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Paul's world 6. The Mystery of the Mormons 7. The Evolution of Evolution 8. Thought on Fire 9. The Priesthood and Petty Women 10. True Foundation of Evil 11. Behind the scenes on tough questions 12. Love letters from....a friend 13. Such distortion on Abortion 14. What's with you and the tattoo? 15. Where is a Good God when you need him? 16. Celibacy under fire 17. Leftovers from the Da Vinci Code 18. Science class with an Atheist 19. Can reality be known? 1. Does God exist or not? Outline 1. Reasons not to believe in God. a. We can't sense Him. b. If God existed, He would not allow evil. c. If God existed, He would limit my freedom. d. A loving God can't exist, because love does not exist. 2. Why these reasons are not true. a. Just because I can't sense something doesn't mean it does not exist. b. Just because bad things happen doesn't mean that God does not exist. c. I am not totally free whether God exists or not. d. Just because I haven't experienced love does not mean that there is not a loving God. 3. Reasons for Why God exists. a. We long for a someone who will make us always happy. b. Someone had to tell us what good and bad are, because we didn't make those categories up. c. If things are organized and planned, then there must be someone who planned and ordered it. d. Something can't come from nothing. e. The risk of Him existing is too great, its not worth taking the chance. f. Ever since man existed, from the records we have, he was always religious, or believed in some sort of God. Being an Atheist is an exception. 1. Why don't people believe in God. Before we see how to demonstrate that God really exists, we have to see first why would somebody say he doesn't exist. Otherwise we won't know how to defend Him. A Doctor can't give a medicine unless he knows what the real problem is.
A. They can't see (or sense) him. This is the simplest problem. How can we believe in something we can't see, or do experiments on or observe? B. They can't believe in something that would allow bad things to exist. They see bad things happen or exist to others or themselves and wonder that if God were really this all powerful all loving being, why then does he allow these things to happen or be? C. They don't want to believe in something that limits their "absolute" freedom. To believe in God means to believe in a someone who is stronger,wiser and better than me. Someone who would have "authority" over me because he would be in control if he were this all powerful being and they don't want to have someone over them, watching them, wanting to direct them to where they don't want to go. D. They have never experienced love in their lives so they have no idea how a being could be "all loving". They can't imagine somebody loving them truly because no one has ever loved them in any way during their life. It is the most difficult problem to solve. 2. Why these problems do not show that God does not exist. A. Just because I can't sense something or observe it does not mean it doesn't exist. Did viruses not exist 200 years ago because no one could see them with an instrument like a microscope? NO. Did electricity not exist 200 years ago because we didn't know how to use it? NO. Did the big bang never happened just because we never saw it? NO. Would your mother not exist if we had no evidence for it, no photos, video, records. NO. Does the president of Poland not exist now just because I don't sense him now. NO. Does love not exist because I don't see it? NO. All these things I know exist or did exist because of their effects that are now. NOT because I can sense them. I know you had a Mom because you are here. Its something I conclude, figure out, know, not sense. Your Mom is the cause of you the effect of the cause. I don't need senses for this. B. Just because bad thing happen does not mean that God does not exist or that he is not good and loving. Does what is bad cancel out what is good? NO. Just because Hitler was bad does that mean that every person is bad? NO. Just because you do a bad thing, does that mean you are always bad? NO. So if bad things happen does that mean that God can't be all loving and all powerful and good? NO. What it means is that there is a reason why bad things exist that I don't know and that I have to find out. Besides, many times we call something bad which is not bad at all. When a rock falls off a cliff, the poor rock is doing what its made to do, which is fall. But we call this bad if it falls on someone's head, and we cry out to God and ask why he didn't stop the rock in mid air so that the person would not get hit. But God doesn't have to do this because he gave us the possibility to think and to observe and to conclude "maybe if I walk beside the mountain a rock could fall." So in the end we get angry at God because we want to be lazy and have him do everything. God showed his love for us by giving us the possibility to think and we shouldn't put that gift in the closet. The only thing that can be really bad in the end is a person. He can decide to do something bad. Why doesn't God stop it? Because he wants to respect each person's freedom, so he won't stop you otherwise you would be just like a tree. God is above and stronger than what is bad, even though he allows it to respect our freedom. From the bad many times good comes either way. From concentration
camps have come great men and women of character who followed their principles and gave example to others of how to conquer evil with their self control and moral strength. This in turn allowed others motivation to do the same. We are purified and strengthened and become better people when there is conflict and pain. Buy why do the angels and man choose bad things in the first place? Well there is an answer, but it is very complicated and abstract. So we will have to leave it for another time. (I have written on this but it would take too long to explain it here. You can ask me afterwards if you want to know. http://wonderablaze.blogspot.com/2008/01/true-foundation-of-evil.html) C. I don't have absolute freedom whether God exists or not. I can't fly with my hands just because I want to. If I had complete freedom to kill who I wanted then prisons would not exist. If nothing I did was really wrong then I would never feel remorse for what I did for anything. It would be just like tying my shoe, totally neutral and natural. Are we really happy when we follow our whims? It may appear to be so at the beginning, but in the end many who do exactly what they want are the ones who fall into depression, commit suicide, divorce, etc. Besides, is someone really free who can't go to sleep without watching 2 hours of porn or get drunk, or inject themselves with something like drugs? Aren't they in one sense dependent on it, chained to it? Doesn't addiction mean that you are not free? D. Very similar to point A, just because I have never experienced love does not mean that it does not exist. I can see others loving and caring, I can see others giving their lives, even though I may not understand it. Love is NOT something I can just "know", I have to experience it. Its like saying its impossible to run a marathon just because you never tried it or impossible to sing because you haven't done it. You can tell me exactly how to do a surgery but until I do it myself I won't really "know" how to do it. Love is giving yourself for the good of the other, forgetting yourself, sacrificing yourself and looking to see what the other needs. Mother Theresa changed the world because she loved others and the whole world admitted it. I have to challenge the atheist to love in that way for a month and see if you are the same. I promise you will not be. If you don't have the courage to try it then you don't have the right to say its impossible or crazy. 3. Reasons to believe in God A. The Catechism mentions a few. One is we are not happy with anything here. "with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God's existence." If we were happy with just one thing, we would stick with it, but what we see is that after buying one car, a man wants another, after one pair of shoes, a woman wants another. We always want something bigger, better, more exciting, or simply more of it, if not, it gets boring. (More Wii games, more rides at Six Flages, better cell phones, etc. etc.) People get bored because nothing here really satisfies. We want something that will never get boring, that will always make me happy no matter what, and it can't be a thing, because we are happier with people than with things, and someone who will never fail, who will always be there, or we will simply not be happy. B. You can't say something is good or bad unless you have something that tells you it's so. The same person who says God does not exist will say that we say something is good or bad based on culture. Well, culture is made up of people so people decided it. Is it just based on whim? If that is the case you can't complain if someone steals your wallet or takes your life because they just think differently than you. If there is no objective way of saying what is good and bad then society falls apart and you could not consider that "bad".
Everyone has this moral conscience that tugs a certain way telling us what is good and bad, even those who don't follow it. It's universal and we didn't give it to ourselves. Does a computer give itself the possibility to do all those processes without someone having programed it by means of zeros and ones? No. If something is good it was made good by someone, or nothing is good and bad and these words don't mean anything and we can do "what we want" which means that we can destroy society and everyone in it if we want to. Something is good if it helps me be better in some way. Am I better by sitting and doing nothing, by being lazy? No. So that is bad. Would you be happy being absolutely alone? No. So killing everyone around me is bad. These things don't help me be better. What makes me better is good and that is what we need to look for. So what will make me the 'best'? Unfortunately nothing here, so again there has to be a someone who tells me what is really good and who can make me the best I can be. C. Everything works too well here to not be planned. If I just kicked a soccer ball in the air, would it just automatically go into a goal? No. I have to direct it there. So if everything around me directs itself somewhere, like a bird making its nest, and it always does this, not just sometimes, and the bird itself is pretty dumb, then what taught it? Why do things always work the same almost always? They wouldn't if there wasn't something behind it directing it. Someone who can think like you and me. D. Can something come out of nothing? No. Is there any case in this world where that would happen? There is not one example. Did you come out of thin air? No. Did your parents? No. Did your great, great.....etc. grandparents? No. Do elephants come from trees? No. So given the fact that everything here is limited and was made at some time or other, if there was not something or someone who always was or existed then nothing would be now. Can five million train cars move without an engine pulling or pushing? No. You gotta have something first that has the power to move or make or nothing moves and nothing is made. E. It is simply dangerous to pretend that God does not exist. Given that none of the arguments above that the atheist gives show that he does not exist, and there is really no argument to prove he doesn't exist, its very risky to just 'think he ain't there'. For if he is and there is a right way and wrong way of doing things, then what happens if you don't coincide with what is right? Do you think nothing will happen? On this earth there are always consequences for our actions, if I smoke, I get cancer, drink, get drunk and get myself killed, etc. so why would there not be the same afterwards? It would be ridiculous not to think so. It would be like receiving a gold medal for running just by sitting in a chair. What is the worth of that medal? It would mean that after killing 1000 people the government just tells me "Just don't do it again". What meaning does it have? It's just one big joke. I can't think there will be no consequences after I die because it isn't like that here so I have no right to think it will be so afterwards. I have no proof of it. F. Throughout the entire history of mankind, from the oldest recording that we have of him, he has always shown himself to be religious. From the painting on cave walls to designs on bones. That would show rather that not being religious is rather the exception and does not coincide with how man is normally. 2. Confusion about love...a dream This is a brief dream of a man who didn't understand how to love.... A man heading off to work found a beggar by the side of the road. Normally he took no special
interest in those in need but at that moment he felt it would be good to give the man some change left over after having bought breakfast. When he threw the coins in the cup held out to him he started to feel pretty good about himself, after all, it wasn’t normal that he was so generous with others. But only for a second. Suddenly he found the coins thrown back in his face and the beggar stood up tall and said “Who do you think you are, trying to take advantage of me to make yourself feel good. You don’t love, me, you don’t care for me, if you really cared, you would ask me why I’m not working, you would see my shame and try to help me.” The man walked away completely confused. He swore that he had seen someone previously give money and yet they received no such reaction. The experience hit him hard. Yet he considered it just something out of the ordinary and continued on his way. Later he found one of his friends, and offered to buy him a beer. The man turned and said “If you were really a friend you wouldn’t look just to please me by buying me something that you know I am addicted to. For years you have seem me suffer from this, yet because you're afraid lose my friendship, you continue doing the same thing. Do you really love me as a friend?" The man went off trying to understand what was happening, It was still too strange to be true. In the evening he found his girlfriend and invited her out to eat, and found again the shocking message he had received earlier being horribly repeated by the girl in front of him. She said “I can’t go with you now, because I see in your eyes that the only reason you want to be with me is for your own measly pleasure. You really don’t care about me, you just feel good and that is all you care about. When will you really love me?" Within this storm of confusion he suddenly found a child in front of him. The child looked very familiar, and in fact when he looked in the boy’s eyes he saw his own. "My son", he thought, and immediately he had the desire to give something to the boy. He went and bought a toy and gave it to him. Then the boy looked at him and said “Dad, why do you keep giving me what I want, can’t you see that if you really loved me you would give what I most desire which is love, that you teach me how to love and not how to give into every desire I have. To give me what I want is not how to love me!" Despair, that is what he felt now, yet the scene changed once again and the man found himself in a place that he could only call heaven. A few people stood in front of him and one beside him. Instantly he had the desire to ask his companion, “Who are they?” The other responded “They are the ones who loved.” "Behold, the woman there, she lay in bed for five years. Suffering from three infirmities at the same time. Her pain was such that she could not sleep and finally the infirmities overcame her. All throughout she offered up and accepted the cross received, no one ever saw her, no one knew the strength of her will nor how tough the battle was. But she was seen by anther who gave her peace for her fight. She is called the silent warrior of suffering." The next was a man in a normal suite, very formal, and he asked, “and he, what did he do?” "He was a businessman, a banker I think, but he was much more, for he is called the secret servant of the poor. With all the wealth that he had he projected it towards developing systems to give the poor work and education, the poor never saw him, nor he them, he remained in an office behind closed doors, and worked, planning, projecting, and encouraging the people who were directly in contact with the initiatives he was founding. At the end his enemies caused a scandal and he lost everything, but his work had born fruit and the rest of his life he spent doing small acts of charity to others." There were others, each story different, but the man began to see a connection, all in some way or
another had given up something, each had given themselves to somebody, each seemed totally happy in the most horrific circumstances, woman who had given their lives to save their children, people who had died for the faith, religious who were hidden behind the walls of the monastery, normal people who had tried to live their faith in a society that only wished to crush them. Then his companion asked him, “are you as happy as they?” He responded, "No." The other asked, "Why?" He said "I don’t know." "Yet I do." The stranger said. He was immediately taken then to the bank of a shore, and there he found two men in conversation, the first one said, "Do you love me?" The other said, "yes Lord, you know I do." The other said, "do you really love me?" "I do!" A third time he asked, "Do you really love and will you love me with all that you are?" The other had a tremendous pain in his eyes that caused the man to shudder, He said, "Lord you know that I do." "Then FOLLOW ME!" He asked then his companion, "follow him where?" The other gave him a Crucifix and disappeared. The man was left alone, staring at the Crucifix, with the words singing in his ear, "follow me...." 3. What is love? The word love is so common, repeated so many times, sung on the radio, read in books, expressed in poetry. But the word love is also found in the Bible and written upon the walls of Churches. The Pope wrote a while back an Encyclical about love so as to help Catholics and non Catholics alike understand better what this is because there seems to be a big confusion about it. So what does love mean to us? What does it mean to you? What is love? Let's first take a look at the Crucifix in order to get a clue. The greatest symbol of the Catholic Faith is the Crucifix. Why? Why would a religion which proclaims so much the word life, or eternal life, or happiness etc. have such a strange symbol to represent it. A dead man, and one that had suffered horrifically. That is our symbol. Why. Why couldn’t we have something nicer, less hard, less cruel, but there it is. Its funny, but we see it so many times that we have taken it as one more picture on the wall. It sits there, just like all the other pictures of saints and family members that we have in our house, in other words, we forget it, it remains as a cultural relic which has lost almost all meaning. It hangs on the wall as we hang a coat on a hanger, and many times our faith remains with it, silently forgotten. We need to take the Crucifix and wipe the dust off it and begin to contemplate again what this strange symbol wants to tell us. The icon of love. The crucifix stands as a symbol of one thing, and that alone, Love. Only Love. No matter what other conception of love someone may have, they all become overshadowed by this one. No other idea of love comes close to this one, not one of them is so profound, so firm, so eternal. All other loves are judged by this one. But why? Why couldn’t we have another symbol of love? Love between spouses, between friends, between brothers, between neighbores, between girlfriend and boyfriend or even give in to the moderns and have a symbol of love between man and animal like the greenpeace or even among homosexuals. Why couldn’t we have any other symbol than the one we have? What happens when we take the Crucifix completely out of the picture and try to put another
image of love in its place? Sooner or later, spouses get divorced, friends become enemies, brothers begin to hate each other, neighbors begin to war, boyfriend and girlfriend begin to use the other like a toy. And note, this is NOT because the Church said so, or because it is written down in some document. We see it every day, on the street, with the people we know. He who does not understand the love of the Crucifix will in the end understand no type of love, and even worse will not be able to love. This is not a story, its not an opinion, its fact and we find it every day. If I deny the Crucifix, I deny love. So what type of love does the Crucifix show us? It appears to be ugly, but is it? Maybe its ugly to me because all the songs I hear and the TV I watch, and the movies I see, and the commercials I see all tell me that the Crucifix is ugly and it’s a lie. But the problem is they never knew what love was being manifested there. So what is love? How do I love. I love by imitating Christ. And how did Christ love? He loved by giving himself completely to others for the good of others, to make them happy. So when can I say I really love? When I imitate Christ, and what does that consist in? Christ, came to fulfill a mission given to him by the Father. And how did he fulfill his mission? He healed the sick, rose the dead, gave sight to the blind, and gave hope to those in sorrow. But most of all with every act He did he proclaimed one message which everyone wanted to hear, that God loved them, meaning God wanted to give himself to all to make them happy. When the blind opened their eyes they saw not only trees, but that God loved them in the depth of their heart. And this manifestation of love culminated upon the Cross. This is real love. He shouted on the cross for all to hear, “God loves, you, God seeks you out, God wants you to be truly happy!” He came in order to look for our good, so that we could realize ourselves, fulfill ourselves, so that we could be truly completely absolutely happy. And what makes us absolutely happy, is it that we are healed, or that we get what we want? No, no, no, we are really happy when we are loved!!!! It is above all else, it is the greatest good that we look for. It is when God loves us, or when he gives himself to us that we are happy. Each time I do a good work for somebody I must be saying at the same time, and the other must perceive it that “you are loved” that is, I love you. But that is not all. The moment I see that I am loved by God, then my response is to love! Why, because in this moment I see that if I really want to be perfect, if I want to realize myself, If I want to be happy, I need to search and follow that which is truly perfect and that is God! God is absolutely perfect, and I want to be perfect too! Why does one train for hours on end soccer or piano, or anything? Is it not so they can be the best, the most perfect, and that many times this means seeing and imitating the professionals who have come before? One sees a professional sports player, and one sees how the sport should be played in some sense perfectly, and one says I want to be like that. A child sees his father do something and tries to imitate him because he wants to be perfect like him. When I see that God loves me I want to imitate him because I know that that is how I will be really happy, truly happy because I will arrive at the greatest perfection I can possible reach and be truly happy. So what is love? Love is not a feeling, its not an emotion, its not what I want, not what I desire and is not directed to any particular person. Love is an act. Love is imitating God in giving to the other what they most need to be happy, to realize themselves, and no matter what I give here on this earth, the other must understand that I give it to imitate God, I give it to give myself to them and not for myself.
So I am happy by loving others, looking for the good of others and in this I imitate Christ. After we have finished our mission here on earth, God awaits us to give us more intensely the experience of His love, but this intensity only comes after we have freely chosen to love him before, for he asks us here on earth, “Do you really wish to love?” And when he has seen our response he invites, “Then come, now I will completely fulfill your desire to love and to be loved, for now I see that that is what you truly want and have chosen it freely.” If I marry, it is to love this person, if I am a friend, it is to do the same, If I have a child, it is for the same, in all of these cases I must love them as God loves them, not how I want to, for that is not love. Look at the crucifix and contemplate again how love really is, ask yourself again, “Do I really understand?” 4. The meaning behind Suffering In order to fulfill ourselves in love we need to accept sacrifice and the cross in our lives. Without suffering love remains dead, a shadow, drained of strength and even beauty. The example of the diamond comes in to play here. Love is beautiful but not soft and comfortable. Suffering strengthens love and makes it grow putting demands on our freedom to consciously choose to love. We know that that the cross is the greatest example of love, but now we must ask why when we love we have to give something up. Why is it that we get sick, lose friends, watch people die, have to work, have to study. Why does God allow both physical and spiritual suffering? Why does he seem to take away what is most precious to us. As time goes one this reality becomes harder and harder to bear until we come to a point to where, or we accept that something good will come out of what we suffer, or we begin consciously to reject God, stating that if he were so good, why would he allow so much suffering. This is a normal thing to ask and it shows something. First that one understands that suffering in itself is not good. We experience that something is not right, not in order. We remember vaguely, that when we were young, our parents tried to get rid of all those things that caused us pain, they consoled us, helped us, gave us all that would make us happy. And was that not correct? Of course it was, they were trying to love us, they were looking for our good. This is what was ingrained in my mind when I was young, if I had a good family. So what happens, I immediately take this image and apply it to God in the state I am in now, but that I cannot do, and if I would think just a little more, I would find that the image I am trying to apply is not complete. I forgot something, which we often do. Go back and remember as well that your parents not only gave you things that felt nice, but also things that didn't. They took you to the doctor for injections that you didn't like. They gave you vegetables that maybe you didn't like. They even gave you restrictions or punishments, which you definitely did not like either. But in all this they were trying to love you by forming you! Now when I am really young, I accept this, because there is something that tells us when we are very little to trust our parents, for the simple fact that I don’t know much, and that in other circumstances my parents have been good to me. But as I grow older, my intellect begins to awaken and learn more, I realize that my parents are not
perfect and the trust I had before begins to disappear. My parents keep asking me to do the same things, but now, because I don’t see the reason for it, I simply don’t do it, or I do it out of obligation, I live in their house, so I have to do what they say. Parents are human and because they want the good of their child they give him or don’t give him certain things, unfortunately many times they can’t explain why they give what they give, and this is because sometimes they don’t have the formation to do so. So not even in normal human relationships do those who love give only what is nice and pleasurable, but also things that are painful. Now, the normal inclination of every person is to do what he feels is better, but that does not mean that it is better. I will give a couple of examples. Let’s say I like to drink beer, but if the doctor told me that my liver is so damaged that if I drink I will die, so this inclination is not good for me. Let us say as well I want to be a banker, well, that means I must study administration, if I think that is boring and follow my natural inclinations not to study, then I will never be a banker, never have money, and will be working at the gas station. This may seem very clear, but the reality is that many, many times we are so stupid that we don’t see or don’t want to see the consequences of what we choose, because we just want what feels better. Living like that we live like animals, who many times kill themselves by the very fact they follow their instincts. Just think of how many animals get killed on the roadway because their instincts tell them not to move when they see a light. If they could just think for two seconds they would have continued on without much trouble. The difference then between man and animal is clear, and even though man was also given natural inclinations, he was also given an intellect to override them if the necessity arose. So following my inclinations should not be my goal, but rather control them, and this means, that I need to suffer!!!! Or I suffer, or I die, there is no other way, and here we are only giving physical examples, but the same can be applied to the spiritual life, but before we see this, we have to clarify what suffering is. Suffering is not pain. Pain is what we have when our nervous system reacts to something bad to the body. Pain can be very intense, but no matter how intense it is, that is not suffering. I can cut your arm off, and you will have a lot of pain, you will cry, shout, faint because of the pain, but that is not suffering. Animals when they get hurt, they have pain, but they do not suffer. Suffering goes beyond the physical realm. It is in one sense a “spiritual pain” When I “suffer” I am experiencing something I don’t understand, that I cannot control, that I despise or hate, that I reject with my whole being. It gives me the sense of tremendous weakness, of senselessness. It makes me feel limited, useless. Pain is not suffering, but it can cause it. When I study, I suffer, but I don’t experience pain. When someone dies, I suffer, but I don’t have pain. There are moments where the suffering is so intense that it affects me physically, but it is because of the suffering itself and not the thing causing the suffering that does this to someone. Take for example Christ when he sweat blood in the garden. So now we know what suffering is, buy why do we suffer? Why didn’t God just make us in heaven from the beginning so that I could love him and not have to suffer. But I only say that when I don’t understand what freedom is and how it works. In order to be
free, God can’t impose, he does not shout, or jump out and say, “here I am”. I, and only I can make the decision to love. And that decision has to be put to the test in order that the decision I make is fully free. So how does suffering help us in this? There are three reasons. First, suffering strengthens our desire for the good and makes firmer the decision for it. Like a man who has worked for ten years for a Ferrari will want it more than one who won it in a lottery. This is the purification I need to choose the good, NOT because I like it, not because it pleases me, not because someone told me, not because of any other reason except that this is really objectively, truly good for me. Another example could be when I practice an instrument, I know that if I dedicate time to it, even though I may suffer a little, it will bear fruit and I will be able to play as I have seen others do. Suffering and not God comes and slaps me in the face and asks, is this what you really want? Second, suffering confirms that only God can make me happy. Because when it comes to God, I have nothing physical to confirm that all the sacrifice and suffering I go through for him will indeed pay off, there is no experience to confirm what I will gain, I only know it by my conscience. The example of a loved one on a long trip will help us understand. While he is here, I don’t think too much on his presence, but suddenly, when he is gone, I suffer, why, because now I realize how much I really loved that person. The suffering confirms that that person was really important to me. The same with God. If I suffer at all its because I am missing something, I want complete happiness, security, peace, but that I will not get until I am united to the person who will make me truly happy. Finally, suffering not only confirms that God will make me happy, but that I am not God! Suffering is the strongest reminder that we are not God. Only God has control over everything, and suffering, when it makes me feel helpless reminds me that I am only a creature and can't have complete control or give myself happiness. Suffering says, "You are not God, look, look beyond." Suffering becomes God’s messenger and hails the true path, and all of this, in order that I may be free to choose without any influence from God or the world. My decision is free, completely free, and suffering guarantees that. With this we can look once again at the Crucifix, now I can understand better the example given. I see someone who is suffering, and in this I see one who loves, It is the greatest example to us of how we should accept suffering, and the fruit that comes with it. Christ after death was glorified, and we shall be too, for having accepted suffering and chosen to love. Love by suffering becomes strong, and withstands the many confusions and obstacles that present themselves in our life. Love by suffering becomes like a diamond. Coal after thousands of years, by extreme pressure and heat becomes what we find, a diamond, but remember where it came from, black, dirty coal, love is transformed by suffering from being black and empty, which is a symbol of when I love myself alone, to one of the most beautiful things we find on this earth. A diamond is hard, strong, after what it has gone through, it withstands everything. But this hardness takes nothing away from its beauty. It is because it is hard that it is beautiful. Not only that, but its beauty consists in throwing light in all directions. And that is exactly what happens to love purified by suffering, it throws in all directions the love of God to all around him. Love without suffering is but a shadow, it is empty, it gives nothing. If you give the suffering back to God, immediately God uses your example of love not only to affect those who see you, but also those who don’t.
5. St. Paul's world This blog is in the process of being finished, but I wanted to let everyone take advantage of what was already done to give critique. Thanks Ok everyone, here is a "brief" explanation on the problem of "faith and works". So lets get started. Some of the apparently conflicting passages from St. Paul are: Romans 2:6-10 6 Who will render to every man according to his works: 7 To them who through perseverance in good works seek for glory and honour and immortality, 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:... Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Yet then he apparently goes against this when he says: Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law. But then he will mention the following: Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? Of course not! And then again go back to faith: Romans 10: 9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth and so is justified; and with the mouth confession is made and so one is saved. But finally he ends up with works: Romans 12:20-21 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. So how do we show that St. Paul is not going crazy here? What is the real problem? Let's start with what we know. Faith alone goes against our human nature. Why? Because by our nature we are made to show what we decide or think with acts. If we were just spiritual then it would be different, but we are spiritual and physical and so what we decide or think mentally will have some sort of physical counterpart or connection or reaction. Otherwise there would be a rift, or separation that would render everything around us absurd. Examples: I say "I love you" to my girlfriend/boyfriend and give them a rose that is totally withered. One sells a fake diamond and states that its a real one. In normal talk we call this a lie. We say something, but we do another. For fundamentalists though they think somehow that God, who made us to coincide what we think and say with what we do on a daily basis, would twist us, manipulate our nature, and allow somebody to say "I believe that Jesus redeemed me and nothing will separate me from him" and that somehow will render null and void any other act I do, whether it be bad or good, before God's eyes. In other words, instead of real forgiveness from God, what God does is "pretend" my bad action never really happened. Sort of like if the
girlfriend/boyfriend who received the withered rose "pretended" it was still alive and beautiful. You're right, it doesn't make sense, but then again neither does committing a sin and convincing ourselves that's its OK, in that moment we fall into the same trap as the fundamentalist, we warp reality and change it to how we want it, not how it is. So we shouldn't be too hard on them. OK lets go to the next part, why works or acts are not enough. We know we need acts, but are they enough to get me to heaven? No. Why? Because heaven is a GIFT and you can't earn a gift!!!! A person does not give you a gift on your birthday because you earned it somehow. A gift manifests love and love is not measured by quantity or greatness. In other words its not like I go to heaven and say to God, "Hey, I went to Mass every Sunday, never killed, stole or jumped in bed with somebody, and gave to the poor, so I deserve to be let in here!" Nope It doesn't work like that. A gift is not merited or earned. Lets see again the example of marriage. In marriage each promises in love to remain with the other, but that promise to the other is a gift. I promise to you the gift of myself for as long as we live. That does not mean you "deserve" my love now, no, I give it and the relationship will last as long as I decide to give my love to you, and it does not matter what you do, or how much you do it that will "make" me stay with you. At any moment I can just "up and go" (obviously this would be bad, but this is just for the sake of the argument) and you can't tell me "Hey, I gave you all my time, loved you in return, did all these things for you so...you can't go!" Nope, I can go and nothing can stop me cause you can't merit or "deserve" my love or gift of self. In Heaven God gives us Himself as a gift, and we don't "deserve" it, especially for what we have done in the past because of our sins. So we know now that 1. we need acts to show love, 2. acts by themselves don't force God to love us or let us into heaven so now we need the third element-faith-and how acts are related to it. We need faith as St. Paul says because without it our acts aim for nothing. So what is faith? It's simply me affirming that God loves me! More particularly, that this Triune God, particularly Christ, redeemed us or justified us-meaning in essence that he FORGAVE us for all we have done to him. Unlike the fudamentalists, we know that God is not blind and that he takes very seriously what we do to him, but beyond that He loves us and showed us that by redeeming us. By believing I assert, even though I can't prove it, that God really does love me, has forgiven me, made me new, and wants to share His life with me for all eternity! So going back to the marriage example, God gives me his love, and I say "I do" or in other words "I believe!" and to SHOW that I do I will wear the "ring" of acts or works that manifest to everyone that I really do believe. The ring or acts (works) shows then that I have received, accepted, and want to respond to God's love, NOT that I am trying to "merit" or "deserve" his love. Faith becomes then the arrow that directs me to the path where I will "walk" (=acts and works) to get to God, its the foundation of the building I will build with my acts and works that will only be as firm and as solid as the foundation upon which it stands (see the passage about building on sand or rock) its the driving force that allow me to persevere in suffering, persecution, or trial. It is the step over the abyss of human uncertainty. It is this "justification" that Paul speaks of because it accepts and asserts that God forgave us, opening us to his grace to take the next step towards him. But we must remember that even for this act of faith I need God's grace, meaning that faith too is a gift from God, and by my acts I solidify that "work" begun in me by God. In other words, finishing off with marriage again, the "I believe" and "I love you" (which is my
response to faith -I believe therefore I will love) I say now to God will grow richer with my acts and will mean something slightly different in the future, just like in marriage, when a person says "I love you" to their spouse it's richer after 50 years of marriage than it was in the beginning, until finally Faith will be transformed totally into love when I enter heaven cause I will not believe but know then that God really did love and forgive me. Faith then, is, in a sense, the first act of love, it is the first "response" I give to God's love, it is in one sense the first "work" that I do combined with God's grace which allows me to do it. Faith then becomes my "training wheels" for my bike of love which I absolutely need at the beginning to "get going" but afterwards, in heaven I can take off and ride like the wind. 6. The Mystery of the Mormons A common question put to me oft enough is how one is supposed to discern which religion is true. Well oft enough I give them the answer I always give: whichever is the most commonsensicalobviously. O.K. well maybe not so obvious to some but that's why I write :). Some people will rephrase this and say that a religion has to "fit the bill" for it to be followed. I've got nothing against that, it's a rather sound principle I would say. So some would say that the Catholic religion is bogus cause it doesn't accept contraception. Well, if one uses his/her head, one does not accept contraception on terms of religion but on terms of it being simply commonsensical not to, if you don't want a child, you don't jump in bed. "But I want..." Yea, you want your cake and eat it too? What is the sense of messing up your body for pleasure, or making it do something it wasn't meant to do, or taking a risk? Who made you God? "But I wanna have my pleasure :(....." What does that have to do with whether the Catholic religion is true or not? No, we have to use our heads and NOT our feelings or desires when dealing with this question. To see if a religion is true or not I want to see if it respects my human nature, I want to see if it's coherent in reality, I want to know if it, well, makes sense..... So I'm not looking to be dogmatic here, nor to frustrate, nor to cause friction, I'm going to ask questions. And I ask not in the sense of trying to make a statement of "you see how totally false this is" but rather of earnestness in wanting to know the truth. God didn't give us an intelligence just for practical purposes alone, just so I could tie my shoes and blindly believe in something, but also to understand, to delve into reality, and not be afraid of what I would find, even if it means turning my world upside down. Religion and faith are a part of reality, and so not only can be looked at but should be looked at without fear, because truth, if sincerely looked for will be found. So I have a lot of questions, but its simply because I desire to see truth a lot, and even though this may show how complicated the proposition is of being a Mormon, yet I offer it as a spurring on to truth, which I hope will be seen in relation to this in the future. We'll begin with a brief history intermingled with commentary, then continue on with a few
philosophical questions about fundamental beliefs and then move on to the book of Mormon. Beware, this blog will be LONG so I would suggest reading it in two sittings, or make sure you have something to nibble on cause you're going to need it. Take note, this is only a first draft! I will be in dialog with the Mormons over the next month and this will be updated accordingly. The Mormons were founded by Joseph Smith, Jr.-born December 23, 1805 and shot dead on June 27, 1844. A rather brief life but in some sense fruitful seeing as his followers number about 14 million worldwide today. At age 14 in 1820 he saw his first "vision" supposedly of Christ telling him that all religion up to this point had gone astray and, well, he was chosen to start yet another reformation. (How many reformations do we really need to find the truth before the end of the world? Is this not what many other protestant groups will claim as well? What, may I ask, went so wrong anyway that we needed such a reformation? I'm asking this in a sincere way and not being sarcastic, I really want to know what happened.) In 1823 he supposedly found certain "plates" with the help of a prophet-made-quasi-angel Moroni in 1823, along with two stones which were to be used to help him "translate" what he called "reformed Egyptian" something which does not nor has not existed in any shape or form outside this story. Moreover the angel didn't let Joseph take anything for 4 years cause he wasn't "ready" for his mission to translate them. Then finally in 1827 (married in this year too) he took everything and started his "work of translation". In 1830 he finished and founded Mormonism. Joseph couldn't show anybody these plates except for a few. Why? Cause he was afraid that someone was going to take them? That someone would try and misinterpret them? Why written in "reformed Egyption" -a language that never existed? The question is this, why even worry about having them in another language outside Hebrew (cause Jews had written it supposedly) if they were going to be hidden and no one was going to find them until Joseph and Joseph wasn't going to show them to anyone anyway? Any body of people could have come in to take them if they really wanted, so why the secrecy? There is nothing in the book of Mormon that's in any way special or "radical" (apocalyptic prophesy etc.) so what would be the reason for this? Then, why need two stones to do it? Why couldn't he have just received teaching from the Angel how to translate them, or some sort of guide? Why stones? Why something so out of place? I have to say the burning bush of Moses is a bit extravagant, and Christ did use mud once to open a blind man's eyes, but wouldn't this appear a little out of bounds?.... To add a bit of a spin on this, these stones happen to be similar to or the same as the ones Joseph used to try and "find hidden treasure" in 1825. Why the apparent connection? Now one of Joseph's coworkers Martin Harris took some of the "letters" of the "Reformed Egyptian" after a time to Charles Anthon in 1834, a scholar, who knew something of languages who basically stated that they had nothing to do with... nothing = hoax (what Anthon concluded not me),- a mixture of elements from a couple of languages but modified, (letters written upside down etc.) This may not be what the Mormons will say he said but Anthon is quoted saying the just mentioned. Afterwards Harris lost a bit of the translation that Joseph had done and Joseph got "punished" by having the plates taken from him. Why the punishment if Joseph was not the one to lose it? Shouldn't he have cut Martin Harris off from having any connection to this for this error, yet nothing is done. A while afterwards when the angel saw that Joseph was "good" again he let him have the plates
and continue on with his work until 1830. At this time 11 people got to see the plates. (Why 11 people when he could have shown more?)This all took place in New York. So after a bit Joseph receives a vision that tells him that he's gotta move west to Missouri (he was having a few problems in New York anyway with some groups there), but first ends up in Kirtland Ohio. As he gets things going there, and building up a temple, the locals don't like it too much and try to kill him, (this a point that I still have to see about cause one would think that freedom of expression and religion would have prevented this, so was their some sort of aggression or friction put into play somewhere?) but didn't quite finish the job, so after this the next thing Joseph does is to...start a bank, on account of the debt Joseph had at this time trying to build a temple. But unfortunately this utterly failed and after having civil suits layed against him and a warrant for his arrest on bank fraud creeping up behind he decided it was time to move on to Independence Missouri, and they starting building another temple, but Joseph was told that really it was in Jackson County that the "promised land" of the Mormons would be. Well, in general Missouri was going to be the "New Jerusalem". Here I would like also to question: but why a specific place for a "New Jerusalem"? Since when did God have favoritisms in relation to place? What does a place have to do with redemption or our salvation? What would it give us? What would it add? Why would being in Missouri be different than being in any other part of the world? Is God going to try and put millions all in Missouri at the end of time? What has America got to do with anything? Why not the North Pole? Since when does God worry about a certain piece of land? What about the Gospel passage in John where he says "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem." (John 4:21) Unfortunately this didn't work out either and because the Missiouri state government thought them a bit dangerous, after a few quarrels with state militia ending with Joseph being in jail a few months they "escaped" and went to Commerce Illinois in 1839 which they renamed "Nauvoo" and Joseph ended up being mayor there. In 1841 they started work on the biggest temple they were to build up to that time. In 1842 he became a Free Mason - a group that pretty much promotes Deism which basically states that God makes the earth and then lets it go like winding up a clock and letting it tick - having no personal relationship with what he's created. We'll suppose that was for political purposes seeing as Joseph also proposed himself candidate for president of the US shortly after. Then unfortunately in 1844 some Mormons started a paper that attacked Joseph and Joseph wasn't to keen on this and decided to do away with it. That went against freedom of the press which landed him in jail again, but this time there wasn't going to be any escaping. Few days later comes a 200 unit mob and, enters the jail, and fills him with lead. End of Joseph Smith Jr. but the Mormons continue....but in other places, cause after they finished this temple in Nauvoo in 1846 most of the town is left deserted. The Mormons will admit to most of this and will at the same time admit he was a man, and as a man committed errors, but that God can use even those who commit errors to do his will. This principle is very true actually, St. Peter was also a man who committed errors. But again I am obliged to comment the following, in the case of St. Peter and others similar to him, there was also a clear act of repentance that gave example to others that he admitted his error, but its very hard to see how Joseph followed suit with this. It's a point I don't want to push we have no right to judge anyone but I just mention that its very hard for someone to follow another if coherence in life is lacking.
Thus we have gone over a bit of history and some complications with it. What now comes will be a bit harder to follow, so if it gets too complicated for you, you can skip to the part about the Book of Mormon. Let's now look at some fundamental problems with doctrine. Note that most of this does not come from the Book of Mormon itself but other documents that Joseph wrote afterwards, such as the "Pearl of great Price" etc. We'll begin with the understanding of how God is and his relationship to creation. For the Mormons God the Father is supposedly creator of everything. At least that is what I was told by them, so the idea that God the Father came from another group of god's seems not to be the case as some videos on Youtube would suggest. They consider him infinite and all powerful yet both of these terms are a bit vague to them and I will explain why in a moment. Christ on the other hand is a god but not like the Father. Yes he is "all powerful" but not like the Father either. Rather Christ is more like a special god, having received the name "son" of the the Father, but in essence is no different in nature to other gods like the devil, who is also a god just a bit less "powerful" so to speak. Really so to speak, the Mormons have, and this is what makes writing about them sometimes so complicated and so hard to speak of in an objective manner, the big problem of not being able to specify or explain in detail much of their fundamental doctrines, which I think that some will agree with. What I have just mentioned above is in itself not really how they would put it, simply because they wouldn't put it in any way. Many times they will just leave it as is, basically without trying to understand it or figure it out. There is many times no delving into the faith to see its coherence, no trying to understand but rather letting it almost completely in the arms of faith. The problem? Faith separated from reason- even though they may not do it on a conscious or theoretical level, leaves a practical separation that could state that it's not reason's realm to penetrate faith. Big problem with someone who wants clarity. Thus redemption was not carried out by God creator of the universe but by a god that "helped create" the universe but is still limited. Here we have a big problem which is not only philosophical but theological, can a god, not being the absolute creator who gave us life and existence redeem us? Is it enough? Well, in a sense, with their scheme, yes. Why, because of how they see their "Creator". The Father is not really a "Creator" but rather a "maker" You see, the physical world was NOT created from nothing, but rather out of what, in philosophical terminology, would be called unformed or "prime" matter. They Actually end up following a very Aristotelian base which says that matter is eternal and not created. This poses a big problem as well. To create really means, and does mean in relation to God, that something "is brought into existence" that means brought from nothing into something. So the Father for them is just a maker. Unfortunately philosophically speaking this doesn't work for the following (get ready for philosophical jargon, if you don't like it, just skip it): God must be creator, and that means he brings ALL from NOTHING to SOMETHING. How do
we know this? 1. We see that everything around us is moving from one perfection to another, or trying to gain perfection. Ex. kid practicing piano, tiger hunting to live, man learning, caterpillar changing into butterfly, oxygen and hydrogen becoming water, a rock falling to be at rest. All these things search to be something different, something more. What does this mean? That they are IMPERFECT and striving to be PERFECT. Everything around us is in the same flux, searching for the same thing: perfection. 2. We also know that these things can't "get to where they are aiming for" without "help", and that there must be something that has that perfection in some way already in order that something else get it. In other words something can't give to another thing what it doesn't have by itself and something imperfect can't get perfect by itself or it would already have that perfection in some way and thus wouldn't need anything else to become perfect. Ex. kid needs a teacher to learn piano, rock needs gravity to rest etc. Caterpillar got genes from its parents to be able to transform itself into butterfly etc. Yes it's hard to see how this principle works in other examples but it's there. To give a more general example, a bottle can't move itself from one end of the table to the other without the help of my hand which can go to both places. 3. Well now we have to blow this picture up a bit more A LOT more. EVERY thing that is, is looking for perfections so there must be something that has all these perfections in some vague way, something that can "move" everything to perfection. If this is so then that thing must be absolutely PERFECT and lacking NOTHING. 4. Well, there is one more thing that things can have but they can't give themselves and that is simply to exist!! You didn't have that beforehand to give yourself and its something you can have! Well matter (the stuff physical things are made of) is the same way. Matter is NOT absolutely perfect, in fact its always changing! Therefore it had to have been created or given existence along with everything else! If you got lost somewhere don't worry, this will be a bit new to many, just let it sit and come back later if you want. Either way this is simply cold logic, founded on commonsensical principles. Something my mind can do because it was given the capacity by God to do so. Thus to say that matter is coeternal with God, or that God did not make it simply can't work, and trying to make it an article of faith in one sense would be confusing to the intelligence which God also gave us. Faith does not go against the intelligence, yes it can go beyond it, but not against it. The Catholic notion of the Trinity goes beyond what the intelligence can prove or completely clarify, but it does not go against it, it's called a paradox, which is not something I will get into here. Simply put, the persons of the Trinity manifest God's nature, we are NOT talking about 3 separate persons as our mind would like us to think them as. They are completely united in God. To take an example its like the three parts in a maple tree leaf, it has three major "parts" but it's one leaf, our mind divides them, but they are one in reality. So yes it is complicated, but NOT against reason. God is creator, bringing things out of nothing, so the possibility of matter not having been created cannot be, unless we want to end up in incoherences. So... we'll continue on cause if I try to show now what the relationship of Christ is to man in Mormon theology, this will get very complicated and turn into a book, which is not the goal here, but I guess may end up being the case, cause there is still much more....
Just keep in mind that for a Catholic, we understand God to be absolutely infinite in every way and thus when we offend an infinite being, the recompense must be infinite, and unfortunately we don't have the power to bridge that gap or do an action that has infinite capacity to fix the problem, thus it must be God, and him alone who can "redeem" or remake the "bridge" between man, who is finite and God who is infinite. Christ then must be God equally as the Father is God for him to bridge the gap made by man's sin, aka, he must be absolutely infinite and all powerful. OK one other big problem. Human freedom. In essence because of the following our freedom is directly affected by God and thus not allowing us to be completely free. Why? The Mormons believe that we are created before we enter this world and exist in a spirit type of form (all of this is problematic but I won't spend time on it), and in theory we all "chose" to enter earth, or more importantly to gain a body (first and formost because the Father has a body as well, and so to become like him we need to pass through this first step) and through it to test our desire to be with God. They will consider this as, in one sense, becoming more free cause I have to search for God now and not know him as I did before I came to earth. First problem, why come to earth in the first place? Why is having a body so important, because the Father has a body too, and because we want to be like him we need to be "born" to get it? What do I gain by having one if I didn't need one before? Why again does the Father have one? What does he need one for? None of this follows as far as can be seen and goes rather roughly against the intellectual grain. This brings up a whole lot of other problems. It makes sense that Christ has a body cause he redeemed man completely, body and soul, but why the Father? What is the gain? A body is something extra and makes a creature more complex than one that is completely simple and spiritual, which is better. To top it off St. Paul says: 2 Cor. 5: 8 Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Going back to the main problem, so we spirits are born with a body, but we have, on a practical level, NO connection or recollection to our past decisions. What then was the sense of it all beforehand? What did it give us? If we were good before and bad here, then what was the sense of getting a body in the first place if we are to be condemned? (For there is a hell for them.) What was the sense in it all? To strip me of all decisions and actions which made me what I was only to start over is, what we consider, disordered, its the classic case scenario when somebody good bumps their head and doesn't remember anything and has to start over and maybe ending up bad cause he can't remember who or how he was. We consider that totally unnerving, unnatural, sad, tragic, we consider the person, in some sense, even though he may be fully conscious, a handicap because he lost something very essential to his way of life, who he was. How then can one be justified in saying that this would be something looked for or natural? How can we say that our freedom, which allows us to become what we become, is so secondary as to be "reformatted" just to receive a body and see if we are worthy of heaven as an afterthought. Well, isn't the reason we had freedom in the first place given to us was so that we could decide for God? Does it make sense to decide then to forget who I am or what I have done if I have worked so hard to arrive at what I am now? We must take into consideration as well that when Christ became man and developed he DID have consciousness of who he was, and knew exactly what he was, why he was there, etc. There was no "memory erasing" for him. So why don't we if this were really the case for us?
There are other problems like these found in their doctrine, but I won't go in detail on any more. I will mention though that they do believe that when all is set and done I will have a planet to myself as a God for...? Why I would want to have a planet and not be before God is difficult to grasp. It certainly is not what I want when I die. I've personally had enough of planets with this one I've been on. How could having a planet make me completely happy, if I'm not happy with anything here on this earth? Would we be "programed" to be happy this way? A planet is a finite thing, but I want to partake of the infinite and that is why I'm never fully happy here, cause all around me are finite things which never really fill me. My whole being wants to be with God and nothing else. Why then be given something I need not nor want not? Keep in mind as well that the difference between a "god" and an "angel" is very vague for them. They had a very difficult time trying to explain it to me. It's not something they worry about. I still do not know therefore how each is really or what their natures consist in. I'll have to wait till I speak to one of their scholars. The polygamy question is also common but not very important seeing as in 1890 they threw that out, except for a small body of them who hung onto it. Joseph it appears may have practiced it a little in the dark but it wasn't formal enough to get him in too much trouble. Either way it very clearly says in the book of Mormon that polygamy is a no no. (Jacob 2: 24 - Behold David and Solomon had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable to me, Saith the Lord. Jacob 2: 27 ...For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.) Yet Joseph goes against that in "Doctrine and Covenants" when he says: 61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. 62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. Now they have told me that there is a passage near here that states "unless God commands it". Could someone send this to me? The suggestion they make to this is God grants the gift of charity to each woman and to the man so that the marriage itself works, which on a theological level again is just fine. There is still a slight problem with this topic though seeing as there is some strong connection with marriage and the afterlife for them, so let's quickly look at that. In Matthew 22:30 it says "At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven." Now it doesn't say that neither are they married simply but for this he say they are "like the angels" which are in theory not married. Now for Mormons we are like angels afterwards so this doesn't quite work either for them. So these "angels" maybe could be "married" yet does this work? What is the goal of the afterlife? Then we have the problem of Paul and what he says: 1 Cor. 7: 8 Now to the unmarried and to the widow I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do. And then: 1 Cor. 7: 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. And then he says: 1 Cor. 7: 29 I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them. And then: 1 Cor. 7: 33-34 But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. And then finally: 1 Cor. 8: 38 So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better. And if we want to add a bit about being on a planet with a wife Paul
says: 1 Thes. 5: Thus we shall always be with the Lord. So the main problem is this, and the one that St. Paul is insinuating, our greatest desire within our being is to imitate God, and there are some things that imitate God more than others. Helping him give life to other creatures is imitating his creative power, yes, but this is unfortunately physical for us, that is we don't partake very directly in this act of giving life to another human being. Yet even under that there is a something more that man wants to imitate and that is how God loves. The reason why we come together in the first place to procreate is because I love my spouse, otherwise it wouldn't happen. And love wants to unify. As such, I want to be totally united to he who loves me most, and to love him in return. Marriage is only a brief shallow image of this deep powerful unity in love that I always search for. Not only that but but I want to imitate God's universal love, meaning a love that shares no particularity. No matter how we try to avoid the problem, in marriage I am giving myself in a particular way, or loving in a particular way my spouse. Yet this is not universal, it is not the way God loves. So he who lives a celibate lifestyle here and how we really are afterwards is an expression of how God loves. And because afterwards, when I am with God, I will love everyone in a universal way with no particularity, and that will satisfy me more than continuing to procreate or be with one human being forever. Before all creatures comes God, and he made us for him, why then would I want something outside of him after death? And on the flip side of the coin we want to be with one woman in marriage because we desire to be loved completely by the most important person in our lives and to love completely one person in return. What does this imitate? My relationship with God in the afterlife as well, because not only do I want to imitate God's universal love but this is so because of how God loves me intensely in a particular wayinfinitely (which is why it can be "particular" and "universal" at the same time because there is no limit to it in either case) and God then becomes first for me, the most important, total, exclusive, the greatest. And by means of this love I am able to love everyone else in a universal manner in order to imitate the one I most love God, in how he loves all equally. Again, if you got lost, don't worry, its a bit complicated to say the least. We also need to keep in mind the example of the saints, which the Mormons have none of, their surrender in celibacy changed the world, (Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Pope JP II etc.) History testifies that those who have given themselves universally have done more for humanity that those who have not. Man wants to have icons of what is to come and those icons work wonders in the world for they are following more closely God's love and nature. O.K. enough of the tough stuff, let's get to the book of Mormon. Well, OK one word about the Gospels first. The Mormons do believe that the Gospels are inspired, at least in general the books in the KJV which is protestant of course. Yet this is problematic as well, for the simple fact that if what they call the Great Apostasy (basically states that everyone went into error and lost the path to life) started soon after Christ's Assention and the Mormons don't accept any of the Synods or Councils, how is it they accept the Council of Hippo in 397 that approved the very books that they read today in the OT and NT? Our (and their) Bible would not even have been universal if it weren't for that Council. Why this one exception? Is it just that the HS just decided in that one moment to bring everyone back from being Apostates or Heretics (however they would call them) and then let them go again? Why accept Catholic
doctrine there and not other places in or around that time in history? But makes no difference, it will only help us in the end clarify more points for them having accepted it. The Book of Mormon consists basically of about 14 prophets giving their eyewitness accounts of two principle types of events. One, the Jews coming over twice from a particular eastern continent to America - once around the year 2000bc and the other around the year 600bc. And two, of constant battles between tribes which were built up after a certain number of years. The trips to America themselves are narrated in very little detail. The formation of tribes and battles between them is what most of the Book consists in. Each story is basically the same: one tribe is trying to be faithful to God (=following ten commandments and other minor Jewish details) and the other is unfaithful. The unfaithful one attacks the faithful one, and always looses because the faithful one is rewarded by having been faithful to God. This almost always the scenario and it gets very repetitive after a while. Mixed in you have, ever so briefly, prophesies about Christ dying for everyone and coming or appearing in America after his Resurrection. There is literally nothing else. There is only one book that breaks this rhythm and that is the one which recounts when Christ actually came and appeared in America to these American Jews. He first gives a quick summary of all that you find in the four Gospels (basically repeating them, without all the stories, I'm going to guess these Jews were smarter than the others cause they needed no parables to understand anything), and then goes and changes ever so slightly the last supper discourse so as not to be the same as in the Gospels. Then he finishes off with nothing in relation to the gospels about how the New Jerusalem would be there in America and he would gather all in one place etc. Here we still have the problem of favoritisms, why these Jews or Jews in general? Why special treatment? But beyond that we have the following: There is almost nothing that would be considered in the 530 pages of this book as something essential to salvation that was not already given in the OT or NT already. So the big WHY is WHY is this book so important? There is practically no new revelations or dogmas or commandments in any part of this book so why the importance? The only two things that even remotely come close to being an addition is the variation of the Last Supper (which obviously goes against the NT and thus one of the books is wrong, I care not to guess which one...) and the fact of America all of the sudden being special along with its inhabitants. Outside of this? Nothing. What did I gain from reading? The idea that I was reading a repetition of what I have already read and loved in the OT and NT, and that I had no idea why this book was so special. Something I hope to find out in the near future with more dialogs with them. Yet I read the whole thing and so we should now go and see just a bit of what was found (I won't be able to give them all, they're just to many).... I Nephi 18:25 "And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse..." Horses were brought over by Europeans when they first historically came to America, I don't see how they got there beforehand. 2 Nephi 2:23 And they would have had no children, wherefore they would have remained in a state
of innocence, having no joy, for they know no misery, doing no good, for they knew no sin".... Big philosophical and theological problem here. How you can conclude that Adam and Eve weren't going to have children, given that they were made bodily for this, is way beyond me, and how can you say that there was no joy without misery is also very complicated. Are we to conclude that we have no joy in Heaven cause there is no misery? Yet where I suppose they are going with this is that we may register joy more intensely after the sting of pain, which is true, but that is a far cry from not having it at all because I never knew pain. Knowing what misery is has nothing to do with it. Joy comes from being united to what is perfect, God, and becoming perfect. It has nothing to do with misery directly. Misery only intensifies joy indirectly because of its radical opposition, and allows us to more freely choose what will make us happy, yet all of this would take me a lot more to explain and I'd rather dedicate another blog to it instead of making this one longer.... 2 Nephi 5:21 "And he had caused the cursing to come upon them (Lamanites), yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity,. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint: wherefore as they were white and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." Problem again. If this were said in maybe the year 1010 when no blacks were around it would be different, but given this was published in the middle of an extreme black hating era, the apparent coincidence singes the imagination. 2 Nephi 5:23 "And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done." This just follows the former. Alma 11:39 "And Amulek said unto him: Yea he (Christ) is th very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth"...Why they have something like this said here and yet in the end Christ is not really the Father cause he was "made" is hard to understand. There is a lot of this in their doctrine where they will take a word or phrase and mean something difference to what the word or phrase means in itself. This also makes it very hard to say things objectively about something. Alma 41:5 "For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated." It's sufficient enough to mention that apparently the Mormons think that there was a tree of life besides the tree of good and evil that really is a tree that gives unending life it appears, which before the fall is what...they already had, so why make a tree for something they had already before the fall? This is something that will have to be clarified later. 3 Nephi 9:3 "Behold that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof." This is one of many, many paragraph where supposedly Christ, not God the Father, is speaking of how he is destroying peoples in America, after his Resurrection, before he presents himself bodily to the Jewish Americans, so as to "purify the group" so to speak. Wasn't Christ to come and show mercy? Didn't he die for others not to destroy them afterwards? What type of image of Christ is this? NOTE the most important commandment, that of charity, is never mentioned in the Book of Mormon. I just consider this awkward at best. 3 Nephi 11:27 ...."for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one." Em, not really, not existentially at least, not in power, so why say it this way? Why use words that denote one thing and use them for something else?
3 Nephi 15:21"And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." 3 Nephi 15:22 "And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching." Christ is universal. He does not have favoritisms. One shepherd means one shepherd of everyone, not a group. Yet we are to believe the opposite, why? Why ask me to believe that there is a special flock? I still have to find out. 3 Nephi 28:8 "And ye shall never endure the pains of death..." 3 Nephi 28:9 "And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh..." "Ye" here are another group of 12 apostles that Christ supposedly chose from among the Jewish Americans to do the work that the original apostles did in Europe and Asia. So.. Christ let them be immortal, where are they then? Invisible? I really want to understand what is meant by this. And here I will end this part with one last question. Where did all this civilization go to? We are to believe that in about the span of 900 years from when the history of the Book of Mormon ends, around 500AD to when the first Europeans came, all these groups with their towns, temples, culture etc. were obliterated, and nothing of this is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. If they did disappear, then why so much work by Christ to set them up only to have them turned in to a figment of our imagination? Are we to believe they turned into Indians? That in such a short time all that knowledge was totally lost? Did God erase their memories again? Not one artifact remains. All of that history all those efforts of entire tribes to continue on, gone. Gone where? The question is, were they even a part of reality? Or did I write all of this because one man had such an intense imagination that others so enraptured by it decided that it were so? I really want to know the truth of all of this and not have it hanging on a faith which does not respect reason. Mormons still remain a mystery to me. That is not to say they are not wonderful people, cause they are, but there is still a lot that I would have to have answered before I could say I really knew them. So I'll keep delving into the mystery of the Mormons for a bit more.... 7. The Evolution of Evolution I have always enjoyed unrolling and unraveling things. When Christmas rolled around it was the intense excitement of unwrapping presents and finding something new that kept me enthralled. The same feeling enraptured me in a well written book, its plot unveiled little by little. It was this sense that something was coming, something new, exciting or thrilling. But one sensation that I never felt within all of this was haphazardness or blindness. Just because I didn't know what was coming didn't make me think that just anything would come. I knew that this 'surprise' which would spring forth upon me was something 'predestined' and not chaotic. I didn't expect to find a bomb ticking away, or a chopped off hand or some disgusting substance.
Why? Because I knew from whom the gift came. I didn't know what the gift was but I knew who gave it and that was more than enough for me. It made no difference to me what the gift was in the end be it big or small, costly or cheap, or even strange. The basis of the gift gave assurance that it wouldn't be something useless or bereft of meaning. There wasn't a 'chance' for it to be something out of place or dangerous, even if it may, for an instant, appear so. Why is the classical theory of evolution wrong? It is not because of what it states, but because of what it presupposes. And what is presupposed is that there is no One or Thing that controlled or directed or planned or allowed things to evolve. That's to say, there would be no One to surprise us with changes, big or small, within a universe that was being directed to a climatic surprise which the same universe was dying to see. Can those who promote classical evolution prove there is no planner? No. What they do rather is to dogmatically affirm without any proof whatsoever that what is at the basis of everything is...chance and chaos. Now where did this come from? How about...being scared to death of God. How about...trying to manipulate science unscientifically and irrationally in order to avoid anything having to do with Him. It's called being - pardon the word - a coward, but I promise you they will have many other more political, more suave names to call themselves. Before we get into detail, let's just set the records straight. You can't talk about chance without talking about purpose. What? You bet. Talking about chance without purpose is like a fish out of water. Em no, it's like a fish without gills-its not a fish, or its something else. Trying to define chance without purpose gives you a word without meaning. Note that we are not talking about chance as something possible or probable. We are talking about something random, chaotic or unpredictable. If you look up the word chance in a dictionary, most likely you will find that it signifies the negation of something. In fact, it simply denies something as planned or directed. Chance denotes the absence of something, not a positive entity, how then can it be a driving impulse? Chance is void of meaning without purpose as its foundation, not vice versa, that means, sadly for the evolutionists, that before you have any type of chance in the universe, you have purpose. How? Because our words aren't self existing entities that have autonomy by themselves. They present to us and others how things really are. So if chance depends on purpose to be defined, it also means that we have seen this in reality as well. Chance falls within the greater circle of purpose, which comes first and encompasses more. You can try and try to divide them from each other in your mind and have fun creating a Hegelian world where what you say goes, but that simply doesn't change anything. Chance is exception, purpose is the rule. Do I say that a bird makes a nest for no purpose? Do I say man makes a computer just by chance? Do I say 'thank you' to somebody just by chance? Is it just by chance that I am writing this? Is it by chance that the billions upon billions of circumstances needed, not just that are, but needed for life to exist on this planet - for the eye to function, for the universe itself to spin in its intricate circles - is just by luck? It's like saying I can take a bunch of Legos, throw them into the air, and hitting the ground out pops the Eiffel tower. Can we honestly take this seriously? Em, no. While Darwin worked on his theory of evolution, his Anglican faith began to evolve itself...into unfounded agnosticism, well, let's be frank, he died an irrational atheist. All his ideas and investigation
started spinning round and round and spun God right off the map. His faith started breaking apart when he had to confront the problem of evil (daughter dying young) which he couldn't explain with empirical science. Surprising? When you try to solve every problem with a microscope you will remain in a very, very small sphere to work in, literally. So there goes Christianity. He finished off giving theism the boot when he discreetly convinced himself that the world worked by fixed laws and needed no....law giver?!! This was the same guy who wrote a few years earlier that he could not conceive the world without God because of its design. This is not evolution, this is devolution. Talk about constructing castles in the clouds. Talk about dancing with contradictions because of fear or frustration for not knowing everything, and then pretending to do so. The problem of evil I have written about already, the problem of law without a director simply makes no sense since law presupposes governance. If something happens repeatedly, does that denote chance or purpose? If I put my clothes on every morning, does this happen in cold determinism, unpredictable randomness, or do I direct it? In fact, I direct everything that I am conscious of. Now where in the world did this come from? From a bacteria? From a chimp? From a rock? None can do this, so what right do we have to say that it came from them? We didn't even observe this! The conclusion then is totally, absolutely unscientific, nay, its totally uncommonsensical. Neither laws, nor man's intellect comes from the chaotic movement of atoms and electrons. There is no proof of it and you can't conclude it. Rather what we can conclude is that there was something or someone who is not contained within this universe that gave the universe the possibility to run a course, to be directed, to be governed and to take on traits that the governor has, because he can give them. We conclude this by simply seeing that the other "possibility" is not a possibility. I ask, how can you say all is chance and material if this thing which you call all material, all chaotic - man - somehow finds or concocts this idea of a Director, the immaterial, or causality? How may I ask did such an idea even have the possibility to come to light if there is absolutely nothing that could even give a hint of it? Where, may I ask then, did these "crazy", "absurd", "ridiculous" ideas come from? Are we going to admit that billions of people living now have a screw loose upstairs because they use their heads and see as clear as day that there has to be a cause for there to be an effect, or a law giver for a law? And speaking about giving and gaining traits. Anyone, and I am talking about anyone, who has studied just a little biology, or has two eyes even, will see that natural selection is not something that just happened a certain number of years ago, but happens daily. Why do you think that penicillin sometimes doesn't work. Maybe because the little bacteria who have some wild desire to live and survive, (go figure), have this amazing capacity to mutate and throw dirt in the face of what we thought we had under control, and then, o my, they can give that trait to their many asexual offspring! If this happens now, why on earth would we be so surprised that it would happen millions of years ago? These people who think that all is set up by chance also think that because mutations happen it somehow confirms this. What it really does is confirm that the very Being that gave laws to nature has not let it go like a clock but keeps showing time and time again that he is in charge and can add new laws, change them, or surprise his creation with something totally new. Mutations within a species are not something new, it is something commonsensical. Genes are static on the one hand so that what they got which is good will remain, but also dynamic so that if the thousands of circumstances that they will encounter shove something at them that doesn't allow the
thing to continue on they can change and adapt to it. Why is this surprising? If I were this Beinggovernor, I would have directed it the same, maybe because he allows me to think somewhat like him? After millions of adaptation of millions of these things could you get to where we are now? It is very feasible, maybe even correct. Massive jumps within the order of the universe though are not mutations. A man is not a mutation of a chimp. No rock, no matter how much it would like to mutate into an animal, even the most simplistic of them, is not going to get there, neither in a year nor in a trillion. Why? Because life is a totally different cup of tea compared to a rock. There is nothing in a rock that would allow it to get there. So what happens? A surprise! This Being (God of course), decides, yes decides, to add something new. Is this theology? I'm sorry but no. It's called, rather, you can't give what you don't have, a very simple commonsensical principle. So if a rock can't give it, then the author of the rock probably can. I know lots of evolutionist want to think and be convinced that we came from apes, I'm sorry to burst their bubble but that couldn't happen. They will rant and rave on the similarities of apes and man, of how they even seem to "think" the same, but, hate to break it to you, apes don't think. "WHAT!" they cry. I know, sometimes the truth can hit you hard. To think is to plan, direct, expand, transcend what is material. Apes ain't got it, never will, and never did. Apes, just like any and every other animal, yes, including those smarty dolphins, can't go beyond what they sense or are directed to do, and never will. Man, though, can take from those things he senses what is not sensed, like a dragon or a cell phone tower. He and only he can go against what he was directed to do, something that has baffled man himself for many a year. This capacity doesn't just pop up out of nowhere. It can't, so we should stop pretending that it can. It was another "surprise" of the Director. Now whether God decided to zap an ape and give him this capacity to where the poor ape didn't know what hit him, or zap a prince charming out of thin air, is not up to me or the evolutionist, but up to him, so let's stop saying we know when we don't have enough evidence. The zapped ape could have immediately started mutating quite rapidly to what we have today. Yet that does not mean that prince charming was not an option. And what about macro evolution, or the theory that states, for example, a particular dinosaur which had no feathers or wings, after a few generations, suddenly had them? Is this possible? Well, I have to break it to the creationists, but yes it is. In fact, this would be less exotic than having, from one second to the next, a flying dinosaur in a tree where a moment before there was none. In other words, we have no right to limit how God wants to surprise us or direct his creation. Neither the creationists nor the evolutionists can take fossils, fruit flies or the Bible and base their argument on it. Fossils give us a photo of the past, but NOT how it proceeded. Fruit flies tell us what can happen now, but tell us nothing about a billion years ago. The bible tells us about God and how to find him, NOT how to find the key of a biological process that took millions of years. Are we to go so far as to say that because the Bible doesn't mentions bacteria, they didn't exist at the beginning? You can't argue about what you don't know, and doing so just shows that truth is the last thing you are looking for. So what has this "theory" of evolution evolved into? The following: This theory junk, we're going to throw it out the window. The mutation stuff, micro evolution anyway, is true, now and then, so it ain't theory. Macro evolution is logically possible so it can't be excluded. In regards to exactly how
things evolved, or came to be, we don't have enough information, so we will be humble and anything said about it will be called hypothesis. Finally, massive jumps in the universe, like life, and then the capacity to think, have nothing to do with evolution, because they don't evolve. They are a mark stamped on creation by the Governor of the universe and continue on through thick and thin. When we finally give up our puny ideas and faint certainties, becoming a child once again and letting this Father of ours surprise us with wondrous possibilities, queer, maybe shocking, but always planned and directed, then, and only then will we better understand this wild mystery of reality. I can't wait for next Christmas. 8. Thought on Fire This is a part of the introduction of a book I am writing... Prelude: The drama “Sir, this God you speak of, this wondrous all good, all powerful being, which creates all and gives life to all, I see as a blatant lie, for evil and suffering mock it, radical religion testifies against it, science blasphemes it, and man’s desires ignore it. Tell me then how will you convince us of the contrary? Come, tell us the story of God.” Anonymous Atheist Every person I have encountered has a story. Each is different, though they might share similar traits. However, one trait remains always the same and runs through each story. They all grew up, and while growing up they all learned things, from others, by experience, by books etc. Both the religious and the non-religious, the sensuous and the soldier, the poor and rich, man and woman. More and more I sensed after speaking to someone that I was hearing an echo. He had absorbed something in childhood and it formed him, molded him, and here was the fruit. I was not listening to the person, but rather the conglomeration of persons and ideas grouped into something called culture and he became its herald. Then I would imagine setting him from birth in another land and culture, growing up differently. Would he say the same things? Would he not think rather absurd the very things he appeared to be so convinced of now? The thought sent a shudder down my spine and the idea came to me, “are we not all slaves to what we learn as a child or in the culture that we find ourselves?” Are we trapped in a world of ideas that were thrown at us in our childhood days? Are we mindless zombies controlled by abstract ideologies? Yet how did this reflection come to me? How was I able in a sense to jump out and look at the very thing I was supposed to be trapped in? If culture ruled me, controlled me, then why was I able to take it and analyze it and maybe even challenge it? How was I locked in if I could step out? There was something more here than met the eye, and I wanted to know what it was. I didn’t want to be a slave of ideas that had been given to me passively. I wanted to know how things really were. I wanted to look at reality face to face and not through an intermediary. I decided to start learning again and take the bull by the horns myself.
I sensed very poignantly with a “lightning’s-about-to-strike” expectation that the obtrusive normality of reality was simply a guise, a mascaraed, to what really lay hidden. Hidden-simply this, not lost, or imaginary, fake or false-but always there. It was the “unexplored” by most, the “fantastical” by some, but the “unadulterated” and “pure” reality by the explorer. It was the “Part II” of a book that few got around to reading. I had found the following: a person hurled upon the stage of reality at his birth came with both eyes wide, wide open, but with his mind not nearly so. He absorbed with ferocity all the colors, sounds, movements and experiences that were being enacted, and found them amazing and delightful. All was “new”, all “explorable” all “absorbable”, everything could be easily “known”. He would then dance upon the stage in the midst of the many thousands of actors whirling around him and rejoice in his new-found knowledge and security. Security-For he had watched with avid attention all portrayed and had found what he considered to be his place, his niche within the picture or plot. For from the very beginning when his eyes first fell upon this first scene, there grew within him a perspective, never really clear yet always more intense, of this “other” the “not me” or the “what” and he would begin to form his relationship to everything based on all the knowledge or datum bombarding every capacity and sense he found himself armed with. Certain things he found fascinating, others horrifying. He would categorize, qualify, measure, and then would play the part in which he found himself more “in tune” with everything else. But this at a certain moment began to transform itself, as knowledge accumulated, to something quite different- to a “and then what...” or a “why?” A boundary had been crossed, and the security long sought began to crack. The hour had struck. A strike that shakes the foundation and center of every person. Heavy as thunder, strong as crashing waves, it was time for the vision to change. Scene two began to unfold. The curtains came down slowly all around the entertained and he found himself completely alone. The terribly black plush curtains which seemed to absorb all sound and light surrounded and imprisoned him. The world had turned inside-out. The hour of trial, of true drama had come. This person who was not asked whether he wanted to see the first scene of this “universal” drama is neither asked to see the second. All around him whispers come seeping in, half-strangled messages trying to reach the ear of the new protagonist, trying to tell him of the wonders awaiting and all the while a brilliant penetrating light pounds upon the curtains from the other side demanding admittance, yet the curtains fight furiously back bending only slightly to its fierceness. The person stands dumbfounded. All acquired knowledge and security-where had it gone? What had this simple little question done to his world? Up until this time no real major decision had to be made in his existence, all was given to him. Now a blazing Platonic light threatened to undo all by hiding everything that he knew and cherished within its rays. The whispers meanwhile continued their chant of invitation to come out. The person is confronted with a decision. The decision. Between adventure and normality, suffering and security, joy and desperation, exploration and deploration. There awaits for the person beyond the curtains something much more amazing, more astounding, more intense than could be grasped by his mind’s eye up to this moment. Even the imagination itself desires to go beyond and discover, but the decision does not lie within its power.
Alas, it is here in this decision where the person needs to confront his greatest fear- the unknown or insecure. That which he strove so hard to finally free himself from comes to haunt him once again. The unknown, the insecure, if only the creature knew that this was simply the next logical step in his realization, but this step he must make alone and with what he has learned, and if what he has learned is not enough, then what sadness, what terrible confusion comes as payment. Everything that had passed was simply just a step, part of a process, part of a journey that continued on. He was not learning to remain static, but as a preparation for something more. This shock of asking the why of it all, of asking what lies further than that which I see, stands as a preparation to confront the hardest things within the person’s existence. Those things which he must confront and will struggle with if he wants to achieve a greater security-one that can never break. So we may now behold the decisions of two types of persons, the one who listened and heeded the whispers, having flung wide the curtains, faced the aggressive light, and walked boldly forward knowing that this is what he must do and that he will find the answer to the “why” which shook his existence, to go deeper into reality, to discover, to explore. The adventure, the insecurity is seen as part of something bigger and these too will be understood. They too have a part to play in the second scene. “Look beyond, go beyond, Look beyond, go beyond” sings the whispers and awakes an ancient desire, embedded in what we are. This desire for an answer, the answer to existence and all that it entails. It burns in us, consciously or unconsciously, more or less intensely, and is enkindled in everyone in some instant in life. The person does not die or give his life for belief in ghosts or dragons but he will die for an answer to this question. There is no doubting here, we have seen it, heard it, and experienced it in the whole history of mankind and in our daily lives. He will find an answer, or make it. There is no greater example of the terrible abyss, the emptiness, the darkness, the person can enter into than when in this greatest of all moments he says “no, I will not go.” “I will not seek, I will not feel insecure!” Poor, weak creature, he has broken his nature with his very own nature, his greatest enemy has become himself. Truncated and cut off from the answer which he needs to realize himself he finds a thousand ways to fill the gap and distract himself from the ever aching lack of he knows not what. It often begins with distraction-activity, movement, noise, pleasure, even sleep. He will seek to artificially intensify and repeat the few experiences found in the first scene in order to drive out the ever constant whispers and ever-beckoning light that feigns to promise only suffering upon encounter in the second. Alone. Without the answer what is he? Who is he? He proceeds then, after unending distraction to drive his own imagination and intellect into slavery. They are forced to project upon these once obnoxious curtains the artificial bleak reality that was and the new, controlled, empty and made illusion that has usurped the gap reality was to inhabit. Theories are made, rules denied, and the self made dictator takes his seat within his new realm. And there he sits, the person, in his little world, so terribly small and unreal, yet enough for him. Life passes, and in the illusion the person finds hundreds of elixirs to extend or try to extend this made world forever, but the fruit in the end is the forgotten tombstone, a great and bold monument for those who heed the message. Many will say that life is a mystery, but the greatest of mysteries is life without
meaning. On this forgotten tombstone of the man who construe his feeble illusions there is written with letters invisible but deeper and stronger than those banged by hammer and chisel the one question, never answered, and yet still pending- “Why do I exist.” There is drawn upon a certain unnamed viewer of this tombstone a smile, tinged with pain, as he looks at the panorama. Nothing, wasted, normal. In a few hundred years the words chiseled would be stripped away leaving a bare blank stone becoming the vanguard of forgotteness, yet the other question is still there. To the viewer, there is still a memory of something, for in the moment of the changing of the scenes long ago he was there and he looked into the eyes of fear of he who would not dare to leave. The viewers eyes fill once again with compassion, this sharing of suffering which he felt as he experienced within himself this same fear, but with the great difference that he knew there was a solution to it. Moreover the fear he had had a glimpse of in the eyes of the other pushed him even more to go forward. He would not let it conquer him. It would be purged if the answer was sought, and he was being purged at this very moment. For what to most is unnerving, to him was a door. Instead of running away from reality, of denying it, he confronted it, embraced it. Fear and insecurity had allowed him to see the opening in the curtains and bade him forward and so the adventure began. In that far off hour when he had turned away from the person of cowardness, he walked timidly through the deathly curtains and faced the light. The light drove at him, pierced him, and searched him out. The feeling of burning was felt, but a healing burning, like alcohol on a wound. His head felt heavy, it hurt, pain seared it. The whispers beckoned him forward. He took a step and the rest of him felt light. A few steps further and he began to see clearly again. But what clarity! What penetration! What peace! Scene two opened up to something much greater, much more intense, more beautiful and sublime. Colors were extreme, those dark, even darker, those light filled with something which made them glow. The contrast smote his eyes once again, and the reaction in his heart was a complete mixture of greater happiness and greater sadness woven together. The darker colors seemed cruel, yet they were indeed a part of the whole, they had their right, their meaning, for they pushed the lighter colors to exaltation. Everything he knew before was there and had a welcoming strangeness, something of the strangeness that he vaguely remembered from his childhood, yet was renewed and deepened. The expedition was begun again, the journey was struck out anew. Scene two began to unfold. The answer to the “why?” was now sought. Each experience became a clue, a piece to fit with others. Each new idea a new transfiguration of reality, one more “click” of the rubric’s cube. Such a different vision, reality respected, suffering accepted, both new and wild as a stallion tearing through a plane. Reality was crying out something yet it took every ounce of strength to understand, for the language was as old as reality itself. Now after intense exploration and purification he beheld the door of death, desired and awaited, for it held the last clue. It was the final act of scene 2. He knew now that scene 3 was coming, but this time he was ready. The change would be still greater and more strangely fantastic than the previous for it required a greater and heavier decision, but the clues were in place. There was no doubt now, the answer, which he had seen a glimpse of through all his trials would finally reveal itself. He was ready for the next adventure and the drama continued... Such is the story which I found to play itself out among the unique creatures called men. Very few from those I knew went beyond the curtains to confront the light, to explore, and this is the very reason
of this book, to push, to motivate, to try in some way to give a wake up call to the reality of reality. Posted by MOVE at 10:10 PM 0 comments 9. The Priesthood and Petty Women If someone came up to you and asked “Hey, if I give you a lot of money, and make you very popular, and give you a lot of privileges, will you risk your life every day by running through a mine field, jumping over quicksand puddles, get shot at by a ferocious enemy in order to bring back one person on the return trip from a prison?" How many do you think are going to raise their hands to do this, even if there was A LOT of money involved and A LOT of privileges, and you got to be VERY popular? Be honest, one out of five hundred, maybe... Now how many do you really think would complain if they could not do this? Maybe one (crazy) out of a hundred thousand. Guess what, when women start complaining about not being able to be priests, its about as crazy as complaining about the former. The problem here is that for some wild reason some women think that the priesthood is only a dignity and not a VERY HEAVY responsibility. That is what makes this look totally out of place. The only reason one would want to be a priest is either because they have no idea what it entails, or they have a very good idea what it entails and are ready to be a MARTYR, that is, ready to die, in every sense of the word, like in the example above. There has to be something slightly not right about you if you are complaining about wanting to have a position where you are called to die at any moment and in any way for others. And indeed that is what this position entails, and because no one seems to know this, or strip it of its essence, they get this weird idea that it would be good to have. Even on a simple cultural level, looking at the history of this church which is called Catholic, the priesthood was meant at the very beginning as a service, to serve others, to give yourself wholly to others, without reserve, which meant to sacrifice yourself, giving up what you wanted to do or be or have, and forget yourself. Even those who were married still gave up time, took away time from their marriage and gave it to help this church which had just begun to grow. It makes no difference whether today some try and twist the priesthood into something else. They don't have a right to, just like I don't have a right to enter a fitness club one day and say, “guess, what, today I am not going to pay anything and use this equipment.” If a group I want to join or participate in has certain rules or traditions, I either follow these rules or I don't join. If you try to join and change everything, I simply consider you off your rocker. People think the priest today is someone who gets up, speaks in front of people for an hour or so, then goes and plays golf, comes back, does some administrative stuff, may talk to a couple of people in the afternoon, gets paid for it, receives a lot of privileges and gets to feel important. Where did this
come from? Who said this was the way it should be? It's a warped idea of a tiny part of what this service could or should entail. Within this normal 'service' which is already, from the beginning, a lot of work when it is lived correctly, from giving up time for others to letting go of what they want, there are three other aspects that make this 'dignity' a super heavy responsibility. They are prayer, suffering, and example. I want to know how many of these women who complain about not being able to be priests really know what to pray means? Are they ready to confront God every day and see their misery, their littleness and know, which they can only know in prayer, how much they have to change? Are they ready to intercede for others in prayer, really knowing that if their prayer is intense enough, it will be answered? If so, guess what, religious and nuns do the same, so you gain nothing here from being one or the other. I want to know if those who complain are ready to suffer? Do they know that as a priest they are called to take upon themselves every suffering of every person they come across as their own? They are to bear it, feel it, share it with the other, no matter how heavy it may be because they are called to alleviate all those who suffer by taking it upon themselves and suffer double - their daily pains along with those of others? Are they ready to bear all this? If so, I'm sorry to say, but again, the religious and nuns do the same so again you gain nothing by wanting the other. I want to know finally if those who complain are ready to give example? Of whom, to who? Of Christ, to all. This is the hardest in the end to fulfill. The priest is called to be an icon of Christ on earth, and that means to embrace humiliation, pain, misunderstanding, and death. It means ready to be shot at in order to defend this Way Christ gave to man to realize himself, both metaphorically when people criticize and calumniate you, and physically when they shoot you for having grown bored of doing the former. It means letting go of your own puny desires and whims. It means never complaining. It means being patient, it means preaching the truth, no matter how hard or dangerous it might be. It means leaving yourself aside and putting others first. Can they do this? Well, guess what.... you got it, so can religious and nuns, nothing here again. So what are these women looking for?!! Do they want to celebrate the Eucharist and hear confession? Do they know the great mystery the priest has in his hands during the transubstantiation? Do they know that they hold their very creator in front of them, the very God who will be before them on the day of their death, on the day of judgment, and will recall to them this very 'dignity' they were given and the very heavy responsibility that flows forth from it and how their lives had to correspond to it? Do they know that each time the priest hears confession his salvation has intertwined with the confessed? Do they know that if they are not instruments of God in this moment they can cause a soul to separate itself from God? Do they know that this will be brought before them on the very day they confront the one who gave such a terrible gift? Does anybody have the right to complain when the responsibility of such a gift is so great of not being able to? Only someone who is terribly holy could stand and ask for such a terrible gift. These holy people are called saints in this church, and what is wildly amazing is that NONE of them have ever
complained of not getting or asked for such a gift!!! Go read these women who were called saints and you will find that all understood the greatness and the terribleness of the priesthood, they did not ask for it because they never dared. Does this show weakness? No, it shows wisdom, wisdom in knowing that the ministry of the priesthood is so great that only God could choose the ones he wanted to fulfill it and that at the personal risk of the one being asked. The risk of not fulfilling the mission, the vocation that God calls the priest to. With great power comes great responsibility, isn't that what the uncle of spider man said in the movie? And with greater responsibility comes greater and more perilous consequences. Are these really worth complaining about when I can't have them? Does it make sense to? Each person who calls himself Catholic is called to love and to serve. I have never known anyone who really does this complain about anything, whether they have something or not, do something or not, get something or not, because when we do, we simply don't love. Loving has got nothing to do with thinking of myself or what I want. Rather, it is about forgetting about myself and giving myself to others. It is about laying myself down and becoming that 'bridge over troubled water' for others. Its about letting God be in charge, letting him fulfill his plan as He, the almighty, the all-knowing, the all-wise, knows much, much better than we do how it should come to pass. Its about letting him work through us as instruments which sing and play in that particular, special way he has directed from all eternity. So, who cares if this church called Catholic has stated that only men become priests or even if only men should stand on their heads! If the essence of Catholicism is to love and not worry about what I want, who really should care? Petty women who don't know what they are asking for? Can't we just go back to worrying about what God wants instead of ourselves? Yet, for those who want a "because" there is a tad more to offer which boils down to the following: why do we think that one quality that one sex has is better/worse than another of the other sex? In other words, what makes, say, having big muscles "better" than say the possibility of being pregnant in the eyes of so many people? Why is it so hard to grasp that the sexes are different for a reason and not just cause they happen to be so? Yea, we could just make up an army full of women to fight and have the men stay at home and genetically change them to have kids, but why? Why do we think that because we "can" do something we could do it in the future. So if we "can" take drugs we should be able to do so whenever we want right? On what is such awful logic based upon? Men and women are the same in many ways; we both have bodies, intellect and will, but then differences follow and to try and make them both the same makes no sense - why then have two different names for them? And the differences are NOT only corporeal but also psychological and even existential. We are not exactly the same and we do not act exactly the same. Does that mean that one sex has something "better" than the other. No. It means simply that they are different and those differences are complementary. It does not logically follow that 'if I am different, then I am worse or bad', no sorry, you can't prove this. Christ came to earth in the form of a man. Does that mean that God considers woman on a second
plane? no, no and no. The greatest creature in fact that God ever made was a woman, His biological mother Christ chose being a man because based on the mission involved he desired certain characteristics that He as Creator infused within that sex when He created it in order to fulfill the particular mission or plan which He saw as best respecting human nature as a whole. Again does this mean that women aren't up to par with men or that they "lack" something in relation to them? No, it means they are different and have a different mission. "But, I want that mission, I want that quality, I want that 'job' ". But what makes us in the end happy, what I want, or what is best for me? History and common sense answer that. I will not be happier doing something that God has not planned for me, or having something he has not made me to have. What is the sense of warping this? Why try to force something so I can warp happiness. "I'm happy because I do what I want." I'm sorry but you are a lier, however hard that sounds, because those who try and warp reality to create their own happiness are the ones who in the end, in extreme cases, commit suicide, and no I know of not one case in which one who has followed reality, did what would objectively give them happiness, which is to follow the nature that was given them and fulfill the mission assigned to them, ever committed suicide, not one. So he has chosen men as priests. Why do we argue this? Yes, it does take a detailist to perceive the characteristics that would allow a man to take on the priesthood as opposed to a woman, but they are there, and to say that "that's not fair" means we haven't looked hard enough, because God is not stupid and knows what he is doing. A man's psychology is made to be "beat" for example, to resist blows or hardship, but this will make him less sensitive and more "coldly objective" which is needed in confessing, for example, or fighting. On the flip side a woman's psychology is more sensitive, detailed and "warmly subjective", allowing for better comprehension, perfect for nurturing, healing etc. Does this mean that the other sex does not have these qualities? No, does it mean that a few of the other sex would not have these qualities to an intense degree, No, but these are called exceptions. Does this mean that one sex is "bad" for not having the other quality to a greater degree, NO! They are made that way to be complementary because we can't do everything perfectly! Why can't we admit then that we were made to be dependent on each other? Maybe because our pride is to big? Maybe because we want to warp reality and make it into something I want? Maybe because I want to be God? Yea, right. Have fun. 10. True Foundation of Evil In one of my former blogs (Where is a Good God when you need him) I commented on the fact that we blame God many times for the evils around us. It was shown in a commonsensical manner that this could not be the case. But I would like to go further and try and answer the question as to why does a creature have the possibility to be evil at all. For this I will have to throw a monkey wrench in the gears of our former argument and you'll have to get ready for a bumpy ride. God is, in some amazing way, the indirect cause of evil! What?! Pretty heavy right? Here the
problem lies in how God is, which few understand, and how we are. What do we know about how we are? Within the drama that we call life, we know that things don't go as we would like or as they appear they should. We see things move, crumble, spring forth, die, struggle, eat and sleep to survive, play and perish. There is a tension, a dynamism, we perceive in everything, in ourselves and what is around us. Everything seems to project itself to somewhere, or seek to achieve something. Animals seek to live and reproduce, inanimate objects seek to fall or to continue on in their movements, they and ourselves are aiming for something or to go somewhere. Yet there is always this 'counter impulse' that appears to throw everything off. Things corrupt, they don't achieve their goal many times, they get thrown off the mark, they fail. Out come genetic defects, homicide, avalanches, suicide, hunger, even death. We call all these things evil, but not all these things really are. Yet what is evil and what appears to be so both have the same foundation. What is this foundation? Well, it would appear that whatever it is, it's the opposite of what everything is searching. So what's everything searching for (and how long are we going to keep asking questions)?! If man wants to be good and happy, if animals want food and to reproduce, if things want to fall or move, can we put all these things in one category? What are all these things looking for?! Let's call them perfections. O.K.? Things look to be better, more perfect, than what they are now, in some way. Even falling rocks gain a new place, a new way of being, when they fall. So what is the opposite of this? Imperfection. Whew, finally the answer! All these wild and crazy things that we think out of place have as their foundation imperfection. They are in some way imperfect. They in some way lack something they should, or want to have. They are missing something, and that is what makes or allows things to fail. Thing that are missing something they should have we call evil. Things that lack something they don't have to have, but would make them better we just call imperfect. If a man gets killed, we call that evil, an imperfection that should not have been, but if a man could be stronger, or could fly even, we just call that being imperfect, something that does not have to be. We are getting closer to the answer even though it may not look like it! If it is the case that everything around us is imperfect, then we have a problem, because although they are so, as we said, they tend to want to be perfect. But how could they want that unless there was something perfect that gave them that inclination or desire or tendency? It goes back to another principle we mentioned in another blog: that something can't come from nothing and there is absolutely no way to prove the contrary. One might interject that the 'Big Bang' came from nothing or that men (intelligent) came from chimps (non-intelligent), but there is no scientific proof for this. Just because I see something a certain way does not mean that it is that way! If that were the case there would be no way of knowing if 'fake' diamonds were real, if a man were killing for self defense or for hatred, if someone cried out of sadness or joy, if someone had sex out of lust or love! There has to be an ulterior way to confirm what is seen, or we take chances of being utterly disillusioned.
This desire for perfection has to come from somewhere and it has to come from something perfect, and we are talking absolutely perfect, like as in it isn't missing anything, doesn't lack anything, doesn't need anything. If it were imperfect in any way whatsoever, then it would be looking to be more perfect. Now we are getting closer. Next question, is there a radical difference between what is absolutely perfect (this thing that we are going to call God in the end obviously) and those things which are imperfect to such a degree that there could be only one absolutely perfect thing while there being many imperfect things? You bet! Why?! Because being absolutely perfect means it has all and any perfection possible! Otherwise it would not be completely perfect, it would lack something. And how many perfections are there? An infinite number! What! Yea! You only have to look around to see the truth of this. Look at the terribly immense variety of shapes, colors, sizes, qualities of everything that exists. And there could always be more, you only have to look at your imagination to see that! There is no limit to the number of creatures or stories that we can write about. There is an infinite number of possibilities that something could be, so there is an infinite number of perfections that could be had (if I am strong, I could be stronger). So this thing, or God, if he is absolutely perfect means he is infinite and not in just one way but in every way! If your mind has not gone berserk with all this, then you are one smart cookie. This is tough to get, there is no doubting it, but here we have to let logic take its course and not let our imagination try and take control. Our imagination wants to have a picture of everything that we know, but something infinite can't be pictured because all that we picture is finite.Don't worry we are almost there. We will get back to evil, it's coming. So the question is now, can we have two infinite things existing at the same time? No. Can God, this infinite being, create another infinite being? NO. You can't have two infinite things existing at the same time. Why? Well we take the simple examples of trying to put two things of the same type (say two pieces of paper) in the exact same place, or trying to put two liters of water in a one liter cup. If a place or a quality has been taken or used by one thing, the other thing can't have the exact same. Can you park your car in the same place as someone else when their car is still there? Nope. In some way it is the same with God. If God is absolutely perfect then he has all perfections and to the greatest degree (which in this case is to an infinite degree). He is “strongest” “most intelligent” “the best” because to be absolutely perfect is to be perfect in every way. You can't have two that are the “best”. Not even in this world can you have two things exactly the same. It might appear so, but it never is. Something will always be a millionth of a millimeter bigger or smaller etc. So if there is one who is 'mightiest' then no other can be. Finally we can start giving an answer. If the facts show us that there can be only one perfect thing and all the rest must be imperfect then when God makes something that thing must be imperfect. Whew! And given the fact that things are imperfect they will show that sooner or later. So that means if man can be imperfect or evil, then it's gonna come. God, by creating, is allowing evil to come, because he 'can't' create something absolutely perfect like himself, so what comes will lack certain perfections, will be missing certain things. Some of these imperfections he directs, like in not giving man the capacity to fly, but other imperfections come because something else hinders it. Because man does not have a 'perfect' idea of good, he will fail in doing 'good' always. (UNLESS God changes the nature of the thing giving it a capacity it did not have before, such to man in heaven where his idea of 'good' is magnified way beyond what is normal for him
to such an extent that on a practical level he rarely, if ever, (meaning never) strays from what is 'good'.) So God is indirectly the cause of evil, and though he does not want it, he allows it to be and he must if he wishes to allow us to be happy, this capacity which entails choosing the objective good for me from what is not so good. (Choosing to eat salad instead of ice cream does not make me feel good at one moment, but it will in the long run make me feel better and healthier, but some don't choose it, because they are imperfect and can fail to see this.) By choosing the good I realize myself, and in realizing myself I am happy. Any questions? 11. Behind the scenes on tough questions Given the ferocity and and the popularity of certain topics today I have put together a small group of articles by doctors or professionals in each of the following fields: Pornography, Sex, AIDS, Abortion, Homosexuality, Population Control, Celibacy, and Feminism. The articles, the majority taken from newspapers, give scientific, statistical, or commonsensical data in relation to these topics and are a heavy arm to boost any philosophical or theological argument. They are found here: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg7742g3_45gjrgh2cp The greatest problem that people have most of the time is ignorance. If we could get the info out into mainstream media, into the common 'logos' of society, there would be less confusion, and less battles. The utter lack of energy on the part of those who know the truth to give it is society's demise, NOT the problems themselves or those who promote them. Anyone who thinks that I can be a 'good' person and not strive to promote truth probably has no idea what to be good means. We live in a society and we are relational beings. I don't just learn something and sit on it, I learn something to give it later. A security that is based on learning something which does not entail sharing, is a false security. It simply means you were never convinced of the truth in the first place. For those who have ears, let them hear. 12. Love letters from....a friend Dear Friend, Been a while since I last wrote to you, but so many things have happened over the past few years that I thought it was about time. I always wondered what kept our friendship going even after the many problems we have gone through. Maybe it was because we finally thought that friendship, or loving someone else genuinely, wasn't supposed to be like most people think, transitory, sensual, selfish, or utilitarian. We had to fight and suffer a lot to do this, what with so many messages bombarding us every day
in the media, with all the advertisements that we saw, even on Facebook and Perfspot and even within our own group of friends that constantly told us that it was illusory to develop a good friendship or really love each other without looking to get something out of it for ourselves. It is really sad, isn't it, that society doesn't let us really love? It keeps on telling us to get all we can out of a relationship, suck the other dry of what they got, so that we can feel better ourselves. All those songs and movies and videos etc. we heard and saw so much that invited us, well, rather pushed us to 'strip' the other of who they were, and leave them as an object, a instrument of pleasure, a corps on the road. Do you remember how bad we felt, after we saw all that porn and sung all those songs and did all those erotic things? Remember how they told us that constraining our passionate desires was unhealthy, that we were wimps if we did, that we were losers if we did, that we would never be really free if we didn't? Remember how we laughed at it all and thought we were having fun? Remember how superficial our relationship became? Remember how we never had a serious conversation afterwards? We couldn't speak about almost anything, and we were forgetting how the other was, who we were even. Why did they lie to us like that? We lost so much time! So many years, empty. Sure we were 'happy' at the moment, we felt 'free' for a moment, we felt like we were 'flying' but they never told us of the misery that would follow, they never told us of the emptiness. How we hated them, despised them, or it, society, these people and singers and movie starts spitting out their message and poisoning us so. But we never showed it did we? We kept our stoic smiles on the whole time, we kept on telling everyone that everything was fine and we kept on doing it, till finally this so called "friendship" that we had began to fade away like a sandcastle amid the waves. We began to hate each other, didn't we? After having searched for only what we wanted, what we desired, after this little black hole of our passions began to devour everything around until there was nothing else for it to eat except our own identities. As we began to hate each other, we began to hate ourselves. Loneliness set in, what loneliness.... Then the day came when we took our separate ways. We didn't speak to each other for so long, so long... Little did we know that something was going to happen that would change us forever. Long after that I can't remember how many times I asked myself this one question: "What is love?" What does it mean? How do you live it? What does it mean to be a friend? So many nights of insomnia just to get a glimpse at what went wrong. How I cried... You know I never believed in God, and I don't think all the arguments in the world would have convinced me of his existence. But what happened to me was no argument. It was more of a dream, you know what I mean, this thing that happens but you simply can't believe it could. But on that night, I saw a glimpse of Him, and there is no way I could deny him afterwards. I was in the bar, the usual one, and a girl who was completely drunk hit her head on the table. She went down like someone had killed her. We all stared, no one moved, or they ignored it, as if it didn't happen. The sensation made me sick, but I kept on staring.
Suddenly out pops a guy about our age, goes to her and then stares at me and asks me to help him, I remained in shock for a second more but he kept staring and yelling at me to help, so I got up and we took the girl to his car and drove her to the hospital. We took her into emergency, explained what happened, and I thought we were going to head out. But this guy doesn't move! He sits down as if he was going to wait! I have to say I was still a little lost, what with six beers behind me, I wasn't quite fully aware of what was up. Like some dumb idiot I sat down beside him and zoned out for a minute. When I came back I fired a question at him: "Was that your girlfriend?" "Did you know her?" Know what he says? No! I said "What!?" and pretty loud too and immediately regretted it. This guy was waiting to find out about someone who he didn't know at all! A few more uneasy minutes went by (maybe a few more, it might have been a half hour, no idea) and I asked him "Why are you waiting then?" The answer gave me the second shock of the night, and I thought that with one more of them, I would surely have a heart attack. This guy says, "Well, you don't have to know someone to love them, to be a friend to them. If you give yourself a little you'll always be happy and they will too." At that moment the doctor came out and said she was in critical condition and may not finish the night. This guy closes his eyes and begins to recite something, and didn't open them back up from what I remember, which is not much, because then I really zoned out with the shock and soon after must have fell asleep. When I woke up he was gone and the doc told me the girl had died. Guy didn't wake me up cause he thought I needed to sleep. I walked out and didn't where to go or who I was. Then I stopped suddenly and laughed, a laugh that filled me and all around. The answer! The answer came so strong and so powerful that there was nothing in the entire world that could have stopped me from laughing, not even a gun in my face or the news I received five minutes before. The answer had come! It came with the little phrase of the guy the night before. Give yourself! Give yourself! So stupidly simple, so easy. So hidden yet so obvious! If I had been in despair after having taken so much, wanted so much, maybe if I gave....! What a happy fool I was! What revelation! What wild strangeness! This wasn't a movie or a remake of "Its a wonderful life" or "A Christmas Carol". It was hard core real. And I still could not believe how radically simple it was. But, yet, I had to put it to the test obviously. The first was to tell you I was sorry. How that hurt! How that burned me! But something drove me on. This burning I felt was purifying me, tearing away the filth that had been dumped on me by society. Man it hurt! This little principle was definitely NOT going to be easy to live. I was not laughing any more, but I was convinced, convinced of a principle I didn't fully understand. It pushed me now, and how it cracked the whip! Yet I learned more about it from each act I did, each act of humiliation and generosity to others. And then I began to do it to strangers. I gave, time, energy, food, consolation, motivation. NONE of it was easy, in fact I felt straight out terrible doing it, but it was a feeling like that which we felt when we were 'flying' with pleasure. It was superficial, transitory, passing. Yet there, under it all was this gigantic, astronomically strong and powerful peace or happiness that supported everything, and with each action, became stronger.
I was finally truly free! I tore away from me those insidious lies that had bled me so and sent them flying into oblivion. Each step against the flow of my puny desires towards giving myself gave me new dynamism and new vigor. I became someone else finally...the real me that had lied dormant for so long could now walk the earth without shame. I was indeed free. Yet there was still another question that rose within this new vision and that was, "Why?" Why was I happy now? Why was the world so against this principle? They simply did not know, they never did, yet some found it. How? Why was giving yourself to others or really truly loving so ignored, so despised, when it was the only way to be really happy? I felt so sad for those who had not 'gotten it'. So my mind began its little journey in search of the answer, it looked and looked, and the more it did the more convinced I was that the answer was not here! Its origin could not be from this chaotic world that enveloped us! If so many were ignorant, so many were against it, almost no one promoted it, millions despised it, millions more promoted the opposite, so many died for lack of it, the only conclusion I could come to is it could not possibly be simply human. No impossible, there was too much against it here. If it were human more would follow it, if it were like a video game, more would play it. but no, so there had to be something more. Not only this but I knew it came not from a something, but a someone! I saw that the universe moved in its constant circles, but they were cold, and I knew that nothing non-personal could motivate me so, could move me so to so great a surrender. Someone was giving me happiness! It was not coming from me, it couldn't, because many times I despised what I did for others to give myself, and it did not come from the things around me, yet at every turn, there happiness was given to me! This someone was motivating me, he was giving to me, he was loving me! I knew it had to be so, because when I gave myself to others, when I helped them, I saw with my own eyes that they too were happy! So in some mysterious way, I knew, with absolute certainty, that this someone was giving himself to me in some way, and in doing so, I was tremendously happy. Yet there was a link. It was only when I freely gave that I experienced this someone giving to me, I only understood this someone when I imitated him. Before I was in complete darkness, now I could see. I needed others to give myself to, in order to find the one who had given all to me. The road had been tough, and even with all this there were still other questions.... Yet the biggest obstacle was conquered and it drove me on. There was no other principle that I would die for or defend than that of self giving to be happy. The world could not take it from me, nor suffering, nor incomprehensible pain, nor the shrieks of despair that the world spewed forth. No nothing. I sailed amidst the greatest storm. My little boat would be toppled many times, but a small sliver of light always pierced the darkest clouds and it guided me along to my final destination, to Him, and the storm became an instrument which was transformed into fire which purified me, seared me, leaving ashes of anxiety and pride to float away in the winds of fortitude. I reflected the light that came from above and it filled me. He was there, and He loved me.
My joy became complete when you had found Him as well. We rejoiced and continued on and continued to give and sought more people to tell. We continue to do so right? Shall we invite those who have read this to the same? Yes let's. Do you want to love and be happy? 13. Such distortion on Abortion Why is it that the States go bonkers over something so simple as Abortion? The raging battle reminds me of a game of Risk where the pro-abs build up an army (a center) and the pro-lifs come and conquer it (get it to close). And so the story goes on throughout the country. Why is it so darn hard for a country (this or any) to figure out what is right and what isn't in regards to this point? What do we have to do, bring Einstein back from the dead and pay him a six figure number for an answer? We seem to be able to arrive at a universal consensus at what it means to kill, or what murder is, but we don't seem to have capacity enough to figure out if abortion is murder. What the blue blazes happened? What's at the root of this haphazard? We don't even know who we are, or what we are and so life turns out being bereft of meaning. What is the sense of going through life and not having the foggiest idea what for? Why is it so hard to ask "What am I doing here?" just once so as to get life on a track to....somewhere. There are many "reasons" for one saying that abortion wouldn't be murder. "The 'thing' growing in me is simply 'not human'." "It's my body, the 'thing' is a 'part' of me, so I can do what I want." "I'm not ready to be a parent, I don't have money, resources...." The list goes on and on.... Have these people ever once for more than 0.5 seconds thought that if their parents had said the same thing and aborted, they wouldn't be around to say that now? And if their parents had not gone through with it, but for some reason still had our protagonist, how would she think of her parents then? Could she say that they loved her, or rather thought her "a nuisance"? How would it feel to know that you were never loved? And this is the first thing I just don't get. I see these same girls go off and almost beg other people for attention, for love, and then when there comes along the opportunity to give attention to this "thing" or "someone" who's gonna be in the future a "someone" like you and me who will want the same thing, they seem to blast off to Pluto and forget that this could possibly be! The hard core, 'in your face' problem is NOT whether this zygote or "thing" or "person" is a person at the beginning, but rather if I think life is good enough, great enough, worth enough, important enough to let this zygote or 'thing' or 'future person' or 'potential person' or 'person', partake in it. It makes no difference what you think it is at the beginning, because we know what it will be in the end. I have never seen a woman give birth to a giraffe or mouse, so what's coming out is gonna be, yep, a person. A person who will love, hate, cry, sleep, desire, play, and dance for joy like you and me. If life to any potential future mother deep down, where no one sees, appears as a drudgery, bleak, dark, boring, sad, empty, mediocre, full of pain or problems-simply put-a life without love, real love (a point we will see in the next blog), then excuses will abound and multiply without end.
But, if life is seen as a gift, a joy, worth living, full of meaning, full of possibilities, a preparation, with all its pain and suffering, for something infinitely greater, a door to eternal happiness, a place where I will find someone who loves me and gives me happiness, then how, HOW could I not want to give this to a future someone? It makes no sense to have something I call a 'gift' and not want to give it, for then it is no gift, and I fall in gnarled contradiction. No man, who sees a rose as beautiful and good, and knows that it would make his beloved happy, would refrain from getting it somehow to give to her. If there is such a one, I want to meet him for I would doubt him to be human. Why then would someone who saw life as beautiful and good not want to give it, even though it would mean giving up something else in the process? The answer is they never saw life good to begin with. And if they never saw life as good, it's because they never understood it. I know that life is not a romance, and in it there are tough things to decide and tough consequences to confront. It appears though that most know this, so this 'tough decision' of giving birth and facing the hard road that follows, whether it be giving up the child for adoption, or having to work extra hours till I don't even know my name, can't be so tough or surprising as some make it to be. I ask, if life is so bleak, then why do you keep enduring it? Why not take not only the life of this 'future person' or 'person' but yours as well? What is the sense of withstanding all the suffering and pain, if nothing comes of it? As Shakespeare wrote: "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?" If, on the other hand, there is something deeper here, something I can't fully fathom, because I am a poor creature, a plan which I don't fully see, that allows, even among the pains and sufferings of this life, some happiness that does not depend on physical or sentimental or psychological contingencies, to sprout forth from the ashes of human drudgery, then maybe, just maybe, the noblest, most courageous, most loving thing to do would be to give that child life, and let the mystery of life take its course in order that I and the child can be fully happy by accepting this suffering that comes my way. If I cut off the possibility of allowing a future child to look at me with the eyes of complete trust, waiting to absorb the mystery of life with all he's got so as to gain as well this hidden promise of eternal happiness, then I do not think life worth living. And if I think it worthless, then, clearly, I will not give it to someone else. One can shout that they have freedom to choose what they want with what is their own, but where is the foundation for this argument? Did you earn to live, did you give yourself life, did you have a 'right' to it? I'm sorry but no. You and I have life because it was given to us, it didn't have to be, and for that reason there is no argument strong enough to say I have the right to take it away once it has been given. Since when does a man go and demand the rose he gave to his girlfriend even though he may not want to be with her anymore? If that which is in the womb is growing into a person, what is the difference between that and a child of 5 who is also growing into a full fledged person? Is it just because one can 'think' and the other the possibility to do so? Does a six month old 'think'? What does that have to do with a 'right' to do
what I want? Would one say it is because the zygote is 'in' me that I can do what I want? What does place have to do with anything? Whether it is 'in' or 'on' or 'touching' has got nothing to do with it. Can I kill my sister then just because she touches me? Can I exterminate this 'thing' or 'person' just because it is dependent on me? What about a baby who is 1 year old, is he or she not just as dependent on their parents? What is the difference? Can we just go around and kill babies then? This new being is genetically different than the mother, so it is not simply a 'part' of the mother like her hand, it is not a part in any shape or form. As one goes deeper into the absurdities, it comes ever clearer that the main problem always remains focused on a concrete human being either hating her own life, or hating the life of others, or both. To try and twist life into an illusory utopia where there is pleasure without pain, and where every other person is forced to bow down to and become slaves of petty whims and desires always produces a plaguing fear when the glass walls of this utopia crumble with reality's shattering blow. Why is it so hard to love, to forget ourselves and think on others? Why is it so hard to see that without love life goes in circles and up in smoke? Is it so hard to see the tears of these women, either exposed or covered under mounds of empty self-righteousness after having snuffed out the most unique chance they would ever have to give themselves to someone and to be absurdly happy? Is this really a way to live life to the full? Abortion has been distorted because we were all barking up the wrong tree. The key is one's outlook on life - either distrustful or dynamic. The wild card to winning the game of Risk is in our hands, all we have to do is use it. 14. What's with you and the tattoo? I get a lot of people asking me where tattoos fall: in the good, the bad, or the ugly? Correct answer: none of the above - just useless. Huh? Let us elaborate. Once upon a time, those who had tattoos usually had "wild" tattoos. You know, the skull with the snake coming out of it, or satanic figures etc. These guys wanted to make a point, but what that point was, clearly was too deep for me. I don't know if they wanted to say "Hi, my life stinks" or "your life stinks" or "Satan and I, we go way back" or they simply wanted to give Stephen King new inspiration - beats me. But then, a new generation came along and started engraving "positive" tattoos. Ones with religious symbols, or praying hands, or the word 'family' in Japanese. Tattoos that didn't make you think that all hell would break loose. Some who got them would actually have them to "give testimony" of what they thought was 'good' or 'right'. Some would even go so far as to use them as a memorial of some idea or person. (Though unless it were put on the hand or forearm, didn't achieve very much, being covered most of the time.) Man likes to make a statement with what he does and has. If that were not the case, he wouldn't
spend so much time in front of a mirror. So the question is, what does man need to make a statement? The subjective answer is external decoration. Take for example, earrings. No one seems to have discussions about earrings, but they are so similar to tattoos that they could be called cousins. Think about it, for both (normally) you have to go to a special place to get them done. Both during and after cause a bit of pain. Both modify the body in some way. Both, if one wanted to reverse the process, would have to wait a 'little' for it to heal. Both are had to add "beauty" or 'intensity" to the body. If someone thought that earrings or tattoos were ugly, they would be forgotten. So women (and some men) are convinced that getting earrings allow them to appear more beautiful or "cool". The statement they want to make is "I am beautiful"or "nice". Now even though tattoos may have the extra baggage of a message normally added to them (not always, some are designs), they are, in the end, sought for the same reason. If you want to be objective, when you bash tattoos, you bash earrings as well. So why are only tattoos bashed? Because the culture has not accepted them yet. But they will be. Something that is "new" or "out of place" in a culture will always at first look "bad". Does that mean its bad? No, because culture is not a norm for deciding what is good and bad. Why? Because it changes as well. It has no right to judge. No, if there is a reason that tattoos are out of place, then it has to be objective (not dependent on culture), and unfortunately, earrings will be dragged along with them. The bottom line is this: does what is created by this supposedly "all powerful, all knowing" being called God, need something extra to be made beautiful? (If you have a problem with God, please go read some other blogs of mine.) Answer: no. In fact, if one looks at it in a cool light, it's as if we are tying to outdo God at his own game. Why do we do it then? Because we are so accustomed to decorate inanimate things, or things that we have made, which many times do need something extra to make them beautiful, being so poor ourselves in making in relation to what God can do, that we make a very small jump in doing it to animate things, above all ourselves. A person is totally beautiful in his own right, hands down, and needs nothing to make him or her more beautiful. A person's personality, grace, intelligence, ingenuity, humor, etc. "clothe" a person in a beauty that leaves things like earrings and tattoos in the dust. I can say with complete certainty that I have NEVER met a woman who has looked more beautiful with earrings than without. Sure, some women (or men if your a woman) are more beautiful than others bodily, that will always be the case, if not, then pornography as a business would have fallen through a long time ago. What is clear as day though is that even above somatic beauty comes the beauty of the person and how he or she is. If bodily beauty was above "personal" beauty, divorce would be as rare as pink elephants. People get divorced because they don't see the beauty of the personality of the other and not the beauty of their body. The human body will always play a part in a human relationship, but it is by far the least important, and what we adorn it with, even less. One would pipe up about clothes, but clothes aren't an
extra like earrings. We have to use them, at least up until now. So given that we use them anyway, we do what we can with them and make them as nice as possible, but they add nothing extra in and of themselves to the person, they can only try to symbolize the person or 'mark' him. A person's clothes are clean, because he is clean and noble, if they are beautiful, it is because they symbolize the beauty of the person wearing them. If they are shabby, such is most likely the state of the person (unless he is forced to wear them.) If a person spends time grooming it is to show his or her dignity, not to add something, yet if I spend 5 hours doing my hair, is that promoting dignity or daintiness? A person's eyes are more beautiful than the most precious diamonds, and a person's smile a greater gift than all the gold in the world. A woman who does not worry for dress and makeup and earrings, yet more for how she is, her personality, I will consider that the greatest treasure. A man or woman who thinks that tattoos "give" something, for beauty, or even for testimony I would never consider "bad" (because some tattoos aren't "bad" in themselves like earrings aren't "bad"), but I would consider them as having missed the point on what really gives testimony or what makes someone beautiful. Someone who thinks that these things "give" you something, in some way depend on them, like crutches. "If I have this, I will be better, or more beautiful, or more "cool" in some way." But you are good and beautiful the way you are, because God is not stupid, and doesn't just "mess up" when he makes someone. Your true beauty is seen in who you are. Your testimony is in how you live. That you have family engraved on your skin tells me something, but if you have a family of eight or ten kids, all happy and sane, guess what, you just told me infinitely more. You may have "praying hands" on your arm, but if I see you in church praying and live a moral life in accord with it, guess what, now I got the point. You wear a ton of makeup and dress snazzy, I'll think you a fake. You dress modest but you have a super personality and a smile, you got it, I'll consider you a queen. And for the memorial? Since when have you forgotten something that really left its "mark" on you? Want to remember something? Skin ain't enough, but time is. You take time every day or every week to think about it and I promise, I swear, it will be more "engraved" within you than any tattoo could ever be. So what is with you and that tattoo? 15. Where is a Good God when you need him? I have never understood why God gets so verbally beaten up all the time when I have never seen him do anything that people accuse him of. I have never seen him with a switchblade or throw rocks down on innocent bystanders. I have never seen him drop an H-bomb or push someone off a building. So why does he get blamed for all of it? The constant moaning and complaining that one hears from people who become judge, jury, and executioner of God, make God, if he really is there, one bad dude. "Why did God take my Mom, my child, my friend, brother, etc.?" "Why did God allow the tidal wave to crush the city?" "Why did God allow Stalin to kill millions of his own people? "If God was really good, if he was really there, he
wouldn't let me feel pain, he wouldn't let innocent people die..." The list goes on and on. What is wrong with this picture? We have stuck this "supposedly" all powerful, all knowing, all good God into a prison called prejudice. I wonder, does it make sense to say, on the one hand, that God is this all knowing all good being, and on the other call him a fool because I don't understand what's up? Doesn't 'all knowing' mean he knows more than a little creature like a man, like me, and maybe there is something more here than meets the eye? And what is the prejudice? That we consider the world or universe like a computer and God is the one who put it together. We think "well, he made it, so he should fix it." Fix what? Who said something was broken? This sounds just like a man who goes to the Geek Squad at Best Buy and rattles on them because he can't install something and states with complete certainty that his computer doesn't work. The circumstances? This guy hasn't the foggiest idea of computers, and the Geek Squad boy, who is a professional hacker in his free time, being smart, didn't allow administrative rights to him because he would have installed hundreds of Trojan viruses on his computer without even realizing it. The ones who 'accuse' or 'blame' or 'curse' God are 'usually' (well, always) the ones who have no idea who or how he is. Let's strengthen the point. How can you say "God does not exist, because evil things exist" if your only reference point for what is 'good' is...God! If you take God out of the picture, I'd like to see you define what 'good' means. "Well, each person defines what is good then." Oh, so if you define good as defending life, and I define it as taking it, who is "right"? Well, seeing as I want to kill, and think it's good, I just kill who thinks its "bad" to kill, and I win, right? Then one says, "No, it's based on culture." Sorry, culture changes too. Where do you think dictators come from? o unfortunately those who rattle against God are going to forfeit their own life or security sooner or later, because the only way we can call something "good" or "bad" is in relation to something that does not change, and that ain't anything around here. Even the atheist doesn't have to strain to see that what is material always changes. Imagine if every day the meaning of what was 'good' would change. How stable would our lives be? So let's get to the confusion of what we call "good" and "bad". Process of elimination. Are natural catastrophes bad or evil? Should God "not allow" them? Going back to the computer. This 'bozo' who doesn't know anything about the computer, decided not to read the manual that came with it, in which it clearly states he should have caution when plugging it in lest he be bombarded with millions of feisty electrons running through his body. So he decides not to look at what he is doing and tries to plug his thumb in with the wire. What happens? He starts cursing the computer and the socket. Surprised? So I ask, why are we so surprised then when it actually takes place, given the fact that we aren't blind and we know, with all the science and experience we have, where, how, and even sometimes when a natural catastrophe happens? Why build your house on a fault or next to the beach if I know that a tidal wave could come by? Isn't that as dumb as not reading the manual of a computer? Why do we blame God or nature for our stupidities? Nature and matter in general is never evil. We can't get angry that the earth sometimes gets "labor pains" or wants to roll over to get "more comfortable" for a few more hundred years. Since when was it a rock's fault, or God's, that it fell, something it was made to do, in the first place, and happened to fall on my head, if I have a head to know this could happen anyway, and to avoid it?
Nature isn't evil because it doesn't know what it is doing, and God isn't 'evil' for making it that way, or simply not there, just because nature makes me uncomfortable sometimes. God gave each a head, we need to use it and read the "manual" of nature. Is death bad? If we were supposed to stay here yes. If not, then, once again, why complain? IF this "wonderful" earth is not as wonderful as what lies ahead and this 'time' that we have here is only to prepare me for the next step, then, I'm sorry, complaining makes no sense. Perhaps...one of the reasons that things aren't so nifty here is precisely to remind us that what is here is not enough. Maybe we aren't happy here precisely because we are not supposed to be? "No!" you say, Oh, since when did God hire a substitute? Why do you keep on buying new cars and looking for new girls (boys)? Don't you get sick after a while from this apparently unending 'searching' for something that will finally make you happy and going to parties to pick up crumbs of happiness off the floor? Sorry again, but even death has a reason, and either you reject it and go crazy and curse God till you are blue in the face, or you face the facts, and accept the truth that we simply are not supposed to stick around here. So with natural catastrophe and death, and anything else that one can think to blame God for out of the way, the only thing left to blame for anything 'evil' is....you got it....ourselves. Anything that exists is good in some way, otherwise God is really stupid. So there must be something that exists that causes evil, and it ain't God or nature. That leaves us. How? By twisting something that God made in a pretty intelligent way and making it 'unnatural', 'not normal', 'not good', 'not intelligent' in other words, evil. Whether sex whenever or wherever is good or bad we'll see in another blog, for now, killing again, as a universally accepted evil. Someone who kills thinks its pretty nifty. Why is it evil? Well, he didn't give life to that person, what blasted right does he have to take it away? If someone is here to prepare himself for something else, since when was the killer appointed the hour glass to say when the time was up for the other? So either he is God or he is on the moon. Why does God 'allow' a person to be evil? Same reason he 'allows' you to be 'good' or 'happy'. He didn't want to make mindless robots, or ten million other species of mindless trees. Someone might think it would have been better to be a rock, non-feeling, neither happy or unhappy. But anyone who has been happy know that would be quite boring. So he "allowed" you to be free and to choose whether you want to be "happy", meaning to realize yourself, be perfect, or be 'good' or... "happy" (TOTALLY unhappy) with yourself by doing what is 'unnatural' or 'evil', spitting in God's face, and doing what you want. Sooo.... God is there and he is good. If he wasn't there, then there ain't no good. And he is good, because he lets me be happy with what is "good", which he made, and I'll be happier still with what comes. Conclusion: I found a Good God, anybody in need of him? 16. Celibacy under fire
If celibacy gets a bad rap these days, its only because sex has become as common as smoking. The word though has an ironic twist to it. It came from the Latin word caelibare, which meant 'unmarried' the seemingly normal state of those engaging in "marital relations" in contemporary society. Who complains about it? Those who don't know what it is, and those who fear it. Now, IF we remain with the dry modern definition of celibacy of "abstaining from sex", guess what? They're right. It would be completely idiotic. BUT, since when did we do things without any reason whatsoever? Do we eat for no reason? So the only reason that some call celibacy “anti-natural” and “psychologically damaging” is because the don't see the reason for it. Hmm, well, maybe they're right, maybe there isn't a good reason, and if that is the case, then there is something horribly, horribly wrong with a lot of people. Why? Because about one billion people in the world today follow or give reverence to a man named Christ who was...drum role please...celibate! Wo...heavy man. O.K. so some would pipe in and say that we don't have enough historical datum to prove that he was celibate, well, if we look at the most influential people in the history of mankind outside of scientists and inventors who claim to follow this God-man, those of whom we have better historical datum and who actually dedicated their entire lives to bettering society in helping the poor, starting schools, starting hospitals, causing positive political revolutions, or promoting peace, guess what, .... a lot of them were celibate. If you don't want to go too far back to antiquity just look at Mother Theresa and John Paul II. It makes no difference what religion you are from or if you are religious at all. Facts are facts, and these two did more in one lifetime than most nations will do within a century. To their funerals came all the leaders of the earth, to these who were completely totally....celibate. So if these two are "psychologically unstable" for living in such a "weird" lifestyle, what in the world are we? Who, may I ask, is going to come to our funeral? So, either these guys are crazy, or we're not seeing something. Why would someone want to 'give up' or avoid something so fundamental as marriage, or if marriage doesn't matter to you, why would they avoid something so intensely pleasurable as sex, or 'having fun' with the opposite sex? Maybe, just maybe, because I don't need it to be happy. Maybe, just maybe, if we look at the options for more than two seconds - between sex and self donation (charity: that act whereby I look to help someone in some need that they have, be it moral, material, psychological, political, etc.) - we might find that someone can be happier being charitable than in marriage or having sex! Wo... diggin deep again man. What is the problem? Most think that pleasure=happiness, yea? So why is it that I hear of case after case of drinking, depression and suicide of some after having gone through a few one-night stands? Since when did depression=happiness? Are these people really 'happy' after having followed their ancestral animal instincts? I don't think either that most football players are getting a lot of pleasure out of being bashed on the field, but when they win, they sure are happy. The facts? The facts are I have never met someone who knew what celibacy was for and were unhappy living it: to have more time to help more people, to give an example to those who can't be or aren't married, or to those not able to have intercourse that you can live a full life, to show that pleasure isn't everything, and for those religious folk out there, to show how the way this God-man lived on earth really can make you happy. Is all this a little too dense for you? Don't worry, we'll see marriage, sex, love, and other interesting
stuff in future blogs. Hold on tight and keep on reading. 17. Leftovers from the Da Vinci Code The Da Vinci Code is pretty much old news, but the blatant, abundant errors found in this cocktail still permit for entertainment. Most of the dainties in Dan's book are explained in the following document: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg7742g3_44d8w9wjfb. The real problem though of this book is its cool superficiality. Nothing is taken seriously because truth is taken as a joke. When fact becomes fable and history a hoax, is there any way to take one iota of what is written as....simply normal? Not even OZ or Wonderland come close to the illusionary world that Dan creates with his fallacies, weaving them in and out to create his secure, impenetrable dreamland where absolutely everything, every reality, is twisted and changed, except himself. A lot of people will call this courage, in reality, it's simply cowardice. A person twists truth and reality when they are afraid of it, when they fear of what demands will be made on him because of it. To admit to who and how God is means to kneel and accept that I don't have control over everything, something quite courageous - and commonsensical - go figure. To give my opinion about a God, "my God", with absolutely no proof or argument, and then state and do what I want simply reminds me of a spoiled four year old who can't get his way, so he pouts and says "No!" refusing everything that his parents offer him. Let's be clear, it takes courage to give your life, in war, for others, something that every normal person will admit to. That means giving something up, letting go, suffering, feeling pain, feeling in the moment that the mortal bullet sears my flesh, total helplessness. But I fall courageous, a man, a martyr of humanity. It takes that same courage to give up and let go of your ideas and feelings and what you think or want to think is real to embrace the often searing, painful stroke of truth that, for a moment, engulfs me in helplessness and insecurity - but only for a moment. Then I stand again triumphant and courageous, with a security much stronger than my little dream world could ever give me. God can hit me with what he wants, because he made me and knows what is best, I don't complain and hide like a coward because 'it just don't feel good'...good grief. What the world needs is more martyrs and less wimps when it comes to truth. So what are you? 18. Science class with an Atheist If we had more Philip Pullmans in the world, we would have an overpopulation of theists. Thankfully there is only one of him. It seems that the more convinced an Atheist is about his (belief!?!) in God being a "fairytale", the more he is found to be sweepingly convincing, with proof upon proof, that God is something quite the contrary. A dialog with somebody like this is rather invigorating, because there is very little arguing to do. One is literally forced to "believe" in the end that the whole
explanation of the Atheist is one big inside joke for the ridiculousness of it. But lest the author be called judgmental, he shall let the reader decide. Science is always fascinating. By it we learn about the wonderful world around us, and doing science is fun and easy, although some may beg to differ. What I remember from grade school though is that it basically consisted in taking one or a few of the particular senses we have and finding out new and interesting things about anything I darn well please to know about. So I used my eyes and looked at a plant, examined it, saw that it was green, asked myself if there was something which may have caused (a rather unnerving word for Atheists) it to be green, then saw that a piece, or many pieces, of glass bent in a certain way allowed me a closer look (microscope), and found that certain things called cells appeared to allow this to be. Cool. Then I would continue on... Now it may be that Atheists go to very special schools where they learn to do science in a very special way, or they just don't like science, or maybe they don't know what science is, or maybe science is also a fairytale, I must admit I haven't a clue, but when they talk about science in relation to God, I can only assume that one must exist, because what they tell me flies in the face of simple common sense. If you were to tell me that God can't exist because there is no way in science to prove this, then I must either admit of extreme stupidity, or the phrase simply indicates a few missing marbles upstairs. Since when did something I could not sense not or never exist? How, may I ask, do you prove this? Would you say it is 'self-evident'? Let me ask you, what if, when I was born, my Mom died, and there happened to be no pictures of her, no video or sound recording, and no documents from her because she was an illegal alien. Can I in any way sense her? Not that I know of. So how are you going to prove that I had a mother? "Well, science shows us..." Yea? Well science as a body of info about 'connections' between things or certain things.. oh no, here it comes again... causing other things to come to be, can tell me all it wants, but I still don't sense my Mommy. BUT if I were to use this exact same argument from my friend the Atheist, I would be unfortunately forced to admit that there was a God, because all these 'connections' or (blah) causes between things would lead me to think that something started and 'caused' it all. I tell you my friend is a great comedian. "No, wait, there is more!" he says (laughing maybe) Did you know as well that something can come from nothing "Wo, that is deep." I say. This Atheist has got one heck of a science. I have never ever once observed in anything I have studied in science that this would be the case. From what I see in biology, chemistry, physics etc. everything has come from something. So when he says that the Big Bang just sort of happened and morality just sort of evolved and came to be from amoral specimens, I have to say I stand in ecstasy of this guru of scientific thought. He must have a mind that can transcend (I'm sorry, another bad word) the very fabric of this world (darn, I forgot, there is nothing that transcends what is material). Or simply it's just quite uncommonsensical. But our science class is not over, next topic, consciousness is completely material. Oh. I'm sure that we can see that under a microscope. No? Well I'm certain that we can stick it in a test tube and swish it around with something and 'something' will come up. No? Well certainly because this
wonderful ability to 'connect experiences' comes from something material, it must also be material. "After all something can't come from nothing." says my Atheist friend. Eh?! Didn't you just say... Ah, never mind. Since when can you show that there is no immateriality by something material, if it's not even material. What is the difference between this and saying that nothing is alive because rocks aren't alive, or no animal flies because dogs don't fly, or water comes from trees because I don't see the H2O making it all up? But if we say that because matter is seemingly screwed up (we end up trying to fix it our entire lives, or avoiding it when it comes down on us, or getting sick of it when it corrupts) it is rather doubtful that, being as screwed as it is, that it would be the (gulp) cause of everything else. If I would dare to say that maybe any order that exists is by something immaterial because what is material is naturally disordered, em... Ha! Ha! Hey, you're right, that was pretty funny. I'm sure that sooner or later my Atheist friend is going to find all the neurons and gens that allow us to think and imagine and be conscious, and love, and be courageous, and..., or what he "thinks" or "imagines" they could be. I'm sure that this secret Pullman Dust is just waiting to be found in order to revolutionize the whole world order. I'm also sure that he will be long gone before he finds it. But maybe he doesn't have to worry because in Pullman's world, there are many worlds and I'm sure he will jump into one where time goes twice as slow (don't worry, he will find the stick shift of time too) and he will have plenty of time to encounter it. After all, time is a material thing too....right? (You can order a special Pullman microscope to see it, it's golden too, so you can put it next to the compass on the piano and it doesn't stand out.) And heaven? Nope, doesn't exist either. Oh. No evidence for it. So... what happens to us when we die? You go to the underworld of course. Oh! I see...that there is no evidence for that either?! And what do we do there? Nothing...in particular that is. I'm sure there is a bar somewhere...maybe. Is there any scientific evidence for there not to be a heaven? Eh, no, but... if you are material, then material you must remain. Oh, I'm sure there is scientific evidence for that too. No? Well I certainly could not believe that an Atheist would just tell me what he "believes" seeing as belief is useless to him. Now what appears to be empirically evident is that man strives, works, suffers to project himself in this world, to build things up, to aim for the future. For what future? What future do you have if after you kick the bucket there ain't noth'n or a waiting room (Hades) where you are waiting for.... um, noth'n? What is the freaking sense of so many sacrifices and so much work. I may as well go on a sex and murder and robbing rampage,... no, no, that would not be nice, well, since there is nothing to guide any type of authoritative morality, na, what the heck. If morality came from monkeys, and monkeys are animals, and tigers are animals, then I think I will go act like a tiger, get myself back to my roots. Don't you love Atheistic logic? I'm sure there was a King Kong race of apes and we haven't found the bones yet, and out morality came from him. He treated that poor woman pretty well. And while we are at throwing out morality, don't forget authority as well. Authority,-bad-bad, Pullman, bad, very bad. How dare anyone tell me what to do. What is that you say, you don't want anyone taking your wallet or killing your wife? Just don't say that too loud or I might have to turn you in to the anti-authority, em, um,...government, uh, authority, um, ... it's an awfully nice day isn't it?
I have to say that if I ever need a comedian in a pinch, I know where to go. Science class? Ah, yes, we were in science class weren't we. As we were saying.... 19. Can reality be known? Contrary to popular belief, reality can be known and understood. Surprising? Not if you open your eyes to what is in front of your nose. Unfortunately noses are now overlooked, so what is in front of them one thinks would pop up next on the radar. Wrong! That's overlooked too. In fact, reality has been overlooked simply because common sense has become so uncommon that truth, something that was taken long ago as objective and universal, has been blackmailed into being bleak superficial opinion. Having grown terribly tired of the new line added to the song of 'Old McDonald Had a Farm' - "Here a truth, there a truth, everywhere a truth truth." - I decided to give some consolation to those who had the intuition that this was not the case and tell them that they are right. Truth can be known, and that most of the time by using common sense. Either what I know is right or it is wrong. There is no middle ground. If I don't know something I admit it, I clarify that I am searching for an answer. I say "It might be that..." But to say "I think" or "In my opinion" smells of prejudice right off the bat. There are some things that are easy to know and so commonsensical that we would consider insane the person who denied it. Anyone who defiantly states that grass is pink, well, there might be someone who listens to him (the same one who got drunk with him). But then we have those who just as easily state there is no truth and no one seems to see its equally ridiculous position. Getting drunk has apparently become more common. Go figure. When I ask these 'greatly inspired' what truth is they either stare at me as if I had spit out the worst insult which had ever entered their ears, or they will calmly, innocently, affirm the very thing they tried to deny. "There is no truth!" Something that is very, maybe....true?! That is just about as crazy as saying words don't exist -oops, I'm sorry, you didn't get that. When a contemporary artist who has painted, ahem, a blue square upon a canvas tells me that it is the "Mediterranean Sea in a moment of uneasiness" my admiration is drawn immediately to the great abyss of absurdity that I contemplate in the most uncommonsensical statement ever uttered by a "son of a chimp". Truth is knowledge of reality-the way things objectively are-to the sane. You might not like it, but isn't it time to deal with it? To know if, say, God exists or not, is a little bit harder to find out, but how much? Does it mean using a few more neurons? Yes. Does it means thinking a little bit more? Yes. Might it mean changing your world vision? Sorry, but I'm sure you will get over it. Welcome to the blog that sets wonder ablaze.