is now Baghdad, Iraq and also near Babylon (of the tower of Babel and the Babylonian Empire). The reason for the various heads of the church (Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, and Ctesiphon/Seleucia) was due to the heads of each empire wanting one head Christian, to be a kind of ambassador, representing all Christians in the empire, so the King could easily communicate new laws, for all Christians.

Things got really confusing, as to whether the churches, on the borderlands, were under the control of Antioch or Ctesiphon/Seleucia, at any given time, because the same diocese was either part of the Roman or the Persian empire, depending on where the current border was. Ironically, the number of divisions in the Church in Asia, although obviously, causing a weaker church, was actually one of the things that helped it hold on so long, as there was no central structure, that could be taken down, all in one place (just like it is hard, to fight against modern terrorism, for the same reason). The Church of the East eventually accepted most the major "western" Church councils including the Nicene one, but chose slightly different book for their canon. The Church everywhere agreed that practicing occult rituals was forbidden.

Manicheanism

Manicheanism was practiced, by the famous Christian theologian Augustine (who came up with the idea of the Trinity and lived in North Africa), before he converted. It was described, by these early Christians, in Persia, as a secret religion. This is a bad sign, from a Biblical world view, as the Bible talks about how evil is practiced in secret, because of people knowing it is wrong, so they try to hide it. The secret societies are often reported, to be a place, where occult rituals are performed. The word occult itself means hidden.

Manicheanism was very similar, in many ways, to Gnosticism, which came from Plato's philosophy and before that the Kabbala, derived from the ancient indigenous pagan religions of the Assyrians and Babylonians. This is where the Star of David comes from, which is actually the Star of Solomon, as the sign of Judah was a lion and there is no reference, of a star of David, in the Bible. King Solomon, who was King David's son, was famous for ruling over Israel, at the height of its political and economic supremacy and, for the great wisdom, that God gave him.

King Solomon

Solomon was also known, for taking many wives, who later corrupted him and lead him, to practice their pagan religions, as well as being the one chosen, by God, to build the permanent place, for the Ark of the Covenant (where sacrifices were made, to God, of the Bible and where He dwelt, on Earth, by the Levite Priests): the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. In the tradition, of the Christian group, that has historically been the dominant group and long time leader, of Ethiopia, Solomon had the Ark of the Covenant taken from him, after the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, by their mutual son. This is still the best explanation, as to what happened, to it, since neither the Bible, nor do any of the writings of Israel's conquerors, explained, where it went to.

Freemasons

The modern secret society, called the Freemasons, were originally started, by a powerful group, called the Knight Templars, who became too powerful, due to their lending huge amount of money, to European royalty. The Knights Templar started out, as guards, for European Christian pilgrims, traveling to and from the Holy sights, in the European Crusader's kingdom in Palestine. They produced some of the greatest soldiers of the Crusades. They got some sort, of special status, from the Pope, due to something they found, when digging, under Solomon's temple (their headquarters at the time), which they blackmailed the Pope with. Most of them disappeared, on ships, after the French King rounded up a number of them and tortured them, because he was deep in debt, to them.

They may have went, in many different directions, but there is likely a Scottish and or Swiss connection. The Scottish were excommunicated, by the Catholic church, over their king killing off a rival, in a church, so the Knights Templar (also excommunicated) were offered land in Scotland. One of the key battles, that kept the Scottish independent, from the English had considerable help, from a small group of excellent archers, whose origins were unexplained. The Freemasons have ties to some Scottish clans and the American founding fathers. The Swiss, who were mostly raised sheep, all of a sudden became the source of the best mercenaries in Europe, as well as creating the most famous banking system, which they have never revealed the origins of.

The Cursed Become the Blessed

It is ironic that the evil cursed nations bordering ancient Israel were the very first and most dedicated, of Christians, many of whom kept their faith, up until they left (and still practice it today in America, Europe, Canada, Australia, and India), after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, against centuries of great persecution, but that God's chosen people rejected Him, because they were trying to fit in with and raise their social status, with the surrounding peoples. Many people, who don't know the Bible very well, are perplexed at how different Jesus Christ appears, in the New Testament vs. how God the Father is portrayed, in the Old Testament. But if you read the Old Testament Prophets and the History of Israel, God the Father was just as kind and merciful, as Jesus Christ (Who are one and the same).

8.1.4 Christianity in Asian Golden Age

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Introduction

There were more Syriac Christians, at one time, than that of the Latin and Greek churches combined. This was the time period referred to, as the Middle Ages, in Europe and the Golden Age, in Asia. Syriac Christian priests were scholars in fields as varied as diplomacy, linguistics, and medicine.

Christian Doctors

Syriac Christians were the best doctors, at the time, and they were early proponents, of the importance, of fresh fruit and vegetables, in keeping healthy. They used sugar, from India, as medicine and popularized the use of Sherberts (boiled fruit mixed with honey) and Rhubarb, for medicine. They built a teaching hospital in Susa.

Christianity Amongst the Turks

Christianity was popular, amongst the Turkic people, at first, with many of the major kings converting, to Christianity. There were, at least, 8 million converts, amongst various Turkic tribes, during this period. Syriac Christians developed the written language, for the Uigur language, from their center, for translation, Merv. which was later adopted, by Genghis Khan, and his Mongol descendants.

Syriac Christians were treated better, under Mongol rule, than any other government. Genghis Khan's uncle was Prester John (which is a legend of a Christian missionary spreading Christianity into Asia or Africa). Genghis Khan himself believed in one all powerful creator God and it was one of his first laws for his subjects. Many in Genghis Khans royal family were Christians. The Mongols and the Crusaders attempted an alliance, to hold off the Arab retaking, of Palestine.

Many of the major cities (also major Christian centers), along the Silk Road, were destroyed, by Genghis Khan, including: their churches, the people, their libraries, artwork, wealth, and industry. The Mongols killed off a larger percentage, of the Earth's human population, than any other single ruler has ever done, in human history. When the Mongols gained power, they helped rebuild the churches perviously destroyed and removed most of the legal restrictions, on Christians, like having to pay a non-Muslim tax.

Christian Influence on other Belief Systems

Christianity had considerable influence, on the theology and rituals, of a number of different religions. Syriac Christianity was popular, at this time, in southwest and north India. The future Buddha called Maitreya and the Hindu incarnation of Vishnu were likely inspired, by Christianity. The hand symbol commonly used, in meditation, in the Indian belief systems comes, from Syriac Christian practices. Tibetan Buddhism likely based much of their practices and organization upon Christian traditions, like: prayers for the dead, holy water, demons, confessions, red ceremonial clothes, and the Delai Lama (Pope).

In China, Christianity was called the Luminous Religion. Syriac Christian missionaries were first sent, as ambassadors, from the king of Persia to China. In China, during the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor gave monetary support, for churches, in exchange for the Christian priests praying for them and their ancestors. The emperor knew enough about Christianity, to know, that it was irreconcilable, with Buddhism, when he ordered that Buddhists and Christians stop working together ,on the translation of sacred scripture. Syriac Christians developed a simple alphabet, for the Korean language. The lecture Hall of the Koryuji Buddhist temple, in Kyoto, Japan, was once a Christian church.

When Tamberlane and the Chinese Ming Dynasty came to power, Christian communities were persecuted relentlessly, until Christianity fell from prominence, in most parts of Asia.

8.2 Politics and History

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8.2.1 The Information Revolution

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Predictions

When I was a kid, we heard from futurists, who predicted, that the advent of computers would bring about a technologically based revolution, which would affect society, as much as the agricultural and industrial revolutions. In the 90s, most Americans thought that the revolution was over and the Internet would basically stay the same, that America would be the most affected, and that it would make America more efficient and prosperous, without much of any social or political pain. There is a growing number of people now, that are just waking up, to an entirely different world order, which is just, in the beginning stages, of revolutionary change. Some of the greatest threats, to our nation are: our economic depression and the destruction of the environment.

The Rise and Fall of America

This happened because Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan invested in education and built up their manufacturing capabilities basically handed to them by Americans with no vision. Actually, it was a little different, because the big perceived threat, to America, was the Soviet Union and one of the means which the US did its best, to prevent Europe and East Asia, from becoming communist, was to spend exorbitant amounts of money and resources building them up, from third world nations, to the economic power houses we made them into, by the end of the Cold War.

And it was during World War 2, where the European colonial powers stretched themselves too thin fighting a world war, so that they ended up giving up their empires, to win the war. The British very directly and knowingly handed their world leader status, to the United States. The US became the world's leading superpower, only after Europe almost completely destroyed itself. The US became rich, in the next couple decades, because all the industrial centers in Europe were destroyed and the US had reserve capacity, being unused, because of the Great Depression.

Rise of China and India

China and India found a way to make use of computers and the Internet, to give them a big enough market, to fund their re-emergence and the means to compete for jobs, they were too far away geographically, to be eligible. The other aspect often forgotten is that the Internet, as we now know it, only really took off, when computers reached the magical price point of $500.

This was only achievable, due to the politics and economic decisions, of communist China. China did the same thing as Japan did. The problem with this situation is, who will be what China's was, for Japan. The other problem, that China currently faces is that how long will America keep on buying Chinese goods, as our unemployment rates remain high and is so difficult, to obtain business loans.

Relationship between Technological Revolutions

But before we can even glimpse the possibilities, of the information revolution, we need to look at what happened, with the industrial and agricultural revolutions, to both see the scale of disruption and the relationship, between the different technological advancements. The first thing to understand is that the information revolution, depends upon the industrial revolution, which depends on the agricultural revolution. Contrary to the ideas of the average American consumer, the most important jobs are not software engineer or support centers, but farmers and the entire infrastructure that produces, brings the food to us, and gets rid of its waste.

The agricultural revolution depends on seeds, soil, and water resources, also being reduced by environmental destruction. On top of this agricultural base, the industrial revolution depends on fossil fuels (Coal, Oil, and "Natural Gas") as well as some nuclear. There is also some very limited experimental research occurring, in all the "green" energies, with basically no potential, without fundamental progress in technology (on the level of difficulty faced, with currently inventing and powering time and space travel, or understanding the brain enough to cure Schizophrenia), to make them efficient enough to be viable.

Prior Revolutions

The agricultural revolution brought about the first cities (permanent settlements), writing and records, governments and laws, more specialized and complex jobs, as we know them today and the rise of world powers in the Middle East, major parts of Africa, and most of Southern Asia. Some of the major breakthroughs, of this time include: the cultivation of seeds, domestication of animals, long term food storage techniques, and irrigation techniques.

Before this everything is considered pre-history, but many people have great evidence, that we once had a much more technologically advanced civilization, that was destroyed somehow. The industrial revolution was started, because of a slight warming in weather in England and the rudimentary atomization, of wool production. Factories, street gangs, unions, communism, modern secretive societies, consumer protection laws, telegraphs, photography, and Europeans, as world powers, were some of the results, of this transformation.

Information Revolution

So far, the information revolution has produced personal mass transportation (cars), computers and the Internet (instant access to most media and the digital creation, storage, and transmission of earlier technologies like written documents, music, photography, and movies and related intellectual property issues), outsourcing, globalization, modern terrorism, global warming, and the economic and political rise of Asia. Most of this technology was first introduced, during World War 2, by the NAZI (German) military, and was developed, by the US and Soviet military industrial complexes.

The major factors influencing our future world are the interplay and decisions related to: environmental problems (more powerful and destructive weather, decline in fundamental natural resources, and an increase in the number of people), sustainable energy other than fossil fuels, the rise of global Christianity and Islam (and continued decline of religion in Europe and the United States), and the global economy.

The Solution

The real fundamental issues, that hold our country back, are our naivety and our laziness. If we can find, within ourselves, the will, to fight, for our future and make the necessary sacrifices, we will do well, into the future. The funny thing is that many Americans are afraid of global climate change, but the US actually will be the least affected, by these changes. Europe, Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, and China will be the most affected. The technological developments, that will enable many of these social changes, will be increased reliability, bandwidth, compression, commoditization, and fault tolerance of the Internet infrastructure worldwide.

The US need not become a third world nation. For this to happen, we need to focus on our economy and alternative energy and stop draining our wealth due to buying oil and fighting unending foreign wars. Empires always fall from within and the reason they call it terrorism is that it is only effective in scaring us. If the terrorists were capable of destroying us, then we would be currently fighting an invasion force.

8.2.2 Business and Government

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Evils of Government Regulation

We hear how awful communism is our whole life, or any government involvement or regulation, on how businesses operate, no matter how they behave. We hear how terrible environmentalists are, so much, that they are now designated, as terrorists, and we hear about how bad is, is to have any consumer protection laws, or to ever sue a company, whose product kills them our causes an awful disease. It seems like the press has swallowed this false belief whole: that any regulations placed on businesses are some how the same as being communist; that capitalism, with no restrictions is necessary, for democracy; and that businesses are always perfect and government is always evil.

We hear how bad it is, to give money to the poor, but somehow it is ok for the rich, to get welfare. Businesses don't want, to follow any regulations, but then they want, to get bailed out, when they make stupid business decisions. Conservatives talk about how they believe, in the right of states and individuals, but they only apply this, to corporations and only, to get rid of responsibility, for their actions and as an excuse, to starve the government, for money, so that it cannot perform basic services, like law enforcement, emergency health care, and public education.

We constantly are told that what is good, for business, is good, for the poor and that businesses never benefit, from any government services. Businesses benefit from basic infrastructure and related services, like: public transportation, to get their employees to work; public utilities, to keep business factories and offices powered; the public infrastructure necessary for Internet, cell phone, and telephone services; the road system, to get their supplies, to their customers and from their warehouses; and the fire fighters, that protect their investments, from burning, to the ground.

Government Programs Help Businesses

Businesses also benefit, from basic military and police protection and related services, like: the fighting of foreign wars and keeping the sea lanes open, to ensure businesses have access, to cheap and plentiful oil, necessary, for the world economy, to continue running; the law enforcement services, that keep their assets safe from looting, theft, vandalism, and arson; the homeland security services, who pays to rebuild their assets, after natural disasters, protects them form destruction, by terrorism, and guarantees them access, to cheap illegal labor, in the form of illegal immigrants.

Businesses also benefit from seemingly liberal uses, of tax money, like: the saving of natural resources, so that businesses still have what they need and no business is kept, from access, to critical resources, to keep their factories running; the public education system, that gives businesses access, to highly trained employees, available locally and government paid for loan and scholarship programs, like the GI Bill, Pell Grants, that make these possible; government programs, that encourage the purchasing of homes, by middle class Americans, that provide incentives, to take care of and get involved, in keeping neighborhoods safe and clean, keeping property values high; welfare programs, for the disabled and elderly, that keep them off the streets and out of criminal activities; protection, from electronic and other delivery of scams and other information related crimes, like identity theft, that create so much stress on employees, that they either cannot perform their work properly, or encourage them, to steal, from their work, or even scams that target businesses directly, due to government regulations; consumer protection laws, that protect employees, from health problems, that cause downtime, for businesses; and the protection of consumer bank accounts, that protect the banks, from failing, in crises.

Business cannot Replace Government

And, at the same time, businesses both claim they have a higher rate of taxation, than poor people, but end up not paying any taxes, because they find loopholes, in the system. The key issue, that gives a good example, of how pro-business legislation is not good, for consumers, is, that, unlike, in a democracy, businesses allow no governance, by popular vote: businesses, by their very nature, are dictatorships. And the assumption, of the government, of being the only system, of power, that can be abused is ridiculous. The reduction, of the power of government, over business does not allow more freedom, but rather subjects the population, to the whims of businesses.

Many people say, that, between charities and businesses, we can cover the same services better, than the government. We have a good example, of how that works, as we have seen, from the contractors, that provide Department of Defense services: businesses can be just as inefficient and bureaucratic, as the government and often the same services cost more, when done by businesses. And it is a nice idea, that people would give directly, to charities, but the reality is there is barely enough money, to help the poor enough, to keep the system going, with all the sources of revenues, including: charity, business, and government programs. Finally, the reality is, that, when consumers spend less, on taxes, they do not give more, to charities.

8.2.3 The Ends Don't Justify the Means

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Wars Without End

One of the really scary things, happening in our country, is that we have another major world war, without end. We had this situation before, in what was called the Cold War, between the United States and the Soviet Union. We had come out of a very brutal war, with terrible acts of cruelty were lived out, by millions of victims, and then, when the political situation switched, these serial killer like personalities were free from punishment, as they now formed the hardest, to replace part, of our defense.

The experiments, done by the CIA, were shockingly similar, to the kinds of things done, in concentration camps and the KGB became very much like the SS and Gestapo. Our own military personnel were subjected, to being exposed, to mustard gas and nerve agents, without their consent or foreknowledge. Mentally ill residents of state hospitals were tortured and brain washed, into being a Manchurian Candidate (hypnotized assassin). The CIAs own agents were drugged, with LSD, as lab rats.

Becoming Your Enemy

During the Cold War, as now, people were so afraid of imminent doom, that anything and everything was justified. The sad thing is that the reason why these things are done is because the public expects the government, to do these things, on their behalf. They just don't want, to have to do it or know about it personally, but if an attack happened and these things weren't done there would be a huge back lash, by the general public. So many people have sacrificed, so much, for our freedom, that it is sad, to see the public give these rights away, when we need them most, out of fear.

Many people justify this kind of behavior, because they believe, that the end justifies the means. They believe it is ok, to do bad things for good reasons, but I believe that doing bad things leads to worse things, until you become what you have been fighting against. The real enemy is not another country, but our own sin and our own response, to the scary things in life. We cannot continue, to get rid of civil liberties, whenever they are inconvenient and expect that we are immune, from becoming or supporting people, who are as evil as the NAZIs or Soviets.

What is Terrorism?

The threat, we are now facing, is a type of war, known as unconventional warfare. It is the direct counterpart, of our own special forces. Terrorism is not meant to destroy the enemy, but paralyze them, with fear and destroy them politically or economically, when the enemy cannot be defeated militarily. Just as in Vietnam, we cannot lose militarily, to any group of people, that resorts to guerilla warfare and the best defense is to avoid fighting against them entirely.

There has never been a long protracted war, that has benefited either side. We fought and won World War 2, in 4 years, and that pushed our country and all our allies, to the very limits. If we spend ten or a hundred times as much money, as the terrorist, we are not winning, even if we beat them, in every battle. World War 1 was one economically and this war will be one or lost, by the strength of our economy.

The strategy, that our enemy is using, is to get us involved, in wars, in countries, where there is little to no infrastructure to destroy and if we do succeed, in controlling the country, it will be at a huge cost economically, politically, and militarily. Then the terrorists will go to another nation and we have to fight another war and this sequence repeats, almost indefinitely, until economic conditions destroys our nation.

What we need to do is either be a clear enemy or a clear friend. We either need to get the people, in power, in these nations, to see us as allies, by converting our entire country, to a very extreme form of Islam, or we need to be mean enough, that they fear us more than the local powers. I think it is unlikely, that we will do the first and the second is only possible, if we no longer depend on oil. If we ever do get off oil, there are things we can do, to defeat a guerilla force, in a desolate country, with no infrastructure.

How to Win

For example, we can send special forces in and poison their oasis', or spread diseases, amongst their livestock. We could also create a DNA specific disease, that targets a specific race. These sound awful, but that is what we need to do. If you see some of the injuries, that they have inflicted, onto our soldiers, your opinion will quickly change. In fact, the terrorists have already used chemical weapons, in IEDs, on our troops.

When we fought against NAZI Germany, and we sent in an air strike, we used what is called carpet bombing. If there was a factory somewhere, within say 20 miles, we just bombed everything, to the ground, within a twenty mile range. We just accepted the fact, that there would be civilian casualties and that was part, of the cost of war. When we fought against the Japanese, we could not get them to surrender, no matter what we did, so, to get their fortified machine gunners, to stop killing our troops, we burned them alive, with napalm flame throwers.

That is what war is like and the people responsible, for getting us into wars are Congress and the President . The military never gets to decide where or when they go to war, although they bear the vast majority of the cost. If you think the military's job is easy, then join yourself. If you want to prevent wars, stop electing politicians that vote that way (which would be both Democrats and Republicans).

8.2.4 American Naivety

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American Point of View

Americans are very naive, to how the world works. I read on a blog recently, where a high school kid thought, that instead of devoting billions of dollars, to Department of Defense information warfare, that we should refrain from doing anything, that makes others outside the US mad at us. I have a response that may surprise many: the reason why we are hated is because we are the dominant world power and the world will hate us, until some other country wields the same amount of influence, that we do. We will know, when we are no longer the major world power, because people will hate the next superpower, more than they hate us. Much of the world hated the French and the English, but most don't anymore, because they are no longer world powers.

There are two things, that Americans really don't understand about the world: how things work politically internationally and how other countries respond differently to our intervention, than we would to theirs. They both are due to our ignorance of world history. In America, we seem to think that none of the major world problems existed prior to World War 2 and that we caused all of them. In America, we have a long history of not getting involved worldwide and were content, to ignore most world politics, until World War 2. I think that this is due directly to the American psychological response, to national threats. We are willing to leave others alone, until they directly attack us.

The CIA was designed, for the main purpose, of preventing another Pearl Harbor, from happening, during the Cold War. The Homeland Security Department was set up to deal with attacks, from within America, that were not military threats, but rather psychological threats (like Terrorism). America generally waits, until the last minute, to solve a problem, over reacts, and then ignores any problems again, until the last minute. We are not proactive. It seems that the things we do to win wars often trigger later conflicts. Our support for the Soviet Union during World War 2 made that country a world power, that we fought several major regional wars against (sometimes via allies) in East Asia and the Middle East. The final straw that broke the Soviet Union was the war in Afghanistan, which we trained and armed the same Taliban, that we fight today.

Historical Background

These wars, that we started getting involved in, starting with World War 2, all were happening, in a larger historical context, well beyond World War 1, or even this millennium. Much of this history involves the struggle between 2 religions, that look very different, but in fact are very similar. One of the big problems, that started, in the early Church, was the development of complex doctrines, like the Trinity, by the application of Greek philosophy and the struggle for the survival of Christianity, under many different empires. Most people today think of Islam, as a direct opposite of Christianity. What most Christians, in the US, don't realize is that early Church was far from united, either politically or by doctrine. Many groups of people ended up following what they thought was the one true God, when they were, in fact, being led astray by a heresy, while others were called heretics, but were, in fact, doctrinally correct.

All these variants, of the one true faith, were also entangled, into the politics, of their region. We here a lot about the success, of the Latin speaking Church of Western Europe (France, England, and Italy), now called the Catholic Church. What we haven't heard of is the other 5 major regional centers, of Christianity. Eastern Europe (Greece, Turkey, Balkans, Russia) was dominated by the Greek speaking Church we now call the Eastern Orthodox Church, Africa was dominated by regional Churches in Egypt (who spoke Coptic, the direct descendant of the Egyptian hieroglyphics) and Ethiopia. The other major centers were the Syriac speaking churches (the rural Assyrian regional dialect of what Jesus and the Apostles spoke) in Asia (Syria/Lebanon and Iraq/Iran).

There were many heresies, of the one true God, in the region, at first, including: the Gnostics, the Aryans, the Manicheans, the Zoroastrians (the ancient religion of Iran, before Christianity or Islam), the Jews (Pharisees), and the Muslims. The Arian and the Gnostic heresies quickly lost power, but the other 4 hung around, for a considerable amount of time, with only Judaism and Islam still here today. The success of Islam had a lot to do with politics and timing. Many people in America are aware of Islam, as a religious force, that affects politics, but don't realize that the politics is an important part, of the formation, of the religion of Islam. Basically, Islam united the Arabic speaking tribal people (like the Afghans or the Scots), who came from what is now called Saudi Arabia, which contains the Holy Sites of Mecca and Medina.

Christianity and Islam

One of the reason why the Koran contains many of the same characters as the Bible, but with different theology comes from the Prophet Mohammed hearing many Biblical stories, that were not part of the Bible, and were works of fiction or heresy, that spread amongst the local population. Other reasons include there not being a Bible translated into Arabic by this time and the obsession of the early Church, with confusing technically worded theology, that didn't appeal to the masses. The political situation, that allowed the Arabic people, to take over what we now call the Middle East was a combination of many wars, between the Persian and Byzantine Empires, as well as the persecution, based on obscure theological positions and political rivalry, of major Christian regions, made both the regional powers weak and the local population supportive, of an invasion, from Saudi Arabia.

Islam was, at first, considered a religion, of the Arabic people, and the local Christians (who were the direct descendants of the original inhabitants) were treated better, under Islam, than they were under rival Christian sects. In many ways, both in practice and in spirit, Muslims, in the Middle East practice their religion, that both looks very similar, to how the original Christians practiced their religion and also is more philosophically related, to Christianity, than the synchronization of Greek philosophy and paganism, with Christianity, in the Church, outside of the Ethiopian and Persian Churches.

In America, the only history we study, outside our own, is Medieval English and French history, so we often think of Europe, as being strongly Christian. The reality is that, although the Roman Empire converted to Christianity early on, most of the Germanic tribes like the English and the Vikings took a very long time, to convert and the kings only converted, because they believed, that the Christian God was more powerful, than their pagan gods, so that, as a result, of conversion, they would win more wars. The Church was also the only thing, that held Western Europe together, politically. We don't hear much about the persecution, of Christians, at this time in history, because we only learn about Latin speaking Christianity and then Protestantism.

Christian Persecution

The reality is that Christians were persecuted, under Zoroastrian and Muslim rule, much, in the same way, as the Jewish people were persecuted, in Medieval Europe and at the same time, in history. We hear over and over again about how evil the Crusades were, but we never talk about the Muslim conquests, of the Christian Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, as well as the later invasion of a Muslim empire, into Eastern Europe, from the Renaissance, up until World War 1. We also hear about how evil it is, that the Israelis control the 3rd most holy site, to Muslims in Jerusalem (which sits in the exact location. that the Jewish Temple sat, making it the number 1 holy site. for Jewish people) but we do not hear about Muslim control of the Christian Holy sites of Bethleham, Nazareth, and the Hagia Sophia (The Vatican of the Eastern Orthodox Church, that was turned into a Mosque). We also heard about the evil ethnic cleansing, of Muslims, in Bosnia, but not about the ethnic cleansing of Christians, by Muslims, that were the reason, for the Muslims, being in Bosnia, in the first place, or the ethnic cleaning, of the Syriac Christians, in the Middle East, for hundreds of years, under Tamerlane and the Ottoman Empires.

We here a lot about the rise, of Islamic fundamentalism, in the world today, but the Muslim world has fought the Christian world, so long (even as Europe and America are no longer Christian nations), that the same battle has been going on, for over a thousand years. Even this recent wave, of fundamentalism, is over 100 years old. The difference is, that Europe, even all together, is barely a world power, and Saudi Arabia is one, of the richest countries, in the world, due to our addiction to oil. It is likely, that only a small sum goes, to fund terrorism, but that is still a lot of money, mostly due to alms (like the Christian tithe) given to the major charities, in the Middle East (to help the Palestinian cause, which is mainly done by terrorism). Iran directly and publicly funds terrorism.

The best thing American and European women can do, to help women in the Middle East is to be much less aggressive politically and much more modest in dress, and less promiscuous. The more women gain power, over men, in America in Europe, the longer it will be, before women, in the Middle East are treated decently. Just like the extremism, of Bush brought in what many consider the much more liberal Obama, so the increase in concessions made to women in America, makes things worse, for women in the Middle East.

8.3 Parting Wisdom

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8.3.1 Do More by Doing Less

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(Religion is the Problem: Religion is the Solution)

New Age Movement

One of the things that is very destructive, to the Church, is the New Age movement, which is very different, than Asian philosophy and religion. The New Age movement strategy is to co-opt many Christian (and other major world belief systems) values, on the surface, and try to string together ecology, quantum physics and supernatural forces, so that they can convince people that Science is the same as magic. The New Age movement often focuses on uniting Atheists with Occultists.

The thing, that most people are not aware of, is that this movement is not going to solve any major world problems and, at the same time, create some real spiritual problems, for those, that get drawn in. This is one of the major reasons, for theology in general, and the Evangelical movement, in particular: to be precise enough about Christian doctrine, so that Christians don't end up thinking that these New Age cults are compatible, with the Bible.

The biggest things to look for, to recognize is, if the movement: has a major sponsor, connected with Hollywood or the entertainment industry; is trying to make money; is trying to unite Science and the supernatural; is trying, to provide Scientific support, for things, that are obviously spiritual; supposed proof, for their ideas, is in Science; they treat Science, as both the problem and the solution; claims, that people, practicing indigenous religions, lived in a utopia; claims, that individuality, is the root of evil; focuses on famous people; and is very vague about their doctrine, or their proposed solutions.

It is common in America, for many non-Christians, to think, that the problem, with religions, starts when they become organized. I am a major criticizer, of many major Christian denominations, but of all the Churches I have visited or been a part of, the pastor was never the problem. And the people, who create the problems, in the Church, are often uneducated and don't have a strong foundation in Biblical doctrine. Most cults have very little structure or organization and many of the abuses done in the name of Christ (mostly by the Catholic church) are both easily shown to be unbiblical and were done more out of political than religious reasons.

False Solutions

We are often told our problems are caused by Europe and America, but China now contributes more to global warming, than the US does. The biggest reason why US companies outsource their manufacturing to China is not to save money, on labor, but to save money by polluting more. And we here a lot about how wonderful alternative medicine is, but you never hear that this is one of the leading causes of animal cruelty. For example, bear bile is used in many traditional medicine treatments. They keep bears in cages so small that they cannot stand upright in them.

We see Asian style cooperation as something to emulate, but the Japanese economy is doing worse than the US. India brags about how tolerant it is, but the reason why they have so few problems is that Pakistan and Bangladesh were split off, because the British found them the hardest to control. Pakistan actually has more justification, for calling itself India, than India does, as it has the Indus river, where the Aryan civilization started in, and the river Indus, from which the words Hindu and India come from.

The Europeans, that think they are so much better than Americans, depend on oil as much as we do, despite all their experimental alternative energy, that contributes virtually nothing, to electricity production. France is using nuclear power and is leaving its storage, for 10 thousand years, for future generations, to worry about. The UK had the same problem that the US had in its housing markets. The European Union is a total failure, as the mostly southern European countries (PIIGS) are having to be bailed out, by Germany and France. America and Canada have many more trees than Europe does, as there are virtually no forests left in Europe. Europe has so many problems with terrorism, as England, for example, has more terrorists, in their country, than Pakistan has.

Some of the things Americans think they should do, to help the world, just makes things worse. Americans think if they buy a hybrid gas-electrical car, that they are helping the environment, but they fail to understand, that they get that electricity from gas or coal and that they would use less oil, if they bought a highly efficient gas powered car, instead. Many people also help raise money for children's charities, which is great, except they are a major source of animal cruelty, because they finance animal experimentation. Many Americans think that they can help the world, by eating fish, instead of beef, but we are running out of fish, worldwide, because so much of the world eats so much fish. Those super efficient light bulbs, that are supposed to last years, have mercury in them.

God's Solution

Many people believe that the solutions are social, economic, or political. Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Desmund Tutu are often seen as Christ figures. But Jesus did not lead a social, economic or political revolution or teach a social, economic or political ideology. Although Jesus often healed people with physical, psychological, or spiritual sickness, Jesus said that what we really need is the forgiveness of our sins. While some people were told to give all they had to the poor or to not be hypocrites, Jesus main message was personal salvation. The most important thing Jesus did was not His ministry but His death and resurrection.

Jesus was more interested in who we are than in what we do, as illustrated by His rebuking of Martha and His praising of Mary Magdalene. Our attitude is more important to God, than our accomplishments. Jesus was very critical of the establishment, but He also called His disciples to spread the Gospel and form the Church. Even though Jesus brought in a new contract with His people, and extend this so everyone, Jesus did not change the rules of His law. Jesus appointed the the leader of the Church, who was a traitor and His head missionary, to everyone non Jewish, was the head of the opposition to the Church.

It is not important what we have done, but what God wishes to do through us. Those who were the enemies of Israel were the first to convert to Christianity and those who were chosen by God rejected Him. Even though God intervenes on our behalf, when we are incapable of conquering obstacles, in our lives, God wants us to be mature and responsible and do our best to prepare for problems and only take on projects, that we are prepared for. He wants us to flee from sin and temptations, even though He forgives us. We need to let God determine the direction of our lives, but we need to do the leg work.

Source of Our Problems

The solution to the major world problems is one fundamental spiritually based solution. If you look at what is driving, so much of the destruction of the world and is contributing to the most violence: it can be easily and directly traced, to the sin, of individual people. I have talked before about America not really being a democracy, but the other side is that, if people disagreed enough, with what our country is doing, then we have the power, to resist these policies and force political and economic change. The problem though is with our own selfishness and our desire to be part of a group.

The major problems in the world are driven by our one world economy, which is all based on having enormous amount of cheap energy. Many people often fear what would happen, if all the computers went down, but the real foundation, of our way of life, is on cheap and plentiful oil. America is actually in the drivers seat, as US consumers drive demand, for products and the US is still 1/2 of the world's consumption. We have created a situation, in which we are going to go bankrupt, and it is easy to see why.

We value electronics and cars, we want them to be as cheap, as possible, we don't want the government to interfere, and people in other countries are willing to produce these goods, for less money. We want the ability to have personal transportation and so this sends a huge amount of our money, to the Middle East. Some of this money is used to support terrorism, which we fight against, but are losing, because we spend many times more money, than the terrorists, on fighting them. One of the big reasons why we don't want to do what is necessary, to defeat the enemy, is that we still want their oil, so we don't want to offend them. When the US gets broke enough, the entire world economy will fall apart, because there will not be a big enough consumer market, to buy what China, India, etc produce.

What We Should Do

Many people think the solution to the problem is to not be individuals, but that is exactly the problem: we are not being individuals. Individuality is standing up for what is wrong and doing what is right, no matter what everyone else is doing. We need more will power, to stand up for what is not popular, because the solutions will not be popular. As individuals, we are weak economically and politically. The most effective way, we can influence the situation, is to become born again and pray. The most effective prayer is to pray for God's will to be done.

Even one person praying, like this, makes a huge difference. You will likely never see how your prayers have affected the situation, but they will. God also protects Christians spiritually, much more than He protects us, from other people, so not only will you be more effective spiritually, but you will be safer. The greatest thing, to work on, to change the world, other than prayer is to conquer your own personal sins, in your daily life, by giving more and more of yourself to God. Many Christians fear spiritual forces, but our greatest enemy is our own selfish will.

8.3.2 Tips for Animal Welfare

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Background Information

One of the things very close, to my heart, is the health and welfare, of animals. From my experience, with animals, I have found animals, to almost always be, of stellar morality, on all the things, that really matter, so that, when deciding, on whether I should help and animal or a person, I will almost always choose the animal. I think, that improving the life, of even one animal is a worthy goal, for a well lived life and is very important spiritually, as well. One of the things, that really has kept me, from writing more about this, or to get involved, in animal rights organizations, is that it breaks my heart hearing about all the terrible things animals have been subjected to, done not, for their benefit, nor are they aware, of the reasons, or able to choose their fate.

Animals, Money, and the Law

I am not going to talk about all the awful things done, to animals, but I am going, to help you understand the kind of ways, in which you can prevent cruelty, to animals. Animals are experimented on, for a variety of reasons, all related to making sure chemicals or technologies are safe, for human use. Many otherwise fine groups, like many children's hospitals, hurt animals, in their quest, to find new and more effective treatments, for human diseases. Animals are also hurt, in the process of making sure that cleaners and cosmetics are safe, for humans.

There is hope, though. There are less well known children's charities, that do not experiment on animals and you can buy cleaners and cosmetics, that were not experimented, on animals. If a product is labelled "not tested on animals" than you are clear. You can find lists of charities, that do not experiment, on animals and chemicals, that are not experimented on animals, by going to the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website. The main reason why animals are experimented on is that the chemical companies are using chemicals, that are too toxic, for human use. A good rule of thumb is that, if you think you need, to test a chemical, on an animal, then it is too toxic, for human use.

There are other reasons, that animals get hurt, by humans. Many of these are due to cruel ways, in which animals are made, into food, or young serial killer like personalities. The good news is, that there are groups, that monitor the conditions, of slaughterhouses and help bring about the ban of cruel practices, like foi gras. As times goes by, our laws are being extended, to help protect the rights, of animals, to be treated fairly and humanely. People can now serve time, in prison, for abusing an animal. If you know someone, who is mean to animals, stay away for them, because people, who are mean, to animals, are much more likely, to abuse people, as well.

Pet Care Responsibilities

Some of the ways, in which animals are mistreated usually involve pets. One of the major ways, to make a good life, for your small pet is to give it enough room, to move around in, by letting the animal out of its cage and making sure the cages are big enough, for the animal to move around adequately. For little animals, like hamsters, they have a kind of clear plastic ball, that you can let your hamster roll around in and keep it from getting hurt or lost. Birds should be let out of their cages. I wouldn't worry about a bird escaping, because they will likely find their way back to you. You can also clip their wings so they cannot fly to far, or let them fly around indoors.

There are other ways in which pets can get hurt. Make sure, that you have everything toxic put away, so that none of your animals can get, to them. This is like childproofing, but realize that animals can get into many places, that kids cannot. If you lock up chemicals, in a secure and completely enclosed storage, this should be adequate. Cats cannot be kept in, by fences and rodents can generally get into very small spaces and chew through almost anything. You need to be careful about poisons, that get rid of insects and weeds, because they can make your animals sick. Just because you are not sick does not mean that they are safe. Animals are much lower to the ground and get into things that people usually don't.

Many animals have special needs, depending on their species and/or breed. Some animals need to eat living animals, like reptiles or snakes and some need things, to chew on, like rodents. Different animals are susceptible, to different diseases. Different animals live to different ages. 2 years is long for a hamster, but not as long for a dog. Different animals have different ranges of healthy weight. Taking animals, to the vet is expensive, so make sure you can afford it, before you buy a pet. Also exotic and bigger animals often cost more, than smaller and more common ones. There are legal restrictions, on what kinds of exotic pets, that you can have and how to handle them. Some animals need constant human attention, some are happier with other of the same species, and some need special diets. The best way to find out, about these things, is to read as much, as you can find, about your pet.

8.3.3 Notes on Major Developments

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As I have had the same basic beliefs most my life and think out things very thoroughly, I don't end up changing my opinions very often. Here are some major developments, in my ideas, that I came up with, after additional research.

Roman Catholic Church

In some of my early writings, I talked about my interest in joining the Catholic church and I believed that it was the one true Church. I now know better, after I read a book about the Church, in Asia, during the European Middle Ages. If you read my Main Series, in chronological order, you will see this.

Church Establishment

In my earlier work, I talked about how the establishment was one, of the major sources, of problems and recently, I have said, that organized religion is not where the Church's problems come from. How I reconcile these divergent views is that there are two types of Christian leaders.

There are the leaders, who wield power, by their fame and money, like many well known televangelists and other famous Christians, like authors, who, I believe, create many of the problems, in the Church. I also believe these leaders have little evidence, of faith, in Christ. The other type of Christian leader is a spiritual leader, who is part of a Church, like a pastor or seminary professor. This second type of leader is what I believe is part of the solution, to the Church's problems.

What We Should Do

I have given different advice, in different places, in my books, about what we should do, to help the world. In some places I said that we need, to get up, and actually do something, rather than just pray and be the answer, to our own prayers. I also talked about how Jesus did not take part in politics, or even focus on healing. I also said that we need, to pray, for God's will to be done.

The way I put these together is that like Jesus said to different people, who asked what they should do, to go to Heaven, and Jesus gave a different answer each time. All of us can and should pray, but the other things depend on what kind of person we are and what kind of problems we have. Some Christians are workaholics and need to do less, while some Christians have no drive and never get anything done, for God. These two kinds of people need to do opposite things.

Ultimately, God wants us to have balanced and happy lives, and He helps us, but we need to have some common sense as well. Modern psychology is based on Biblical principles and, if your theology does not accept these ideas, as compatible with the Bible, then you will not be following God's will and you will never be happy.

African Situation

Before, I talked about how it is Europeans, who are the root cause, of the instability and violence prevalent, in most modern African countries. I have now refined this, as I have learned, that there are other reasons, for the sad situation, in Africa, including the lack, of a period, of time, for political transition. I also found out, that the Ottoman Empire was intervening, in Africa, long before Europeans were dominant.

I see the same problem happening, in the Middle East and North Africa today, where citizens are revolting against their rulers, without any single widely agreed upon plan, for the future, of their countries. Just like after the Iranian revolution, many people believed, that the government would be a democracy or a communist country, but the Islamic fundamentalists won instead.

Ecology Driven Science

In the past, I said that ecology driven Science is related to my philosophy, but recently I talked about the New Age movement using ecological ideas, to drive interest in the Occult. Just like every other belief system that the New Age movement claims, to be influenced by, this connection is only superficial.

One of the big ideas in Science, that the New Age movement uses, to support their beliefs is quantum mechanics. Quantum Mechanics is a theory, that can only be really understood, through math, as that is what it is based on and the multiple dimensions, referred to, in this theory, are all physical, not spiritual.

Ecology can mean different things, to different people. New Age proponents often like to bring up the interconnections in ecosystems, similarities in DNA, and the idealist view of indigenous peoples, to get people, to give up their personal will, as a way to gain power, over them. It is important, to note, that we are social creatures and that our place, in society, affects us tremendously, so that we can only fully understand ourselves when we learn about others. The flip side of this is that we are individually responsible and accountable, for our choices, that lead to sin/addictions, that the problems in the world are caused, by our poor decision making, as individuals, and that the only thing we can change in life is ourselves.

The non-Christian solutions to our failures is often knowledge and/or discipline, while the Bible alone says, that we cannot fix ourselves, by our own effort. Christianity is fundamentally more spiritual, than most other belief systems, because its values are not material and its solution, to our problems, requires divine (supernatural) intervention. In most belief systems, you feel good about what you have accomplished, but, as a Christian, you feel good, because of what God has done, for you.