The common thread here, is in my view, if you look close enough, the human propensity to dig deep inside, down past all the materialism, greed, hate, and manufactured mass hypnosis that both captivates us, and propels us to act like apes instead of human beings, and the illusionary need to follow the herd whether it leads off a cliff or to a lynching, and find, after all is said and done, we all are part of the same race, the human race. These quotes reflect the common thread of our better natures…

“Judgement is the forbidden objectivization of the other person which destroys single-minded love. I am not forbidden to have my own thoughts about the other person, to realize his shortcomings, but only to the extent that it offers to me an occasion for forgiveness and unconditional love, as Jesus proves to me.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Christian

“I do not want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they won’t have time to do bad.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, A Jew

“I never wavered in my certainty that God did not exist. I was simply liberated by the thought that there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content – a way, to put it in more abstract terms, to think about Fathers without upsetting my respectful memory of my own father. I recognized that my continuing resistance to theories of an afterlife or of heavenly residents was no justification for giving up on the music, buildings, prayers, rituals, feasts, shrines, pilgrimages, communal meals and illustrated manuscripts of the faiths.”
Alain de Botton, An Atheists

“Love is a gift of one’s inner most soul to another so both can be whole.”
Buddha

What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured. Muhammad, Muslim

“If people but knew their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and how free from any grudge against the religion of others.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan, Universal Sufism

1 John 4:8
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”.

At this point in time I hope we wake up before we hit the wall with this socioeconomic, smoke and mirror game we have had hitting us between the eyes 24/7,  every day now for the past 40 years…Technology and a very large population, along with the constant intentional polarization of the population, won’t allow for us to continue along the same path for much longer, change is imperative at this point…

Edward Bernays…

imagesEdward Bernays … I became both fascinated, and horrified by this man after reading a short bio about him and the effects he had directly on the American culture. Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays was also known to us as “the father of public relations”, and thats putting it mildly, he combined, what I believe he derived from nietzsche’s views on the human beings propensity to live within the “herd instinct,” along with Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology, and his uncle Siggy’s psychoanalytical ideas, and with all this, I believe, he changed this country into the consumer culture that it is today, but thats just my take all this. His most famous campaign was the women’s cigarette smoking campaign in 1920s, look it up it will blow your mind, Quote from unknown author…”Bernay’s vision was of a utopian society in which individuals’ dangerous libidinal energies, the psychic and emotional energy associated with instinctual biological drives that Bernays viewed as inherently dangerous given his observation of societies like the Germans under Hitler, could be harnessed and channeled by a corporate elite for economic benefit. Through the use of mass production, big business could fulfill the constant cravings of the inherently irrational and desire-driven masses,simultaneously securing the niche of a mass production economy (even in peacetime), as well as setting the dangerous animal urges that threatened to tear society apart if left unquelled” end of quote …Bernays quotes “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country…. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society…. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” –Edward Bernays
This coming from the master himself in terms of being, the main man, the go to guy, for implementing this massive, mass hypnosis upon the American culture! They have been training us like monkeys, knowing we want, or need, to be trained…lol …This is a short list of his clients… Dodge Motors, the fluoridationists of the Public Health Service, (Thats a whole other can of crazy there)…Procter & Gamble, the American Tobacco Company, Cartier Inc., Best Foods, CBS, General Electric, The United States Government! (again, another can of REAL crazy there)… I mean this guy is the best kept secret in American history!…Well, it intrigues the stuffing out of me anyway…

Fundamentalist Atheism, and Theism…SMH!

Who is better equipped to protect the City, Batman, or Spiderman? Theism vs Atheism, (Im Christian, thats me)..I see this topic coming up all over the place, and I have to scratch my head, just about, every time…Worship at the altar of this, or that, in my view God provided us with free will, and the capacity to respect one another, and the views that come from honest, well intentioned people, whether they be this, or, be that…Mo-Def said it best, “everyone has something they believe in, and holds onto with all ten fingers and ten toes, and I call that religion, weather your call it that or not” he was directing that toward Bill Maher, and Chris Hitchens, both men became very uncomfortable with his assertion…I would think a reasonable person would go out of their way to see the world through someone else’s glasses, to allow themselves to have another view, of that world, at the very least…My favorite Philosophers are Kierkegaard and Nietzsche…Adrian De Botton, and Wendell Berry, two Atheists, and two Theists, all four brilliant…Is Dr Francis Collins any less a scientists because he is a Christian? Is Ludwig Wittgenstein any less a Philosopher because he was a Jewish, gay, Atheists? I dont think so, is Batman a believer,or Spiderman? or are they Agnostic? …The Big Questions, as Soren Kierkegaard puts it..”When it comes to the big Questions, The opinion of the group, is invariably the wrong one”. Personally, I agree with that…Then there’s the the question of respect and consideration for others, and the responsibility as intelligent human beings to tread respectfully on matters that may be of more value to one group then another. This should be of value to everyone, unless, one thinks, his or her glasses that they see life through actually show the world as it really is..That would be a pity…And a misuse of any super powers one might possess, personally I think Spiderman might be a better choice to protect the City, but that doesn’t mean I dont pay close attention to what Batman is up to, and all he does for the City…pS, if it aint about da love, it aint about nothin…Anti fundamentalist fundamentalist atheists”, reminds me of Noam Chomsky calling Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins Religious fanatics….I think when it comes to these highly volatile topics, it really helps to painstakingly attempt to exchange glasses for a moment and try and see things though the other persons lens…I came to the Gospels at the late age of 45, I come from a organized crime family back east, and didn’t know baseball bats were used for a ball game till I went to school, and my family was Catholic, not a good foundation for understanding religion, God, politics, and human behavior…lol…Anyway, in my coming to except the Gospels, I did this in a room, ill, with just myself and the text, and a lot of prayer. I changed from the inside out, the only problem was, when I became healthy again, and went out into the churches, I was blown away by what I saw out there in reference to, what I embraced as Christ and His message, and what the mainline Christian community was exercising as “The Word”…After 2 years of putting myself through that hell trying to understand this American European Christian paradigm, I had to disappear into my own space again, and go from there…I thought they were all from some other planet, or I was…The message of Christ turned into profit, and damnation on our fellow man for things that didn’t fit that particular denominations agenda, and the continuous bombardment of hate toward gays, all wrapped up neatly in the fabric of Biblical discernment, while most these pious members left the church and lived like heathens the rest of the week, was just to much to handle, even for a guy that was brought up in one hard social eco systems …As a professional musician, at least half my closest friends are Atheists and Agnostics, so I have never suffered from any discomfort in terms of Theism/Atheism and we have tossed the two world views around more times then I can remember without so much as a ruffled feather. Im a Christian, thats looked upon in most church environments, as a heretic, I realize that, but I’m in good company I believe, Soren Kierkegaard, Wendell Berry, Chris Hedges,not to be a bad bunch… Now…Why would I believe that evolution is problematic to Christianity? Dr Francis S. Collins, head of the Human Genome Project,is a devoted Christian who has brought some very powerful evidence to the table in endorsement of evolution, and he is a straight up Christian, Collins states…”One of the main reasons I wrote The Language of God (His book) was to try to put forward a comfortable synthesis of what science teaches us about the natural world and what faith teaches us about God. Yet it seems to be a pretty well kept secret these days that the scientific approach and the spiritual approach are compatible. I think we’ve allowed for too long extreme voices to dominate the stage in a way that has led many people to assume that’s all there is. The thesis of my book is that there is no need for this battle. In fact, it’s a destructive battle. And we as a society would be well served to recover that happy middle ground where people have been for most of human history”…End of quote, I see the bible as 66 or 73 books compiled within the context of History, Poetry, Prophecy, Hyperbole, Parables and so on, literalism seems plain off the mark in my view if its applied to the entire text, one has to be able to see the forest through the trees, or else he or she will be snagged by the sharp and nasty hook of “Group Think” and fundamentalism, which in my view will reach out and choke you to death, it’s destructive weather it is derived within the confines of Christianity, secular humanism, or Atheism. It needs to be thought through in order to see its destructiveness…I see God everywhere, from the The Fibonacci Sequence, right through to the Human Genome, and all inbetween, so did Newton, and a multitude of other scientists, and regular folk, like myself, but also, many a great scientists, did not, and do not! Why is this a problem?…Which scientists do we give more credence to? I would say the neither, I would even go so far as to say, it is a very ignorant person that would not realize the major contributions to Science, Philosophy, The Arts, and all other areas of mans expression coming from Atheists and Theists a like…Those famous words always ring in my ear, “cant we all just get along?” And he said that after taking one hell of a beating…

France Bombing…

France bombings..First off, I feel…We are all human beings, trying to live life without to much pain, and misunderstanding, both outside ourselves, and in, and, even within all this, at times, we find beauty and grand experience grow in places we never thought it could exist, something to be grateful for I think…Im not a pacifist by nature, my past is a bleak reminder to that fact, but I do try to move past my tendencies to judge, react, and to fool myself into thinking I have any answers to this turbulent world around me…These events that are taking place all over the world right now, inflict pain on us all, weather we believe that, or not…These events are not caused by Muslims, Christians, or well intentioned Atheists, or Hinduism, or any other religious, or respectful non religious groups that live by a code of being benevolent in any land. They are caused by “extremists” that have somehow lost their humanity, and become animals…Don’t let that, turn us, into them, by way of misguided prejudices, born of fear, and popular bumper sticker…As well as we can’t blame Jesus for The Spanish Inquisition, we also shouldn’t blame our non violent, God seeking Muslim neighbors for Psychopaths that latch onto their religion, as their excuse for devolving from human, to ape…At this point in time in history, I think we as individuals have to stand upright, and either make responsible choices in terms of how we are going to move ahead as human beings, or whether to keep allowing the global propaganda (and violence) to intercept our spirits and continue to turn one against another, “or not”…I really feel world leaders have no real power to address this bigotry, and for the most part, rely on it to suit their own agendas …So I end up back to square one thinking its up to each person to see through the manufacturing of this bigotry, both by way of violence and propaganda, and to not accept it, to think for ourselves, “extremists, and high tech, are here to stay”, its the new wave of things, so the blame game, I feel, needs to be revisited, especially in the area of terrorism, good muslims are just not responsible for the Apes behaviour …These divisions, and the polarization of the masses, are old school at this point, they go back thousands of years, anywhere you see people holding deeds to property…Paper money and so forth…But thats the paradigm we have created for ourselves and its byproducts, so, maybe we need to somehow learn to do better with all this…I think a good start is for each individual to see past the “Group Think” and not buy into racial, religious, and ideological dogmas permeating the planet, that breed more pain and violence…I just don’t think world leaders are going to assist with this at this juncture of history, they have much to much invested in the current way of things, but thats just my set of lenses I’m looking through…Solomon said it best…”Their is nothing new under the sun”…I believe he was referring to human behaviour, and the very core of the human condition…The best efforts I have run across, as to long term remedy is, (in my short life and narrow view), in reference to these big questions, are, Good people embracing responsibility toward the next generation, and placing the next generation before their own…People like Educators, Men of the cloth (the real men of the cloth, not these poor excuses we see permeating the TV stations and acting a fool) Philosophers with a goal other then to read their own words, Honest politicians (when you can find one) and so on… I like to think all these positive influences will outweigh the negative in the long run…humans are a collective, and the collective gets better each time an individual acts out of responsibility toward his fellow man, even if its at his or her own experience…Thats the narrative of Christ in a nutshell to me…Weather your a Christian or not, its a powerful Narrative that crosses all of lifes boundaries and provides a glimpse of real power…In my view anyway…Just sayin

Quotes from Soren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer…

Two philosophers that can change the way we, if we feel the urge, look at things. Soren Kierkegaard (mid 1800’s), and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (mid 1900’s)…

Kierkegaard, who had, huge COJONES going up against both the Catholic Church, and the Reformists, died, they Say, (wink wink), of an illness, (yet his friends said it was a very mysterious passing indeed)…He was an eccentric philosopher that is considered to be the father of Existentialism, yet he was Christian, but felt, and ,or thought, religion, in terms of “Groupthink,” had lost its way… Even though all the rest of the Existentialists were Atheists, Kierkegaard was the founding father of this new thought paradigm…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a celebrated German Lutheran minister, Philosopher, and Theologian, (who had some insane,HUGE COJONES !!!) continued to compile his work right up till his capture for attempting to kill Adolf Hitler,(along with six other of his extended family and friends), wrote this quote from a larger SA, that was written from his prison cell while waiting for his own execution. He wrote three or four hundred other pages of brief essays on just about everything under the sun, in terms of man and his nature during his captivity. He was executed two days before Hitler Killed himself…

I think the quote from Kierkegaard, and the quote from Bonhoeffer go very well together…

Kierkegaard writes, “There is a view of life which holds that where the crowd is, the truth is also, that it is a need in truth itself, that it must have the crowd on its side. There is another view of life; which holds that wherever the crowd is, there is untruth, so that, for a moment to carry the matter out to its farthest conclusion, even if every individual possessed the truth in private, yet if they came together into a crowd (so that “the crowd” received any decisive, voting, noisy, audible importance), untruth would at once be let in.”

Bonhoeffer writes, (Keep in mind his historical relationship to Adolph Hitler)… “Folly is a more dangerous enemy to the good than evil. One can protest against evil; it can be unmasked…. Evil always carries the seeds of its own destruction, as it makes people , at the least, uncomfortable. Against folly we have no defense. Neither protests nor force can touch it; reasoning is of no use; facts that contradict personal prejudices can simply be disbelieved – indeed, the fool can counter by criticizing them, and if they are undeniable, they can just be pushed aside as trivial exceptions. So the fool…is completely self-satisfied; in fact, he can easily become dangerous, as it does not take much to make him aggressive. …we shall never try to convince a fool by reason, for it is both useless and dangerous.
If we are to deal adequately with folly, we must try to understand its nature. This much is certain, that it is a moral rather than an intellectual defect. There are people who are mentally agile but foolish, and people are slow but very far from foolish. …We notice further that this defect is less common in the unsociable and solitary than in individuals or groups that are inclined or condemned to sociability. It seems then, that folly is a sociological rather than a psychological problem, and that it is a special form of the operation of historical circumstances on people, a psychological by-product of definite external factors. If we look more closely, we see that any violent display of power…produces an outburst of folly in a large part of mankind; indeed, this seems actually to be a psychological and sociological law: the power of some needs the folly of others. …the upsurge of power makes such an overwhelming impression that men are deprived of their independent judgement…. The fact that the fool is often stubborn must not mislead us into thinking that he is independent. One feels in fact, when talking to him, that one is dealing, not with the man himself, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like, which have taken hold of him. He is under a spell, he is binded, his very nature is being misused and exploited. Having thus become a passive instrument, the fool will be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil.
But at this point it is quite clear, too, that folly can be overcome, not by instruction, but only by an act of liberation; and so we have come to terms with the fact that in the majority of cases inward liberation must precede outward liberation, and until that is taken place, we may as well abandon all attempts to convince the fool. In this state of affairs we have to realize why it is no use trying to find our what ‘the people’ really think and why the question is so superfluous for the man who thinks and acts responsibly…. The Bible’s words that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ tell us that a person’s inward liberation to live a responsible life before God is the only real cure for folly.
But there is some consolation in these thoughts on folly: they in no way justify us in thinking that most people are fools in all circumstances. What will matter is whether those in power expect more from people’s folly than from their wisdom and independence of mind”.

Repentance and Evolution

After reading a post on Repentance and Evolution on a philosophy site I frequent, it lead me to have to respond…

“Repentance, to me anyway, is really a matter of love, for both oneself and God alike, and I believe those very mechanics work for any Theists, Atheists, or Agnostic that strives to keep their darker self under some kind of beneficial observation, and adjustment that may potentially move one toward, an inner peace of a kind… I like this quote from Dr Francis Collins whose team mapped out the Human Genome… “One of the main reasons I wrote The Language of God” (His book) “was to try to put forward a comfortable synthesis of what science teaches us about the natural world and what faith teaches us about God. Yet it seems to be a pretty well kept secret these days that the scientific approach and the spiritual approach are compatible. I think we’ve allowed for too long extreme voices to dominate the stage in a way that has led many people to assume that’s all there is. The thesis of my book is that there is no need for this battle. In fact, it’s a destructive battle. And we as a society would be well served to recover that happy middle ground where people have been for most of human history” End of Quote….I did hesitate, as to whether to add the second part of the first sentence of my comment, or not, knowing I most likely would have to follow it up in some manner, and also, didn’t really know how unprepared I would be to do just that…lol…But I did say “I believe those very mechanics work for any Theists, Atheists, or Agnostic that strives to keep their darker self under some kind of beneficial observation, and adjustment, that may potentially move one, toward, an inner peace of a kind”. So Im wasn’t stating my observation as fact, just that I believe this to be the case…I feel Christ to be an inclusiveness in presents, as opposed to, an exclusivity in terms of His Love and acceptance…I can only see the actual mechanisms of repentance operating in my own life as a Theists that holds the Gospels very close to my walk in life…But having said that, I’m also a musician that has made his living playing music, and living in tight quarters on the road with mostly Atheists and Agnostics for many years, and have witnessed “a” (in reference to the matter here) view through their glasses on many occasion when it came to this subject of repentance. I know repentance when I see it, with Atheists and Agnostics, it just doesn’t have the Religiosity that, we, as Theists, look for to go with the experience of deep remorse, and reflective pain in the face of knowing you have done harm, but its the same human experience none the less. Iv witnessed many a Christian that lived like devils, and many an Atheists that lived like Christ instructed. Whether one believes in God or not, or feels God is irrelevant is an intellectual, and Spiritual matter, for each man, or woman to contend with … that’s way above my pay grade… Romans 2:14: (dose come to mind here)… “When Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, it is the law written in their hearts, their conscience.”…I do realize we can go back and forth on this verse forever, BUT lets not, if at all possible. At any rate, lets see where this goes.. I see repentance as one acknowledging ones destructive behaviour, and instinctively, through Love, and, with the aid of love, repents…( if that person’s center is sincerely operating in love in the first place), A Theists, comes to this place where he, or she, makes a deep heartfelt acknowledgment, and apology for his, or hers behaviour to God, thus restoring love, to where the bad impulses have placed a wall between them, and that love… Why wouldn’t an Atheists, or an Agnostic have that same potential, or capacity for the same set of mechanisms working, in, and for them? A self centered behavior, weather it originates in a horrendous act, or a small indiscretion, we all know, can place that wall of division between a man and “love”, for both himself and his fellows. Why would I think a Theists only has this capacity to see the indiscretion that has caused a separation between himself and a loving wholeness?… So I believe repentance to be a heart felt, honest, sincere, embracing of a persons selfish, and, or destructive actions that has separated him from this Love, both for himself, and his fellow man, (if his actions included another person, which most time dose) and attempts to right the wrong with all sincerity, and action. And if he, or she, is a man, or woman of Faith, then God is the direction in which we make that plea…I don’t think for a minute these blessed impulses of repentance are just available to the Christian, Jew, or any other Religious “Group” alone…I feel that would be exclusivity, where inclusivity is called for…To me, Christ is inclusive beyond anyone capacity to know the depths of His inclusivity…And my hopes are, that, as time move forward, we all (as a race, of human beings) learn see this darkness inside ourselves, before looking out the window into the world, that lies to us, telling us, its always the other guy, and thus moves us forward toward healing from that honesty of self observation. I think this Illusion of objectivity that we are all so very conditioned to embrace in this life of smoke and mirrors, in reference to Good and Bad, and who, and what, Good and Bad is, and who is responsible for it, is holding up progress toward a better relationship both with ourselves, and our brothers and sisters we share this experience with… at a time when maybe we can, as a species open the door a little bit wider to let just a little bit more light into the room…For us all weather we be this, or that…I’ll end with this quote…“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Yet another quote from Soren Kierkegaard

In reply to the current events of the last few days, AND the last 3 weeks, I find myself having to express my thoughts through someone far more qualified to address the matters of humanity, as a whole then myself. I seem to be lost, as I seek some sense of objective truth hiding behind all this cultural, and political madness that herds men together like so much cattle all throughout history, and uses us as raw meat for the taking, weather it be politically, Spiritually, Culturally, or otherwise. Inside this maze of information bombardment today, coming from all angels, and mostly angels created to indoctrinate, polarize, and control, in terms of its intent, I will admit to being overwhelmed, and totally amazed at this circus we all have been sent free tickets too, at such a very large cost…So, I once again turn to Soren Kierkegaard, a much smarter man then I ever will be, to shed some light on how man gets so lost inside his own imagination as his imagination is captured and held hostage to the outside influences of what we all consider reality…Just sayin…Cant we all just get along…SMH…The over all of this quote is in reference to “Group Think” a cultural illness which we all suffer from, and most times, dont even know it…

He states…“By seeing the multitude of people around it, by being busied with all sorts of worldly affairs, by being wise to the ways of the world, such a person forgets himself, in a divine sense forgets his own name, dares not believe in himself, finds being himself too risky, finds it much easier and safer to be like the others, to become a copy, a number, along with the crowd.
Now this form of despair goes practically unnoticed in the world. Precisely by losing oneself in this way, such a person gains all that is required for a flawless performance in everyday life, yes, for making a great success out of life. Here there is no dragging of the feet, no difficulty with his self and its infinitizing, he is ground smooth as a pebble, as exchangeable as a coin of the realm. Far from anyone thinking him to be in despair, he is just what a human being ought to be. Naturally, the world has generally no understanding of what is truly horrifying.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

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