Category Archives: Uncategorized

Logic Vs Blind Faith

U: Homosexuality is a sin.

I: Is it your place to pass judgement on a person for being homosexual?

U: No. But it’s still a sin.

I: Are you saying it’s wrong?

U: God says it’s wrong. The Bible says it’s wrong.

I: The Christian Bible has been translated many times. There is evidence to support the idea that  “Homosexual” was not the original intent of the word in the Christian bible.

U: The Bible is flawless. God wouldn’t let the Bible say something He didn’t want it to say.

I: So God is going to punish these people for doing what they feel is right?

U: No. I mean society tells people it’s okay. But I believe God lets them know they are wrong.

I: So you believe they are, in a sense, choosing eternal damnation?

U: Of course they have a choice. God gives us all a choice to do right or wrong. These gays turn away from God when they choose to be gay.

I: You believe being gay is a choice?

U: God wouldn’t make someone in a way that they wouldn’t have a choice. God is loving and wants us to do right. He doesn’t want us to suffer and is sad when we choose a path that will lead to suffering. Gays choose the wrong path. I may sin, but I can choose not to engage in the same sin again and be forgiven. People who live gay lifestyles refuse to turn away from sin.

I: Would you agree it is more loving to trust a person than to assume he or she is lying?

U: That depends. God is a God of truth. Liars will know God’s judgement just as homosexuals will.

I: Would God want you to love a person for who he or she is or want you to attempt to change him or her to fit your idea of right and wrong?

U: They aren’t my ideas of right and wrong. They are right and wrong because God says so.

I: Are you saying right and wrong are only defined by God?

U: Right and wrong are absolute as a result of how God created the Universe.

I: So it is the Universe God created that sends a homosexual to an afterlife of eternal suffering?

U: No. It is the homosexual who sends him or herself to Hell. God gave us all freewill. We can choose to do good and be rewarded or choose to do evil and be punished.

I: But we can ask for forgiveness and go to Heaven?

U: Yes. but only if we stop sinning. We can’t ask for forgiveness and continue to engage in sin or our repentance is not sincere.

I: So it’s not the attraction to those of the same gender that is the issue. It’s the acting on said attraction.

U: They choose to be attracted to people of the same gender.

I: I can’t choose who I’m attracted to. Can you?

U: They open themselves up to the possibility. I could be attracted to women other than my wife, but I choose not to look at other women like that.

I: Could you be gay if you wanted to?

U: I wouldn’t. It is wrong.

I: But could you?

U: I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to engage in impure thoughts. Being gay is wrong and God knows our hearts.

I: What if women just felt wrong?

U: I would pray for God to provide a woman I liked.

I: And if she never came?

U: She would come. God would provide her.

Philosophical Experiment

(I hereby claim the statements enclosed in these parenthesis are infallible. They can never be altered. God is bigger and more powerful than any one religion’s depiction would lead some to believe. God and science are not in competition with each other because science is the study of God’s work. What some call magic others call science. God is in pleasure, but also pain. Pain is a gift from God and lets us know something is wrong. And the presence of either in any setting does not work as evidence against theories of a higher power. They are the products of God’s creation and therefore given to us by God. We, as a human race are perfectly flawed. We are not meant to be more or less. We are loved unconditionally and will not be punished for choices or mistakes we make in this world. We need not fight over various interpretations of our world. No one is right and no one is wrong. We need not fear each other. The pain we experience as a result of our fear is God’s message to us that something needs to change. Love and fear are opposing forces. LOVE IS THE ANSWER to any problem we face. If we are hungry, love can feed us. If we are tired, love will give us rest. If we suffer, love will cause the pain to cease.)

If you wish to blindly adhere to any group of words, try the words in the paragraph between the parenthesis above. The words between the parenthesis are not old. They do not say you are better than anyone else. They don’t tell you you will be punished if you don’t subscribe to ideas represented by them. But they may do better at leading the people of our planet than any religious doctrine in existence today. The only real flaw to be found between the parenthesis would seem to be the claim that they are flawless. These sentences were formed by a human and are, as any work created by a human, subject to flaw. The main difference in the words between the parenthesis and the Christian Bible is that the Christian Bible claims to be the product of divine inspiration. Shall I add that part now? One could argue a rational interpretation of the world which God created is inspired by God via the qualities of his/her/it’s creation and the analytical ability that forms this rational interpretation – the analytical ability, of course, being a product of God’s creation. Perhaps I should include a bit about the words between the parenthesis being the only source for the only correct faith, and another about eternal bliss for all who believe and eternal suffering for all who do not believe. That could inspire people to adhere. It could possibly inspire people to push their beliefs on others. And if someone tried to argue, all one would have to do is point to the first two sentences. This is not meant to mock or belittle any person’s beliefs. This is a wakeup call. God is love. In the same way God is science, God is love. In order to stop the pain, we must embrace this powerful tool which God has given us. We must choose love over fear.

Dying/Waking

Dying

Waking

Former life fleeting

Convinced I’m dreaming

When these memories feel so real to me

Aching for gestation

To be born by new creation

Headlights flicker

Electricity whispers

And a seed is born with the knowledge of a tree

Fleeting, flashing, dreaming me

But I am

I am

Calm waters

The child of my father

We are the same

I am uniquely me

Anger for a stranger

It’s all fantastic

The product of plastic

Familiar thing I’ve never touched

I know how you feel

Again the strong current

Flows a deterrent

To cling too tightly to the roots of this shore

Understanding there waits something more

The river’s bend calls to me

Pulling me so lovingly

Drowning

Flying

Dying

Waking

The corner of the dreamer’s eye

No need to scream. No need to cry

Do not cling to this paper tree

There is not fact in all you see

Life is not contrary to death

Love does not cease without breath

Dandelions in the breaze

Leaves falling from the trees

For which breeze and which trees are not me?

My brother, my sister, my family

Love – anything but a fleeting memory

Love – inside and all of me

A skipping stone in search of home

A frantic suspended fit

Lights and shapes, and colorful noise

And we try to make sense of it.

Breathing

Blowing

Thinking

Knowing

Drowning

Flying

Waking

Dying

It’s electricity that gives us shape

Burn marks on our hands

When we hold on so tightly

Glass masses in the sands

We fight and claw and scrape for life

The self-imposed burden we carry

Opposition of the same form

When dust and flesh seem contrary

Love and Death

I lost a friend this morning. He wasn’t a close friend. I only saw him when I was working. Still, I love him. Yesterday he complained of trouble walking. I had often had trouble understanding his efforts to communicate verbally, but trouble walking was new. I attempted to locate a wheelchair or crutches for him to no avail. I asked exactly what he needed and he was somewhat short with me. My first impulse was to simply leave him alone; But I soon realized that I had to do something for him. This wasn’t about gaining gratitude. It was about minimizing a person’s pain. I resided to waiting until the end of my shift at work to go out and purchase crutches for him. While engaged in work-related activities, I found a cane in a maintenance closet. When I delivered it, he was grateful. When I arrived at work this morning, there was a large police presence. A coworker told me a man had died. I knew it was him, even when she gave me incorrect identifying information. While there is present in me an obvious sense of loss, a greater sense of a perfect, transcending, deliberate conclusion overpowers any sense of loss. He was/is not my best friend from childhood. He was/is not my grandmother. As he didn’t fill such an important position in my life, I am not expected to mourn his death the same way I mourned that of my best friend’s or my grandmother’s. And I have yet to. But he was/is my brother, not in a religious faith that causes us to divide from and fight with others, not in commonalities and allegiance felt as a result of our lack of difference, but in love. I love this man who no longer exists in the way I knew him. I’ve been told sadness over a loved one’s death is more the product of personal loss than the result of pity for the loved one. I believe he is no longer in pain. I also believe any experience after death in our world is so much greater and brilliant than anything modern religions have described. In spite of my joy for him, a sense of loneliness swells inside. I may shed a tear as a result of my personal loss, but I am truly grateful he is currently able to experience the world that follows this one.

All You Need is Love

The famous lyric from the Beatles song tends to inspire skepticism. In truth, if one were to attempt to survive only on love, he/she would likely wither away and die fairly quickly. The need for sustenance is the reason most of us work. It would seem fairly uncommon for a person to truly enjoy his or her professional duties all of the time. But we make the trade of discomfort now for comfort later. Much of human life involves a great balancing act, a trading of pain for pleasure, of discomfort for comfort. Would you continue in your professional role if you had the means to do whatever you want wherever you want? Most would answer “No” to that question. But we make the sacrifice of time in order to gain piece of mind. Our 40, or 50, or 60 hours a week ensure we will not be hungry in the immediate future. They ensure we have a roof over our heads and comfortable clothing. They ensure we have hot water and electricity. Surely many of us would not devote such time if these necessities of modern living were provided without cost. Then again, there is always the competition in which we engage with each other to keep us trading our time. Newer, nicer things provide validation. They inform others that we are valuable because we are capable of earning the money to purchase said things. This value system is rooted deeply within the heart of our social structure. And sadly, it would seem to be motivated by fear. The drive to survive is a very basic instinct. It is a valuable one as well. Without food, we cannot survive. The more money we possess, the more padding we put between ourselves and discomfort. This padding comforts us. It creates peace of mind. But the creation of this padding is motivated by fear. Imagine a world in which we did not trade pain for pleasure, discomfort for comfort. Imagine a world in which the necessities of sustained life were given freely out of love. In a world in which people are motivated by love instead of fear, there would be no hoarding, no fear of others, no reason to compete. In such a world, what is mine would be ours and what is yours would be ours. Surely such a world would be preferable to ours.

The question is “How do we get there?”. We currently live in a state of competition, motivated by fear. We lock our doors at night to keep our belongings and our bodies safe. One person choosing to live a life of love puts him/herself in danger. When one is forced into a competition and refuses to compete, he or she is dominated by those who willingly compete. If I were to give all I have with love, I would soon be left without the means to survive. So the Beatles were wrong, if all an individual has is love, he/she will die. Correctly stated, all we need is love. A world founded on and motivated by love provides for all. A world motivated by love sees individuals working for the benefit of the human family. A world motivated by love sees no more hunger, no more poverty, no more manipulation as means of personal gain.

This is a call to action for anyone listening: Stop living in fear. Make the world described above a reality. Engage in love at every opportunity. Live a life of practive love.

My 2 Weeks to Facebook

The road to loss of personal freedom will be littered with apathy. It is easy to turn a blind eye to a problem when the potential consequence is not as immediate as the consequences presented by struggles we face in daily life. We are the products of a system that distracts us from reality. It is favorable to get lost in an episode of whatever as means of taking a break from a personal reality. But it is only when we shut down the distraction that we can truly focus on the issues that affect our lives. I have, for years now, attempted to spread a message of love. Media would have us believe there is reason to fear each other. As we live in a society that appreciates violence over peace, a sensationalized representation of the world is monetarily beneficial to those in a position to report on it. We lock our doors to keep others out, to keep what belongs to us. All the while, love could save us from all of this. I cannot continue to support a system that is motivated by fear, a system that will strip us of our freedoms and trade us as a commodity. When we learn to love each other, there will be no need for organizations like the NSA to monitor our online activities, there will be no need for manipulative marketing practices. I currently have nothing to hide, but foresee a day when such a perspective will be reason for investigation. Free thought causes problems within a society that celebrates conformity. We are all brothers and sisters! It is time we start acting like it. I intend to leave the link to this blog post live on FB until the 18th. Unless someone can give me a real reason not to delete my account, I will do so on the 18th. I’m giving FB my 2 weeks notice. Please know that I love you all (especially you who is currently thinking, “That’s not meant for me.”). Please subscribe to this blog, give me a call or shoot me an email if you’d like to keep in touch. (512) 888-1143 – phil@lettersfromlimbo.com. I don’t suspect deleting my FB account will fix this problem, but it is a start, it is a divergence from apathy.

Oh yeah, if you’d like start your own blog and join the B3 Blog Network, please visit http://www.b3blognetwork.com. Informational resources listed below.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/facebook-privacy-issues/

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2485493/enterprise-applications-big-data-blues-the-dangers-of-data-mining.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/08/edwards-snowden-us-government-spied-human-rights-workers

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/03/brazil-begins-laying-its-own-internet-cables-to-avoid-u-s-surveillance/

http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-russia-snowden-asylum-20140807-story.html

I Spent the Afternoon with God

Pi has been very interesting to me ever since I first heard of it. It was this puzzle hidden in plain sight. It was this immeasurable enigma of basic geometry. During my early twenties, the growth of a brain tumor inspired a journey of self-discovery in which I would address issues like my perspective of God and his, her, or its creation. Through this analyzation of my world, I gained a new appreciation for the natural beauty that grows in abundance in nature. It was my conclusion that the study of this world, God’s creation, was an indirect study of God him, her, or itself. Math was present everywhere. Then there was that number. That seemingly infinite ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. If the study of nature was the study of God, if geometry was the product of God’s artistic touch, then Pi, a result of math’s effect on the perfect shape, was God’s signature. It was God’s Easter egg, left for us to find to gain a peek at him.

I currently spend my weekends working at a homeless shelter in my home-town of Austin, Texas. Today I met a man with a rather sad story. He had suffered great personal loss and injury in recent history and was currently experiencing memory “black-out”s as a result. We engaged in conversation as he helped me clean my area. He spoke mostly from a state of anxiety. I explained my philosophy that there is no point in being anxious over something we cannot control. The response his body language echoed seemed to be coming from a state of perceived helplessness. It was “If only…”, “If only it were so simple”…”If only I could”. We discussed his problem more and my response was, on at least one occasion, “What can you do about that?”. I was simultaneously calling him to take any action he could to help himself and release the illusion of control and anxiety over aspects of the issue he could not fix. Such a release is easier said than done for most of us.

As we cleaned, I felt as though he were, in some form, God. Not that he was God in human form or anything like that, but perhaps God-sent. He cleaned with me and I felt a connection, a oneness with the higher power via our concerted effort. I assisted the man in every way I could. I made sure he knew I was willing to help if he needed anything else. Shortly before we parted ways, I noticed a single tattoo on his wrist. He said the tattoo was more of a joke than the product of anything sincerely meaningful or profound. He explained that “Pi” was a brand of cologne he liked.
pi

Still, it was God’s signature on this man via whom I felt this cosmic connection to God. This, to me, was God telling me I was in the right place, on the right path. This was a God Easter egg. I found it!

Cycle of Hate

The term hate can be defined as “intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.” So does the experience of hate sound like a pleasant one? Would you wish to avoid it if you had the opportunity?

Hate for others would seem to be the product of misunderstanding or discomfort. If I fail to see your justification for an action, I may become angry. If your actions continue to anger me, I may form a hate for you. Think about that for a second. I allow the actions in which you feel justified to engage cause me incredible discomfort. And why? Because you are obviously wrong. My idea of right and wrong is infallible. You are intentionally doing wrong. Is it vanity that causes this perspective?

The other source of hate, discomfort, would appear to be the product of our desire to survive, to be prepared for potential problems. If you engage in acts which are unfamiliar to me, I am less equipped to protect myself from potential outcomes. With no experience with your actions, I am less equipped to predict potential outcomes. We tend to gravitate toward likeminded people. A second voicing of a similar perspective is confirming to us. In a seemingly uncertain world, confirmation aides in our self-perceived abilities. Someone who sees things differently makes us uncomfortable. If they are right, then we are wrong. If we are wrong, we are not well equipped to deal with potential problems. If a person engages in acts we find foreign, we are less equipped to deal with their actions. Naturally, we are drawn away from that which causes us discomfort. The inability to protect oneself causes one pain. We hate pain. Therefore, we feel justified in hating the source of our pain.

So, if you are following, “I hate you because you are different. Your actions scare me and I would rather you conform to my way of doing things. I know I’m right. That makes you wrong.” – “Well, I hate you because you hate me. You are not justified in hating me. You are wrong because I am right.”

I hate you because you’re different from me
So grab Dad’s shotgun. Then we’ll see
How many mantras I can recite
But a louder fight doesn’t mean I’m right
Well I hate you because you hate me
So grab Dad’s shotgun. Then we’ll see
Which of us has a thicker head
Which of us will end up dead
I hate you because you hate me because I hate you
I hate you
BANG

So is the source vanity – a belief that we know more about right and wrong than others? I have done things many would find morally condemnable. But I felt justified at the time. I didn’t feel as though I were engaging in an act of evil. I felt as though my circumstances justified this act which I would normally view as wrong. Is an evil act still evil if the actor’s intentions are good?

Would it be an act of evil to attempt to save a life and end up terminating another as an accidental result?

Let’s say I accidentally kill someone with my car. I was not engaged in any reckless or dangerous driving. The person wasn’t watching and ran in front of my car. This is surely not my fault.

What if I could have swerved to miss him, but looked away for a second before? Was it an act of evil to look away? Under normal circumstances, such an act would not carry such consequences. I couldn’t foresee the consequence. but I killed someone.

What if I looked away for 2 seconds? What if I didn’t have to look away?- That is to say, I wasn’t checking my blind spot, but changing the track on my stereo.

What if I was driving drunk? What if I had driven drunk thousands of times before and never hit anyone? what if there would have been no way to avoid the accident even if I were sober? What if I was driving away from a man attempting to shoot me? What if I was driving an innocent child away from a man who was trying to kill her? What if I were driving 10 children away from their deaths?

What if I wasn’t drunk, but tired? What if I had to drive tired every day in order to make enough money to support myself? What if I had a brain tumor removed when I was 20 and still get tired behind the wheel 10 years later? What if I work 3 jobs in order to survive and my eyes are tired by the end of every day? There is no time to stop and let my eyes rest, as I need to get home to begin my work-from-home job. I could get a higher paying, 9 to 5 job at which I would not feel I am making a positive impact on my world, but am hurting others as means to my gain. Then I would be able to stop and nap. Of course I would have to find a new home for my dog. It would be unfair to keep him locked inside for so many hours.

What if I felt justified in my action?

What if I attempted to live my life for the greater good?

Now that’s interesting. Can any act be considered evil if the actor is attempting to live his/her life for the greater good?

What is the greater good? Is it me? Is it my friends? Is it our planet? What makes your good greater than mine?