Damned To Pay Our Dues

Those who are born wealthy,
Use their money to stay wealthy.
Those who are born poor,
Work for money to be healthy.

A ceaseless quest,
To exploit Mother Earth.
Manufacture money from trees.
Then pretend there is a worth.

To a rectangular shred,
Manufactured and stamped.
To symbolize some value,
To we the living damned.

Damned to pay our dues,
For exploiting her so.
Damned to become earthworm feed,
And to help her flowers grow.

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Walking With God

You say I should see God,
When I look upon a tree.
My perspective once was thus,
But not these days for me.

God must be shy or wise,
To hide Herself so well.
Oh, let’s go take a walk.
To the seaside to seek shells.

We Live And Move And Have Our Being

“In Him we live and move and have our being”

In whom do we live and move and have our being?  Why not a “her” in whom we live and move and have our being? Is there actually an ultimate being within whom we live and move and have our being?  Or is being merely the ultimate in and of itself? Why even the concept that we live and move and have our being within a whom?  Do we not live naturally?  Do we not move naturally?  Do we not have our being naturally? Do we not exist naturally?

This much is knowable:  We live and move and have our being.

All else seems to be speculation and superstition.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

Spatial Form and the Sentient Being

The existence of all sentient beings is a struggle between the finite nature of spatial form and the seemingly infinite nature of time.  And time always trumps space. For long after the spatial form decays, dies, and decomposes, there will still be time.  Decomposition of course actually  transforms the elements of the spatial form to another state of existence; hence there remains a space time continuum between the carnal and the temporal. As for the cognitive nature of the sentient being, the fate of such remains a point of debate and conjecture.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Dave Henderson

Denison, Texas

On Public Meetings and the Right to Pray

I offer this recommendation as to the proceedings of any community meeting (City Council, School Board, etc).

Let each meeting be opened with a prayer addressed to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ by a Christian Minister or a representative of the Christian community.

Followed by a prayer by a member of the Jewish community, addressed specifically to Jehovah.

Followed by a prayer to Allah by a member of the Muslim community.

Followed by a tossing of bones or the taunting of a political opponent with a gris gris by a member of the Voodoo community.

Followed by an oration by a member of the Asian community to their deity, accompanied by tossing salt in each corner of the room if necessary.

The Hindu and any Native American representatives should be permitted their moment of public prayer and/or meditation whichever the case may be.

A member of the Zen Buddhist should be allowed equal time to sit/meditate, with the burning of incense as desired.

And then the Satanists should be allowed to pray to Satan, any Pastafarians should be allowed to call upon His Noodleness for guidance from the holy buffet in the sky, and by all means the Bokonists should be allowed their time for public oration (No public rubbing of bare feet without a Permit,for there simply must be SOME sense of order!)

Of course, the Humanists should be allowed time to make their plea to the crowd, as the Humanist would seek only the guidance of clear minded humanity in search of communal good for the business at hand.

Speaking of the business at hand, once each group has been adequately represented by a public prayer and/or plea on behalf of their religious/social view, then FINALLY let the meeting be called to order and the business at hand be discussed, deliberated, and decided upon.

HOWEVER, time must be allowed at the end of the meeting for the Christian, the Jew, Muslim, the Voodoo-ite, the Asian, the Hindu, the Native American, the Zen Buddhist, the Satanist, the Pastafarian, the Bokonist, and even the Humanist to have the opportunity for a closing prayer/oration/meditation; whatever the case may be.

Now, I only offer this format as a suggestion.

Of course, there is an alternate thought:

Call the community meeting to order, discuss the agenda and do the bidding of the purpose of such a “meeting of the minds”, and when done, go home, all the while leaving prayers and religious practices for private homes and private meeting places where such belong.

Just a thought.

On A Personal Relationship With God

Recently I was asked by a friend:

“Dave, if God were actually real, wouldn’t you want to have a relationship with him?”

This is a most interesting question, Intriguing actually.

The question presupposes a PERSONAL God in that the question is founded upon the principle of “a relationship”.

In that regard, this question dismisses the concept of a strictly impersonal god.

Which is quite unfortunate, for the concept of god as an impersonal being with no feelings whatsoever as to effect or outcome, might at least be a plausible theory in the light of circumstances as they are.

Such a view of God might be classified as “Naturalism”, or “Pantheism” (I have a difficult time distinguishing the two), in that such would identify a deity in the context of our materialistic reality.

For regardless of one’s perspective, surely it is evident that we exist in a Universe which in and of itself is indifferent as to our well being in any given situation.

For example, if you are in the path of a tornado, the tornado will not “have a change of heart” and alter its course so as to not inflict bodily harm upon you or to prevent your untimely demise. Indeed not. If you are in the path of a tornado, it will either alter its course due to some action of natural physics, or else you and tornado will meet head on.

Similarly, the tree that falls in the direction of a baby will not alter its course to save the baby.

Such is the nature of our Universe.

The principle of physics as they are do not reveal evidence of anything other than an impersonal reality with no concerns whatsoever for effect or outcome. If one is inclined to envision this impersonal phenomena as a deity, then such a deity is non personal, and thus not given to being in a “relationship” with anyone as such.

On the other hand, if there is a god with whom someone can have a “relationship”, then we are talking a “personal” God.

Now, with that premise in mind, I revisit the question that my friend posed to me:

“Dave, if God were actually real, wouldn’t you want to have a relationship with him?”

Now, as the person who posed this question is a Christian, then I can safely assume (he confirmed this by the way), that he refers to Jehovah, the God of the Bible.

With that thought in mind, let us role play the conversation as though I had never even heard of or even knew anything about Jehovah:

Friend: Hey Dave, would you be interested in meeting someone?

Me: I don’t know. Who is it?

Friend: His name is Jehovah.

Me: Well, tell me a little about this Jehovah.

Friend: Well, once he drowned all the babies in the world, and most of the animals while in the process of drowning people whose lives he did not approve of. (Genesis 6-8)

Me: Well, that does not sound very nice. Anything else you can tell me about him?

Friend: Well, another time he commanded his army to kill all the men, women, and children of 60 cities so his people could possess their land. No survivors remaining was the goal. So they killed all the men, and all the women, and all the children in all 60 cities, just as instructed by Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 2:31-3:7)

Me: Wow. Sounds brutal. Anything else I should know about this Jehovah?

Friend: Well, another time he endorsed the killing of men, women, and children by the edge of the sword (Joshua 6:21)

Me: Hmmm…. I don’t know man. This guy is a baby killer and animal abuser, and you want me to meet him? I don’t think so.

Friend: Well… why not? I mean he has some other redeeming qualities that you should take into consideration.

Me: Look, nothing personal man. You have told me enough to know that I really do not want to meet this guy. Frankly, from what you have already told me about this Jehovah guy, it sounds like we do not belong to the same “karass”.

Friend: Huh?

Me: “Karass”. Its a slang term that I once read in a Kurt Vonnegut novel. I guess what I am saying is that based upon what you are telling me, this Jehovah guy and me simply do not have much in common.

Friend: So you don’t think you want a relationship with Him?

Me: Again, nothing personal. But.. no, not really.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–
In closing, let me say this:

I am by nature a gregarious person, who loves to meet and get to know other folks. However, were a person to move into my community who had done and endorsed the things that Jehovah is alleged to have done and endorsed, I honestly do not think I would be a part of any neighborhood welcoming committee.

I don’t mean to be negative. I don’t mean to be disrespectful.

But, frankly, after years of studying the Old Testament, and then finally visualizing what I have read and thought about the suffering and the brutal treatment of babies and animals alike recorded therein and openly attributed to Jehovah; I have come to a conclusion:

I really do not want a relationship with Jehovah.

We Are Our Own Salvation

The older I get, the more intrigued I am by our Universe.  And I suppose that which intrigues me most of all is that the Universe is everywhere.  The Universe is literally:  EVERYWHERE!!

I am furthermore humbled by our lack of knowledge regarding the Universe.  I realize that humanity has made great strides towards learning what is “out there”, but the simple fact is that we do not have a clue as to the extent of that of which we remain ignorant regarding the Universe.

We simply have no clue how little we know because we just do not know  how much there is which is either yet undiscovered or forever not to be discovered.  Fascinating!

All we really know is that our Universe is ever expanding at a continuously accelerating rate.  Since it appears to be expanding in a curve, then one of two occurrences will inevitably end its existence as it is now:

1.  The Universe will expand to the extent that it rips apart, or

2.  The Universe will turn back in on its self, resulting in who knows what (another great expansion, thereby resulting in yet another Universe?  No one knows for certain)

Regardless, the Universe is on an unavoidable trek to an inevitable end, and no one can or ever will be able to do anything to prevent that reality.

Furthermore, I am but a seemingly immeasurable speck within this massive ever expanding mass known as the Universe.  I am nothing.  Well, not quite, but so close as to be nothing in terms of the measure of all things.  In the grand scope of all reality, I am simply an insignificant coincidence to an expansion which will either rip me apart or collapse upon me should I happen to be living when the great expansion comes to its inevitable end.

Frankly, the great expansion which is our Universe is completely indifferent to my well being.

That said, it occurs to me that we of humanity are the only known species in the entire Universe with our degree of concern for the well being of ourselves and sensitivity and compassion for others.  (Note, I make this statement within the context of an already admitted ignorance as to other species and/or other universes that may possibly exist… “out there”!  My statement is thus asserted strictly within the context of that aspect of the Universe that we are aware of)

This is not to say that other sentient beings are not concerned with their own well being.  Indeed all beings are.  And this is not to say that other sentient beings do not have an instinctive concern for the well being of other such beings, in particularly their own offspring.  (Indeed, a mama cow or a mama bear can teach us much about natural filial concern!!)

However, it does seemingly appear that we of humanity may have an even more so refined sense of compassion and concern for the welfare of other beings.  That being the case, then there is a natural responsibility to care the welfare of others, because if we don’t do it, it simply will not get done.

There is no evidence of any celestial mastermind either driving this expanse, or overseeing its day to day operation.  Hence, there is no mystical helper to take care of matters that we choose to just ignore.

So if we choose to implement social systems that leave people in the streets, homeless, hungry, and without healthcare, we need not expect some celestial savior to swoop down and make it all better.

And if we choose to poison our environment with fracking, or ignore the effects of climate change, we need not look for some divine intervention to make it all better.

We are on our own.

As scary as it may sound, we of humanity are our own salvation, or there simply is no salvation.

In the words of Vonnegut:

” we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is”

I truly do not know whether helping each other through this unexplainable circumstance known as life is the purpose for existence, or whether there simply is no purpose for our existence.

All I know is that in the light of our existence within an ever expanding Universe which evidences itself day and in and day out to be completely indifferent to our well being one way or the other; we can choose to do whatever we can to save our planet and alleviate undue and unnecessary suffering in the process.

Or not.

Either way, the Universe continues to expand on the way to its inevitable end and leaves us to our own doings.

We are our own salvation.  Or there is no salvation.