Posts Tagged ‘mankind’

The web is spun tightly by the spider. It crawls our memories, creating nodes and connections to them. The spider spins eternally; making us who we are, letting us remember and ponder. The spider crawls across the strings to attach a new memory, close to the inside of the web, his spinnerets moving with a rhythm. Drum beats and strange cacophony sounds made up the music to which he spun. The sounds cause the web to reverberate, and a small mistake is made. The spider moves quickly to fix this light error in the memory of someone’s life. At least someone the spider will never meet, for he must always spin the web further and further, until it is large enough to capture the man attached to those memories. Then it will take the strength from him, and choose a newborn human, for it’s next web, of course.

Jack Lhasa
I Listen.


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And still The Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man. Weaving th’ unpattern’d dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.

-Sir Richard Francis Burton; The Kasidah of Haji Abdu al-Yazdi

I Listen.

Quotations 1
The Weaver

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A few weeks ago I asked on my blog and on twitter for Humanists willing to discuss their belief system. I was pleasantly surprised when Ryan Sutter, webmaster of humanistsofmn.org, contacted me.

I explained to Ryan what I was looking for, and what he sent me was so personal and informative, that I asked if I could publish the entire email. So, here is what Ryan Sutter has to say about Humanism, and how he found it. Enjoy.

I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and stayed one until I was 30 years old at which point I lost my faith in it and didn’t know what to call myself or what I believed. I took the Beliefnet Belief-O-Matic and found out that my beliefs were most closely defined as humanist. Not having really ever thought about humanism before this, I was a bit surprised to find a web site telling me that I was one. ­čÖé

I went on to study it a little and found that the whole idea of humanism was fairly straightforward and could be boiled down into the statement: Do what is right because it’s right and there may be nobody else to do it. In other words, we live in a world that may or not have any supernatural element, but that really should have no bearing on being a good and moral person. Goodness and morality are things you need to practice if you want them to exist in the world, they don’t come from somewhere other than us and if we don’t do them, they don’t exist. This is a compelling alternate reason for living a clean moral life as opposed to the reward/punishment model of Christianity.

You don’t do good and avoid evil in order to reap a reward or avoid a punishment, you do so simply because you wish for good in the world and you wish to avoid evil in the world and you let the supernatural aspect take care of itself, if there is such a thing.

That is humanism and it is my deep belief that even the religious person who hates or fears the “godless atheists and secular humanists” basically lives a moral life for the same fundamental reasons, if you press them on it. Most Christians will admit that they aren’t restrained from killing their neighbor and raping his life because they are afraid of God but because they know it’s the wrong thing to do. They know this innately, because they wouldn’t want it done to themselves. “Do unto others” is a very humanist statement.

Of course, in conversations with religious believers (including my own father) I’ve come to realize that this is not what humanism means to fundamentalist eyes. To a lot of people it seems that humanism means “whatever man decides to do is right” or “there is no god so we’re screwed, ACK! let’s call our pathetic plight ‘humanism’ and worship ourselves”. The first commits the naturalistic fallacy and the second conflates humanism and atheism. Humanism does not glorify people or set them up for worship. The whole concept of worship means to give praise and obedience to a higher power. When you are a human, and a humanist, you are not suddenly a higher power. In fact, it’s humbling. You look at yourself and your limited capabilities and you look at humankind and their messy psychological and sociological situations and you realize that we all need to work really hard to solve our problems, cooperate more, communicate more, help each other more, because if we are all we have then none of us is an island, none of us can operate without considering the fates of the others, and we all need each other. Kinda’ knocked me down a peg from when I thought I was personally fashioned in God’s image, while simultaneously making me feel a sense of civic and moral obligation as opposed to how I felt when I thought God would charge in and fix everything. The sense of personal responsibility implicit in humanism is extremely powerful. I think that explains why so many humanists are involved in social justice and activist causes, as well as volunteerism. They have to be, on some level, or their conscience nags at them because all it takes for bad people to have their way is for good people to do nothing.

I have found a lot of prejudice against humanism over the last 5
years. People say Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot were humanists, to
which I say bullshit. Humanism is a philosophical justification for moral and humane behavior. If a psychopath or despot commits acts of atrocity and cruelty, their actions are immoral and inhumane and therefore anti-humanist, whether they believe in a supernatural or not. Like I mentioned earlier, humanism does not say there is no God, humanism says that regardless of the metaphysical state of things, if we want to see good in the world we have to do it ourselves. The sad fact is that some people decide their is no God so they DO murder their next door neighbor and rape his wife, and other people do the exact same thing and say God made them do it, or the Devil, or whatever. The point is, that any behavior that is anti-human is anti-humanist and people can decide to be evil with or without belief in God. When people start to connect the two questions of “Does God exist” and “How should I behave” as if they are inextricably linked they are committing a fallacy. They are two separate questions that do not necessarily relate.

Thanks for the insight, Ryan.

I Listen.

Basic Ideology 101
Lesson #23
The Battle of Human Action

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Richard Matheson wrote What Dreams May Come in 1978, as a love story to his wife. It pops up every so often in my life, and reminds me of the things that I love, and gives me hope. I may disappear from time to time, but it is within my nature to run. Run to her. Always searching for what I’ve already found.

It’s easy to forget that we have perfection in our hands when times are rough. Richard Matheson spent a lifetime writing horror and dark fantasy, to end up his masterwork as one of the greatest love stories ever told. Why did it take so long? Love is so hard to express, even for the most sensitive of us. Passion is so much easier. This is why we are barraged by “love stories” that are nothing more than sex driven fantasies. In the rare instance that passion and love meet, we find something truly great. Something that transcends words. The love story is now even harder to tell, and it can become downright scary.

As writers, when we find this kind of extraordinary relationship, our first instinct is to run. We want to run because for the first time in our lives we have no words to describe what is happening to us. It’s confusing, we stumble, we fall. We falter. You see, in running, we can understand, in words. The only way we really understand anything.

With love comes fear, but hopefully passion and love together can offset our natural fear of loss.

In Matheson’s What Dreams May Come, the main character has to come face to face with not only his greatest fear, but also the greatest fear of the majority of mankind. Is that what makes it so compelling? It is definitely what makes it ring so true in the hearts of so many.

By using this novel, I’ve skirted myself(safely around), for now, the subject of my own feelings and fears. Eventually I’ll face them down, as Matheson, and so many others have, finding the strength in their constant growth.

I Listen.

What Dreams May Come

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Definition : Akashic Library(Records) : This refers to a place that can be reached(at least in this story) through astral projection. It contains all of the records of mankind, including the life histories of every living thing.

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As this course comes to a close, there are many things I have left to teach, but after these 52 lessons you should have a sound and stable starting point for building your own personal theology.

Let’s break away these walls and join each other. ┬áI am no more teacher than I am student. ┬áRichard Bach once wrote, “We teach best what we need to learn the most.” ┬áNothing could be more true. ┬áSo, here I am, on the cusp of something extraordinary, and I want all of you to join me.

Some secrets may change hands. ┬áLife may transform as we evolve both physically and spiritually. ┬áThe adoption of technology to the shaman’s path is of utmost imprtance. ┬áThe shaman can no longer be just about nature. ┬áThe shaman has to grow with the culture, and the culture is growing rapidly. ┬áNever has the shaman had the chance he does now. ┬áThe chance to be everywhere at once, literally.

As saplings we all start, but soon we grow into trees that devour our surroundings.  Be the oak tree.  Give something back for what you are taking.  Do not be the weeping willow, who takes all of the water it can, but offers nothing in return.

It’s time that we began to think globally. ┬áThere is more out there than your own backyard. ┬áJump for it. ┬áStrive for it. ┬áBecome other worldly with me. ┬á We cannot forgive those you have never reached for something greater. ┬áThe fate of mankind is in each of your hands. ┬áCan you make it better?

I Listen.
I Travel.

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Loki is feeling very funny. You can tell this because I just referred to myself in the third person. I feel like doing thought flow writing, so, most of you can just ignore the following.


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