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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saint Ben!


















Well, he wasn't a saint, actually. But he was a wise man. And a wise guy. Here are some thoughts from Benjamin Franklin on religion, many of which I found on this page.

I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.
Benjamin Franklin; from 'Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion', November 20, 1728

If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Roman Catholic Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and in New England.
Benjamin Franklin

I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.
Benjamin Franklin; Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion ... has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble.
Benjamin Franklin, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by Thomas Fleming, p. 404, (1972, Newsweek, New York, NY) quoting letter by Franklin to Exra Stiles March 9, 1790

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.
Benjamin Franklin

And also remember:
Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade.
Benjamin Franklin

and:

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Benjamin Franklin

Friday, September 26, 2008

Give Me Something To Believe In



Cause I sure as hell can't believe in the mean, judgmental, insecure god that I grew up with.

Even if Yaweh turned out to be the only game in town, who the hell needs it?

"God is not in some building. God is in nature and God is in each of us."

--Gaahl (Gorgoroth)

"In this century the christian church has made a great effort to make people believe that tolerance was a christian virtue. However you only need to look at history to see that this is quite untrue."

From Grolheim.dk

"One should envision one's Gods as being at least as good as the best human beings. The best of us would not damn people for eternity for an honest difference of opinion or for petty faults. The best among us would not damn people for eternity at all. Judged by these criteria, the God of the fundamentalist Christians is unworthy of worship. In the unlikely event he is actually in charge, I would gladly go to hell with my head held high. At the same time, while I disagree with Christian teachings from their foundation myths on up, I am not going to attack something that brings hope, comfort and inspiration to people and makes them kinder and more honest human beings."

From the home page of Jordsvin, who seems a jolly good fellow! Loki sez: "Visit him, or else!" ;-)

In all truth, I am going through quite a rough spot right now. What makes it rougher is that the problem does not belong to me, it belongs to someone whom I would gladly take it from. In my youth I was taught that bad things happen to bad people and that we must beg the heavy-handed Almighty for forgiveness. I have become less and less tolerant of the heavy-handed almighty over the past few years. I actually relinquished my Catholicism when I was 18 and began exploring Pagan mysticism, but let's face it, Folks, once a Catholic always a Catholic, to an extent. The guilt is in you like an encapsulated virus and will resurface. When things get tough, the feeling that somehow you brought this on yourself by not being good enough will come and hit you upside the head with the force of 10 Mjollnirs.

I did not raise my son (the person going through the hard time) with the horrible, horrible Catholic guilt. He was always free to explore the possibilities. He doesn't adhere to any particular religion but his beliefs tend to be sort of a general Neopaganism mixed with Buddhism, the great thing about Buddhism being that it is a philosophy rather than a religion so it can fit in nicely with any religion. My son is thankfully free from the horrors that visit me, the fear that because of my abandonment of the rather mean-spirited dogma of my childhood, the fires of hell are awaitin' and there will be no butter in Hell!*

I end up on the defensive about being viewed as a "Satan Worshipper" even now. My son, on the other hand, rather than viewing Satan as the anti-good views him as a trickster deity, worthy of the same respect as any other deity. If you come to Satan asking him for something, he may very well give it to you. But there will always be a price, and I'm not talking about sacrificing your neighbor's dog or your neighbor. The true Satan is an intellectual deity who doesn't care one whit one way or another about such things. According to my son's view, Satan is in the same class as Set, Loki, and other trickster deities. Such deities know your mind, heart and soul. Be very, very careful about approaching such a being. They will not destroy you directly, but they may allow you to destroy yourself.

As well, Satan and Lucifer are two entirely different entities that are often confused. But this is an essay for another time.

For myself personally, when it comes to issues such as prosperity, I find that a deity such as Ganesha preferable to petition. Lord Ganesha is not going to grant petitions such as "make me the most richest beeyatch with the most bling so I can be better than everyone else" because that would be completely self-serving. He wants to know that your intentions are honorable, but generally he won't punish you for asking even if the request isn't entirely honorable. You really have to piss him off for him to get medieval on your ass.

However, I have digressed. My son, who is a very wise and kind soul, is going through great difficulty in his life at this time. Unfortunately people on both sides of his family are prone to mood disorders, and he is experiencing problems with severe social anxiety, which cause him to isolate himself, and which then contribute to major depression. He checked into the psych unit voluntarily because he was suicidal. I'm glad he did this, and the clinicians there seem very compassionate and humane, not like back in my day when I attempted suicide and this nurse told me "you're a freak and you'll always be a freak. People like you can never be normal." My retort was "well, I'd rather be a freak than a fucking bitch like you."

Thus, if anyone reading this would be so kind as to petition whichever Powers that Be that appeal to you, or simply send positive thoughts to my son Michael that he may be guided to recovery and to learn helpful coping skills to deal with his social anxiety, it is appreciated.

Blessed be,

Lily


*(disclaimer: I do not and will never have a problem with Jesus Christ, who was a kind and enlightened soul that wanted the best for people. I have a problem with the judgmental and intolerant institution that uses his name, and I feel that they sure as hell ain't asking themselves "what would Jesus do" when they pour their hateful diatribe upon the world. And I have a problem with the harsh, judgmental God of this church.)

Words of Wisdom

You get what you get, not what you deserve.
--Dr. Gregory House

It's either mean or it's arbitrary, and either way it gives me the creeps.
--Calvin
(speculating on the nature of the Almighty, after the death of his pet raccoon)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PETUNIA! PETUNIA!

Sorry, PANSI, but you have competition! For I am a petunia!


I am a
Petunia


What Flower
Are You?


You are a tried and trusted friend who will be there for your friends when they need you. But you have a tendency to be nervous about doing things that go against the norm.

Apparently I am a petunia. But if one of the qualities of a petunia is being nervous about going against the norm, I must be a Rebel Petunia. Almost nothing I do fits anywhere in the norm!

The Blog of the Gnutty Gnostic is now The Gnutty Gnostic's Sanctuary of Whatthefuckism. Which is similar to Humpty Hump's Church of Doowutchalike, only more rock than hip hop due to its high priestess, the Aging Headbanger and its high priest, the Undead Metalhead. Our credois that it really doesn't matter What The Fuck god(s) you believe in, or if you believe in any of them. What matters is the energies that you draw to yourself and express to the world. Because everything is energy and energy attracts like energy. (Or, as Quinn Morgendorffer would say, "energy attracts, like, energy!") Thus, positive energy attracts more positive energy, positive entities, and positive experiences. Negative energy attracts more negative energy, negative entities, and negative experiences.

This doesn't mean that I/we no longer believe in any sort of divine beings. Quite the opposite. And if any of these beings appeal to you personally, they can be used to open gateways, helping the flow of positive energy to you. I often need help from these excellent friends in this regard. It also doesn't mean that people are absolved from having to treat each other and their fellow creatures with respect because the energy that you send out will come back, and if its a mean energy, it will gladly bite you in the ass. What it does mean is that you no longer have to feel enslaved to any outdated institution of dogma and judgment. It means there are other choices besides the so-called "Christian" churches, which we have generally found have very little to do with the behavior of the very kind and enlightened teacher Jesus, and have a lot to do with politics and control. It means that you have unlimited choices. Whether working with higher beings or with only the energy of the Universe, your soul can grow and become closer to the energy that created all things. This is an energy which does not demand adulation nor even acknowlegement. It simply IS, and it allows us to be and to discover for ourselves. And that is a very freeing thing.

Of course, giving credit where credit is due, they do have an awful lot of fun at Rev. Humpty's Church!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In Need of an Anchor

I'm not much for the standard Beg The Powers That Be Not To Make Your Life a Complete Pile of Shit approach because in my experience, it doesn't really work. Nonetheless, I do feel rather at sea without an anchor. My son is having some problems that are quite a concern to me. Whatever shit gets thrown at me I figure well, here comes something else. But when it's something happening to the one person that truly means a great deal to me, I feel like I need something to hold onto so I can be strong for him. I know that plugging in to the positive energy via meditation seems to help me to at least feel not quite as out of control. Maybe some people are staunch enough that they don't need it. But I'm not that strong. I need something to help ground me and give me hope. And keep me from having panic attacks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Important Message from the Big Cheese


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Faces of the Supreme Being: Pandeism

I discovered an interesting theory about the nature of the Supreme Creator. The theory is known as Deism, and one of the facets thereof is Pandeism. Basically, Deism holds that a supreme being created the universe but is not involved thereafter in its operations.

The following paragraph is from Wikipedia:

Pandeism combines deism with pantheism, or the belief that the universe is identical to God. Pandeism holds that God was a conscious and sentient force or entity that designed and created the universe, which operates by mechanisms set forth in the creation. God thus became an unconscious and nonresponsive being by becoming the universe. Other than this distinction (and the possibility that the universe will one day return to the state of being God) pandeistic beliefs are identical to deistic ones. The term pandeism was coined in 1859 by German philosophers and frequent collaborators Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal in Zeitschrift f├╝r V├Âlkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft. They wrote:

Man stelle es also den Denkern frei, ob sie Theisten, Pan-theisten, Atheisten, Deisten (und warum nicht auch Pandeisten?)

This is translated as:

So we should let these thinkers decide themselves whether they are theists, pan-theists, atheists, deists (and why not even pandeists?)

Why not indeed? Surely we do no service to the Divine Creative Energy by applying dogma to it. We will learn far more about it by allowing ourselves to study it freely without the confines of doctrine.

I appreciate this concept and intend to look into it further. I've been fascinated with the workings of the Universe and the energies that created it, both natural and divine, for as long as I can remember, and appreciate the idea of studying these concepts without fear of retribution for refusing to behave as a sheep.

One might well ask, is there really a difference between Natural and Divine forces? Is not the Divine natural, and is not nature divine?

The force that created all things made all things beautiful. The ugliness in the world was created by our own folly and selfishness. Sin is a purely human problem. The Divine need not be bothered punishing us. We create our own punishments, our own heavens and our own hells. I'm far from the first to express such ideas. But the older I get, the more sense they make to me. A divine creator that is a natural force, even one that our current level of science may not understand or be able to measure, makes more sense to me than a punitive judge watching every move we make.

This is not, in my opinion, at odds with the idea of karma, which I also believe exists. Nor does it eliminate the possible reality of those forces that we refer to as "supernatural." Karma is part of the collective human consciousness, not a construct of the creator, at least according to theories such as Pandeism. And the nature of spirit is not by any means understood by humans. Spirit is eternal.

The beauty and power of the Divine can't be relegated to theories postulated in dusty old tomes and politicized over the centuries. We will never fully understand it. But let us at least allow ourselves to discuss it with open minds and without fear of retribution. By doing so we enrich our minds and maybe even our souls, which are a spark of the Divine, thus bringing ourselves closer to the Divine.

Blessed be.