meliflower in Whittier is doing 43 things including…

Philosophise here

17 cheers

 

meliflower has written 9 entries about this goal

The Food Chain and God

What is God trying to tell us with the food chain? In order for us to live, others have to die. Every meal, someone dies….plant, animal, or other. We are all either consuming from the food chain each and every day, or part of it. The tier 3 predators like ourselves tend to fall prey to the very bottom of the foodchain..detritus and bacteriae.

It’s a cruel system. We all strive so hard to keep living…by “we all”, I mean everyone in the food chain…everyone just wants to survive at all costs. We see it on the National Geographic Channel..it’s harsh. We try so hard to conquer the food chain but one day we must all succomb to it and when we do, we will support others who are consuming.

So where does religion fit into this system, and God and spirituality. I am having a hard time reconciling the fact that we have such a cruel survival system to any sort of belief in God. I am having diffuculty figuring out what it all means. Someone help me understand. I apologize, 43thingers, that this is a little bit of a depressing topic. I’m confused and I need help to understand.



I found this very inspirational...

A lecture by Randy Pausch, who has pancreatic cancer. I thought you might enjoy it too.

http://video.stumbleupon.com/#p=ithct48cqw



Religion And Spirituality

So here’s the problem I was presented with:

A couple are very devoted to Christianity, avid practicers of the religion. They are engaged to be married. Young 20s.

She does a 180 and dumps him. He is heartbroken. She will not hear his pleas. She very bluntly tells him all the reasons she is no longer interested. As an onlooker, I would say the young lady has simply outgrown him. He is not hearing her. She gets cruel in her rebuff of his continued attempts. And he finally gets the point.

He is devestated. He is destroyed. She has moved on. They are both still avid practicers of the religion.

He is now questioning the merits of religion at all. If someone could be to all appearances such a good Christian, practicing Christian, and behind closed doors behave is such a cruel manner, is religion even valid at all?

Here is my take on it:

These are three separate things, religion, spirituality, and the people that practice. Of course they are related, but they are not one in the same.

Spirituality is the fostering of the connection to God, all that is good in the universe, the creative force. However you happen to perceive that, embody that.

Religion is a set of beliefs, rituals and actions that promote spirituality.

Each religion that truly promotes the goodness in human nature and the love for fellow man and the connection to God is an arrow aimed at the same target, the target of connecting with God. They are all a separate roads to the same end goal.

People who engage themselves in religion and attempt to foster their spirituality are still people.

You can’t condemn the set of beliefs (religion) or the end goal of connection to God (spirituality) because people are fallible and make mistakes, errors in judgement, do evil things from time to time, or interpret the beliefs and rules of a religion in a perverse, violent or otherwise negative way.

If the practice of the religion itself fosters hatred, then I submit that its tenets are being misinterpreted by those who practice, or it not a true religion at all. (True means it promotes spirituality, the connection with God).

I further believe that in the circumstances of the young man, if he truly is a person who practices Christianity devoutly, and he sees a failing in the character of this young lady (I only received his side of the story, mind you), then he must become the ambassador of his religion. He must practice the beliefs of forgiveness and prayer and strength to overcome the hurt.



Temperance

More to follow later



Coincidence, man....

I get blown away by coincidences…I have this one friend I used to see a lot from say…18 through 13 years ago…then his career as a comic took off…I moved from the area where we lived….and I never ran into him anymore. He was trying hard at his career and was with this really sweet girl too and it looked to me like he was on a rising star path….

Anyway…I’d flip through TV channels and all of a sudden I’d see him doing a spot on this or that comedy show….it was always cool…I told my friends at the time who also knew him that I’ll run into him again…it’s not the last he’ll see of me…..

And I did…I ran into him about 8 years ago, by complete coincidence…at a nightclub…....but we hung out and then that was it…no number exchange or anything…we were both happy with seeing each other and I said…see ya round…and didn’t really expect to see him again…but then…

2 years later I ran into him somewhere…don’t remember…and a year and a half or after that at Chevy’s restaurant during lunch..he just happened to be in LA for the day because he had since moved to Oakland area and was the morning guy on a major radio station up there…....take note of the coincidence…...LA is a big city and we don’t hang with any of the same people and he is a night person and I am a day person and we don’t go to the same places…all of this is completely random….but after the Chevy’s meeting I told him “see you in 2 years”...and guess what? I did.

So now I was overdue again…I just 2 weeks or so ago told someone….two years have passed now and I had no random meetings with W….I guess I can say I’ll never see him again…

So last night I go to the Icehouse in Pasadena…..and the person I went with said…yeah, I don’t know any of the comics tonight but it’s usually good here, they have top dogs…..so I’m telling him that I have this friend who is a comic..but last I knew he was in Oakland…...blah blah blah….telling his history as a comic…and I look up and say…yeah, as a matter of fact, I think that’s him…right as I’m effing talking about him, people. And so I get up and walk across the room half expecting to get close and find it to be someone else…but no, I get close and it’s W. And so I’m sitting there talking to him and hugging him and stuff for a few minutes but then he has to go because he’s the headliner tonight….he’s the effing headliner at the one comedy show I’ve been to in years…of all the LA comedy and all the possible comedians and all the nights to go out to this venue…HOLY! I can’t frikkin’ believe it….we talked again at the end of the night and I just whispered in his ear…”see you in two years.”

I’m so happy for him…he’s successful, got a beautiful family….and seems to be enjoying life…I wish all of life’s blessings on him.



What is the most precious thing we have?

Please reply back with your answers to this question and any commentary you have on the below:

Someone asked me this question just last night.

His answer: Time. Hmmmmm….he has a point. Only the very young, perhaps the mentally defective and yes….perhaps the very old are unaware of the passage of time. It is what so many of us desire more of. For many people, it is what we fear losing more than anything apart from life itself.

There is no certain amount allotted to us. Each moment that passes for us is not a promise fulfilled. It is nothing short of a Godsend. We cannot count on future time. It is not ours until the moment is already passing us by. Now that is a precious and elusive commodity.

It seems to me, the only time that we really “have” is that which we already spent. That is ours for the keeping. Even that alone without the promise of future moments may count as the most precious thing.

This fine gentleman, however, referred to the preciousness of future moments and the need to allocate time wisely and not waste it frivolously.

My answer (and I didn’t hesitate even a moment): Love. I don’t mean romance. I mean the force in life that drives you to reach out to other human beings, whether it’s your kids, spouse, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, sister, friend, colleague, mother, father, nephew, niece, neighbor, the lady selling flowers by the side of the road, the small child who is either happy or sad…

The closest definition I can give you for my meaning of love is a cross between human compassion, connecting with others on any level, and the desire and will to uplift or share what’s inside you with those whom you come into contact with. It can be anywhere from the very deepest level to a mere superficial nicety.

Without that, I can’t imagine life. Without that I don’t know if I want more time.

Here are some runners up that come to mind:

Hope: with even a flicker of hope, one can find a reason to go on in life. If lost, how can one continue to exist? It is a stated fact in many a suicide note that the person felt hopeless. So perhaps this trumps all others in importance?

Health: life without health can be not worth living…it is well documented and not uncommon that people opt out at a certain point of deteriorated health, so is this the most precious commodity?.

Life itself: our creation from conception to death and if you so believe, beyond.

Our creative faculty: it is our ability to learn, grow and create that breathes purpose into our life. Without this, then what?

All I can say is that I am happy we have all of these ingredients inside us that are so easy to forget and take for granted. There is that to be thankful for.

Your thoughts, dear people.



Breadth and Depth in Human Beings

We’ve all heard both of these statements:

“He is so shallow”

“He is such a deep person”

What does that mean? It can refer to so many things…superficial tendencies, vast knowledge about a subject, ability to be real and down to earth, inability to connect with other people on any level of substance.

To me breadth and depth are a biological factor. Did you catch that I wrote “A biological factor” and not the plural…”biological factors”? In my view, they are linked..breadth and depth are actually one in the same function and the variety comes into place with how much this attribute is focused and on what.

Here are some examples where people use more depth:

-specialists…i.e. the CSI who knows everything about bugs. He doesn’t know other forensic areas, but he could fill a book with his knowledge of bug forensic science..(and sometimes they do fill a book that other specialists then buy).

-very deep friendships….i.e. the person who can count their real friends on one hand.

-spousal/parental relationships….not all depth is necessarily a choice, it can be more a function of your circumstances.

-anything that you have taken real time to learn more and more about..i.e. particular music, authors, fashion, social studies, etc. the list goes on and on….

-any skill you have honed to a superior level…i.e. sports, painting, cooking, running your house, etc. etc. etc.

Here are some examples of where people could be using more breadth:

-people with wide networks of social or business contacts..i.e. sales people who are connected to all areas of the country, know people in all fields…they have the ability to put forward enough of themselves that others see the value in them, but in order to maintain so many contacts, there is no way the majority of interactions can have depth…

-people who are jacks of all trades and masters of none

-trivia buffs

-people who listen to a very wide array of music of all kinds of types

Picture a sphere made of…putty. A perfect circle. That is our breadth and depth that we are born with. If you would like breadth, you must sacrifice depth. Squish the circle down and it’s wider but not as deep. And it follows that to obtain depth, you lose breadth.

Now…my assumption above is that both breadth and depth are expressed in various ways in each of us, and what you lack in one you’ll make up in the other. The only truly unhealthy thing, I think, is if you lean too far on one end of the spectrum or the other, creating imbalance, or if you stifle both.



One of my favorite paintings: Rafael's "School of Athens"

And in the center, Plato and his student Aristotle, each holding their own writings in one hand..but what are they doing with the other?

Plato is pointing upwards towards the heavens, indicating his belief in thought based on “the Forms”....of which I am not entirely familiar but understand it to be some sort of ether-world of the imagination where ideas are born and our reality is then created.

Aristotle believed in experience and sensory perception as the birth of thought, and therefore, he gestures downward, toward the earth.



What is the ruling factor?

What one factor plays the predominant role in dictating our moods, our behaviors…some ideas of mine, I’d love to hear yours….

1. Emotions: some people claim to be ruled by their emotions. Emotions can color behavior and attitude surely. But are they the cause? Events and thoughts seem to trigger emotions, so I do not believe they are the cause or the ruling factor. I do believe that emotions can be reigned in consciously, but if one makes no attempt to do so they can be powerful indeed and seem beyond our control. I guess I believe they powerful as they are, they are a result and not a cause.

2. Experience: we continuously adjust our mode of function based on our experiences. The brain is attracted to patterns and will use the same responses already learned in a similar situation. There is a lot of truth in the belief that we are damned to repeat and relive the past until we learn from it. We are literally a slave to the past…if we do not examine our thoughts and adjust our behaviors to supercede a situation or mental/emotional issue, we create situations that will yield similar results so we may again attempt to “win” at it.

3. Thoughts: Our thoughts are ever streaming. They never stop, sometimes even not when we consciously attempt to do so during meditation. I have found that when I consciously tune into my thoughts, they seem to be the cause of my emotions. When I am feeling bad, the thought stream of conscious is quite unpleasant…and when I’m happy, the thoughts are more serene. It’s quite surprising what you hear if you tune in. Only by tuning in can one hope to understand what is occuring in there and examine it for improvement.

Who was it, Socrates who said “Only an examined life is worth living” or some such? I have to agree. I should read up…I have his works. I know he was very into societal rule.



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