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20140721

Regret (satire)

When stress leads me to say things I later regret, mental fatigue leads me to that mental state.

So I will endeavor to speak wholesomely for the betterment of myself and other people.

For I am thankful that my errors are clear to me, and the solution is so simple for all to see: to hold my tongue rather than speaking,
unless I am asked to provide instruction or to explain in honesty my personal opinion in brevity.

In retrospect, sometimes I say things I regret. The only person I should be apologizing is to myself for denying responsibility for my words.

Indeed, at all times it is wise to closely guard my words. It is obvious that I have broken the Buddhist precept about lying. However, I am harming myself by subjecting myself to the hellish qualities of regret due to misuse of guilt.

In order not to make it worse, I will not provide the details of what I had said over the past week since things have worked out for the best.

20140719

Evolution of Race Relations in Mormonism (satire)

In 1954 Mark Petersen, a Mormon apostle, supported racial segregation in America at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level.

He had been influenced by the racial superiority myth popular in America at the time, saying in a speech at the conference, "What is our advice with respect to intermarriage with Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiians and so on? I will tell you what advice I give personally. If a boy or girl comes to me claiming to be in love with a Chinese or Japanese or a Hawaiian or a person of any other dark race, I do my best to talk them out of it. I tell them that I think the Hawaiians should marry Hawaiians, the Japanese ought to marry the Japanese, and the Chinese ought to marry Chinese, and the Caucasians should marry Caucasians, just exactly as I tell them that Latter-day Saints ought to marry Latter-day Saints."

This kind of attitude made it hard on Mormon converts in Africa and Asia before the change that happened within the past 30 years.

Nobody in the Mormon church believes in this kind of racist rhetoric, especially have the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Most of Petersen's writing are less obnoxious than this speech was, but those times are over. Since 1978, when the first black Mormon became a bishop, Mormonism has grown to endorse a meeting of minds with Buddhists, Hinduism, Islam and other faiths.

This makes it possible for my path to becoming a Buddhist Mormon, though I reject Petersen's words because they segregate humanity by race. It reminds me of the time when I sent away for information for a US dating club and received material that endorsed racial segregation in dating. In response, I demanded and received a refund from that dating club and vowed never to request such material from the US ever again.

I believe that the reason why the Mormon church chose to consecrate bishops of any race after 1978 because the racial superiority ideology was turning off visible minorities who were Mormons and slowing conversion efforts in Japan and in Asia.

As well, it was hard to sell Mormonism in Japan because of unscrupulous practises like allowing a Japanese convert pressure members into buying a cookware product offered by a company that was a multilevel marketing promoter of that cookware.

It was only until after 1978 that Mormons in Japan became more culturally sensitive to Asians and other races all thanks to the success of Martin Luther King Jr's civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Today, nobody endorses the racial superiority policy publicly in the Mormon church because it would be detrimental to gaining converts.

Reference:

The Untold History of Mormons in Japan: http://elderkikuchi.blogspot.ca/2010/05/heading-another-heading-row-1-cell-1.html

Mark E Petersen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_E._Petersen

Black People and Mormonism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_and_Mormonism

20140718

Reflection on a Simple Message From God (satire)

Sometimes it's amazing when God will inspire a family to place a quote from the Bible on the rear of their SUV, just so I can happen on it.

This afternoon I was on my way to dinner with my second Mormon family along with my two Elders when I spotted this quote as described. The first line implies that I should not rely solely on my own understanding of the spiritual life but trust in the Lord with all my heart.

No matter what I do, I am to acknowledge Him i.e. keep him constantly on my mind so that He will direct my path towards salvation.

Although I have an unspoken understanding of this quote, I am sure that by prayer and meditation, it may soon come clear to me what this quote means to me.

It comes from Proverbs 3:5-6.

"In all your ways acknowledge Him" means "Always submit to God's will" and implies a God-centred life, rather than a worldly one. Certainly it is beneficial to me to submit myself to a higher power. For self will might lead me astray, being human and imperfect

For then he will be my guide, the Shepherd finding His sheep, for I am one of his sheep.

20140717

The Syrian Crisis: Cutting Through the Propaganda (satire)


Image courtesy of Reuters

Robert Ford is why wannabe jihadis are flocking to Syria to fight against the corrupt regime of Bashir al Assad.

Thanks to strong propaganda against Syria, primarily due to its ties with North Korea, the US government has created the current crisis in that country.

Since Robert Stephen Ford is the mastermind of American sponsored terrorism in Syria, the blood is truly on the hands of American government.

However, Islam is not the enemy in Syria.

That would be the US-backed propagandists labeling Assad an evil tyrant in their mainstream media. His crime would be aligning with Iran and dealing with North Korea. Yet the majority of people suffering are Palestinians, displaced by the birth of Israel in 1947.

Hence, Syria's Arab Spring is but a continuation of the struggle between a people (the Palestinians) demonized by propaganda and a world misled into believing Israel is one of the good guys.

If you do not believe Israel is on our side, then you are an anti-Semite, even if your lack of trust in Israel is based on the cold facts that Israel acts like a client state of America and its imperialism in the Middle East.

Even America's invasion of Iraq is but a cold and calculated move for American dominance in the Middle East, or, so the propaganda goes.

However, both sides are in error since the endless war is never over, because the so-called oppressed nation of Israel will be exposed for crying wolf. Yet the sheeple will side with Israel because of right-wing propaganda painting all Muslims as caricatures of Islamic jihadism.

If you hate all Muslims then know that you have been duped by the mainstream media and your gut feeling has been manipulated by propaganda from CNN and FOX News. We all saw how well they tried to blame Amerithrax on Iraq when it's more likely that might have been an inside job.

Muslims who know the truth will laugh at this compliance with propaganda. Nobody who is Muslim in the Middle East and well educated believes al Qaeda and their ilk are Muslim. They know them to be criminals who will burn in hell for their crimes against humanity.

Once, right wing militants like the Muslim Brotherhood will cheer on those criminal terrorists who hide under the robes of a pious Muslim. Now, with the rise of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, all the Muslims have condemned them.

Those who condemn Syria should remember that Ambassador Robert Ford egged on the civilians of Syria to protest in a country where the Assad regime rules with an iron fist.

Given that the rebels did not sent their envoys to the failed peace talks in Geneva, that makes them look like they are only interested in an endless war controlled by ideology rather than by cold hard facts.

However, if you think Syrians are suffering, think again. These people in the picture are not Syrians. The smart ones with the means have already fled Syria, either fleeing to Turkey or to America. It is the unfortunate ones that end up anywhere else, including Jordan and Egypt.

For the people in the photograph are Palestinians, and they suffer due to ideology be it Shi'a or Sunni or even American foreign policy as expedited by Israel, often with prejudice favoring Jews over Arab.

Indeed, the enemy here is not Assad. It is those criminals behind al Qaeda and the Taleban, and especially the Islamic State. No Muslim in their right mind would support them. It is they who threaten, Syria and now Iraq, because their Sharia will ruin both Syria and Iraq were they to win. Any Muslim who supports the Islamic State is Muslim in name only. For the Qatari and Saudis who are behind them are crazy, crazy for oil money, and eager to pay for a holy war, contrary to Islam, all thanks to Big Oil.

Think about that the next time you line up for gas at the gas pumps: your driving privileges support terrorism. It also leads to endless war in the Middle East. So regarding any propaganda about Muslims that you hold, you've been lied to just to manipulate your fears by mainstream media.

If you really cared about the Middle East, then please sell your second car, which you don't really need. Its convenience is echoed in millions of other people with two vehicles actually fund unrest in the Middle East.

Yet, were I to tell this to people filling up their SUVs at the gas pumps, they would be angry due to their fear of losing status among their peers. It is such a waste of money but everyone is doing it, hoping that another recession controlled by powers-that-be won't cause them to lose their jobs.

For all these wars in the Middle East are the doing of elites around the world who want to make a profit from it. Who cares if you lose your jobs? Who cares if Palestinians suffer in Syria? They are also hoping you side with the thinly veiled propaganda designed to cause you to hate the Muslims.

Still, what good does this do except gain more subscribers for the propaganda machine called mainstream media? Indeed, the mainstream media sources are merely propaganda outlets for US foreign policy which has caused much of the civil unrest in the world today. By pushing democracy, America has only caused anarchy in the world.

In my opinion, Muslims were never our enemies. Islamic terrorists did not fly planes into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That is only what the elites want you to believe. You have been lied to.

A jihadi is not Islamic -- he is an Islamist. The term "Islamic terrorist" is used for propaganda, and is only true within context of mainstream media. They are a corporate terrorist network that is nominally Islamic in that they take what is in the Quran and its hadiths only to utterly distort its true meaning.

I'm sure that people who believe otherwise think that what I am writing is propaganda. However, I am telling you truth based on what Muslims tell me. They were never the enemy. That has always been truth. I am just saddened that few people are willing to discover the truth about what Muslims think about those quasi-Muslim terrorists - the Islamists - that the mainstream media write about.

However, it's not up to me to change the minds of bigots. They would rather listen to the propaganda than work to open their minds to Truth.

It is Sayyid Qutb who is the father of Islamism. However, the acts of violent revolution are influenced by his words.

By "setting up the kingdom of God on earth, and eliminating the kingdom of man," Islamists think they are "taking power from the hands of its human usurpers and restoring it to God alone".

Instead, they are taking power into their own hands and forcing sharia in contravention to the Quran by limiting the choices of their Muslim subjects in the Islamic State to submit or die.

Thus, the Islamic State is merely continuing human usurpation and oppression of Muslims by Islamists who are political ideologists bent on total control and domination of the Ummah that they are purported of restoring power to God alone.

Since this has occurred in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, it is still a part of the Syrian crisis. That crisis has proven time and again of being orchestrated by American foreign policy in Syria, and funded by Qatari and Saudi sympathizers of the Syrian rebels.

For the almost-religious zeal of the American government to force democracy on the Middle East, especially Afghanistan, Iraq and even Syria will only lead to more anarchy in the Middle East.

Perhaps then, the Islamic State is only a symptom of that anarchy, which makes Islamism a Muslim answer to globalism. Might that mean jihadi is just another name for "freedom fighter" and the freedom that they are fighting for is the extreme of the right to freedom of religion?



Originally posted March 2, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Update posted July 10, 2014 zy 1:29 AM

Reference:

A shocking image of Syria's brutal war - The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/28/shocking-image-syria-brutal-war-yarmouk

Who is Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford? The Architect of US Sponsored Terrorism in Syria:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-ambassador-robert-stephen-ford-the-architect-of-us-sponsored-terrorism-in-syria/5385973

The Value of Role Reversal (satire)

In all the talk of feminism giving women equal rights with men, why is it that women get annoyed with passive men when they are no less aggressive than men?

In my first relationship, I was passive and my girlfriend at the time was naturally aggressive in all positive sense of the word. Yet she wondered why I wouldn't take the initiative.

Perhaps some women are so afraid of taking the leading role in a male-female relationship that they resort the principle of sharing responsibility in a relationship and get annoyed when a man doesn't take his responsibility seriously.

I know that my passivity is a trait that helps me in a relationship because it helps me to determine how aggressive the woman is. From my experience, it appears that some women think they are doing all the work in the relationship and forget that in most traditional relationships, it is the men who do most of the work by initiating most activities they share together.

As for being totally passive, I would deny this because my aggression is channelled into my passivity. This is not passive-aggressive behavior. This is passivity moderated by aggression into a creative aspect of the relationship. In a sense, it is a role reversal in that I am behaving contrary to the traditional male role which is contrary to the ideals of post-modern society.

While I may behave passively in a relationship, my passivity is not used as a weapon but as a tool to facilitate change in the few women I have dated. As well, it may well be that the reason why my relationships were short-lived is because my passivity is effective in meeting my needs.

For the whole purpose of role reversal is to help both men and women to see that not all men and women are traditionally bound to the myth that "all men are dominant and all women submissive."

YMMV

The Buddha is My Christ (satire)

It is a flawed theology to fear a non-Christian would go to Hell practising their own faith, be it Buddhist, Islam, Judaism or any religion other than Christianity that promote moral conduct.

In assuming that if I don't believe in Jesus, then I'll go to Hell, the conservative Christian is endorsing a religious opinion that is based on flawed logic.

In my opinion, this is the devilish nature of that assumption: condemnation of non-believers and fear of non-Christian faiths.

Whether or not I go to Hell is not determined by what I believe, but by how I conduct myself. This too is true in Buddhism. Indeed, both faiths require their members to repent from immoral conduct.

Therefore, the religiously faithful of any religion who follow the tenets of their religion will not go to Hell by practising their faith.

Thus I question the condemnation of unbelievers by any religion. Though, Buddhism endorses us to not to blindly accept what the Buddha said but to test everything that is Buddhist.

Perhaps this is why I like Mormonism. While the history of the Mormon is complex, the willingness of Mormons to be open to limited religious pluralism is a good sign. It shows the ability to adapt to the influence of post-modern eucheminism on Mormon thought.

Because I know that unconditional love is the root of Buddhism and Mormonism, I am sure that it will be possible for me to moderate my Buddhist ideals with Mormon ideals. Yet it is unlikely that the mixing of the different flavors of both faiths will lead to strengthening of my core belief about unconditional love.

For that Love empowers both Mormons and Buddhists to improve their lives for the better.

As I grow in my experience as a neophyte Buddhist Mormon, I hope to disprove the assumption by naïve conservative Christians that the syncretism of Buddhism and Mormonism will condemn me to Hell.

In Mormonism, a member eventually will be reborn in one of three kingdoms, the Celestial, the terrestrial and the telestial. Yet the afterlife is not of this world. Even so, the metaphor of the Mormon afterlife can be applied to this life.

If you follow the moral code of Mormonism, then it is possible to achieve the glory of the Celestial kingdom. If you follow the moral code of a non-Mormon religion, then you may achieve the glory of the terrestrial kingdom. If you follow your own moral code, then the telestial kingdom is for you.

In contrast, if you slip up but stay faithful to the Buddhist precepts of moral conduct, then you may achieve Nirvana, which is freedom from the cycle of birth and death in the Six Realms of Desire. If you just follow your own moral code, then you will live your own life.

Whatever my destiny is as a Buddhist Mormon, my depth of faith in unconditional love determines the strength of my moral code which determines my moral conduct. Through meditation and prayer, it is possible to live by my moral code and improve my moral conduct.

Although I am not perfect, I hope to improve my life by abstaining from caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and dangerous drugs. By doing so I plan on improving my health so that I may live long enough to be of service to other people, which is a core Buddhist tenet.

Since Mormonism is dedicated to service to other people, I find that it is amenable to my core Buddhist beliefs.

In Jodo Shinshu, the Japanese Buddhism that is the faith that I was born in, it is said that its founder Shinran Shonin once said, "I gladly will follow my master Honen to hell."

If conservative Christians might condemn me to Hell for "serving two masters", then that is based cherry picking Biblical quotes to support their religious opinion.

So, I certainly do not believe I am going to Hell. Although I have once stated that the Buddha is my Christ in jest, in all seriousness it is the foundation of the spiritual aspects of my life.

By declaring that "the Buddha is my Christ", I am only confirming the influence of the Buddha and the Christ on inspiring my life as a Buddhist Mormon.

The Buddhist Mormon (satire)

Today, I Googled "Buddhist Mormon", and discover this gem called Mormons and Buddhists: Overcoming the Language Barrier, which is one of three articles that inspires me to write this blog entry.

In both Buddhism and Mormonism, unconditional love is their common ground. For unconditional love is another word for charity and loving-kindness, which is known in Buddhist as metta.

As the basis of all forms of charity and loving-kindness, it could be said that unconditional love is the spiritual language that both Buddhists and Mormons speak. They just say it in different ways.

Therefore, it is possible to be both a Buddhist and Mormon.

As the author of the Mormon Matters article How Mormons Are Buddhist and Vice Versa writes, "the beauty of true Mormonism is that when we find truth in another religion, we have no obligation to reject it, but rather, are encouraged to embrace it."

Indeed, the religious pluralism of Japanese people who are spiritually inclined is why they are "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhists."

At the root of all of this is unconditional love.

There is so much that Mormonism and Buddhism have in common that dialogue between a Buddhist and a Mormon is enlightening.

Here is the passage in the article that impressed me a lot:

The Rev. Hirano explained that one of the ideas he wants to change is about mourning in Buddhist funerals. “We want to be sad, we want to feel the pain of the loss of that person. That’s why we wear black. I know that we will be together again in one place, that I will be together with them again, but I’m still here and it hurts.”

Sister Takasaki remarked that she had never heard it put that way and concurred about acknowledging the pain of loss.


Through dialogue and study of both Buddhism and Mormonism, it is possible to realize that both faiths share in their common root in unconditional love.

References:

How Mormons Are Buddhist and Vice Versa: http://mormonmatters.org/2008/03/12/why-mormons-are-buddhists-vice-versa/

Mormons and Buddhists: Overcoming the Language Barrier: http://thebuddhistmormon.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/hello-world/

Mormonism and Buddhism in dialogue: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865599471/Mormonism-and-Buddhism-in-dialogue.html?pg=all

20140713

What Kind of Image Do You Present? (satire)


It is all about humility as the antidote to narcissistic behavior.

I would rather present the image of low self-esteem than be a narcissist who seeks revenge against his imagined enemies. What isn't an issue here is self-esteem.

All that is needed for a person is a validated self-image which endures all adversity for the sake of survival. The very fear of the bully leads children of low self-esteem to do nothing when another child is bullied, lest each of them become a target.

However, the cowardice of bullies is what prevents them from making victims of a group of people, except if they have a tinge of sociopathy.

Therefore, no one is special or unique, lest their ego become distorted. Unconditional love may be a factor in preventing narcissism, because not one person has a monopoly on it.

For all of us are blessed with love, yet few of us are to realize its use in validating one's self-image.

Even when it is self-love, the truly compassionate of us sees the joy in sharing love. For it would be impossible to have a monopoly on narcissism.

Though it would be sad if a narcissist thought people loved him for being unique and special. Truth be told, we admire the narcissist out of pity, especially when he is repentant.

Personally, I would not love him because he is special but I would love the narcissist in spite of his positive and negative attributes.

Without his uniqueness, he is just as deserving of love as an ordinary person. Though it is important to respect other people's boundaries.

When their "me-ness" is almost endless, be compassionate towards the narcissists and show them respect. If they leave you at peace, then they have show you respect, too.

It is truly in how you present yourself to other people that counts, not that the whole world revolves around you alone.

This is why my self-image is based on what appears to be low self-esteem but is a compassionate and kindly image of a humbled self.

It is only through the karma of humility that the desire for attention arising from narcissism is remedied. Those people who refuse the gift of humility are like moths dancing in flight around a candle.

For humility will quench the fires of desire that in which narcissism burns for attention in today's world.

Acceptance (satire)

Sometimes society practises a covert form of sociopathy by shaming successful people, merely for being sociopaths, narcissists and empaths.

I find the vitriolic name-calling of such people to be objectionable. All it shows to me is a cold-heartedness inspired by fear that is totally unacknowledged and often denied, only to be projected onto other people who do not meet society's sometimes narrow definition of compassion and understanding.

Ultimately, society becomes monstrous when ill-will towards others people results in unwarranted hatred towards, sociopaths, narcissists and empaths.

For we are all a part of society, whether we self identify with "being normal", whatever that means, or being a sociopath, narcissist or empath. Society's tendency to project its own monstrous cold-heartedness onto people considered "not normal" results in such people as being monsters.

I affirmed they are no such thing, and society is better off with successful sociopaths in business, successful narcissists in show business, and successful empaths in all endeavors for which they are a match.

This is not the time to be drawing a line between "them" and "us", but to work for the enlightened times of today where nobody is special and everyone is in it for the long haul towards progress for the Earth.

Instead of hate, let there be love for all people regardless of the labels that might divide us.

Acceptance of our fellow sentient beings leads to a stronger society, for the good of us all.

Happiness is Peace of Mind (satire)

It is said in Buddhism that seeking happiness, which comes and goes with a person's mood, is desire which may distract the devout from Nirvana and thus lead to rebirth in the Six Realms of Desire.

In order to escape suffering in the Six Realms, I would need to extinguish the desire to be happy so that true happiness arises.

True happiness is found in the freedom from desire itself. This implies mastering my passions by behaving more compassionately towards other people who have grown to care for.

Buddhism does not advocate the neglect of family life. Rather, Buddhists are urged to act mindfully while keeping the Five Precepts (no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false speech and no intoxicants such as coffee, tea, alcohol, dangerous drugs, and tobacco).

Even so, I like feeling happy once in a while, and associate that feeling with peace of mind. Deep down though, such fleeting happiness is due to the work of unconditional love.

However, the pursuit of happiness is indeed potentially the pursuit of suffering when a person desires to sustain it to the exclusion of the main goal in life, which is to fulfill your spiritual journey through life.

In escaping suffering, the Buddhist does so by reflecting on the Four Noble Truths (life is suffering, suffering is due to endless craving (desire), relieve desire, and embark on the Eightfold Path to aid in that relief).

It is through meditation that the spiritual journey begins by first relieving suffering by accepting the Four Noble Truths.

When my mind is calmed, I go on to meditate more deeply on the fleetingness of happiness. With my desire thus quenched, it is possible to develop peace of mind so that true happiness may arise.

Happiness is indeed peace of mind. Be ever watchful and strive for it!

20140710

Mary Magdalene as Shamaness (satire)

In Japan's ancient past, broken dolls representing an unknown fertility goddess are found in certain burial mounds.

This is also symbolic of female initiates in a shaman priestess cult: the broken dolls represent the psychotic break during initiation when initiates see visions.

Thus, it validates the connection between what is miscalled madness and shamanic initiation.

Indeed, some of the mad may be potential shamans who have lost touch with their ancient culture. With our drive to only produce productive members of society, we have stigmatized people needlessly.

Having said this, the story of Mary Magdalene may be the story of a shaman-priestess.

How so? Mary Magdalena was probably a priestess of Inanna.

With the help of God, Mary was healed by the Anointed One, and supposedly worshipped by angels and celestial beings. This broke the mirror with which she viewed the world. Then she visited the psychic underworld of her mind, and returned healed.

This is not unlike the inner journey all women go through as part of their cycle of life.

For certain aspects of madness such as mania, psychosis, hallucinations, and so on are a natural part of each of our lives. Indeed, we are all blessed with a spiritual side to our whole being when we are receptive to it.

If we only reflected on it to aid our spiritual journey through life, then much in our lives could be healed that remains unhealed because we have had the instruction thrown away by fearful Christians and misguided public health officials.

Thus, Mary's story is the story of all women. We only need look at it closely to see features of it in our own individual lives.

In my opinion, madness is a fact of life, and its stigma as "mental illness" ought to be removed by normalizing the use of the terms which have been used negatively, and thus use them for the benefit of society. For mild forms of madness ought to be put to good use before the misguided in society mistreat the mad.

I call upon people to treat the mad with kindness and respect. For the days of shamans is over, and all that is left to do in life is to dance and sing for the greater glory of the divine and all that is holy.

Originally posted May 14, 2005 at 9:37 PM

Reference:

The Descent of Inanna: A Myth for our Times: http://storytreeaustralia.blogspot.ca/p/the-exultant-myth-cycle-of-sumerian.html

20140709

Cracking the Rejection or Die Meme (satire)

It's sad when the third option is missing i.e. someone loves you, but cannot openly express it, because the meaning of unconditional love sometimes takes a lifetime to accept.

While it may be true that "it is sad that everyone you love either rejects you or dies", this meme limits the choices to rejection or death. Thus it is a fallacy that does not hold true in real life.

Indeed, this fallacy about love holds no basis in real life at all.

What if we project our rejection of another person's love based on conditions placed on that love? Only in the manga on which this meme is based does this argument hold true.

In real life, some people you love have never truly rejected you. If they are parents or other loved ones, then they may die before you one day. Their love for you is real, even when it seems otherwise.

However, on the rare chance that everyone close to you might have rejected you, please do not give up on yourself. For there will always be someone you trust who will not give up on you either, even if it is only you.

I am not merely saying this to encourage rugged individualism, but also endorse reaching out to other people who you love and share mutual trust.

For people who are closest to us and dear to our hearts, that love never dies due to the power of unconditional love.



Update on Books I am Currently Reading (satire)

Books I am currently reading:

The Small Talk Handbook, Melissa Wadsworth - I'm reading this to help prepare for future scenarios where it might come in handy.

The Narcissism Epidemic, Jean M Twenge & W Keith Campbell - Certainly narcissism is getting to be a problem, but rather than address the empath and sociopath aspects of this problem, it all gets lumped under narcissism. Within this context, I finished ME Thomas' Confessions of a Sociopath and Jon Ronson's The Sociopath Test as well as Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind.

Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion - This is going to take awhile to read. Perhaps I'm over my league here. I mainly bought this because Whedon created Buffy, Angel and Firefly. So I might be short-sighted in my purchase.

No god but God, Reza Aslan - In this post-911 world, it makes sense to keep abreast of the history of Islam. I started with this book, which leads me to...

Islam, Karen Armstrong - The definitive book on Islam, even though it might be weak on the intervening history between Mohammed and the mid 18th century when the West certainly conflicted at great length with Islam, even though by then it was starting on its decline.

American Crucifixion, Alex Beam - While this book comes across as anti-Mormon, I'm not giving up the chance to read an expose on Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. So far, it reads like a Western, complete with megalomania and a sociopathy so complex, I'm almost siding with the ex-Mormons.

However, the favorable spin on Mormonism tends to condemn the apostate a little too harshly. For example, the slut-shaming of innocent women courageous enough to not participate in Smith's polygamy scheme is unwarranted. Even so, I find the muted name-calling from the pro-Mormon literature unwarranted as well. It made the polygamy chapter hard to get through. Pro-Mormon literature blames Bennett for polygamy, and proclaims Smith innocent of all charges.

My reason for so many books:

IMO I may suffer from mild ADD. When a book gets tiresome to read, I get bored. So I rest a moment, and then read a new book from the stack. Currently, of the above mentioned titles, the Mormon book and the two books on Islam are being read more often than the Small Talk Handbook

If I feel like curling up to a book for a good read, then I can do so with any of the seven books I am currently reading. For me, book reading beats going to bars, hanging out at the beach, and shopping. Though, at some point in the near future, I am going to have to get off my ass and trade in a heap of books I've read.

As for now, I have a lot of reading to do and love it.

20140707

Laugh at the devil (poem)

Laugh at the devil
and he shall flee.
Laugh - God, damn it - laugh!
It relieves misery.

Laughter is a gift
so very divine.
Its message is to uplift,
and to let the heart shine.

So laugh at the devil
until he does flee.
Laugh - God bless you! Laugh!
Laughter brings you victory!

For good cheer arises
When we all laugh aloud.
It's the voice of surprises,
That makes us all proud.

Laugh at the devil
and he shall flee.
Laugh - God, damn it - laugh!
It's the sound of glory.

Here's To Life (poem)

Having sunshine, when it used to rain,
is like wiping all those tears away
and forgetting about the pain.
Here's to life I enjoy, just for today.

Identifying Anger Issues In Relationships (satire)

In a new relationship?

Check the closet. If the clothes hangers are deformed, then quite possibly the new partner has anger issues.

Do not confront her about the clothes hangers. Just know that your days with her are numbered.

While awaiting the end of the relationship, treat her respect and love. Forgive her plenty of times.

This is not the time to judge her since you really love her. Love her a lot. You know what to do.

Hopefully, by the time you two are this close, your love for each other is improving the relationship as well as each of you. It will help you to trust each other.

When the time is right to bring up the clothes hangers, and you'll know that is when you two start living together, go into her closet to put your clothes away on those hangers.

This is now when you ask "Darling, why are these hangers like this?"

If the relationship ends sometimes after this, the clothes hangers had absolutely nothing to do with it.

If, instead, you two grow closer in love, never forget the closet hangers, because if she can deform clothes hangers, then she can choke you to death when she lets her anger control her.

However, she won't ever do that to you because she loves you. So stop acting in any way to make her go bad-ass on you.

Should you be one of those empaths, narcissists or sociopaths you would not have made it this far. Her anger issues were because of your behavior, be it emotional overreactions, selfishness or abuse. If she were on the ball, then she would have kicked you out a long time ago.

Deal with it and move on.

The Essence of Buddhism Reincarnation (satire)

In essence, the consciousness-stream is an evolving consciousness which on death, becomes one of the causes that contribute to the arising of a new aggregation.

Death is known as dissolution of the aggregates.

At the death of the previous personality, a new personality is born, like the flame of a dying candle used to light the flame of another. The new person's consciousness is neither identical to nor entirely different from that of the deceased but the two form a causal continuum or stream.

Transmigration is due to karma or volitional action and its basic cause is the abiding of consciousness in spiritual ignorance. When ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ends.

However, this consciousness-stream is not a soul and has no permanent existence apart from the body.

Since transmigration is due to karma (action), the stream is actually of a temporary spiritual nature. It is not the primary reason for meditation. Hence not all schools of Buddhism promote reincarnation.

As for spiritual ignorance, this consists of ignorance of the first Buddhist truth that life is full of suffering. Denial of this basic truth is what leads to ignorance. Acceptance of this truth leads to the second truth, that suffering is due to ignorant craving. Knowing that ignorant craving leads to suffering results in realization of the third truth, that suffering can be ended. In the fourth truth are the Eightfold Path in ending suffering. These truths are known as the Four Noble Truths.

In the Eightfold Path are the following divided into three parts, consisting of Wisdom (right view and right intention), and Ethical conduct (right speech, right action, right livelihood) and Concentration (right effort, right mindfulness, tight concentration).

Meditation is said to aid in ending spiritual ignorance.

Reference:

Reincarnation: Buddhism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation#Buddhism
Four Noble Truths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths
Eightfold Path: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eightfold_Path

Please Read Before You Kill Yourself (satire)

This is an open letter to any teenager who thinks about suicide all the time.

Sometimes when I read about a teenager wanting to kill herself, I wonder how horrible her life must be to obsess about suicide. Yet I always hold back from asking those pertinent questions out of respect for her privacy.

Instead, I provide emotional support by stating clearly that I have faith she will keep on living, despite her depression and dark outlook on her own life.

She might even write, "You don't know how much I hurt inside."

That makes me hurt inside. Just reading it makes me wince. However, it doesn't make me want to kill myself.

Why does she have a death wish? Is life so horrible she can't keep on living?

It makes me angry to see teenagers in this state of mind. Yet I know the suicidal are beautiful people who have lost hope.

"Beautiful? But I feel ugly inside."

So do things that make you feel beautiful. Stop obsessing about the dark and be embraced by the light of all the people who care about you.

You don't want to? Then, please, make the effort to choose non-violent ways of dealing with your emotional pain, including medication and therapy.

When you hurt, I hurt. You see, I used to have fleeting thoughts about suicide, but lack the guts to follow through. I am actually very glad I lack that kind of "courage".

For it repulses me to think of death as the only solution to a wretched life. Yet I carry on, because my life isn't focused on darkness, and - clichéd as it sounds - I have seen the light.

Life might not seem pretty, but it's better to remain alive, even when you hurt.

Why? Because there are more reasons to stay alive than to kill yourself. Though the best one is, you have many people who don't want you to throw your life away so foolishly.

In fact, you just telling all of us you want to kill yourself shows to me how much you want a reason to stay alive. We'll miss you if you leave so suddenly without even giving your life a chance to get through this crisis.

While you live, I feel sorry about your suffering. If you choose to kill yourself, then I will only feel anger at the fact you chose to end your life rather than finding a non-violent solution to your suffering.

I might even miss you if we had share a few messages with me holding your hand, so to speak.

However, it is impossible to pity the dead and feel sorry for the unliving. There is only a terrible loss of life, and perhaps someone I'll miss.

My only question is, "Why not love yourself?" For your life is precious enough for you to love.

However, if you think your death will make me feel sorry for you, then you're wrong. For I feel nothing but unconditional love for you from the bottom of my heart. The sad refrain that "Nobody loves me" becomes a lie because now I have declared my unconditional love for you.

It makes no difference if you reject my love; for love is what inspires me to write these words.

20140706

Normalizing Mental Illness (satire)

"By foregrounding intrinsic evil (the diagnosis of) psychopathy marginalizes social problems and excuses institutional failures at rehabilitation. We need not understand a criminal's troubled past or environmental influences. We need not reach out a hand to help him along a pathway to redemption. The psychopath is irredeemable, a dangerous outsider who must be contained or banished. Circular in its reasoning, psychopathy is nonetheless alluring in its simplicity." --- Karen Franklin, researcher in ethics of forensic psychology

Though there is intrinsic evil in unsuccessful psychopaths, this is a fallacy because successful sociopaths show that they are not always evil.

If a parent neglects a child for "being evil", then perhaps a psychopathy might be accidentally nurtured. However, not all child sociopaths become serial killers.

Therefore, it is a fallacy to assume a sociopath is evil. Rather, the assumption that what we fear in other people denotes evil is magical thinking.

Perhaps the concept of good and evil needs be rethought without reliance on the magical thinking inherent in attributing it to moral character.

Perhaps mental illness needs to be normalized.

Truth helps me (poem)

When the facts be known,
all romantic and silly notions
fall away, to be forgotten
as the truth helps me see
the situation oh-so-clearly.

Yet I do not mourn the loss
of passion, for my heart has
risen above it all, only to
come to know true love
in its many-splendored guise.

Indeed, passion lost implies
freedom's reign over desire.
Through mindful control of passion,
the ego's hold on the mind
is released forevermore.

By letting go of clinging,
I let unconditional love
inspire me to see the truth
of egolessness in life.
For that I am so grateful.

Originally posted March 15, 2005 at 9:48 PM

Neuroses: When the Protection is Effective (satire)

From what I've been able to figure out, the Buddha's job was not to save the earth but the human mind.

After all, meditation is less costly than a pill, and cannot be patented. For Buddhism does not work well if treated like a religion.

Though it relieves neuroses when meditation is regularly practiced with sincerity.

Neuroses are what the doctors have omitted when they updated their mental health "bible" to the Fourth version. This is because a neurosis is actually based on protective defense mechanisms.

Meditation helps the meditator to examine these defense mechanisms in detail.

Originally posted April 22, 2013 at 2:37 AM


Unconditional Love is the Root of Mental Health (satire)

In reality, fewer than 50 percent of people are truly normal. The rest of society might be sociopathic, empaths, narcissists , depressives, bipolar, borderline or merely neurotic.

However, it is by socially isolating the mentally ill, whether by their hand or by society that they are rendered abnormal, that their illness becomes worse, due to the stressful nature of that isolation.

Even though mental illness is not always the consequences of bad choices, it is also not a moral failure. Rather, it may be due to maladaptation to stress.

For all people are human, equal under the law, and all people are social animals. As human beings, it is also normal to care for other people.

Therefore we need to do more to help maintain the social welfare of all people including the mentally ill. This includes seeing them as human beings, rather than as broken people.

All people are deserving of love, for unconditional love is what defines mental health.

20140703

Love Free Speech More Than Israel (satire)

Those people who do not dissent the fallacy of Israeli dominance for fear of being called anti-Semitic are afraid to honor free speech due to their political correctness, which is a form of self tyranny.

This only leads to a totalitarian state, and loss of all our rights and freedoms.

For I love free speech more than I do Israel. If this is the reason why GooglePlus has warned me to tone it down, then they are suppressing free speech too. In doing so, they give in to the evil of totalitarianism in the name of political correctness.

This is an evil they swore not to do, but compromised their vow to "do no evil" all because of the false flag event called 911, all because they were afraid of the CIA sending them anthrax in the mail.

Thus is it a greater evil to let Israel idolizers to use anti-semitism name-calling to put the politically correct chill of dissent.

In the name of free speech I object to this political correctness embedded in GooglePlus.

To My Love Part 2 (satire)

20140601: 0654H

To people who wonder if love might be God, the answer is "No." for God is the author of good and evil, and unconditional love is good.

Thus, that Love is but a quality of that which is good.

Let the wise of you decide if that quality is also of God. in saying "Love is God" or "God is love", one becomes like the author of evil since one could easily say, "lust is of the devil," or "Satan is lust" or the like. This too is untrue.

Since God is truly the author of good and evil, then lust is merely eros and not agapé, which surely is unconditional love.

20140611: 0516H

I love science fiction, and Mormon cosmology is in between sci-fi and Buddhism. There is definite manga potential in this.

20140611: 1315H

I also love reading about the mind, especially Jon Ronson's 'The Psychopath Test: a journey through the madness industry'. So far, ronson introduces us to a psychopath who is benign, a psychiatrist who caused a bunch of neurologists to expose their narcissistic personalities but wouldn't spoil the fun by admitting to it, and a criminal psychopath whose keepers thin they are preventing him from harming society, but who the Scientologists think is sane and should be set free.

But wait: psychopaths fake sanity all the time. Indeed, medicating them does not help them.

IMO I love this book because it teaches me that unconditional love is possible for everyone to experience except perhaps narcissists and psychopaths.

20140612: 0843H

Unconditional love is disrespected by sociopaths. It defines everyone else but the people jaded by their simplistic definition of love.

For it is the limits of human love which jade people who have no idea of what unconditional love truly means.

Thus is it my goal of this journal to define that Love.

20140613: 1243H

Unconditional love has no antithesis. For hate always has conditions placed on it. Nor is love the opposite of hate; instead, hate is love's dark companion, its complement.

Yet unconditional love is free of such a dichotomy (and thus has no opposite).

That which is conditional leads ultimately to hate. Thus fickle human love, especially in its form of eros, contains the seeds of hate, even if it is not hate.

Indeed, it is these conditions that lead to hate. Why? Because conditions bind love and imprison it until the love dies, and is reborn as hate. yet that hate hides a confusion of love and hate, fighting a battle, day and night. The only way to free a person from this is unconditional love.

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the superior man, empowered by unconditional love, is the complement of his inferiors. In thinking himself grater than another person, does his actions verify his superiority?

Even when he is stronger and more wise, the superior man who lords it over his inferiors has yet to conquer himself. for he who thinks he is better than another person knows nothing of unconditional love, which renders all of us equal to others in the heart.

Perhaps this is why lust is useless in bonding the lover to his beloved, since base desires come and go like clouds in the sky.

Yet that love is ever-present in the life of the superior man who is guided by it. For we are united as one in love.

20140619: 1123

Some people mistake unconditional love for the Christ or even God, but it is heresy to worship love over God.

20140702

Platonic Friendships: The True Meaning of Love (satire)

What do I love a person who thinks her world is crap, and that her smile is a scary thing?

Because no person is perfect, and imperfect people deserve my love, even though their self delusions might prevent them from understanding why I love them.

They might just become weirded out by the fact I love them so much.

So I rarely disclose my feelings to them. Yet all it takes is a goodbye, and I see how touched they are by how much I care for them.

It is tragic to know that we might never ever become lovers because of her own idiosyncrasies. Yet I love her anyway.

For I even fear to tell her that I wish I could help her understand that her life is not crap, if only she was able to accept a deeper relationship than the friendship we now have.

Perhaps I am only fooling myself by believing that falling in love with me could improve her outlook on life.

If only she knew my true feelings, then she might run. It might be because of the age gap, with me in my 50s and her in her 20s.

So instead of telling her of my undying love for her, I flirt with her. Today I noticed she'd dyed her hair blond, and hope she realized I like it. Indeed, the amount of time I spent with her ought to have clued her in.

It is sad in a way to have crushes like this, the ones in which I cannot express my undying love to her, lest she run away.

Personally, I think she knows I carry a flame for her, though it might be wishful thinking on my part. It isn't proper to ask a potential love prospect if she likes me a bit more than just being friends.

Even so, this delusion I have that us falling in love with each other might be a solution to her worldview that her life is crap is seductive. Secretly I wish she liked me as much as I like her.

I even think she knows that I like her even though she thinks she's weird and creepy, even her own smile. Because I love her, it would be wrong to even tell her my feelings for her. If the knowledge that someone loves you scares you, would you enjoy that someone telling you? I doubt it, so this relationship is going to be another case of unrequited love.

For to love someone so much that you would never ever tell her the truth, and to respect her feelings so much that you keep it to yourself, might be an unusual way to love someone.

I suppose that I don't tell her the truth because I'm in love with love itself. Perhaps my love for her is unhealthy, but telling her the truth might ruin things between us.

This is why I am going to keep quiet about my personal feelings for her, because that is what love is actually about, the ability to keep the ones you care about safe from harm. It's as though I believe her knowing how much I love her might kill our friendship, which I value very much, much more than my feelings of love.

Perhaps platonic friendships are so great because eros will fuck such friendships up.

20140630

Reincarnation: Origen versus Buddhist (satire)

'If it can be shown that an incorporeal and reasonable being has life in itself independently of the body and that it is worse off in the body than out of it; then beyond a doubt bodies are only of secondary importance and arise from time to time to meet the varying conditions of reasonable creatures. Those who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrariwise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things, their bodies are once more annihilated. They are thus ever vanishing and ever reappearing.' --- Origen, De Principiis

In Buddhism, transmigration of the consciousnesses-stream is taught as fact.

Since a consciousness is reborn in the Six Realms of Desire, most Buddhists either consciously choose to be reborn to aid other consciousnesses in achieving Nirvana or believe the only reason for transmigration in the Six Realms is due to one's karma e.g. good karma results in getting closer to Nirvana while evil karma results in rebirth in the Six Realms.

Indeed, we are born in human form to work off evil karma through transmigration of the consciousness-stream. Thus Nirvana is the end result of many lifetimes of good karma, for transmigration of the consciousness is no more. Good karma is the result of good actions arising from following the Buddhist precepts (protecting the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, protecting your parents, protecting yourself by avoiding harm to self (no cursing, no unhealthy sexuality, no intoxicants).

Origen does not have it right, because he calls the consciousness "soul", implying a permanent thing that exists after death, throughout eons of transmigrations. Actually, a consciousness is not a soul, but lasts for a finite number of reincarnations until it achieves Nirvana.

Therefore the spiritual destiny of a Buddhist is to be eventually reborn as a Buddha.

Reference:

Rebirth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirth_(Buddhism)

20140625

Quitting Smoking (satire)

If I for one moment choose medication to help me wean off nicotine, then I'd be a goner. Chantix worked, and I never felt better.

Why would need another medication when its use is unwarranted?

My recent bout with smoking never wavered above three a day. So quitting smoking is going to be relatively easy, even though I want to buy one right now. I won't though, because I can live to my side of this bargain with God as I know him. And I know his minions will fail me, and deny me baptism because of their petty misgivings about common law.

Of course, they don't know me or my spiritual constitution. Life is indeed better since I stopped smoking.

How glad am I to be free!

To not smoke even though a little voice is urging me to do so: that is the easy part. It's not just the money saved that inspired me to remain dedicated to quitting. It is also the knowledge that I have it in me to do this healthy act of not smoking because I made that commitment willingly.

For the same strength of will that led to smoking is now the strength of will that leads me to not smoke. I do not do so with expectation of much from God as I know him. Rather, I do this because it frees me from the fate of a smoker, my breathing ragged and phlegm at my throat.

It's been great knowing you, nicotine, the brief high after inhaling now a memory. Actually, I have discovered that my meditations are much more than calm and peaceful than before, when I was smoking. Now they have a clarity that stays with me longer.

Without medication, I know I can stop smoking.

A House On Fire (satire)

Life in this world is like people living in a house that is on fire.

That fire is our passions and desires for worldly things, even if it is peace of mind. If for one minute we follow even one passion, then we are lost as our heart is aflame in desire.

If we cling to this world as reality and ignore cultivating the spiritual aspect of our lives, then truly are we worldly. In becoming fans of the world, we forget that the world is only a reflection of the society it reflects.

Thus life is like a house on fire.

People take this world as reality pursuing worldly projects and pleasures without realizing that the house is on fire and will soon burn down (due to the inevitability of death).

Bodhisattva - the Bodhisattva ideal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva#Bodhisattva_ideal

Without a Soul to Save, Only the Good Life Awaits (satire)

I'm pretty sure the fact that The Book of Mormon is in the English of King James version makes it a difficult read for me.

What if, instead of the Celestial Kingdom, I'm fine with rebirth in the Terrestrial Kingdom?

I'm not sure if a Mormon can understand that. In Buddhism, the reason why there is no baptism is because the metaphors about water refer to how the multitude of Buddhists are a part of mighty ocean of wisdom and love.

However, the goal of an earnest Buddhist is not to be reborn in the Six Realms of Desire but to escape rebirth itself through meditation and related acts of mindfulness.

I suppose meditation is mysterious to a Mormon who equates baptism and giving up worldliness with achieving the Celestial Kingdom in the Afterlife.

Nobody in America can really fathom how sitting on your ass achieving calmness of mind is supposed to lead to nirvana, let alone Enlightenment, except perhaps a Buddhist.

Yet that calm mind leads to the clarity of mind to realize almost the same thing that a Christian knows to be true: seeking fame and glory does not lead to a truly good life and neither does seeking riches.

In this way is Buddhism almost on the same page as Christianity. For, even without baptism, I can avoid the delusions that chasing fame may lead to, and also avoid the pitfalls of financial success.

After all, the Buddhist principle of no-self implies that there is no soul to save. Instead, there is only a good life to make my own.

20140623

Meditation Has Freed My Mind (satire)

Having meditated regularly over the past 20 years or so, I would consider meditation to be a deeper form of prayer that has cleared my mind and aided in gleaning insight from the careful introspection which has accompanied it.

However, meditation is not like addressing God, then making a request of him, and closing with an 'Amen.' Instead, it has been the way that I focus on my breathing, while letting go of clinging to the thoughts which continue on dancing in my head.

While I do not know when I realized that there is no way in the world to stop thinking, it is possible to ignore most of my thoughts, except for the thoughts which I cling to and build into prose about stuff that is very interesting to me.

By letting go of clinging to my thoughts, I arrive at what might be called "no-thought" as in "no thought do I cling to, lest I forget about meditation." Having not clung to a single thought, it is like I have been freed from thinking itself.

It is as though the freedom that meditation provides is found by rendering sedate the mind so that it can clearly see the way, rather than being distracted by the monkey mind, untrained and striving for freedom.

For freedom exists within the framework of rules. Without rules, there is only licentiousness, the mother of true chaos.

Yet that chaos can be rendered null and void through meditation, which clears the mind and helps to focus it on liberation from the very same rules that helps the devotee reach Nirvana.

Only then can the devotee let go freely without regret, knowing that all those years of sitting on his ass has paid off.

For meditation has freed my mind from thinking, so that I may think more clearly about specific thoughts such as liberation of the mind. It begins with the thought that the mind is essentially free to think, and does so almost all the time while I am awake.

Perhaps when I am asleep, the mind may think but I am not aware of those thoughts, even though they may arise during a dream.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, i have actively meditated for over 20 years. When once it was difficult to meditate, quite possibly because I was doing it wrong, now it is almost too easy to meditate and enter the "zone". The key to meditation is to smile with joy, and work from there.

Too often have I seen stern-faced meditators trying to achieve satori. Believe me when I tell you, a smile might make the difference between thinking and being freed of clinging to thinking.

Indeed, a smile leads to liberation.