Exploring Humanity (Part 5)

Compassion-3Greetings Dreamers!

I wanted to end this series with a positive message, and discuss the only thing that will fix our world, truly — Love and Compassion.

We all talk about love and compassion. Love is a word that is often thrown around with little earnestness.  Do we do it because we feel obligated because someone else has said it? Do we actually really mean it?  We should mean it, or not say it at all, because it can give the wrong impression, or make us appear as if we are just parrots.

How about compassion?  Do we really empathize with others and show them compassion?  In today’s world, so many people are hurting.  This is just the reality we live in right now.  For instance, here are many more homeless people in the world as a result of all the financial strife our country is facing. I see at least 10 of them every day.  It’s hard to know which one’s are for real and which ones are just looking for drug money, or are scammers.  This is where you have to listen to your inner self.  It is a very difficult thing to learn how to tell those who are earnest, from those who are not.  But if you have spare change, perhaps you should just give it away, no matter what.  In the end, it’s not our place to judge one another.  We must judge ourselves by our own actions. It really doesn’t matter if you give money to someone who doesn’t really need it, because it grows us all as people.  We shed this judgmental aspect of our being, and foster compassion in our hearts.

I don’t want to talk about all the bad things going on in the world — you don’t need me to remind you of that.  My simple message today is that we have to learn to be more compassionate and understanding to those around us.  I know that we are all individuals, but as I’ve said we are all One.  And when one of us is hurting, sometimes it just takes a kind word or gesture to completely change someone’s mood.  And it also means we have to pay attention to our fellow humans.  Some people hide their hurt deep inside.  I personally am very observant of the people close to me — family, friends, co-workers.  It doesn’t help to pry.  But it does help to just show the person you care, and be earnest about it.  When you say you are sorry to someone because they are hurting,grieving, or depressed, say it because you mean it, because they can tell by the tone of your voice whether you are earnest.  If you can’t be earnest, don’t say anything at all, because that will just make things worse.  Trust me, I know how I feel when someone says, “Aww…I’m so sorry.”  But i can tell they don’t mean it, and that just makes me feel more alone and hurt.

So I am ending this series on Exploring Humanity, and next week I intend to move onto a less serious topic — The Universe.  Feel free to suggest something to me.  I’m always open to exploring new ideas.

But before I go, I just wanted to sum this series up by saying that the only true way we can change our world, is by first changing ourselves.  These short essays were not intended to lecture you, or admonish you.  There are many good people in the world, and everyone has good in them — we must believe that though finding the good may take more digging in some, than in others.  Reach out to one another, befriend people and get out of your house.  Enjoy this wonderful world.  Revel in the company of friends and family.  Find happiness in each and every day, even if it’s just for a moment.  It has been a very rough ride for everyone on the planet for the last decade.  But we can change it.  I believe this and I hope you do too.  If we can truly love one another, then we can accomplish anything.

So I leave you with this final question:  Have you reached out and told someone you care about them today — and meant it?

 

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Exploring Humanity (Part 3)

violenceGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I am going to explore a very difficult subject — Violence.  Our world has always been filled with violence.  Some people think things are getting worse, and they are.  It’s also much more visible than it ever has been before due to the media and the internet.  And, sadly enough, violence sells.

One night I did a little experiment.  I sat down and turned on CNN Headline News for about 3 hours.  During the time, I made a little mark in a note-book for every violent and non-violent story I saw.  It was not surprising to me that over 60% of the stories that I saw were violent related.  Why is this? Because we enjoy violence.  It’s not to say that we are bad because of this.  Like Fear, Violence is an instinct and a reaction for survival.  We kill animals because we are omnivores.  We kill each other out of a variety of reasons — religion, race, greed, envy, apathy, righteousness, and most of all, stupidity.

Killing is the most dire of all violence, but we perpetrate other forms of violence as well, the lesser violences.  Spousal abuse, child abuse, verbal abuse, bullying, road rage, vandalism, and sadly, in self-defense.  It is perplexing that we’ve not learned to overcome this.  It is another sickness that plagues our society.  One violent act begets another violent act, a vicious cycle, a butterfly effect.  It is even more upsetting that we commit violent acts completely unprovoked.

We were originally violent by design, but we are supposed to evolve intelligently.  The violence always comes back to fears and greed.  We commit violence in the name of God — which is so beyond my comprehension I don’t even know where to begin with that topic.  We commit violence over ideals, which again makes no sense — gay bashing, bullying, politics, entitlement issues and lack of understanding each others views.  We commit violence over difference of opinions — who is to say who is truly right?

I could go on, but all of you know these things happen.  And we all have at one point or another committed an act of violence — even as simple as biting a sibling over a favorite toy or the last cookie.  It is ingrained in our psyche that violence is the last resort, the last answer, when in reality, it is the one thing we should strive the most to overcome.  It is only then that we can focus on changing the world.  But instead, we allow our governments to wage war on one another over silly things.  Every culture on this planet is beautiful in its own way, it is what makes us unique.  It is usually a handful of people who end up defining an entire culture.  We generalize entirely too much, and we hold grudges entirely too long.  Things happen — we should learn from our mistakes and move on, but we have not.

Wars are still happening.  People are still killing, stabbing and maiming one another.  We hate for no good reason.  Everyone has their opinions on how to stop violence.  So lets explore a couple of those.

Gun control, that will solve nothing because if someone wants a gun, they will get a gun, or a sword or a crossbow.  The only way to stop people using guns is to stop having guns produced at all.  But we know that’s impractical.  Sure we can make it harder for people to get guns, but we all know where there is a will there is a way.  Look how well the War on Drugs has worked.  People still use drugs.

Sanctions against countries who are threats.  Well that doesn’t work because it just makes them more determined to have their weapons of mass destruction.  As much as I love this country, it is highly hypocritical to say that one country can have nuclear weapons, and another cannot.  We did drop the first nuclear weapons, but on the other hand we’re saying no one else can have them?  Who are we to say this?  This has only made us a greater target because our involvement in other country affairs makes them hate us all the more.

Religion is absolutely not the way to stop violence, because all the major religions have teachings against violence, yet they have all been involved in acts of violence.  The Crusades, Radical Islamists, The Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, The Holocaust — the list goes on.  All these religions believe they are right, and they are entitled to their opinions, but, not one of them can prove that they are right.  Not one.

There is only one way to stop violence forever — each of us must make a conscious decision to not commit an act of violence.  And through this our children will learn that it is emphatically wrong to kill or harm anyone.  Period. No exceptions.  It is only through love that violence will be eradicated, and we will talk about that tomorrow.

So I leave you with this question:  What is one thing you believe we, the human race, can do to end the violence in our world?

Exploring Humanity (Part 2)

wall-st-greed-st1Greetings Dreamers!

This is part two in my five-part series on Exploring Humanity.  Today we are going to explore a very important subject — Greed.

I’ve chosen this particular topic because it seems to be one of the major aspects of human existence that is tearing our country and our world apart.  It is the epitome of selfishness, it is the cancer that plagues our society and keeps us from being one people.  But the question is why?

I often scoff at people who say “Greed is Good” after the Michael Douglas movie “Wall Street”.  Greed is in no way, at all, even slightly good.  It is an asinine pursuit for things that do not matter.  It is eating until you burst. It is acquiring endless things you can’t possibly appreciate.  It taking from those who do not have. It is wrong, pure and simple — and we can’t begin to change the world until we have learned temperance.  Too much of anything, yes even money, is a bad thing.  But we have not learned this simple lesson.  If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it?  Collect a bunch of shiny things, like a raven, and store them in ever larger abodes?

Greed is what keeps us apart.  The proverbial 1% vs. the 99%, and in the end what have we gained?  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  We have all seen this time and again through human history.  Greed never ends well, because, my fellow Dreamers, there is always someone more greedy than you and they will try to take what you have. This is an endless war that we’ve been fighting amongst ourselves since the dawn of humankind. We are all willing soldiers.  We buy things we do not need.  We strive for goals that do not improve our society.  We think that the measure of the person is the size of their wallet.  This is not so.  The measure of any person is the size of their heart.

If you have everything you’ve ever wanted, what do you do next?  When there’s nothing left to buy, and you’re used to having anything you want, this can lead to darker pursuits.  There are people in this world that have so much money they can do literally whatever they want — human trafficking, corruption, manipulate the populace, even get away with murder.

I am not writing my books to be rich, or famous.  I am writing my books to spread an allegorical message that things in this world are going bad, and that in the end, a great calamity is going to happen — I’ve just wrapped it up in a dark fantasy novel.  I know anyone who has chosen to read my blog will agree with my postings, otherwise you wouldn’t be following me. You are all fellow Dreamers, and we are the ones who have to take on the responsibility of understanding our role in this change and just start doing it.

Our world is starving.  Not just the people, but the planet itself.  We are raping the planet of all its resources in this pursuit of greed, and eventually, we will end up killing ourselves and turn this planet into a uninhabitable desert, like Mars.  We have allowed the television, the politicians and the banks to tell us we need this or that.  We are only being told half-truths or just bold-faced lies.  We need to force the truth.  We need to stop electing people who tell us how to live.  We should be telling our governments what we want and not the other way around.  Because the people in power are the ones who cultivate greed like corn in an endless field.

I am not for one moment saying that we should incite a revolution, or a war, or protests — these are fruitless endeavors, and seldom make a lasting impact that is positive.  We start within ourselves, within our families, within our communities and as it spreads from person to person, the world will change.  Look around you as you read this post.  How many things do you have that you don’t really use or care about?  How many things can you donate to someone who doesn’t have something?  How many things can be recycled or reused elsewhere?  When you’re at the store looking to buy something, is it something you really need?  Will you even want it a month or year from now?

I don’t have a lot of money, and I never have my whole life.  Every single item I retain has a purpose for me.  As soon as its lost its purpose, I give it away or recycle it, or simply trash it if it has no use.  Of course, there are things I simply retain because they have sentimental value.  And when I go to the store to buy something I think I want, I ask myself, “Do I REALLY need this?”.  I also realize that if I keep buying things, I’m just making someone else rich.

So today I leave you with this question: What would you do if I gave you a million dollars right this minute?

How to Change the World (Part 4)

Brain-in-handGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I am going to introduce you to the most powerful super-computer on the planet, the human mind.

As I am not a best-selling author, yet, I am a programmer and data analyst by day.  I have worked extensively with artificial intelligence and computers for most of my life — having received my first computer when I was 8 in 1978.  Understanding how to code and build programs to perform simple tasks, naturally forced me to explore the human mind and its own potential.  My personal exploration has been mind-blowing, if you will pardon the pun.

The human mind can process things at an alarming rate.  The simple act of typing this blog is amazing in itself as each finger is finding the keys on the keyboard at the speed of light, triggered by millions of tiny neurons in your brain telling the nervous system to do what it wants.  We often forget how amazing it really is, and we take it for granted.  Changing the world, begins with a single thought, or dream.

We have been lulled into believing that we are limited, but we are not.  There are certainly limitations in what we can do because there are laws that govern any isolated system.  But the more we explore our universe, and ourselves, we find that we really have everything we need right between our ears.  Long ago, before we had things to acquire, we would spend our days gathering food and surviving.  At night we would gather as a community and tell stories, play music and laugh together as a tribe or family.  We have slowly moved away from this.  Even though we have more interconnectedness through the internet and the news.  We’ve allowed others to think for us, and that is a bad thing.

I’m not going to bore you with the faults of our global political systems. We all know that world politics is broken, and a handful of people make decisions on our behalf that are absolutely wrong.  However, we must take responsibility for this, because we have allowed this to happen.  We outnumber them, but we continue to allow them to lie to us — and believe you me, they are lying.  They are motivated by power and money.  The two most useless things on the planet.  If we used our own wonderful brains, we would realize that these things do not matter. It is the memories, the experiences, the personal connections, the stories and our imagination that are important.  The only thing you can take from one life to the next are your thoughts — the only thing you truly own which no one can take from you unless you allow it.

Changing the world requires us to use our minds and imagination.  Uncover the things that truly matter, and share these ideas with one another.  It only takes a single spark to light a fire.  I have learned that buying things does not matter.  It was a long journey, and it is not over for me.  I had sequestered myself away from the world for a long time, because I simply do not understand why we have become so angry at one another.  Why do we have violence, war and hate?  There’s simply no reason for it.  But, it persists because we’re not truly thinking.  We are not animals anymore, so we must stop succumbing to our instincts without using our minds to think things through.

Now using our imagination, what do we need to change?  How can we make the world a better place, before it’s too late?  We have to discover our own unique ability, because we all have them.  No one should feel marginalized or outcast.  We are all family, we are all one.  We were all born from the same cosmic dust that was at one point the beginning of it all — whether it be god, or the big bang or a simple thought whispered in the darkness before time.  We must shed our petty differences and look forward to a new world, while not forgetting to live in the moment, as my previous post discussed.

Our “races” do not define us.  The color of one’s skin is simply a function of where that person was born and the amount of sunlight they were exposed to as their culture flourished.  We are one race, the human race.  And if you feel that you are superior to someone else, then you have not learned anything.  Our religious and philosophical beliefs are our own personal explorations.  No religion or philosophy is right or wrong when it comes to understanding the nature of our existence, because we have not come to a common belief system, and no one has provided evidence.  We should understand that everyone has a path unique to themselves, and though we may walk the path together sometimes, its okay to follow a different path.  We should stop imposing our beliefs on one another.  We can talk about our beliefs, we can share our beliefs, and we can, in a friendly manner, debate our beliefs.  But to suggest that you are right and I am wrong without proof, makes you all the more wrong.

I have seen a great many things in my short time here on planet earth.  I believe that the universe was created by a force I cannot understand, which I label the Creator — being a programmer taught me this lesson.  I believe that the human spirit is eternal, because it is an energy unto itself, and energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms — physics taught me this lesson.  I believe that we are capable of amazing things, even magick feats constrained to the laws of the universe — belief and experience has taught me this lesson.  I believe we are not alone in the universe — common sense taught me this lesson because the universe is too vast for it to be mostly uninhabited.

I could go on and on about the things I believe we are capable of, and the things that we tend to ignore.  The paranormal and the supernatural are functions of the universe, and the mind only sees what it wants to believe — this is a proven fact.

So today, I will leave you with a thought and a question.  Open your mind and imagination to things you had not previously believed in or agreed with.  Explore your dreams, your aspirations, your world, the universe.

Using the power of belief and imagination tell me one thing you think needs to be changed in the world and how you would go about doing it?

How to Change the World (Part 3)

The Sun in my HandGreetings, Dreamers!

Today, I’d like to continue our series on how we can change the world by introducing you to the source of our life on our great planet, Sol, our beautiful sun.

Every day, I visit a wonderful website called SpaceWeather.Com.  I do this because it has all the information we need to know on the health, and temperament of our sun on any given day.  Many of you may not know that 2013 is the year of the Solar Maximum, which marks the peak of a 12 year cycle our sun experiences.  This solar cycle is explained as the intensity of electromagnetic activity on the surface of the sun.  It is measure by many key factors: number of sunspots, number of solar flares, number of coronal mass ejections. This year has been a very active year, as we have seen many flares and CMEs hit the Earth.  These flares and CMEs can disrupt satellites, radio signals, cause amazing Aurora in the north and south pole, and if strong enough, it can wipe out every electronic instrument on the planet.  Every second, the sun puts our more energy than we have used over the course of human history.  Humbling isn’t it?

Regardless of your religion or creed, for all intents and purposes the sun is what keeps us alive — without it our planet would be cold, lifeless and barren.  We are fortunate enough to have a young sun, which is relatively calm, and provides us with more energy than we could ever consume.  So, the real question is, why aren’t we moving towards complete and total dependence on the sun?  There are several varied answers to that — big oil, the coal industry, the natural gas industry, lobbyists, politics, but most of all, fear of change.

No matter what you hear on the television, or read online, or in the papers, our fossil fuel supply is vanishing at an alarming rate.  We will not survive if we do not start harnessing the power of this magnificent source of energy — the same energy that all life thrives on. So changing our world is going to involve our sun, rather than trying to escape the inevitable.  We already have the greatest nuclear power planet available to us.  Why would we attempt to duplicate what the universe has already perfected and given to us for free?

This brings me to my next point about the sun.  We were not meant to hide all day in the house, we were born under the stars, and our bodies require sunlight. Besides the mental benefits of being among nature and out in the sun, we also require sunlight to produce vitamin D.  Most people do not know this until they get their check up and find that they have low levels of Vitamin D, which has many benefits to our health.

Today is summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere.  Today is the perfect day to step out into the sunlight and bask in the healing light.  We are tilted closest to the sun today, and its the perfect opportunity to receive a warm kiss from our life-giving friend.  Time to get our from behind that computer, step outside and just live in today’s moment.

I will leave you with this question today:  How do you plan to celebrate the sun today?

How to Change the World (Part 1)

Our Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

I want to introduce you to a very special thing — Our World.  As a part of this series, we’re going to explore our wonderful world together, and figure out how we can change it — changing ourselves in the process.

You may ask why I feel the world needs changing — but I think everyone who bothers to read this post already knows the answer.  We are on a collision course with disaster — it is almost inevitable, almost.

I chose the picture above for many reasons.  First, because we are the stewards of this glorious jewel in the crown of Sol, our Sun.  We should always hold it with care, and ensure that our children and children’s children have something to look forward to as the centuries roll on. But we must be the example of how best to care for our planet.  Second, I chose this picture to demonstrate that there are no boundaries other than the ever shifting continents.  We have created these imaginary lines, which have become a means to needlessly segregate our countries, cities, towns and neighborhoods.  We are better than that, and we know that we do not need to be separate.  A thinking person knows that we must have one world, unified for all humankind.  This is a fact, and not speculation.  We will never overcome our problems as long as these lines remain.

Now, how do we begin changing the world?  It is really quite simple, it begins in your own heart and mind.  It must begin with each of us looking within and seeing the things that are wrong with ourselves, rather than pointing out to others what is wrong with them.  Life is a journey, there is no destination other than the place we go when we give up our last breath, our last heartbeat, and venture into the unexplored realm of Death.  We all will die one day, and that is the only inevitability we cannot change — though we may try with science and medicine — we must give up our bodies at some point so that others may live and enjoy this wonderful world of ours.

At this point, you may ask who makes you the authority on this?  I’m no more an authority than any of you.  Even the most educated people on our planet have no more answers than you will find within yourself.  The most simple answer to beginning this change is to learn to shed your fears.  Until you have shed your fears, you cannot begin to live.  Fear is what drives all of our actions.

Fear of not having the best material things.
Fear of dying.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of not being correct in your belief system.
Fear of being harmed.
Fear of not being loved.
Fear of being an outsider.
Fear of not being recognized.

The list can go on forever.  And it is fear the drives all of the horrible things that happen in our world.  We fight over plots of land that we are merely temporary occupants.  The Earth is the owner of all the lands and the seas. She merely lets us lie our heads upon her lap, while she slowly rocks us to sleep each night.  We should break down these barriers and exist together, work together, change the world together.  This is not to say that we should lose our own personal identities — we are all Dreamers in this world.  We all have things that we wish to pursue, all we need remember is that our dreams and goals should not harm or interrupt the dreams and goals of others.  It’s very simple — yet we cannot accept this.  We think that if someone does not believe the same thing as we do, that they are wrong.  We think that if someone does not do what we feel is right, they are wrong. We are all wrong and correct, and the cycle ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea.  We will all be correct and wrong through the course of our existence — it is how we learn, share and grow.

We should gently, carefully, admonish one another when we are clearly doing something that harms our collective existence — lying, cheating, stealing, killing.  We all know this, it’s very apparent and we know when we do wrong, but we are mostly unwilling to take responsibility for these things we do.  That again is because of the fear we harbor in our hearts — fear that at one time served a purpose for our primitive ancestors to survive, but we should now evolve.

We are all friends and family.  We are all related at some branch in the tree of life.  It all began with One, and that One is whatever you want it to be — God, The Big Bang, The Earth, the Self.  But it is not our place to define the One for anyone else but ourselves.  Each of us is entitled to our beliefs, but we are not entitled to impose our beliefs on others, unless we are cautioning others of their harmful ways.

Today I end with this simple message: Reach out to those around you, whether they be friends or not.  We all want to be heard, loved, appreciated, and nurtured.  It’s amazing how quickly we can change the world with a smile and a wave to everyone and anyone we see during the day.

Reach out to my lovely friends on twitter, and they will bring you into their circle: @gongleshanks @anmarie63 @grimnian @HelgaVonClapp @mrsnickih @KaraJarina @MortonBalthus

Now I lay me down to sleep, I beseech the earth my soul to keep.  And if I die before I wake, I entreat the earth my body to take.

We are the Dreamers of Dreams

Willy WonkaOne of my favorite quotes of all time, and the first time I ever heard it was in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie with Gene Wilder.  Who ever heard of a snozzberry?

We’ve become to regimented in what we think is real, that we’ve forgotten how to dream.  There comes a point in our lives where we are told, “Its time to grow up.”  I think this is the single worst thing we can ever tell our children.  “Grow up” has become a euphemism for “Start Making Money”.  We stop seeing the beauty around us, and start looking for ways to make a quick buck so we can have that new shiny thing.  It is at that moment that we don our blinders and start seeing the world in a narrow angle, unable to see all the things we used to see as a child.

I have refused to grow up.  I do go to work every day, but that does not define who I am. My day job is a result of the society we’ve created.  Which I think, quite frankly, is more of a nightmare than any sort of dream.  Yet another shooting yesterday — when will it end?

I refuse to allow these things to define my life, or deter my question to change the dream — we should certainly not give up, we have to start focusing on the things that matter.  First we must begin with ourselves.  Everything you do causes a butterfly effect, I’ve seen this first hand.  I have seen someone having a bad day, and a simple “good morning” lightens the burden on that person’s soul and by the end of the day that person is smiling and well-wishing others.  We are a chaotic, dynamic system.  For every action you perform, there is a reaction and it spreads through society.

When we recognize that we are dreamers, and we have dreams, we can do amazing things.  But we must remember that there are consequences to negative actions, and try to curb those primal selfish urges.

Its a beautiful day here in Virginia, so today, I’m going to find some snozzberries, visit with my friends and family, and unplug the TV.  Wanna join me?

Oh! I Think I Might Be Enlightened!

*dramatic pause*

Nope, just heartburn.

It’s not easy to become zen enough to attain enlightenment, whatever that may be.  I have activities I perform every single day because they bring me inner peace.  I love to cook, so the first thing I do each evening is stop at the story and purchase something to make for dinner.  I just pick when I get there, whatever looks appealing.

The second ting I do each night is open a bottle of some variety of Pinot Noir — which goes with everything — and begin to architect my dinner.  Spices, Meats, Veggies.  (Potatoes are always included),  The act of cooking allows me to transition from being a data geek by day — father, husband, author, illustrator, guitarist and scholar by night.

The spark of enlightenment, which is now fleeting, is in that finding our own zen activity really is the key to a good life.  We all have it.  I can really be anything — knitting, sowing, working in the yard, reading a good book, listening to music.  But the idea here is to recognize that its your therapy and pursuing it, within reasonable boundaries, and allow it to center your own existence.  The thing you find most appealing does define you as a person.

I mention all of these things because it is just a gentle nudge towards focusing on what really matters to you.  But what’s more is the fact that if we all enjoy our zen moments, we might find that there’s no reason to be at odds with one another.

Have a wonderful evening, my friends.

The Autodidact in the Attic

DevlinHello All!  I’ve just finished my first Author Interview with Victoria Craven on her highly intellectual Victoria/Gothic blog called The Autodidact in the Attic.  I highly recommend you read her site because she will challenge you to think.  The questions she asked about the Waking Dream made me think more intently about what I was trying to achieve, and she challenged me, gently, to defend my stances on life, religion and existence.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interview.

My interview is scheduled to be posted this coming Monday.  If you were wondering about the series, the books, the Waking Dream and my views, this is your best opportunity to understand the machinations drive the universe.

I urge you to explore the rest of her blog, despite her interview with me.

I will send the interview link first thing Monday when Ms. Craven provides it.

 

Intelligent Design, Evolution and Creation

I have been researching world religions for most of my life.  A great deal of it is to understand myself, but also understand the rest of the world.  We have so much discord over religion, it requires a lifetime to understand from where it sprang to where it will go.

There is only one answer — and each religion has pieces to the larger spiritual puzzle.

So today I felt that I would discuss why Intelligent Design and Evolution can exist — which is the basis for the Waking Dream Mythos — the Way of the Weird.

First, we must remember that we have free will, so we shouldn’t be concerned about fate and “god’s path”.  We should be concerned with the path we create for ourselves, each and every day.  I liken the idea of being “fated” or “destined” to be someone disheartening.  I don’t want my life to have been scripted by someone I can’t see or understand.  I want to be the captain of my own ship and sail where I please.  If I am not in control, then what is the point?

Second, why don’t we entertain the idea that the Creator or Intelligent Designer, simply wrote the rules for the universe to be structured.  Say for a moment that the Creator was a game designer and he simply created the framework for us to play in.  I think Richard Back said it best when he said, “We are the otters of the universe.”  The Creator doesn’t need to be a chess player.  He can simply be interested in creating a world and seeing how it unfolds according to his design — his equation.

I have played far too many MMORPGs and if you spend time in them enough, you can see how they ultimately model our world, and how they evolve without the intervention of the players.  Players form guilds, create an economy, form relationships and ultimately mold the game to their will.  This is also evident that when subsequent versions of the game come out, they always incorporate the wishes of the gamers, and not necessarily the wishes of the programmer.

Evolution does not need to be mutually exclusive with Creationism — this is the simple untruth we’ve been fed.  They can exist in harmony, in the same way that science and religion can co-exist.  The purpose of science is to discover the rules of the game (and in gamer terms the “easter eggs”). Religion teaches us how to play the game together in harmony and peace — because if we cannot attain peace and harmony, we will always be a scourge on this planet.

I personally believe that there is a Creator, though I am unable by design to understand its will — I believe this is because we don’t need to know its will.  And all of our religions have professed to understand the will of the Creator, yet none of them can come to common ground.  It is saddening to see people killing in the name of the Creator, when just about every religion expressly forbids this.  What does it gain us?

The true evil in the world is the notion that we must attain things, and if someone has more than someone else, this is somehow unfair.  And that may be rightly so.  But instead of getting angry that someone has more than you from a materialistic perspective, why not look at what you do have — and not as an exercise in trying to best someone else.  I am not rich, but I don’t hate rich people.  I don’t live in a mansion, but I don’t begrudge someone who does.  If I can’t buy something the moment I want it, due to financial restriction or other, I analyze if I really need it, and if I want it, I simply wait until I can have it.  Patience is not a virtue, it is a necessary aspect of life, because time only moves as fast as it moves and we cannot quicken time, no matter how we try.

The human race has become obsessed with shiny things — just as Ravens are — which means we are an ever growing Unkindness of Ravens, fluttering from store to store and hoarding these meaningless shiny objects.  What we have forgotten is that its not the things, but the people in our lives that make life wonderful.  Its the journey, not the destination.  Each moment has its wonders, if we shed our fears and just look around.  Some days, I take a moment and look up at the sky, because it is wonderful.  And I am able to shed all those stupid thoughts that we all have, and just be for a moment.

I mean, no matter how rich or poor you are, you can find that one thing that makes you happy each  and every day.  A cup of coffee.  A hug from your child.  A kiss from your spouse.  That first sip of wine in the evening with a wonderful meal.  Some of these things you simply cannot buy, no matter how much money you have.

So did the Creator design this wonderful universe so that we can sit around playing with shiny objects?  Or did was it created so that we could mold it and enjoy it — together as one people, one world, one galaxy and one universe?  I think we all know the answers, but fear is what stops us from being a truly wonderful world-wide civilization.