Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

I have been receiving valued advice on how I should be careful what I write considering everything that is going on. I cannot even keep track, of how many times in the past this same advice has been given to me. I wasn’t able to follow it then, and I can’t follow it now. I have never understood the point of writing poetry or music just for the sake of it. Art in any form is meant to be personal and hold personal meaning, this is how art manifests itself into a ting of beauty. I won’t write unless the very essence of who I am, and how I feel can bleed out into my words, if I do anything less than this I am rejecting my true self. Being rejected by others is horrible enough, but if you reject who you really are you will spend the rest of your life living amongst the chameleons and the fools who hide behind masks and perceived social norms.

I have lived my entire life as a chameleon, and played the fool behind the mask. I had difficulty socializing with my peers, so I had to figure out who I needed to be in order for them to accept me. Living my entire life in this manner, can I honestly say I know who I REALLY am? The person I feel I am is the person I have been told I am over and over again. This only reinforces my chameleon colors, and motivates me to build better masks. I cannot stand the reflection of the man of clay you shaped to feel worthless. I know those who are saying these are victim statements, which just by saying such a thing does not validate the individuals real feelings.

The only time I have ever felt safe and free enough to be the real me is when I write. It is therapeutic to write books and post honesty in its purist form for the world to see. The thought of altering the only real honesty and relationship I have in my life, because of the fear of my soon to be ex-wife using my words against me, is just reinforcing the very self-hatred I am trying to overcome. If a judge were to decide that my children shouldn’t be with me because of who I really am, than I obviously have no business being a parent. I do not fear this will be the outcome.

I consider anything I write to be confessional in nature. I am always honest and true to myself regardless of any criticisms or judgments I may receive. I have paid a regrettable price for things I have written in the past. I haven’t spoken to my father in over four years for many reasons, but a recurring reason was a poem I wrote in one of my books. This in of itself sucks, but I feel the outcome was inevitable regardless. My biggest regret is the hurt, pain, and rift I created in regards to a family reunion. I felt hurt and rejected by my family for showing the real me, but in reality it was how I reacted to those feelings instead of thinking like a logical adult I acted like a child. This only made the situation worse and resulted in hurting the ones who were actually supporting me. Although it has taken some time it is one of those valuable life lessons I have learned about taking real ownership for my actions without the use of the word “but”.

The only true negative about such pure honesty is knowing I will be single for the remainder of my years.

As promised in yesterdays post; I am going to include a love poem describing the final lesson we can learn from a failed relationship. For all my long time readers you may find yourselves shocked, because this is one of the only non-dark love poems I have written. I am a bit out of my element here, I hope it translates well, and that it will paint the perfect picture from yesterdays post. 

I held a light

For the very first time in my life

Illuminating a world of heavenly sights

Sights never seen in a life of perpetuated night

 

When I held this light

I noticed a twinkle in my eye

I felt butterflies give life to a beating heart

A first in my life

 

You gave me this breathtaking gift

I experienced how it felt to be loved

Through your eyes, I met the man I could never become

Blossoming feelings of blissful self-worth

Powerful enough to wash away the stains, of a life of pain

A first in my life

 

Your light opened many gifts

A lifetime worth of Christmas lists

Showing me I am more than just a broken doll

Your essence, was proof that angels exist

The first time I felt your angelic lips

I wished for time to stop instead of end

A first in my life

The happiest of my life

 

Twenty six years of living in the dark

Made me naïve of your light

The void of night, resents receding to the light

Machiavellian strategy in hand

That void of night patiently waits

For me to lose your gift of light

An unavoidable first in my life

 

To this day I still don’t know how or why I let you go

Extinguishing the light

Did complacency, give way to delusions

If I was worthy to feel an angels embrace

Why was I swallowed up by the familiar night?

Forever gifted with shadows regret

 

There are times I remember how things looked in the light

All those heavenly sights

The flutter of butterfly wings, and a beating heart

My reflection in your eyes, seeing the good inside

To know exceptionally beautiful angels exist

To give goodnight kisses with their heavenly lips

This is when my smile can be seen in the night

 

Memories and dreams are all that remain

During my brief stay in the light of day

Remembering your light

All the firsts in my life

Forever grateful

To experience what life can be like

When you add something so simple

As genuine light

By: Tim Lundmark

 

Thank you for reading a poem which is out of my comfort zone. I hope everyone out there has either found or one day will find their genuine light.

 

What We Learn From Failed Relationships

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Absolute Truth, Abuse, Anxiety, Arguments, Blog, Blogging, Change, Childhood, Children, Coping, Crisis, Culture, Dating, Debates, Depression, Diary, Dilemma, Divorce, Dreams, Emotional Abuse, Ethics, Evil, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fear, Forgiveness, Freedom, Fun, Greed, Grief, Growing up in abusive homes, Health, Humor, Inside My Mind, Journal, Kids, Learning, Lies and broken promises, Life, Lists, Living Your Dream, Logic, Love, Lust, Marriage, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Misc, miscellaneous, Moral Theories, Morals, Motivation, Mourning, NA, Opinion, Pain, Parent, Parenting, Personal, Philosophy, Poems, Poetry, Published Author, Quotes, Random, Random Thoughts, Rants, Rejection, Relationship Issues, Relationships, Sadness, Self-esteem, Self-Help, Self-image, Social Anxiety, Social Debates, Society, Sorrow, Spirituality, Stress, Suffering, The Invention of Lying, The Philosophy of Lyrics, The Philosophy of Quotes, Things That Give Me Anxiety, Thoughts, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized, Unity, Verbal Abuse, Writing
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I would first like to start off by thanking all of my readers and subscribers. I learned today; I have readers from 61 different countries. I think that’s pretty bad ass. I am aware that my readership grew from the topics of philosophy, theology, and madness. So bear with me as I stray a bit from those topics. Today I would like to release that which has been permeating in my mind. I would like ponder for a moment the importance of learning from our mistakes in a failed relationship. Through all of this I am trying to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. So here we go.

The one thing I can say with out a doubt is I am far from sainthood. I have made my more than my fair share of mistakes, and bad decisions which played a role in the overall destruction of my marriage. I am ashamed and consumed with intense guilt because of this. This combined with my wife’s lies, and infidelity has allowed me to see the light. I am sure I could write a 200 page paper on this topic, but I will try to keep this short and sweet.

There are 10 main things I have learned in my failed marriage. Now mind you there are far more than 10, but as I said this is not a 200 page dissertation on my failed marriage. I will do my best to not place blame, because it doesn’t do anyone any good. Some things on this list will undoubtedly overlap, even though this is the case I feel each one deserves to be mentioned. Without further ado here is my list of 10 things I learned from my failed marriage.

  1. Never Lie: I did a lot of research after I found out about what my wife did. I learned that in humans our first response when we know we have done something wrong, that will ultimately lead to a negative outcome our immediate response is to lie. We do this for two reasons one we want to avoid conflict, and two we don’t want to get in trouble. Since I am a proponent of the tabula rasa theory (mind being born as a blank slate.) I feel this is a trait we learn as children, which carries over into adulthood. Lying to your partner no matter how small is a terrible idea. We can overcome this childish trait, by knowing our partner as well as ourselves, focus on understanding and know that mistakes are actually learning opportunities.
  2. Never Cheat: I think this one doesn’t need further explanation. It’s a painful and shitty thing to do to those we love. Even if (insert some attractive famous person) wanted to be with you, nothing is worth hurting the one you love.
  3. Trust: it should go without saying that if the two things listed above are followed then trust shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately we all carry the baggage of past hurt, what we need to realize is who ever we are with now is not the person who caused us hurt in the past. I would imagine it would be a good idea to be open and honest about these past hurts. A relationship that is not built on trust is like trying to build a house of cards on a windy day, neither of these two examples will be successful. The perfect advice one can give in fostering trust in a relationship is this; if you would not say or do something if your partner was there with you, then you definitely shouldn’t do it.
  4. Accept and Love Each Other For All Their Good Qualities, As Well As Their Flaws: let’s admit it people, no one is perfect, and those who claim to be are probably the most screwed up of them all. Initially I am sure that we all fall in love with our mates good qualities. During the “courting” or “honeymoon” phase of a relationship, it is kind of like interviewing for a job, you really are not being completely honest your just trying to get the “job.” As the relationship progresses and begins to become serious is usually when we start to notice each others flaws. The important thing is that we learn to love that person regardless of their flaws. In fact I believe our flaws can become the most exciting part of a relationship. When you love the good qualities along with the flaws you know you have found true love; when everything seems to fit like a glove.
  5. Never Put Your Partner Down and Break Their Will: this topic has a lot to do with item number four. There are just two things I would like to add. The first is from an article by John Gottman, PhD in an article titled “4 Signs of A Troubled Marriage” Here is the link.http://affiliatedpsychologicalservices.com/4-signs-of-a-troubled-marriage/ Gottman talks about “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse” which are clear signs you are headed for a divorce. The first two he brings up is “Criticism” and “Contempt.” If anyone out there grew up in an abusive home where as a child you were faced with these two horsemen, having to deal with such things in a marriage is a key ingredient in a divorce. If you tell someone something negative about them enough times, with the right amount of nastiness it is only natural the other party will believe what they are being told, and inevitable this is who they will see when they look into the mirror. I don’t think people are aware of how serious the long term damage can be. My second point comes from a line from the song “Weight of The World” by Blue October. “Don’t bother changing things that won’t give into changing.” It is one thing to help your partner grow and become the best person they can be, but in the process don’t try to change who they are inside. If you are hell bent on trying to force someone to change, there is always medication. If this is your goal please take to heart one of my quotes “Medication is to fix the people we don’t like.” If you feel you need to medicate your partner, it’s time to call it quits.
  6. Freedom: As your relationship grows, it is imperative that you do not take away your partners freedom. When I say freedom I am not referring to allowing your partner to go out all the time neglecting the relationship, and engaging in behaviors which fall into the first three categories I listed. When I say freedom, I say that it is clearly healthy to share and be with each other, but it is also healthy to have a respectful life outside of the relationship. I have made this deadly mistake in one of my relationships, and I have now been on the receiving end of how damaging smothering and isolating your partner can be. If your relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust and respect this should be something you encourage each other to do. I have always admired the relationship between my best friend of 26 years and his lovely wife. I will not mention names, but I truly hope one day I can figure out whatever their secret is, and apply it to my future relationships. I am going to encourage them to write a book.
  7. Support Their Dreams: There is nothing more precious and sacred than some ones hopes and dreams. For some our dreams appear to us when we are young, others do not fully realize their dreams until they discover who they are. When I was young I had the normal boyhood dreams to become a professional football or baseball player, unfortunately like normal boys those dreams were not meant to be. Beyond those two options, I really didn’t have anything else that drove or inspired me, until the 5th grade. Long story short I ended up doing many writing assignments and I remember my teacher signing my year book, saying she could one day see something I have written being published. I was not a very well behaved child, so positive reinforcement from the teachers I tormented was rare, but from that moment my dream changed. I wanted to become a professional writer. As I grew older I held onto this dream, and wrote in private. I never thought anything I would write would be read let alone published. Again long story short one of my poetry books was published, I started this blog, wrote two children’s books, and two other poetry books. Needless to say this was the greatest I had ever felt about myself, because I accomplished something I never thought I could… my dream. I did not receive support from my partner, and in fact was highly put down and discouraged from continuing to write, until finally I had no option but to stop writing. The details behind this are not important at this moment.
  8. Open & Honest Communication: You would think this is a no brainier, but for my marriage and I would imagine many others this proved to be too challenging to overcome and sowed the seeds to our divorce. I feel if you have all seven of these things listed above then number eight would be a given, but if you take out one or two of the above it makes communication a challenge. I avoided and ran away from open and honest communication. I could make a laundry list for why, but this is already becoming too long of a post. Mainly I was afraid to honestly look in the mirror, I was scared I was going to receive an unhealthy dose of items four and five. Regardless of those reasons it is on me for failing in this aspect of our marriage. I need to take ownership for this, and like everything listed learn to not make the same mistakes. It is very difficult and challenging for me to be social, and communicate even with those closest to me. I know this is something I need to work on, but what always ends up playing over and over in my mind is the Pink Floyd lyrics from the song “The Final Cut” which I will add at the end.
  9. Be A Selfless Lover: This is actually one area where I have and feel the most accomplished. I felt I needed to add this, because in my experience men in general put their intimacy needs, or the final “outcome” before their partners. I will not go into detail in case my mom is reading this, but as men our primary focus and goal when it comes to being intimate is placing our partners needs before ourselves. Any man can do his business and be on his way, but this is a man who has failed. When it comes to intimacy your only goal and desire should be the feelings and ultimate “outcome” of your partners needs. Everything else should be secondary.
  10. Find Your Genuine Light: Tomorrow I am going to post a quick poem describing the meaning behind this comment. I do not believe in soul mates. I do not believe there is only one true love for everyone. I believe for everyone, there exists many individuals who could be considered your genuine light. I believe they are rare, but they are out there. My advice is if you feel you are holding your genuine light, don’t let them slip away because you cannot be certain another one will come around to light up your life.

 

“And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?”

Pink Floyd

These lyrics describe perfectly why it is so difficult for me to open up to people, which hinders my ability to effectively communicate.

My intended focus this week was to break down, analyze, and apply my methodology to three single events with the intended outcome of making the correct choice. Do I stay or do I go? I have repeatedly replayed the same haunting moment of seeing my son still and quiet on his bike as he watched me get in the car to go to work. In that moment I could see in his eyes the internal conflict between acceptance and denial that his dad is slipping away. I could see and understand all too well the sadness he was trying so bravely to hide.

It is difficult for me to release my sadness and sorrow through the shedding of tears. The only time the outside world can see what I try so hard to hide, is when I cannot hold back my tears. At that moment, just as in this moment writing about it I cannot stop the tears. Many people say that crying is supposed to be this wonderful release of pent up emotions. It’s not like that for me. Tears feel like razor blades running down my face, slicing through self-denial and exposing my weakness and vulnerability. Regardless of how many times I have been told I am selfish and only think of myself, at the end of the day my meaning in life, and my purpose is to not break his heart. I am well aware I will never win the father of the year award. To be honest with you I don’t even know if I’m a good father. Despite what I am told I know I have always tried to be the best dad I could be.

After the series of events that took place yesterday, or would it be considered today? I haven’t slept for days so time holds no logical meaning. After said events the only answer to my opening question; is to go. There are only so many pieces someone can be broken into before they are unable to be put back together. I now need to come to terms with the sobering reality that I will become in my own eyes everything I ever swore I wouldn’t. I will become my fathers son. I am desperately seeking, yet fear I will be unable to live with the guilt, or forgive myself.

Children are not stone, nor are they steel. They are dirt and clay, molded by the hands of experience. There is no way to reconcile the loss of my son’s happiness and hope due to the harsh reality of my life, which I have viciously infected upon my family. Despite my frequent mental transformations I made the decision to get married and have children; in that single moment I destroyed their lives. I suppose I was caught up in the perceived human need for significance, by my own sense of insecurity. Here is where I cannot deny my selfishness. Broken dolls are meant to walk alone.

In moments like this I want to hide within the minds of Soren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus covering myself in the blanket of Absurdism. Believing all struggles for life is for nothing. There is only birth and death, and everything in between is our feeble attempt to find meaning and purpose. This concept is wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’m burdened with this question. What if birth and death were only two points, that they were inconsequential compared to what happens between them?

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes try to think about what our lives would be like if we had no religion. Would chaos and anarchy rule supreme without some spiritual moral compass to guide us? Would we as a civilization just instinctively know how to treat our fellow man, or do we require a “reward” in exchange for our good behavior. This is a hard question to answer since the concept of religion is engrained in every man, woman, and child in existence. This will continue to be the case till end times, so we are for better or worse stuck with religion.

I often times write and speculate as to why religion was created in the first place. I have two theories which I feel answer this age old question. The first being the fear of the unknown and unexplainable and the second being social control. I personally think religion was first created to subdue early mans fears, but then when the slightly more intelligent man realized how much influence it had on the masses he transformed it into a form of social control. Since this discovery; generations of generations of people have fallen victim to the soothing swan song of religion.

I have always wanted to write several books on the topic of religion, and one such idea is building a religious timeline; starting from the very first religion all the way up to where we are today. I would track the origins and expansion of said religions. I figured I wouldn’t get too detailed I would just provide the basics of each religion. One detail I would touch on is the impact the featured religion had on the civilization. There were about eight other things I would cover, but are not pertinent to this post. I started this project last year, but when I was faced with the grand scope of the project I decided to shelve it until/if my “Dylan Thomas” books took off.

I really cannot think of one thing other than religion which has had a bigger impact on human existence. Religion although sold as a ticket to salvation and as a guide on how to properly treat your fellow man, it has also been a tool to control the masses. The rulers of old used religion as a tool to give the masses some spiritual guidelines. These guidelines were necessary to keep order, and the people who were being ruled feared for their life hereafter, so they fell in line with their spiritual leaders. We can look out in the world today and still see religion being used by political leaders.

In reference to this specific quote I think we need to look at civilizations through history. I wrote about such a time period a year ago when I touched on the alliance between Rome and the Catholic Church. This was a time when there were two classes the rich and the poor. The rich Romans during this time had the power and influence of the Catholic Church on their side. They parlayed this influence to socially control the people. They fed the fear of hell into each and every one of them, so the thought of standing up against their repressors equaled eternal suicide into a lake of fire. I am not too familiar with Napoleon time period but I would be willing to bet it resembled the time period I wrote about. I think I may just have to read up on this a bit.

The poor will only stand so long being the class which is shit on for so long before the people realize they out number the rich and decide to take over. Religion is the perfect tool to keep social order amidst such repression. I think this point is illustrated even in today by studying some of the countries in the Middle East. In America religion is still a dominate force, but I do not know the extent of social control it has today. I suppose it keeps the religious nuts focused on salvation instead of murdering and having sex with small little woodland creatures. I suppose in this case religion is doing something worthwhile.

“Even God cannot change the past.”
Agathon

As you may all know in my writings I consistently challenge/question the existence of God. There are times I commit downright blasphemy, yet there are times I show a small crack for God to come into my life. This is the conundrum I find myself in all the time. I do not believe in the existence of God, yet I philosophize on the possibility of the existence of a God. I think with some of the stances or comments I make in a post people misconstrue my stance between believing and non-believing. With my most recent intense anxiety and panic over my own mortality, I have tried to revisit this age old question in hopes of achieving serenity. Armed with this intense fear I have begun to deceive my logic into believing in the prospect of God existing. With that being said I want to confront this statement, and touch on a few other questions.

God is supposed to be all powerful, and nothing is beyond His realm of possibility, or is it. Does God possess the power to go into the past and change the course of history? If he had this power he could undo some of the most horrific events we humans have committed. Now in this question and statement I am challenging the power and as a result the existence of such a God. I can already tell you what the faithful will say to this, they will preach that God does not interfere in our lives because he gave us freewill. With this freewill we ultimately are responsible for our own actions and we have the freedom to define what we become. But hold on for a moment the Bible speaks of many situations in which God interfered with man’s freewill. Why has he chosen to be an absent father and let the world enter into chaos?

If the case is and God has just recently over the last couple thousands of years decided to no longer interfere with humans because we have freewill; I would ask the faithful to explain natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami that just hit Japan. Man has no control over nature, but the Bible clearly has stories illustrating that God is capable of such things. God had the ability to either cause or cease this natural disaster, so this means that he either chose to cause this disaster Himself, or knew this would happen and chose to let it happen resulting in the deaths of thousands of people and causing massive amounts of damage to Japan. Man as a result of his freewill had nothing to do with this, so if God existed then He as a result had everything to do with it. What was his purpose for killing so many people? 

I think this argument of freewill is an easy out for the faithful because it wraps everything up in a tidy little bow, and it places blame on man for all the horrors which have happened and continue to happen till this day. Some of the questions I ask myself are where is the divine intervention portrayed in the Old and New Testament? It seems in almost all stories God is very much involved with his most precious creation. We all know how much God hates gay people, so why has he not eliminated them as he did in Sodom and Gomorrah? For that matter why even create gay people to begin with. If homosexuality is a sin, why create people who are born to commit crimes which He hates to his very core? If God’s primary goal is to have all of His creations return to Him in heaven, then why create people who are doomed to hell from day one? This is not just limited to homosexuals we can include in there murderers, rapist, and thieves. I also ask this where was God during the holocaust. The Jews are supposed to be His chosen people, and when they were enslaved in Egypt God sent Moses to save His people. The Jews were in a worse situation during the holocaust then they were in Egypt, so where was the Moses of our time?

The absence of divine intervention in our time is one thing I point to when I am thinking about converting to Christianity. I do not understand how God can be so predominantly involved thousands of years ago, but we have not heard so much as a peep out of him since. Why show such an interest with man back then, but show such a disinterest in us now. Did God just throw his hands in the air and say “fuck it this is pointless! Perhaps I should have thought out the whole freewill thing.” I also point to the existence of natural disasters with no known lesson from God behind the punishment, such as he did with Sodom and Gomorrah or Noah and the great flood. God had no problem telling His people why he was creating such horrible disasters back then, but we have not heard a thing from him with all the natural disasters dating back hundreds of years. Even if there was not a lesson to be learned; why even allow natural disasters in the first place?

In my mind these are good questions I must ask myself to further along my internal struggle behind the existence or non-existence of God. In this case the answer I come to is the non-existence of God. Making a statement of “even God cannot change the past” is the same as saying God does not exist. God is all-powerful and if God existed he should be able to bend and alter the fabric of time, after all this is the man who created the entire universe. The fact that he hasn’t altered the past is yet another notch on the “I am not a believer” column. But hold on for a minute. God may have already altered the past, and if he did we would be none the wiser; since we only know what we know. If God went back in time and murdered your husbands’ fetus for being a douche, you would never know because you would have never met him. God does not have time to kill your cheating husband because he is to busy eating popcorn and watching the destruction caused by natural disasters, and reveling in revenge over the rapid deterioration of the human race.

“He hoped and prayed there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn’t an afterlife.”
Douglas Adams

Is there such thing as an afterlife? Do we live on as energy, or is there a magical place we go when we die? If the answer to these questions is “no” then this means we simply just cease to exist. We burn out like a candle in the wind all but being forgotten years down the line. Questions such as these are what have been fueling my desire to find some form of divine power and intervention. For the first time in fifteen years I need my life to hold some meaning even though I know it doesn’t. I need unequivocal proof that a God exists and there are better things waiting for us when we pass. If I am not able to get this proof I desire I will continue to live my life in fear and panic over what will happen to me when I die. I will worry so much that I will forget to appreciate and cherish the present. Next thing you know death will be at my doorstep and I will be met with regret over the time I have wasted worrying.

This newfound need to enter the realm of the illogical has been plaguing me ever since my friend died. I have been haunted with the stark reality that he may no longer exist in any form. This breaks my heart, but this also stirred up a buried internal fear of no longer existing. Wait scratch that the knowledge that someday I will be void of thought scares me much more. This is freaking me out, so what do I do to try and find peace? I turn to my archenemy; religion. This once perceived almighty evil is infiltrating my life, and filling it with passed down stories of better things to come. I can no longer rely on my logical atheist ways. I have caved, but do I turn to the mightiest of faiths, or do I stay with Taoism or Buddhism?

I hope to find an answer which I feel comfortable with, because the constant anxiety and panic is overwhelming me. Here is the problem though; if I pick a religion will I ever “really” believe the teachings or will reason and logic keep me from fully committing? Will I get so desperate I just try to live a lie, and constantly need to trick myself to stay on faiths path? I remember Trey calling me a “disillusioned Christian” awhile back, but I would consider myself more as a “desperate atheist needing reassurance that my life has meaning and I will be able to continue to think until the end of time” type of person.

The thing I do not get with this quote is why anyone would want to hope there isn’t an afterlife? Isn’t it ingrained in our DNA to survive? If this is the case than our brains would be hardwired to at least hope our existence lives on. Perhaps this hardwiring in our brains and instincts is the foundation of religion. I know by experience that atheists do not believe in an afterlife, but I wonder if deep down inside part of them is at least hoping they are wrong; I know I am. I must be completely honest I sincerely admire those who are truly in acceptance with the fact that one day they will just cease to exist. As for myself I am going to sit here and hope and pray there IS an afterlife.

 “You know, this is a war of ideology, a war of thoughts and of faith. And we need people to really stand for faith and trust, not hope and change.”
Sharron Angle

In 2010 Sharron Angle received an endorsement from the Tea Party Express, to run for one of the open Senate seats in Nevada. I have about a handful of quotes from this woman, and I can tell you we should all breathe a sigh of relief she didn’t win. The really scary part about all this is she received 44% of the votes. She wants us to abandon hope and change and instead put our trust in faith and God? This woman was close to holding a seat of power preaching religion over progress. This is a belief many of the Tea Party members share. This is a scary concept because their solution to solving our problems is by praying, and putting our faith in a God which may or may not even exist. It worries me a bit that these far right religious nuts are gaining so much ground in the political landscape.

If more and more of these kinds of thinkers take office all logic and reasoning will be thrown out the window. What is in the best interest of our country will be completely thrown out the window. In my opinion representatives with such strong beliefs should be banned from running for office. I would feel more comfortable with an atheist in office, because I know they would make decisions based off logic and reasoning and not on what a fairy tale creature would have them do. I am sure I will get some heat for this comment, but let us not forget Bush’s view that God was speaking to him, and also the religious nuts in the middle east.

This is the part that scares me the most. The leader of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes in the concept of a final Holy War, what’s worse is he believes he is the one charged with ushering it in. If we continue to put into office these religious zealots they will see to it this Holy War happens. For many they believe this is necessary for the second coming of Christ. Here is another gem from Angle:

 “And that’s really what’s happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government.”

Imagine if more and more of these people take office. It could be realistic that abortions are made illegal. Research such as stem cell will be squashed; meaning many cures will never be known. They will start teaching creationism over evolution in our public schools. This nation will become a Christian nation, but not in a good way. We will come to exile those who believe differently from us, and soon religious freedom will be gone. It is a dangerous thing to elect those into office who hold such strong beliefs. Soon decisions are not made based off reason and logic; they are made based on an imaginary concept with an imaginary symbol of ideology.

“You know, I’m a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.”
Sharron Angle

Yea right!!

Verse 25

There was something formless and perfect.

Born before heaven and earth

In the silence and the void.

It is serene. Empty.

Solitary. Unchanging.

Infinite. Eternally present.

It is the mother of the universe

I do not know its name

Call it Tao.

For lack of a better word, I call it great

Being great, it flows.

It flows far away

Having gone far, it returns

Therefore, the Way is great,

Heaven is great,

Earth is great,

People are great.

Thus, to know humanity,

Understand earth.

To know earth

Understand heaven,

To know heaven,

Understand the Way.

To know the Way,

Understand the great within yourself.

Lao-Tzu

According to scholars the twenty-fifth verse of the Tao Te Ching is considered to be one of the most significant lessons in the entire manuscript. I do not necessarily look at this verse as a significant lesson; instead I look at it as a creation story. The Tao Te Ching was written by Lao-tzu over twenty-five centuries ago. I interpret the first ten lines as describing the big bang. Considering how long ago it was written I think Lao-tzu nailed a concept that would not be known for centuries later. I was honestly wondering when a creation concept would be brought up, so I was relieved when I read this verse. I love the way he describes existence prior to the big bang when the Tao gave birth to the universe.

Lao-tzu says “there was something formless and perfect.” Whatever was before the universe was created will always be a mystery, but Lao-tzu says whatever it was it was perfect. I am a firm believer that the Tao created heaven, but in doing this he also gave birth to Gods. I believe the Gods we know today were created by the Tao.

Lao-tzu could not find the words to describe the Tao; all he could come up with is the word “great.” This greatness is responsible for everything that has and will be.  He says “being great, it flows. It flows far away. Having gone far, it returns.” I am sure this could be interpreted in many ways. I look at it as the process of dying and the journey of our shen. When we die we go to the center where the universe was born. This center is formless and perfect, and is where we all return. Having gone far to the center; we return. This comforts my fears of death and calms my anxiety over it. The atheist in me comes out from time to time to trample my visions of salvation, so I lack faith. I wonder if my lack in faith is the reason I cannot live the lessons of the Tao on a consistent basis? If this is the case then my journey should be that of faith. Once I find faith perhaps I will find understanding.

This verse touches on things being great. It starts with the Way all the way down to people. This is a tough yet great message for me. I do not see myself as great; therefore I can never realize greatness. If I dwell in my negative emotions then I will attract negative things. This concept is brought up in the last eight verses. Lao-tzu says to truly know the way you need to understand the greatness within you. Since everything stems from the Tao is great therefore I to should be great because I am a product of perfection. This is a great lesson to learn.

My theory and many others on why religion was created is because the fear of death and the unknown. Ever since man developed complex emotions, and were then confronted with the realization of death and the knowledge of what a hardship is; they needed to construct something that would ease their fears and give them peace of mind in a chaotic world. These forefathers of religion created sun gods and moon gods. They worshipped these things because they had no concept of what they were; all they knew is somehow these two things had massive affects on their daily lives. I would also like to quickly point out that many civilizations did rituals and prayed for rain. They had no concept of how rain worked so they tacked it on to their religious beliefs. Not only did the earliest man need explanations for things they didn’t understand; they also needed to find something to ease their fears of what happens to you when you die. This fear of the ultimate unknown is the sole reason we have religion today.

It takes a strong individual to live their lives knowing they will somehow cease to exist. I know all to well this is a heavy burden to bear. We all want something more to believe in. We all want to somehow feel special. We all want to know somehow we will live on. These are the key driving points for the construction of faith. To illustrate this point I would like to quote a comment from my post “Religion and Anxiety-Reduction Theories.”

“If God and religion are all man-made constructs and there is nothing after this life, then why bother?”

I think this comment illustrates my point perfectly. I have grown to admire this reader’s thoughts and opinions and in no way am I saying she is weak. She was most likely raised to believe this. I do however think this shows a small chip in the armor of her faith. I have heard this comment before, and usually follow with “Is this your driving force to believe?” I tend to stump people on this point because it forces them to re-evaluate their beliefs. If they believe simply because this is the only way to give life meaning, or the only way to quell their fears of death then their faith is flawed. In essence their belief acts as a band-aid to cover up the deeper fears they have inside. We bother because it is our moral and ethical duty to improve the lives of our fellow man. We are here to cultivate a positive way of life for other generations to come. We do not need religion to dictate us to achieve these things; we only need to look into our hearts.

Religion has evolved over time, but every religion is built upon one another. With each new version declaring they are the only version. The concept of a virgin birth was described well before Christianity was created. For example the birth of Buddha was described as a virgin birth in the “Nidanakatha”

“The Brahmans said, ‘Be not anxious, O king! Your queen has conceived: and the fruit of her womb will be a man-child; it will not be a woman-child. You will have a son. And he, if he adopts a householder’s life, will become a king, a Universal Monarch; but if, leaving his home, he adopt the religious life, he will become a Buddha, who will remove from the world the veils of ignorance and sin.'”

This is but one example;virgin births were also described in Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Mithra, Mithras, and the Greco-Roman Mythology. This is by no means the complete list I am sure it goes on and on. In addition to this Muslim, Hinduism, and Taoism also have stories of a miraculous births. The one I find most interesting is one that precedes Christianity and Judaism the ancient religion of Persia “Zoroastrianism.” In this religion it not only describes a virgin birth, but it also has the messiah, death and resurrection, a final battle between good and evil, and the resurrection of the dead to stand judgment. This and others are perfect examples to describe the evolution of religion.

Creation stories, miraculous births, the death and resurrection of a messiah, and end times are all parts of every religion past and present. Each and every religion is just built upon one another. With each new edition religion evolves into something different than what it was before. Religion is like a fable passed on from generation to generation. In a sense it is like playing telephone, with each new generation the original concept gets changed and turned into what we have today. I feel there have been no new changes to religion because we live in a society that does not allow a change to happen. Everything is set as is, and everyone knows what is on the table. Trying to change a religious concept via word of mouth is simply just not possible. Those who try ultimately end up being defined as cults. In the end the purposes to believe in religion are all the same. We ask the exact same questions are ancestors asked, and we share their same fears. We cling onto religion because it just makes sense. We tend to look at other religions and judge them compared to our beliefs. We turn our nose to them claiming we are right, and their beliefs are silly. I am just as guilty of this as they are.

I came up with the quote “conceived in the weak” not because I am calling the religious weak. I am illustrating how our beliefs at their core are because of our fears. I think I am the perfect example of this. Right now I consider myself as being weak, because I have lost the strength to accept the reality of nothingness. Once this fear crept into my conscience I immediately sought out religion to ease my fears. I am searching for answers to questions which cannot be answered. If I were to latch on to Christianity to make myself feel better I really wouldn’t be a Christian because the only reason I am a Christian is because I fear the great unknown. I would be a fake; a liar, and a coward. I desperately need to find faith, but I am hindered by my reasoning and logic. Perhaps all my new religious readers who have offered me guidance are the sign from God I have always asked for, but perhaps it is all just a coincidence. These are the questions I ask myself. I ask them because of the intense fear inside of me. Perhaps God is placing this fear inside of me, and delivered me my readers to bring me to God, but perhaps the fear is there because death is really f’ing scary.

If we did not fear death, if we did not fear the unknown, if we didn’t need to see the light within chaos there would be no need for religion.