(Originally published 06/05/13 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 06/04/14.)
It’s difficult to start this post, as the story’s prone to leave one speechless.
What sort of karma would impel a child to be born into that context?
At the shelter, we’re compelled to attend chapel every night. A different preacher comes each night, in a monthly rotation. These generally disappoint me in their utter failure to speak to the sort of situation in question here. About 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with what will become of your soul when you die; whether you’ll go to heaven or hell; and your need to “believe in Jesus” as the key to salvation. It’s all about a cognitive assent, saying “yes” to a certain set of ideas. There is no presentation of Christianity as a lifestyle, nor any discussion of the role of discipline in following Jesus.
Another 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with obtaining “blessings,” principally by the means of praise: “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” A “blessing” here is always a material, for example monetary, advantage that one has done nothing to earn. It is as if God were some cosmic King Lear jealous for flattery.
Neither group mentions the call to repent, in terms of any need to change one’s ways.
The only hell that concerns me is the living hell that folk create in this life, here and now, for themselves and their community.
Continue reading Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos
With Amy Dickinson’s permission, I am copying here below the whole of her column for today. All three letters touch dramatically on principles I associate with presence, including “Keep the focus on you,” “Mind your own business,” and “Don’t come uninvited.”
DEAR AMY: My fiance’s mother is a monster. He gets upset any time they speak. The latest incident was because he had not been in touch with her since Christmas.
Continue reading Ask Amy: Inflating the drama won’t help fiance deal with mother
The center of the universe is you.
Here and now, this moment, wherever you are — that is the center of the universe, for you.
From this point, you can move in any direction, in any direction. But you can only begin here. You cannot begin from anywhere else.
Continue reading Purification
Crux: black magic works. Evil or not, it works. That tells us something about God.
#AleisterCrowley maintained two altars in his home, one for white magic, one for black.
Continue reading The left hand and the right
This post has been a long time coming.
Many people in my world are fundamentally reptilian.
This largely accounts for their social marginalization.
The question is how to, for want of a better word, humanize them.
ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
Continue reading The self-loving reptile
From “Learning to pray:” “[T]he most common mistake I observe in other folks’ prayers [is] an assumption that God is distant and apart from human beings.”
My belief is at the opposite extreme.
On the one hand, God’s omnipresence means that God is fully present to every cubic centimeter of empty space, to every atom and electron of your being.
If, as I believe, God is All — which must be so, if God is infinite, since if God is truly infinite there cannot be any thing that is not part of God — then every speck of matter that exists is actually part of God.
Continue reading Co-creators with God
If someone says they’re fleeing crime, believe them.
Continue reading Someone stole my tablet.
(Originally posted 08/25/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 05/07/14.)
06/25/12 I had to buy another flash drive.
I was downloading the music for The William Tell Show. I backed up the .mp3 files by attaching them to e-mails to myself. Problem: some files, such as the first movement of Tchaikovski’s violin concerto, exceed 25 MB and can’t be attached to a Yahoo! e-mail. What to do? Get another flash drive, to back up just those files.
My current flash drive consisted of an aluminum sleeve wrapped around a flat plastic stick. The stick had the USB contacts at one end, and the other end was shaped into a hook. By moving the sleeve back and forth, you could either expose the USB contacts for use, or hide them and expose the hook, to clip the drive onto, say, a key ring for storage.
The clerk offered me a different kind, with no hook or loop or anything that would let me attach it to something for storage. I don’t want to carry the drive around loose in my pocket or bag. So I asked for another like the one I already have. She said people have had trouble with those because “they’re easily breakable.” She said the staff at the Public Computer Center had seen this so much that they asked for the new kind instead.
I smiled and said nothing.
The drives aren’t easily breakable. Rather, some people easily break them.
Continue reading Easily breakable
This is the first of three posts about entitlement:
Today – “Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy”
07/19 – “How I became homeless”
07/26 – “When needs are met”
“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”
It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy