Then vs Now

Celebrating thanksgiving while others mourn

Before the wave of monotheism butchered its way to dominance, what exactly did we give up, to get this?

This from the USDA:

In cultures around the world, men and women served as tribal healers, shamans, medicine men or women, had a deep understanding of the use of these plants singularly and/or in combination. These “herbalists” served as spiritual guides and dream interpreters and led many sacred ceremonies where the use of psychoactive plants played an integral role in burial rituals, rites of passage, healing rituals, vision quests and purification rituals.

Using psychoactive plants, (and many others) shamans had the power to enter trances, combat evil spirits and disease, and communicate with ancestors. Within the plant-induced visions and trances, the shaman was able to comprehend the spirit world and the real world and maintain balance between the two. Prayers were offered to the spirits to whom these holy plants belonged. Indeed, for some, the plant itself was god or provided a way to god.

If nothing else it was interesting, unlike the monotheistic wait. More HERE

The pastors and priests of today will say a kind prayer into outer-space, quote you a couple of scriptures you already know, rekindle some hope, and collect offerings. They initially had to intimidate their way to the top because they had nothing but faith-induced deprecation to offer. Now the stupor of monotheistic belief is the biggest hurdle facing humanity.

I find it interesting that these core shamanistic practices were found all around the globe, yet Yahweh was nowhere to be found but in one small country, and never had anyone outside of it knew one whit about it.

Note On My Old God

When did belief become a virtue?

If the ultimate, monotheistic plural god of Abraham doesn’t exist, would that mean none of the others do either?

As a believer I was so used to discrediting the other gods for so long (way to easy) I never bothered to look into them. I suppose I don’t know enough about them to believe in them, but do I know enough about them to not? Can you not believe in something you’ve never invested?

For now I’ve just let it all go. No chasing belief or fine tuning incredible imaginations to disguise my final destination. It’s really out of my hands. The Christians already control the cosmos with their prayers anyway, so what am I going to do?

Belief is meant as a temporary waypoint to prove a premise, not a destination in itself”

How did belief become a virtue (rhetorical question) anyway? It is a worthless position of pride faith clinging to someone else’s hopeful imaginations with an argument. It’s all quite ridiculous, really.

“We will never progress as a society until we overcome belief mode and transcend the neurological trappings of faith”.

Faith by Atheism

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”

“Atheism in the informal sense is a profoundly religious attitude—an attitude in life of total trust in letting go. When we form images of god they are all really exhibitions of our lack of faith—something to hold on to, something to grasp.

And so there is the profound central mystery of the attitude of faith—to stop chasing it, to stop grabbing it. Because if that happens the most amazing things follow. All these ideas of the spiritual, the godly as this attitude of “must“—”And we have laid down the laws which we are all bound to follow“. This is not the only way of being religious and relating to the inefable mystery that underlies ourselves in the world—you!

If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting goAlan Watts.

Atheism is total trust that the universe is happening with or without your pathetic belief, and long before YHWY hit the scenes.

Modern faith is merely clinging to the hope in imag-ination—an idol of your minds eye, attempting to comprehend beyond comprehension, while simply picturing your flavor of god simultaneously makes you a sinner.

So, here we are—you are to blindly believe by your choice (a worthless epithet in disingenuity) but form no images of god, for in your grandest musings only offer pathetic, inadequate renderings offensive to the supreme offender.

“The Bible itself is now the ultimate graven image of our time, and all time” but as we see the believer cannot help but add to it. The idea of a god takes special, mental wrangling and wording to complete a sentence that stands without excuses to believer and non alike. Nothing written could even remotely approach it—and the image you’ve created holds no utility to humanism.

Is Four Old Enough?

How old were you when you became Christian?

In a survey by the International Bible Society — indicated that 83% of all Christians make their commitment to Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14, that is, when they are children or early youth. The Barna Research Group surveys demonstrate that American children ages 5 to 13 have a 32% probability of accepting Christ, but youth or teens aged 14 to 18 have only a 4% probability of doing so. Adults age 19 and over have just a 6% probability of becoming Christians.

Because the 4-14 age period slice of the pie is so large, many have started referring to the “4-14 Window.” Many people serving as career cross-cultural missionaries have testified that they first felt God calling them to missionary service during that 4-14 age period.

It’s a fair question. How old were you when you accepted Jesus?

Shedding Colonialism

Insights of a Filipino-Panamanian working in religious small town America.

The double insult of colonization from my experience in just one week of work.

I can’t speak for everyone, I only speak for myself and my point of view.

As I went to work, I centered myself for the upcoming chaos of being the new local high school secretary. Many things to learn and handle at once, with minimal training and a large dose of survival tactics.

I open the doors, make the coffee and enjoy the quiet ritual of gently waking our building up so that it may have a welcoming atmosphere.

One by one the teachers arrive and we have genuinely pleasant banter of our evening and the plans for the day.

Then the buses arrive. The students with their chatter and questions.

I love these moments.

As my day progressed I was speaking in Spanish to a student. She was concerned that her lack of being able to speak to anyone in Spanish was making her forget her words. Then a staff member walks in and interjects. “Isn’t it wonderful that our local school has provided you with someone to speak in Spanish to?” The student and I lock eyes and flinch. The staff member goes on, “ I’m sure you are very grateful for this opportunity. How does it make you feel to be able to speak in Spanish here in our little town?”

By then she and I are in a full side conversation just using out eyebrows and pointing with our noses. The student stops and puts her hand to her jaw and searches for the word she wants to share with the staff member. She voices without a doubt, “Awkward “

I knew she was talking about the situation and was not answering the questions being asked. The staff member told her she should not feel awkward about her English skills. I shook my head because this situation was way to big to handle and the phones were ringing.

I dismissed the student and told her not to pay any mind to what had just happened. She was welcome to come back and we’d talk about this situation later.

The student returned and was asking me a question—it was a silly one about her day and we giggled. As we did, another staff member walked in and slammed her hand on the counter repeatedly and yelled, “Speak English!! We live in America!”

The student and I were not pleased. I really wanted to ask her, “Why does it matter if I speak in another colonizers language?” I held my tongue. I apologized to the student on behalf of the staff member’s ignorance and she went back to class. Turning to the staff member who sat there with a huge grin as she celebrated her dominance and superiority, I said to her, “ I spoke to her in Spanish in a private conversation. Her shirt was not buttoned correctly and she would have been embarrassed if I had pointed it out in front of everyone in English.”

I felt weak, small and frustrated. How does one combat ignorance? My whole life has been confusing. Brown skin, white mind. I am a square peg trying to fit into a circular hole. I work twice as hard to get half as far as my Anglo coworkers. I try to convince myself that it’s just my work ethic. This is a whole other subject. The serviceable brown lady stereotype. Ugh.

I continue to navigate through life and find my footing, my voice and my strength. As I shed the colonization mindset that I was cloaked in as a child, I’m working on being kind and patient. It’s hard. I’m tired of making excuses for white privileged people and excuses for being me. This is going to be an interesting journey.

The Source of Morality

How easy it is to identify the source of morality.

Forging more self discipline and restraint than any supposed morality dispensed by god, humans refrain because of what others will think—and will even claim to believe in god for the same reason.

Morality among mankind is nothing more than consensual dance of personal opinion inside a framework of what societies are collectively willing to tolerate, evolved into fairness bit by bit through trial and error, cause and effect, fear of exclusion (and indoctrination, of course)

Skirting religions own morality, “sin” is still committed in private as it always has been, where few reveal what they do alone (in the sole presence of their god) proves they really don’t believe any of it.

Not to place any blame on them for being human, but for pretending to be much more obedient than they are—because of what their fellow believers might see of what lies below the superficial piety and smiles, while inside the anxieties of endless failure eats away at their soul.

The church has quite a racket going, for who can change their consciousness without even knowing what that is, especially by way of commandment and threat? Revolving door repentance, penance, payments and guilt never cease the failures of an artificial morality no one can meet?

Autumn on the mount 8/28/19