<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Neko

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Cell phones 


When did it become necessary for every human being from grammar school to the grave to have a cell phone?

When did we become so convinced of our own importance that we figured we had to be reachable every single minute of the day?

When did we become so impatient that we can't wait until we get home to pass along our thoughts to our friends?

When did we become so detached from life that we feel we always have to be talking nonstop rather than paying attention to what's going on around us and DOING things?

When did we become so stupid that we talked on the phones in our cars to the point where the accident rate went shooting up, making it necessary to pass laws to prevent it?

When did we become so rude that we intrude our trivial business into other people's meals at restaurants, into people's thoughts while they're standing in line with us, and right in the faces of people we're supposed to be interacting with in person, even at important functions and during dates, without noticing or caring about the dismay we're causing those around us?

When did our culture become so permeated by cell phones that you have to have one to be considered "normal"?

People are STUNNED to discover that *I* don't have a cell phone, and bombard me with questions designed to ferret out the reason for this deviant behavior; with my standard bluntness, I tell them that because I'm neither a doctor on call nor the parent of a minor child, there's never any need for me to be instantly reachable, and therefore no reason to waste $ on a cell phone... and they look at me like I must have just escaped from an insane asylum, lol.

What do you suppose people will say if I get a BlackBerry:

http://www.blackberry.com/products/blackberry7700/blackberry7730.shtml

with a cell connection (so I can place bids on eBay when I'm out of the house) and never use it as a phone, hehehehehe?


Monday, August 30, 2004

Karmic inertia 


A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend who's heavily into karma (and religion, too), and we were speculating as to the reason for one of the oddest aspects of karma; when you try to make a big life change, it "responds" as if there was in fact a STRUCTURE to it, where your path is dug into a "rut," and you have to struggle to get out of it, just like you would from a gorge with steep, slippery sides that you'd been walking along and decided you wanted to climb out of... as if there were inertia involved, as there is with objects in motion.

What causes this? One thought I had is: Because precognition exists, we know that the future exists, in some form and to some extent; it exists as an extension of what exists now, and it might "resist" having to change form because you're changing something.

Another idea I had was: Karma is very consistent about tossing tests at us when we've learned a major life lesson, which I've always thought of as a way of making sure we've actually made the internal change necessary to implement what we've learned... but what if it's actually an example of karmic inertia trying to keep us from making the change by tempting us to fall back into our old patterns?

I got on this train of thought because of something Joel Osteen said today; non-coincidentally, right after I started thinking more deeply about how a surge of problems comes up when people try to change, he preached about how, when you try to change, "the enemy" (aka Satan) gets involved and tries his hardest to turn you from your new path and make you stay in your old rut. Once again, he comes from a Christian perspective and sees the exact same non-intuitive thing I see via my studies of karma... and his timing is eerie. (Just because I have a strong belief in synchronicity doesn't mean that it doesn't still give me chills.)

He managed to get another karmic truism into his half-hour sermon; he pointed out, correctly, that what you keep thinking about gets DRAWN into your life, and yes, he used that EXACT word... and how many times have *I* said that?

I told my friend about Osteen, and told her to tape it tonight (she goes to bed early); I'm going to have to call her and see if she remembered, and has watched it... and see what SHE says about the content and timing of his message, coming from her perspective of being a believer in karma AND a Christian. Stay tuned.


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Is all porn bad? 


There are all sorts of things we can point to that are bad about porn: Child porn is abuse of the innocent. Some of the more extreme varieties, such as those featuring animals and corpses, cater to, and encourage interest in, socially unacceptable behavior. Porn creates unrealistic ideas of what human bodies and sexual encounters are actually like, and leads to the objectification of the models/actors (usually seen as being women, but those who say that have no idea how much gay men's porn there is), and by extension of their entire gender, which can be devastating to young people who have little or no real life experience to use for comparison. And on and on; we've all heard the reasons that porn is "bad," and an excellent case is made by those reasons... but does that mean that all porn really IS bad, for all people under all circumstances?

I'm getting at something, can you tell? I can't count the # of times I've read about, or been told about, a situation that goes like; a woman gets home early, or gets up in the middle of the night, and finds her man, um, holding a magazine, or their mouse, in one hand, so to speak, and freaks out because he's not only choking the proverbial chicken, but is doing so while looking at sexual imagery... she sees it as somehow being the equivalent of him cheating on her. What follows is usually a hysterical demand that the man throw out all his magazines and/or delete his porn files and bookmarks, which the humiliated man agrees to. What follows THAT is the man employing an increased level of secrecy in order to resume this perfectly harmless activity that he's been doing his entire life and will continue to do until the day he dies.

Yes, that's right, ladies; HARMLESS. Masturbation is an integral part of maleness; male infants even do it in the womb. While women do it too, obviously, they often see it as something to do only when they don't HAVE a man, and then tend not to use porn; that doesn't make it the "right" way to do it, though, and in fact it's totally normal for men to do it even when they're coupled up, and totally normal for them to look at sexual imagery when they do it... they're biologically programmed to want, and NEED, to look, and to want to keep seeing NEW images.

I'm not saying that it's not right for a woman to be concerned if what her man is looking at is something truly sick; we just need to grit our teeth and accept that the standard nudie pics, and depictions of the same sexual acts we all participate in, are NOT sick, and not causing any harm unless the guy's refusing real sex to focus on porn... and let's face it, THAT doesn't happen too often, lol.

So, while there's inarguably plenty of porn that IS bad, and porn should certainly be kept away from kids, we as women need to lose the excessively PC attitude that's it's ALL bad, and let men look in peace... or, even better, we should stop being squeamish and take a look at pics of some of the mega-hotties working in the gay porn industry (don't bother with straight porn, trust me) , and find out what all the fuss is about. If your man catches you at it, you can just blame me. ;-)


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Must we make it so EASY for the evil to be evil? 


(Let me preface the following rant by saying that when I say "evil," I'm NOT referring to accidents, honest mistakes, things done mindlessly while drunk or angry, etc... I'm talking about EVIL, aka deliberate ugly, hurtful behavior by people who are ugly where it counts-on the inside.)

Sometimes it feels like I've spent half my life warning people that once they see a "friend" engaging in evil behavior they need to realize that an evil person is no one's friend, and cut them loose before they become the next target... and the other half of my life saying "I told you so" to people when they got shredded by the evil types they refused to kick to the curb.

Have you ever consciously realized how LITTLE it takes for most people to shrug off bad behavior and pretend it didn't matter, as if it shouldn't be part of the info used to judge the worth of the wrongdoer? Most times, the evil one doesn't even have to make any effort; just the passage of a few weeks, or even DAYS, is enough for people to act as if the evil evaporated and somehow doesn't count any more.

An evil person doesn't have to wait around for memories to fade if they'd rather not, though; all they have to do is utter a few pleasantries, and everyone within earshot acts as if it cancels out the wrongdoing. An example that took place today perfectly illustrates this, and was, as you may have guessed, the inspiration for this rant:

We have a house in our otherwise lovely neighborhood that has drug dealers living in it. I didn't find out until a flood of cop cars showed up a couple of weeks ago, and my husband instantly knew which house they were going to (he'd apparently seen numerous suspicious things over there, and had even been offered the chance to purchase drugs from them, and hadn't bothered to tell me); 2 men were taken from the house in handcuffs. The cops showed up again yesterday, but no one was home; I don't imagine that they were there to deliver doughnuts, and that fact that they spent a long time talking to a couple of kids, and even took them along to the dealers' house, made us wonder if the latest thing from the scumbags was that they tried to deal to 10 year olds. We were just SEETHING with revulsion for these despicable creatures... until one of them came to our door and asked my husband for a cup of milk, after which my husband was suddenly saying how NICE the lowlife was, and I was reminding him that this is a DRUG DEALER, and he was shrugging and shuffling his feet and saying "Yeah, but..." about an individual who was likely trying to get grammar school kids to do drugs.... and... and... and it's lucky that he got me that DVD yesterday, because I would cheerfully have STRANGLED him otherwise.

What does it take, folks? What does it take to make one single person on this Earth grasp that a person who does evil is an EVIL PERSON, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives, and that no matter how much time has passed since their last evil act, it is NOT canceled out, and that it doesn't matter HOW nice they were to you, or continue to be to you, that does NOT mean that you should enable them to continue on their evil way by providing them with friendship and support, much less offer your butt as their next target to kick... won't anyone reject an evil person even to save themselves?!!

Repeat after me: When I recognize that someone I know has done evil, I will reject them and kick them out of my life, thus saving myself a great deal of future grief and striking a blow against the wrongdoers of the world.

If you don't absorb the above philosophy, you'll live to regret it... and karma will send you someone to say "I told you so."


Friday, August 27, 2004

You know it's love when... 


While at Blockbuster a couple of weeks ago, my husband spotted DVD's for the first 2 seasons of Showtime's rave-reviewed series, "Queer as Folk"; since nearly everyone we know, straight as well as gay, has told us how wonderful it is, he brought home the first DVD for us to see... and we got hooked. HOOKED. We've been getting the DVD's one by one, watching a couple of episodes per night, until last night, when, as it turned out, there was only ONE episode to see, as that DVD was the last one for the first season and had only 3 episodes. I was a little bummed when I found out that we had only one to watch last night instead of 2; when we watched the episode, and they had the sweetest, most romantic scene, followed by a MAJOR cliffhanger, I was REALLY bummed to not have the next DVD. When my husband came home at dinnertime today and announced that they didn't have the next one at our Blockbuster, I was CRAZED.

My husband tried calling around to see which Blockbusters in our county might have the DVD; surreally, they have no way to check and see what they have in stock. They suggested he use their website to get the info, but it turns out that the system has been disabled-it looks like you can do a search, but you can't.

I honestly don't know what I would have done if I'd been watching the series in the normal way on Showtime, and would have had to wait MONTHS for the next episode; luckily, I didn't have to wait that long. I didn't even have to wait until tomorrow. My husband went back out, and spent THREE HOURS going from one Blockbuster to another until, just before midnight, he triumphantly returned with the first DVD for season 2.

If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Next time he leaves his dirty socks on the kitchen counter, I won't march down to his study and hold them over his nose. :-)


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Do souls/spirits/ghosts have feelings? 


I've always assumed they did, but only, as I realized today, because that's the traditional view, NOT because I've actually encountered evidence that indicates that... and that doesn't cut it when one is trying to make an honest intellectual analysis. To try to sort this out, I started with what I DID know for sure:

I've seen, heard and interacted with them, so I know they exist.

Based on those interactions, I know they have intelligence. Actually, I've never seen a ghost solving calculus problems, so I don't know for sure that spirits maintain their FULL intellect (that's an interesting point for another day), but they're not brainless blobs of energy by any means.

Since they often seek out loved ones, as I've also experienced, that means they have memory; there's no guarantee that they have FULL memory, though, and I think a case could be made that they might only remember things they felt strongly about in life.

OK, so what about feelings? Their "coming back" to contact loved ones COULD be seen as evidence of them feeling love (among other possible explanations, such as a sense of duty or an inability to accept being dead)... but love may NOT be an emotion. Science has shown that ROMANTIC love is not an emotion; I posted about that here:

http://omniverse.blogspot.com/2004_01_25_omniverse_archive.html#107553561466350536

But, are OTHER kinds of love emotions? We see all these sorts of love as facets of the same emotion, but, with one facet shown to not BE an emotion, what does that say about the other facets, that they're not emotions either, or just that romantic "love" needs to be called something else because it's nothing like "real love"?

And... that's as far as I can take this line of reasoning until more studies are done on love that answer those questions one way or another, or until I have an experience with a spirit that demonstrates some other emotion.

I sure hope that my next revelation about souls is a little more encouraging...


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Have we lost all standards of judgment? 


Have you seen Bravo's somewhat sadistic show "Things I Hate About You"? The premise is that a couple competes to prove which of them is harder to live with... and they show no restraint as to what they show from their hidden camera footage. What freaks me out about it isn't that people do weird and gross things, since as a married woman I've become used to seeing that sort of stuff, but the way the judges react to the various "wrongdoings."

On tonight's episode, the husband was caught on tape repeatedly picking his nose and wiping his finger on his clothes, the couch, the duvet, and his WIFE... and he was NOT the one who was picked as the one that was harder to live with. The judges downplayed the husband's behavior, which to most women would merit the death penalty, and instead went on and on about how the wife was, GASP, talking alot on her cell phone and not admitting to him how much clothing she bought... like almost every other woman in America. On what PLANET is shopping and chatting a bigger deal than someone picking their nose and wiping it everywhere EXCEPT on a tissue?!!

Further footage showed the husband being aggressively nasty, but that got shrugged aside while the judges focused on how the wife, who'd lost a huge amount of weight with a stringent diet, would only eat salads, chicken and tuna. Eating a healthy and low-calorie diet, now THERE'S a big crime, especially compared to the husband cursing and being abusive. {rolls eyes}

In another episode, one of the partners refused to EVER look at a receipt, and just handed over whatever amount of $ he was asked for; his boyfriend staged a demonstration showing that in just a few transactions, he could be cheated out of over $100 and not even notice... and that's NOT a typo. The judges pooh-poohed that, and instead made an issue of how the other man's clipping of coupons made him the essence of evil (???!!!). The first man was also shown to snore so loudly that neighbors were calling and asking that the noise be stopped, but that was made out to not be a big deal... but the fact that the 2nd man was putting the knickknacks back in place after the cleaning lady had wiped the surfaces was agreed to be a sign that he was virtually a menace to society.

What really horrifies me is that this show isn't unique in the opinions it reveals on different sorts of behaviors; this tendency to downplay and make excuses for the most extreme and disgraceful behaviors, while bashing behaviors that are at worst trivial foibles, shows up all over the place. Have we as a culture lost our frigging MINDS?!! This ties right into my post of July 10th, about how we've come to have disdain for virtue and attraction to bad behavior; when they have a show where the wildly worse-behaved person is always judged as NOT the harder person to live with, what other conclusion can we come to?

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The coin of destiny 


Did you ever see that episode of "Mad About You" where everyone becomes convinced that they have a quarter that's giving perfect advice on every topic? It's a goofy episode, as most of them are, but it brings up a good point; why have people in every culture, intelligent and educated people throughout human history, and through to the present day, believed that inanimate objects of various sorts were able to do "supernatural" things such as predict the future, protect from harm, CAUSE harm, etc?

Once again, we have to ask ourselves; is EVERYBODY crazy, or is there something actually going on here?

At first glance, it seems that there couldn't POSSIBLY be anything "magical" about coins, cards, amulets, chicken bones, or any of the other countless things that have been used in every culture to supposedly allow us greater knowledge of, and/or control over, what goes on in our lives. Then again, it seems equally ridiculous that particles would be able to pop in and out of existence, be in two places at once, or act as if they can "think"... but they DO, as quantum physicists have proven conclusively.

Human beings have a deep, abiding need to receive verification from some "greater force" than themselves that what they want to do is correct, that they can be safe from harm, that their enemies will suffer, and so forth; this is the driving force behind things like kids running to their parents or teachers to gain their approval for everything and people praying to whatever deity they worship for essentially the same purpose. Why would someone want to believe that mere OBJECTS have this sort of authority? Think about it; with an object of "power," you get the dual benefit of having assistance from a "higher plane" AND the ability to exercise control over the very source of said assistance... that could be hard to resist, don't you think? When the secret knowledge was coming from bones YOU cast (or whatever), it makes it look like you are an important part of the process. It makes you wonder how often authority figures within a tribe who supposedly used a method like this for the benefit of all were in fact just making up their own minds how they wanted things to be and then claiming that the cracks in the turtle shell (I'm not making that one up, lol) were saying exactly that.

The big question remains; IS there actually ANY non-zero paranormal assistive, predictive or destructive power to any object? My best guess would be what some believers in psychometry claim; that we can use objects to focus our own innate psychic abilities, and thus get greater use of them than we otherwise would. As with so many other things in life, a big part of being able to do it is BELIEVING that you can, and, sadly enough, we humans seem to find it far easier to believe in tarot cards or sheep entrails than in ourselves.


Monday, August 23, 2004

Karma, ahhhhhhhhh 


Those of you who are regulars here will recall the adventures of "the psycho bitch," a nasty piece of work who had terrorized a forum for many months, for which karma had repaid her with an onslaught of abuse from her former friends the likes of which I've never seen. Well, in response to my request yesterday for a reminder of the wonders of karma, a new chapter of this epic happened today.

The obsessive twit tried posting on the forum under yet another identity, and one of the admins pegged that ID as coming from the same service provider in the same state as the psycho; in response, the psycho sent the owner of the forum an email, expressing outrage at being "investigated," and denying being the psycho, with a slew of demented excuses for why that particular company was shown as being her provider. This would have been amusing in itself, but the part that made us all scream with laughter was that the psycho, proving that all evil is at its base STUPID, had created this email account with her REAL NAME, which showed up in the email the forum owner received!!!!!!!!

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

As an added benefit, I got to give an "I told you so" to all the friends who were patting me on the head, metaphorically speaking, and assuring me that the psycho had been fully and permanently handled, in contradiction of MY assertion that, based on my experience with online evil, she was going to keep trying to get back into the forum "society."

And... not coincidentally, a friend with no connection to all this called me earlier in the day today, and we discussed the nature of evil, how stupid evil is, and how we can predict what an evil person would do... and yes, I used the psycho bitch as an example.

AND... While I was reading what had happened on that forum, the news came on and told about how the painting "The Scream" had been stolen; when I came back into the family room and changed the channel, there was a sitcom on, with a print of that same painting showing on a teenager's wall.

I asked for synchronicities, and I got 'em, along with the boost I needed. It's wonderful... and a little scary.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Is the soul what we think it is? 


One of the basic principles of my theory of karma is that thoughts, feelings, and souls/spirits are all made of the same energy; I haven't given much more thought to what that might tell me about the nature of the soul until today, but now I'm making up for lost time.

One of the biggest epiphanies I've ever had about how the universe works came from reading about how, in nature, for any complex system, you can look at the things it's made of, and see precursors for all of the properties of that system; an example is how, for the "roar of the crowd," you can look at each individual part of the crowd and find a little piece of the noise. Because nature won't give you something for nothing, or from nothing, it always has to be this way; therefore, thought and feeling can NOT come from matter that has no precursor of thought or feeling, and therefore matter must HAVE some inkling of thought and feeling to it... and this is the idea behind animism. I wrote about this at length here:

http://omniverse.blogspot.com/2004_03_14_omniverse_archive.html#107950874313535090

I didn't take the next step of reasoning until today; the soul is also a complex system, and thus the same rule applies... and so everything must have some hint of SOUL in it, too. Since souls are made of the exact same energy as thoughts and feelings, this should have been obvious, but it was so mindboggling for me to recognize that animism was true to the extent the article I read about it said that my brain just couldn't extrapolate from it until today.

This really weirds me out, because, although quantum physics shows us that subatomic particles seem to act as if they can "think," and thus there's some science-backed reason to believe in the omnipresence of thought, SOULS are a whole different matter... or are they?

ARE THEY?!!

And this leads me to my 2nd epiphany of the day; I've said all along that the soul forms from the energy of our thoughts and feelings... but WHY do we have to believe that that collected energy becomes a whole new thing that has to be called by a different name? We "grow" a soul the way we grow hair and nails, and we don't consider hair or nails to be some new and different thing separate from our bodies, so why should it be different for the soul? Instead of saying that souls are made from thoughts and feelings, or from the same energy, wouldn't it be more proper to say that a soul IS the collected energy of our thought and feelings, and NOT some different, mystical entity? This explanation is logical, consistent, and satisfies Occam's Razor, as it's the simplest way to look at it, but... it's going to take time for me to REALLY accept this, because it's so radical.

And because part of me WANTS to believe that I have this glorious, magical thing called a soul, rather than something that's the energy equivalent of... fingernails. Hopefully, I'll have a dazzling bit of synchronicity in the next day or 2 to remind me of how amazing the overall engine of karma is...


Saturday, August 21, 2004

How much do you love? 


What does it mean to you to love someone? Does it mean that you hang around as long as it feels good, or that you're willing to make a real effort for them? How much effort? Are you willing to sacrifice for them? How big of a sacrifice?

It used to be that if a person fell on hard times, they could count on the entire community to help them out; these days, many people can't even count on their best friends to so much as stick around, much less do anything for them. What would YOU do for a friend in need? Let them move in with you? Put your life on hold to help them sort things out? Tell your significant other that you have to cool things off for a while so that you can help your friend?

It used to be that we'd make ANY effort for a family member in need; these days, it's all too common for "inconvenient" family members to get put in nursing homes, or institutions, or just plain abandoned... and that includes romantic partners. When people ask me how to know if what they feel about their girlfriend or boyfriend is sufficient for them to get married and be together forever, I reply; ask yourself, "If this person was in an accident that left them horribly crippled and disfigured, what would I do?" and if the answer is anything other than an immediate, "I'd take care of them and try to give them the best life possible," you either don't love them enough, or are too immature to marry... or are just so "modern" that you think that "in sickness and in health" means YOUR sickness only. {sigh}

The most astonishing example of love that I've seen in a long time, or perhaps EVER, was in a show on the National Geographic channel; a man in the Philippines had the joy of his wife giving birth shattered when complications set in and it looked like he might lose both of them. He did the only thing he could think of; he prayed, and told God that if He would save his wife and baby, he would show his gratitude by undergoing an unbelievable ordeal... he would have himself crucified. CRUCIFIED. Can you think of anything more selfless? How about this; he agreed to be crucified FIFTEEN TIMES. His wife and baby DID survive, and a few days later, he got started on making good on his promise; first, he walked the 15 miles to his church, beating himself with bamboo the entire way. The next day, he was crucified for the first time. The program showed the 12th time he was doing all this, and showed him being crucified... and this was the real thing, nails through the hands and all. When it was over, they showed him looking strong and serene, with his arm around the daughter that he was enduring unimaginable suffering to insure the life of... now THAT'S love.

How about you? What would YOU endure for a loved one? How much do you love?


Friday, August 20, 2004

I need a REAL spiritual vocabulary 


It can be terribly difficult, not to mention frustrating, for me to try to explain my spirituality to people, even those who are highly intelligent and with a broad base of knowledge, because there are no words no describe... well, MOST of the concepts involved, much less the details. I end up using the word "karma" to describe many aspects of my beliefs, AND my overall belief system, which is really too much to ask of the word (and probably confusing to new readers to this blog who don't know what I mean).

I'd like to be able to tell people what I believe without spouting an essay, but it just can't be done; there's no word or phrase that encompasses the entire "tapestry of karma" that I see when I view "the unknown." I'm not alone in this dilemma, of course, since there are plenty of other people who embrace metaphysical concepts to one extent or another, with or without traditional religion being mixed in; I'm betting that a few of you, my readers, have this problem too.

In my attempts to make clear my beliefs in a discussion today, a few terms were discussed that may be useful to some of the mystics out there; for those of you who see God as being behind what I call karma (several of my dearest friends are in this zone), we have:

Pantheism:

1. the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.

2. any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe

Panentheism:

1. The belief that the universe is a part of God and that Nature is thus an aspect of divinity.

2. The doctrine that God is within all creation, but the universe is not part of God, rather God is the animating force behind the universe.. Unlike pantheism, it does not say that the universe is synonymous with God; it maintains that there is more to God than the material universe. In panentheism God maintains a transcendent character, and is viewed as both the creator and the original source of universal morality.


If you see karma as sort of "magical" (rather than as an unmysterious force of nature as *I* see it), this one might help:

Immanence:

In metaphysics, the presence within the natural world of a spiritual or cosmic principle, especially of the Deity. It is contrasted with transcendence. The immanence of God in the world is the basic feature of pantheism.


I hope that by passing these terms along, I'll be creating a "karmic slot" (there's another concept that needs a word, grrrr) into which someone else will pass along some new terms that DO describe at least some segments of my worldview.

Even with people who have developed very similar belief systems, it can be hard to have a fruitful discussion, because we all use different names for everything; for example, a lovely man that I have an ongoing email exchange with tends towards melodrama, and referred to a household where negative energy was being generated as being "full of darkness," as if someone were about to die, or as if there were some great evil there... of course, from HIS perspective, saying "negative energy" fails to get across the correct "feel" and nature of the energy. If we had "official" words for these things, we'd be more accurate and less "creative."

Jung saw the connection between quantum physics and synchronicity, but he didn't give a name to it; I sincerely hope that the next time someone prominent sees a significant chunk of the workings of karma, they'll give it a NAME.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

The wisdom of "primitive" societies 


Why do I refer to tribal societies as "primitive," in quotes like that? Because there are all sorts of ways to be primitive other than in terms of the only way we as a society look at, technology, such as culture, societal cohesion, and spirituality, and in those ways these societies are NOT primitive-WE ARE.

I saw some cool programs on the National Geographic channel today that showed various "tests of faith" and "rites of passage," most of which were in less-developed cultures; they were usually scary to American eyes, because they involved so much pain and risk. Watching this made me wonder; why is it that EVERY such culture, in every country on every continent, developed these sorts of rituals?

There has to be a reason for these traditions to be so consistently formed and maintained; there has to be a benefit to those tribes from going through such suffering. Part of it is that these ceremonies contribute greatly to the bonding between members; the hazing and rituals common in fraternities is a pale echo of this. When the life of any member of the tribe might depend on the actions of any other member, and the best interests of the tribe depend on everyone working together, that bonding is of infinite value. Another benefit is that it toughens them up and makes them more able to handle the many hardships that their lives will entail. Another is that pain and suffering lead to an enhanced feeling of spirituality, which is a great help in enduring a difficult life. A final benefit is one you don't hear much about; natural selection.

Surprised to hear that term applied to humans? We ARE animals, and, despite what the environmentalists say, we ARE a part of nature, so why would it NOT apply to us? A person who lacks the strength, courage, or other abilities necessary to get through the rituals won't be able to marry, and so won't be able to breed and pass on their "inferior" genes... and thus the gene pool of the tribe is strengthened. When, as is often the case, open wounds are the result of the "tests," with the "victim" being in unsanitary conditions with no medical care, any whose bodies can't deal with infection quickly and easily won't survive... and, again, the gene pool is strengthened.

Why do we, with our morbid fear of death, aging, illness, injury, pain, and even discomfort, feel so superior to the "savages" we see on educational programs enduring grisly-looking tortures for the good of their tribes? We're physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually weak compared to them; our wealth and technology have made us soft. From that perspective, the so-called modern primitives, who endure extensive body modification to feel part of something bigger, and to feel a deeper spirituality, seem pretty smart.

On a certain level, I envy them.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Is $ the root of all evil? 


Since much of crime arises from poverty, it seems more like the LACK of $ is the root of all evil, doesn't it?

Do you see many rich people committing crimes? If you ignore victimless crimes like taking drugs and paying for sex, all that's really left is the small % of the wealthy who do things like insider trading; $ makes people want to buy flashy cars and art, not do evil things.

Crimes come from people wanting more "stuff" than they can afford, and not caring what they do to get it.... or from mental illness (most sex crimes are included in this category)... or from hate (hence the term "hate crimes")... or from things like drunkenness, anger, or the combo thereof ("crimes of passion"); not all of these things are evil, but evil acts, criminal or not, come from some of these sources.

At the most basic level, evil acts come from people who are themselves evil (to varying degrees, of course), or sick, or both; thus, the root of all, or at least most, evil, is lodged in the brain, in the areas that, if messed up, lead to the lack of empathy, and thus sociopathy, that is found in many criminals, and the craziness that explains most of the rest of crime.

It's been popular for many years now to blame every aspect of a person's life and environment for their evil acts, and for centuries the devil or demonic possession or some similar thing got blamed, but the cold hard reality is that evil can be traced to a genetic defect in the brain; it's not the melodramatic thing that society tells us it is, or should be, and it's therefore admittedly anti-climactic to realize this, but there it is.

So; don't hate the evil ones... PITY them. They no more asked for their evil than a rabid dog asked for the rabies. If you can grasp this, and believe it, and feel accordingly, you'll eliminate a great deal of negative energy, and therefore a great deal of bad karma, from your life.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Odds and ends of synchronicity 


After what I wrote last night, I thought about how I should fill my most religious friend in on it and get her perspective; I had a call waiting on my machine from her when I woke up today.

I called my mother this afternoon, and she yelped that she'd just been coming down the stairs to call ME when the phone rang.

My husband and I went out to dinner, and shared a dessert; as we got down to the very end, I pushed the last chunk towards him, and commented that it was like that scene from "Lady and the Tramp"; later in the evening, we watched a rented DVD (one we'd never seen before), and a couple in it made a show of acting out that exact scene (and yes, they DID specify that it was from that movie).

The restaurant we went to is the sort of place where dinner for 2 is over $100. When we got there, the staff was talking about a couple that had reservations that would bring them there soon; the male half had arranged for champagne to be brought to the table, as he was going to propose. They were all saying that they hoped things didn't end up like the last time they'd had a proposal, a couple of days before, when the woman had declined (which they'd been amazed that anyone would do when taken out for such an expensive dinner). When the couple came, we kept an eye on them, hoping to see the proposal; we lingered after we finished eating, looking out for the romantic moment. No luck; she turned him down, and off they went. The waiter who verified what had happened for us added that the previous couple with the aborted engagement had been sitting at that same booth, and that they were going to have to stop putting "proposal couples" there.

My husband and I had originally been booked for that booth, but I'd asked to be put somewhere else.

I discussed this with him later, suggesting that there might have been some bad karma about that booth, and he said "Maybe you DID sense something." How undeniable do the workings of karma have to be to make even my non-believer husband start to wonder? :-O


Monday, August 16, 2004

Beauty for ashes 


I watched Joel Osteen today (and I've got my husband hooked on him too, to his dismay, lol), and I saw with absolutely screaming clarity that he MUST have at least a subconscious grasp of karma... so much so that he's varying somewhat from Christian doctrine in describing how things work. This is NOT meant as an insult to him or his degree or variety of faith; rather, I think it praiseworthy and courageous of him to call it as he sees it, and VERY sharp of him to "see it" in the first place.

What I'm referring to is today's sermon, which focused on "before you can get the good things in life, you have to let go of all the bad feelings you have about the bad things that have happened to you." On the surface, it just sounds a little New Age-y, but there's more to it; he probably said 20 times in a 30 minute sermon that God CAN'T give you all the good things He's got waiting for you unless and until you give up those bad feelings. See the contradiction with traditional Christian doctrine? God's supposed to be omnipotent, isn't He? So, what one would expect to be said in reference to an all-powerful deity would be that he would REFUSE to take action for you unless you did what He wanted, not that He CAN'T take action unless YOU make it possible for Him... so what does it mean that Osteen kept saying CAN'T?

The idea that radiating negative energy prevents positive things from getting to you in general is pure karma, NOT Christianity; God is supposed to come help you out when you're in pain, not decline to help, much less be unable to help. Osteen drove the point home even deeper with a real-life example, as he generally does; he referred to a woman who'd had some really bad breaks, and was feeling terrible because of it, and said that being around her he could feel the "poison" radiating from her... and the concept that not just "bad" emotions like hate and jealousy create negative energy, but hurt and fear and such also, is one of the biggest realizations I've had about karma this year.

Once again, I'm dazzled to see someone from a Christian perspective seeing the same truths about karma that I do, especially the counterintuitive truth about ALL negative emotions blocking good from reaching you, keeping you in a rut of bad things happening, even when you're a VICTIM; no one else that I've encountered has independently seen that one. I wonder what he's going to have to say that I have NOT thought of yet....


Sunday, August 15, 2004

What would the ideal lover be like? 


Different for everyone, yes, I know, but let's think about it for a minute. Not about what's ideal in a PARTNER, but what would be ideal in a person you'd only sleep with a few times, or even just ONCE, and that would be the entire "relationship." What qualities would a person have to have to make sex with them the wildest you've ever have?

Did some famous person pop into your mind? Celebrities are an arrogant and self-absorbed bunch... not likely to be good lovers, one would suspect. Still, the excitement of being with a person like that might be enough... but wouldn't it be more satisfying to be able to do the things you've always fantasized about, rather than just doing whatever the famous person likes to do?

That's a good start; someone who'd either like to do all the weird stuff we don't want to freak out our long-term partners with, or is at least open to doing ANYTHING without having an agenda of their own to want to talk us into. Someone with no inhibitions, who was accepting rather than judgmental, who'd want to have a good time, and make sure the person with them had a good time, and who wouldn't get weirded out from having done a few kinky things and act like a jerk and spoil it. Creativity would be good, too; you never know when someone else might have thought of a few interesting things that haven't occurred to us yet.

The right sexual mindset isn't enough, of course; I think that rigorous hygiene and a lifelong dedication to safe sex would be essential, too. I'm not focused on age, but a "dirty old man" wouldn't do it for me, and someone too young would be just as creepy, in a way... although a guy young enough to still have some muscle tone and a dimple-free butt would be good, as long as he was old enough to have a reasonably hairy chest.

And now we're edging into looks; while I'm normally banging the drum for IGNORING looks, for a one-nighter or fast fling I think you might as well go with someone who taps into your biological programming to go for hotties. So, what sort of person do you find supremely sexy, in a purely physical sense? I like a guy with a butt about so big (imagine me holding my hands out about a foot apart), with either tousled blonde hair and a boyish face, or dramatic goth looks... and did I mention the hairy chest?

Ok, time for me to go do a little... more in-depth imagining. ;-)


Saturday, August 14, 2004

Reincarnation 


Some dopey movie I had on in the background while I was writing emails today brought up an interesting concept; if reincarnation is real, and everyone's soul is recycled from a past life, how does that work when the total # of people living on the planet keeps increasing, and has increased to thousands of times what it was early in human history? Has each "original soul" been divided up into thousands of pieces, and all WE each have now is a tiny fraction of a "full soul"? How can we KNOW?

If we DON'T just have bits of old souls, that means that new souls are being "created" (as a "side effect" of thought and emotion, as best as I can figure it, since they're all the same energy), and thus that it's not possible for everyone to have an "old soul," and in fact MOST people couldn't have one, not by a long shot... and those that DO have old souls could have one that's a few years old or millennia old, unless only the earliest soul are capable of reincarnating, and so all old souls wouldn't be "equal."

If it's possible for some people to have "recycled souls" (although I don't see how, or even WHY, a soul would latch onto a developing human), how would we KNOW if our souls are old or new? Would there be any differences, other than age? Would an old soul really have memories of past lives, as people who do past life regression claim? If so, how and where would those old memories be stored in the new brain? Or, is there a "soul memory" even when the soul is in the body... and if there is, does it hold memories from our current life too?

OR, does the old soul merge with the new soul, giving some people a sort of hybrid soul? Or, does this just happen sometimes by accident, leaving the person so afflicted... deeply spiritual? Mentally dysfunctional? Crazy? (Is there a difference, lol?)

People talk about having known each other in past lives, and about being soul mates; if any of this is really going on, there'd have to be some heavy karma involved any time one "old soul" found another, much less one that was familiar... which is of course what people who claim to be part of this sort of thing say. My best guess here is that these encounters would have to be so rare that most of those who believe they're having them are deluding themselves to make their relationships seem more important.

As to whether or not reincarnation in general exists; I HOPE not, because if it does, that either means that the afterlife is so grim that souls seek out new bodies to escape it, or that there's a force making us go back into physical bodies against our will like many reincarnationists believe... and that's not the universe I want to live in.


Friday, August 13, 2004

Deism and karma 


Deism, which you don't hear about much these days but had a run of popularity in the past (Thomas Jefferson was a believer), is the concept of a "clockwork universe," where God created everything, set it in motion, and then left, never to return. If there IS a God, it would make more sense that He wasn't around anymore, given the way the world is these days, but virtually all Christians believe that He's still with us... or is that just wishful thinking on their part?

COULD God have created everything? Sure. I wasn't around at the beginning of the universe, so it's not like I have proof one way or the other, and, although I'm reasonably sure there was a Big Bang, as so much science points to it, there's no reason God couldn't have set THAT into motion. Could God have created karma? I have some deeply religious friends who firmly believe that, so I think it's reasonable to see it as a possibility, even though Christianity doesn't teach anything about karma.

Does the above mean that the existence of karma, aka "the engine of karma," could point to the existence of the setup that the Deists envisioned? My guess would be not, because Christianity promises that there will be judgment, with rewards for the good and punishment for the evil, and karma doesn't work that way... it's just energy, with no judgments going on, and in fact people who radiate "negative" energy (anger, sadness, fear) due to bad things happening to them draw more negative things to them even though they've done no wrong, which is NOT what Christianity tells us is supposed to happen.

On the other hand, regardless of what the writers of the Bible believed, maybe God doesn't see good and evil, right and wrong, as we do, or may not care about them at all, and so in fact DID set up the engine of karma, and early believers saw its workings as indicative of rewards and punishments, as it DOES often produce results that look that way... and maybe the animal sacrifices demanded by the Old Testament God created intense karma due to the heavy emotional focus on the issue(s) they were being conducted to resolve, making it appear that sacrifices were accomplishing something... if you convolute things enough, there's usually a way to have God be at the bottom of it, but I don't think it's more than an intellectual exercise; there's no need to add God to the equation to explain things, and no need to complicate the truth just to have a father figure in charge of things.

On the other hand, you can't DISprove His existence, or the existence of SOME sort of deity, by clever arguments, either, and the energy of karma is the same as the energy of thought and feelings, which CAN be seen as pointing to a being at the center of it all, so...


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Nested synchronicities 


Today, I finally got the chance to bid on an eBay auction for an odd group of items; my head swam when I originally saw this auction, because I'd already won an auction with those EXACT same items... and then LOST them due to some inexcusable bungling on my husband's part, grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm not QUITE confident enough about my karma to believe that this auction "got arranged for me," but I knew that the odds were wildly against there ever having been a 2nd auction for the identical items, much less there ever being a THIRD, so I wasn't willing to risk not winning by bidding in advance; I set my alarm for early in the AM in order to be able to place my bid near the end of the auction. I woke up early, and had been sleeping badly enough to decide to cut my losses and get up and do something while waiting to bid.

The night before, I'd fired off an email to friend in a semi-developed country who I hadn't heard from in a while; I didn't expect to hear back from her any time soon, as she doesn't have internet access much of the time, and would have written to me already if she was able, but I had the impulse to check the email account I write to her from, and... you guessed it, there was an email from her. More precisely, there was an email prefaced by an all-caps description of how she'd written and saved the letter below it for me the day before I wrote to her, in expectation of being allowed online at last, and when she got access to her email account the next day there was MY new email waiting for her. I understand why she was freaked out, but I didn't even blink; I've been in the midst of such a period of heavy synchronicities recently that nothing surprises me right now.

Before I could read much of the email, I had to go place my bid. There were several other bidders who'd already done their thing (none of whom had participated in the previous auction), but the current price at that point was well below what I'd previously won it for, so I felt fairly confident; I made my bid, and the new total was... only a dollar different from the price I won the previous auction for-imagine my reaction. I refreshed the page until the end, and won for the price that came up when I bid; it blew me away that this group of items, none of which I'd ever seen for sale anywhere else besides collectively in the other auction, and thus couldn't have established a "market value" for (nor could anyone else), went for almost exactly the same price as before, although even items with well-established values tend to go for a wide range of prices on eBay.

I then replied to my friend's email (starting with an explanation of synchronicity), sent it, and figured that I'd go back to bed and try to catch a few more zzzzzzz's. For no reason I can explain, I had the urge to do something odd; I went back and checked the timestamp on my friend's email... and the time it showed was the EXACT time I'd woken up, right down to the minute.

Even by my standards, it was an exceptionally weird way to start the day.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Are you the master of your own destiny? 


We certainly like to think so, but there aren't many cultures that think that's the way it is... YOU may not even believe it, when you really think about it. If you believe in a deity, you almost certainly believe that that deity controls things, and, even if (s)he allows you free will, (s)he still handles much of what you encounter in life, AND chooses which prayers to answer, so it's not like YOU control everything that happens to and around you. Do you believe in the Devil, or demons of any sort? How about angels? Saints? Lesser gods? Ancestral spirits? Nearly every religion in every culture has a variety of entities that they think can and do interact with human affairs and dictate to some extent what happens... why do you suppose that is? If we really WERE acting all alone with no help, harm, or input of any kind from any other sort of entity or energy, why would nearly the entire human race believe otherwise? Is everyone stupid, or deluded, or worse... or are they onto something, perceiving something that they've anthropomorphized as various sorts of beings?

What about those who DON'T believe that anything influences our lives "from without"? Is it a coincidence that most of the people who believe that we're all there is, and are in total control, live in a country that has lost most of its spirituality? Not to mention a country where people often feel at the mercy of the government, big business and random crazies rather than confident that life will proceed according to their plans... what exactly DO we think we control? Who do you know that's satisfied with their paycheck, their appearance, their sex life, or much of anything in their lives? If any of us DO control our destinies, we're apparently not doing much of a job.

Because I have no religious beliefs, *I* don't believe that there are necessarily any entities involved actively in our lives, as I've seen no proof of that... the only evidence I've seen is for the involvement of energy (karma), not thinking beings. I don't deny that they're out there, though, as I can't prove they DON'T exist, and they certainly could, in theory, be behind the actions of the energies I've seen. I try to keep an open mind, and, if they want my acknowledgment, they know where to find me, and can let me know.

This is not to say that I don't believe in the existence of "energy beings" of any sort, as I've SEEN spirits... or were they angels, or something else? Just because something LOOKS human isn't proof that it IS, so... I suppose they could have been nearly anything, but I saw no proof that they were shaping events in any way.

Still, the energies that I see "running things behind the scenes" are conceptually very similar in effect to what saints, demons and such are seen by many as doing, with the result that I see that I do NOT control much of what happens in my life, much less have any significant influence on the vast tapestry of energies that we all exist within. I'm not a fatalist, though, so I DO believe, for example, that the studies that show that watching your weight and exercising make you healthier are valid, so I do what I can to be healthy and safe. Just as importantly, I've learned that I CAN influence certain elements of karma, and I do the best I can with that. However, there are far too many factors OUT of my control for me to think that I'm in anything like total control of my destiny.

Take a good look at what you think exists in the universe besides humans, and how few things in your life you can even influence, much less control, and see if you think you're the master of YOUR destiny.


PS As I was writing the end of the above essay, a show I'm not really familiar with, Cheers, came on TV; I'd never seen that episode before, and it was NOT on when I started writing. The plotline revolved around an old weight machine that gave fortunes along with the weight readings, and how those fortunes seemed to be proving true in some cases. I wasn't really paying attention, until the main character said, "Nothing and no one controls what happens to us." Coincidence?


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

#'s don't lie... 


... but sometimes, they warp our minds.

Which #'s do I mean? The ones that we all too often use to judge ourselves and others. George Carlin delivered a line that beautifully sums up this concept; it went something like "Age, height and weight are just numbers-your doctor should be concerned with them, but no one else should be."

Age: America's psychotic obsession with youth has spurred us to do anything we can think of, even risk our lives with major surgeries, to look young, and to then lie through our teeth about how old we are, especially after we pass milestones like 30 and 40. Have you ever noticed that there are only a few years between the age when we try to be seen as older and the point at which we start to fudge our age downwards? And that mid-life crises have become the rule rather than the laughable exception? And that we're getting all in a twitter about the age differences between couples, as if that was the most important thing to be concerned about?

Height: This one may not seem like a big deal to you... unless you're a man of average height or less, trying to get dates, or a tall woman having to deal with the fact that men prefer women who are significantly shorter than they are, even in heels. A dear friend of mine did the online dating service thing for several years, and discovered that his success rate dropped radically when he admitted to his real height, which is only an inch less than average; he went so far as to check the heights of all the men at one site, and found that very few admitted to being less than 6' tall. Meanwhile, most women wear high heels to look taller and longer-legged, while women who actually ARE tall and long-legged wear flats and slouch.

Weight: How many women do you know that aren't on a diet most of the time? Americans of both genders get fatter every year, but the famous people we idolize keep getting thinner; another example of our tendency to fall into bizarre dichotomies. The last acceptable prejudice is against fat people, and many people jump on that bandwagon who have plenty of junk in the trunk themselves, because there's so much self-hate among those who are even a little overweight that they don't see the hypocrisy involved. People will lie, stand on one foot on the scale, invent a fantasy weight for their driver's license, and do anything else they can think of to keep their true weight from being known... as if changing the # changed the reality.

Would it be too much to ask for us to pay a little less attention to these #'s, which have no relation to a person's value, and a little MORE attention to the qualities that really matter, like honesty, loyalty and compassion?


Monday, August 09, 2004

Karma is SO slick 


Yesterday, I posted about the tough-love approach to helping depressive friends.

Today, the friend that has been by far the major recipient of this from me called for the first time in a couple of months.

Coincidence?

This friend has been finding comfort in going to church, and it finally occurred to me today to tell her about Joel Osteen (a pastor who's on TV every week giving a sermon); I helped her figure out when and on what channel he'd be on in her area, and she agreed to watch him.

The sermon he gave today was about how, if you've had bad things happen to you, and have had years of your life, health, happiness, money taken from you by people or circumstances, God would make good on all of that and make it all up to you, if you let him; since my friend has had every kind of loss and abuse he mentioned, this sermon was the exact thing she most needs and wants to hear.

Coincidence?

In the course of the sermon, one of the specific things he talked about was an exact match for something in her life.

Coincidence?

This sure seems like a clear case of karma in action... and another sign to me that it's a good idea for me to be watching Osteen. There was a kicker in his sermon for ME, too, as always; he warned people not to decide that there was only one specific way that God could give them what they wanted, making up for what they'd lost, because there were many ways available to Him, and it was necessary to let Him do it His way to be able to get what He wanted you to have. This was exactly what Scott Adams had said (see my post of January 12th) in his description of how affirmations work (except of course he indicated that an unnamed something would make things happen, NOT God), and affirmations are just a way to manipulate karma by sending out focused energy dedicated to achieving a certain goal; it blows me away to see someone coming from a Christian perspective reaching the exact same conclusion as I have as to how things work, even though he attributes it to God and I don't.

There is ONE truth, ONE reality; the more you open your mind to it, the more of it will come pouring in from sources you haven't even thought of yet.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Dealing with depressed friends 


No one needs friends more that a depressive. What they tend to really WANT, though, is someone who'll give them a shoulder to cry on and agree with everything they say, which of course is very different from friendship; this leads to them driving away, or stalking away from, anyone who tries to be a TRUE friend to them, and clinging to any useless doomsayer types they can find... just thinking about that is enough to depress ME, sigh.

Although it's generally a losing battle, there are some depressed people that I continue to be friends with. If you're in the same boat, here are a few tips on how to provide them with the specialized friendship they need:


1) Unlike with any other sort of illness, people with the so-called "mental" illnesses will often resist telling a doctor that they need help, and, no matter how hideously they're suffering, they'll frequently resist taking meds. Make it clear to them that unless and until they get help, they'll NEVER get better, and, if they're not willing to get help, you're not willing to be the pit into which they can endlessly pour their misery. I know it seems cruel, but if you make it easier for them to delay getting help, you're enabling them to stay sick, NOT doing them any good.

2) They'll try to convince you that every day they feel worse than any previous day, even though this is obviously impossible; this attitude contributes to their misery, and can be combated by asking them to explain HOW they feel worse today, what new symptoms they have, or what in their life has changed... after a few rounds of this, when they have no answer, they'll gradually stop saying it, AND stop feeling it as well. You might feel "mean" for making a suffering person admit that they're exaggerating, but it's very important for them to internalize that they have a chronic condition, NOT an infinitely-downward spiral.

3) Their answer to nearly anything you suggest they do generally contains the word "can't"; sometimes, of course, this will be valid, as they might not have any $, or be able to drive, etc, but much of the time you can respond "You're not paralyzed, so you CAN move your body and make it do what I just suggested." They'll still probably find a way to not do whatever it is, but at least then you can deal with specifics instead of getting into "yes you can" "no I can't" battles, and sometimes they WILL do it.

4) They'll try to tell you that there's no med for their symptoms, or no doctor or clinic within a 100 mile radius, or some other nonsense... not because they've checked it out, but just because they they've convinced themselves that that's the way it is. If you ARE a real friend, take a few minutes to look things up, and show them the truth; they'll fall back on other excuses, more than likely, but at least you'll have moved them forward.

5) Here's the hardest one; when, as a last gasp to keep from doing what you've suggested and starting down the path to better mental health, they announce that they can handle things, they know what's best, they'll do the right thing, you respond, "No, you CAN'T handle it, you DON'T know what's best, and do NOT do the right thing... that's why you're in the situation you're in." Yes, they'll be upset, but if you can get them past ALL their smoke and mirrors, you've got a good chance of seeing them get the help they need and become healthy and, dare I say it, HAPPY, one day.


This sort of tough love is HARD, and stressful, and just plain beyond some people's ability to be confrontational, and so I understand why most folks head for the hills at the first sign that a friend is a depressive, rather than either trying to help them or soaking up all their drama, but... if you DO manage to help someone who can't help themselves, the feeling you get will be well worth it-and the karmic rewards will be, too.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

Why do we clean the house for company? 


Our windchime-giving friend is coming over to spend Saturday evening with us, and that means many hours of picking up and cleaning up so that I don't die of embarrassment as soon as she walks in the door. Between bouts of scolding my husband for trying to sneak off and post on forums instead of handling his mess, I was thinking about what we do for company and why.

Why is it ok for us to live every day of our lives with dirt and clutter, but NOT ok for anyone ELSE to be in our home in its normal state? Would harm come to them from conditions that don't harm US?

I know, I know, we don't want anyone to see our house messy... but why not? Are they so stupid they truly believe that the condition they see our home in is the way it is every day? Are WE so stupid as to think they don't realize that we're cleaning up for them? Why do we need to perpetrate this mutual deception our entire lives?

If we could all agree to bring this madness to an end, imagine how much time and aggravation it would save us, and how much more we'd enjoy having company over if we didn't have to make so much effort for them. Yes, we'd still have to do SOME cleaning, such as in any bathroom used by anyone of the masculine gender, but it'd be a cakewalk compared to what most of us are doing now.

On the other hand, my husband refuses to clean anything unless someone's coming over, so... never mind, everyone continue on as always. ;-)


Friday, August 06, 2004

Windchime karma 


I know, it sounds goofy, but here's the story:

A friend of mine gave me a windchime a few months ago; I didn't like it very much, but I like HER alot, so I hung it up, so that when she came over she could look outside and see it and feel good about her gift. A month or so ago, someone STOLE it; I kid you not, someone actually took the time, and risked being seen, to steal a $5 windchime. (My next door neighbors got arrested a few days ago, and I'm willing to bet that one of them took it because his girlfriend liked it, as this isn't exactly a high-crime neighborhood. It's odd that the thieves ignored the many windchimes of mine that I like, and that are more expensive ones, to take the one that I DON'T like; was that karma, or scumbags just having bad taste?) My husband and I agreed that we needed to replace the windchime before she noticed it missing and felt bad, or, worse, felt it necessary to replace it for us, at a time when every penny counts in her life.

We knew what store she'd gotten it from, so we went there; they no longer were carrying it. We checked their website; the item we wanted wasn't offered for sale online. We checked to see if it was still in stock at any of their other stores; it was at a couple, but this particular chain doesn't transfer items between branches. My husband had TWO different potential trips to places near stores that had the item in stock that ended up not happening. We checked on eBay, and no one had it. No one else online had it either.

Time passed, and we were seeing this friend at her house, or out at various places, and then finally plans were made for her to come to our house, but she wouldn't be here until after we got back from dinner when it would be dark, so it wasn't a worry... until she announced to me that HER windchime (yes, she got herself the same one) had fallen apart, and she wanted to bring it over and use OUR windchime to compare it to, so that she could re-assemble it properly. I managed to change the subject without letting on that we didn't have her gift anymore, and when I got home I announced to my husband that we HAD to have that windchime by the time she got to our house; we went on eBay, and... there it was.

We bid. We WON. There wasn't much chance that we could get it shipped here in time, but we told the seller the situation, and he got it shipped out the next day, and... we got it TODAY, and it will be hanging up when she gets here!! :-)

The amount of time, effort, stress, and $ that we spent replacing the silly thing is sort of embarrassing, but it's worth it to know that she'll never guess what happened... and, I'm betting that I'll be getting some good "windchime karma" for my efforts. I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, August 05, 2004

What seems "magical" to you? 


I don't mean the old saying about how any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic, I mean what seems magical to YOU... or, if you're so "adult" that the world seems gray and pedestrian to you, what seemed magical to you as a kid?

MY biggest one is things that glow; the first time I saw something that glowed in the dark (it was some little toy that came in a box of cereal, but I can't remember the details), I was a little kid, and I was in absolute AWE of that soft green light whose existence was utterly inexplicable. The toy got lost in one of our many moves, my parents couldn't be bothered with making a little effort to find me a replacement, and by the time I was old enough to have my own income I was buying clothes and records with my "mad money," so I didn't have the thrill for many years... until I met a man who thought that it would be cool to buy me "fun" things like these (and yes, I married him). These days, I have lots of glowing toys and assorted doodads, and, even though I know how they "work" now:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question388.htm

they still "feel" magical to me.

Another example is magnetism... not in things like refrigerator magnets, which my mother always had, but in things like a music box that has critters that look like they're "skating" because of hidden magnets, and various educational toys. I don't know why seeing magnets and metal leaping towards each other, or repelling each other, is more exciting than, say, dropping something and watching it fall to the floor due to gravity, lol, but somehow it IS. I also have a set of rare earth magnets that are so powerful that it's literally impossible for me to pry them apart; I fastened them onto my husband one time (I won't say where, hehehehehe), and we were afraid we weren't going to be able to get them off without help... we can do some pretty wild things with those. I even have toys that are magnetic AND glow in the dark; they're extra-magical, and extra fun.

What started me thinking about this in other than a vague subconscious way was a catalogue I got a couple of days ago that has all sorts of spiffy toys in it (including a magnetic one and some glow in the dark doodads that I'm going to get) that I was flipping through when I was writing my essays on 3's, and thinking about what influences people to get the idea that certain things were of spiritual importance, or magical, and a question occurred to me; in many parts of the world, there are natural things that emit a glow (such as various species of fungi, worms and jellyfish) that primitive peoples wouldn't be able to explain, and at some point magnetism had to be discovered and wouldn't have been explainable either... isn't it sort of weird that you don't see references to these things as having special meaning or powers in every belief system, at least in the days before science explained them? They saw all sorts of forces as being at work around them, but things that glowed without heat, and rocks that were drawn to each other and wanted to stick together, these things were NOT seen as magical or imbued with spiritual significance?

Weird, huh?


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

3's, part 2; WHY 3's? 


I'm still focused on 3's today, as, karmically, my friend with by far the most focus on both religion and spirituality, who I'd been wishing I could talk to late last night when I made my previous post, called me on her way home from working a late shift, and we had a fascinating conversation about them. It began with me asking "Have you ever noticed how 3's turn up over in over in..." to which she eagerly responded before I could even get the entire question out, not just because she knew what I was going to say, but because she's seen it countless times herself, in her intensive Bible study, in her readings on metaphysics, and in her own life. Much of what we covered is what I've already posted on, but there are a couple of new points:

Let's say that the wildly disproportionate appearance of 3's in spiritual beliefs is NOT based on something that exists as part of reality that we're picking up on subconsciously; what then made people think 3's were so important? Where in nature were people seeing 3's to bring them to mind as being central to how things work in the universe? 5 would seem a better choice; 5 fingers on each hand, 5 toes on each foot. Or 4; we have 4 limbs, 4 main facial features, and lots of critters have 4 legs. 2 would seem good, too, as so many things occur in pairs. But where were they seeing 3's? All we could think of is the trifurcate nature of male genitals... and, although we know that men LOVE their gleesome threesome of naughty bits, that seems insufficient to base spiritual perceptions on.

It just doesn't make SENSE to imagine that people were looking around them and deciding that 3's were so wildly important when so few things come in 3's; we concluded that there HAD to be something, or many things, in the actual structure of the universe and/or karma that contained 3's, that people have been perceiving pretty much since the dawn of spiritual thought... perhaps the entire omniverse is, at its most basic level, modeled on 3's. What if, say, quarks turn out to be, not just solid blobs of energy as they're currently seen, but honeycomb-type structures, with 3 sides instead of 6, or perhaps intricate lattices of triangles? What if bits of karmic energy travel around locked into threes, the way oxygen atoms do in the ozone?

That line of thought makes my eyes bug out of my head, but whether because it's totally crazy or because it would make something deeply puzzling and sort of freaky fall beautifully into place I don't know. My husband would vote for crazy, but this is the same guy who thought that my friend calling me for the first time in several weeks at the first possible moment after I expressed the wish to talk to her is a coincidence, so what does HE know, lol?


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Do good and bad things really happen in 3's? 


Of course not, how could they? Then again...

What is it about the #3? Why does it show up over and over in the spiritual, metaphysical and magic traditions of so many cultures? Lots of people throughout human history have clearly sensed something about the #3, but what? We can't look at the fabric of the universe to see if there are patterns of 3's there, but we CAN look at an easily-observable phenomenon concerning 3's; the idea that good and bad things happen in groups of 3. Let's assume for the sake of argument that there IS a reason that all these different peoples saw/perceived something special about 3, and in particular that there IS a disproportionate tendency for good or bad events to occur in 3's; how could it be happening?

For no reason that I can explain, when I realized today that *I* had had 2 "threesomes" over the past 24 hours (wipe that dirty thought out of your head, you know what I meant, lol), this thought popped into my head; it's like how ions and electrons work, or how some molecules form. In other words, in the same way that a certain # of electrons would ALWAYS be attracted to a specific ion (because it's always lacking a specific # of electrons), in the same way that atoms ALWAYS grab onto each other in the same ratios (ie an oxygen atom will always grab TWO hydrogen atoms to form water), maybe, just maybe, the way the architecture of karma works is that, when it's your time to have something good or bad happen to you, THREE "slots" open up instead of one, making the tendency be for 3 good or bad things to happen to you in a short period of time (but NOT a certainty, in the same way that ions can STAY ions if no electrons happen to come along). OR, it could be that good or bad things are "charged" such that they "prefer" to come together in groups of 3... which would amount to the same thing, numerically speaking.

But, couldn't it just be that people all over the world have latched onto 3 at random, and that they're just waiting however long it takes for 3 things to happen, telling themselves "look, a 3" and then "resetting" back to zero in their minds? Of course; there was a time when *I* was SURE of that, in fact. Scarily, though, as I've opened my mind to new ideas and broader spiritual perceptions, I HAVE seen a powerful tendency for good or bad things, often thematically related, to happen in groups of 3 within a VERY short period of time... 24 hours or less is typical.

The 3's I've just had, which I'll tell you just to be sure you don't suspect me of teasing you before (lol) are; 3 friends of mine that I hadn't heard from in a while, all of whom have major health problems, all contacted me, and 3 items that I not just wanted, but had had disastrous circumstances deprive me of having, all turned up cheap on eBay.

Coincidence? I reluctantly have to say... possibly not.


PS After I published the above, I read it to my sceptic husband, and we talked about it. Once we finished covering the subject, I picked up a mailer full of coupons that we'd received today, opened it and started going through them. One of the coupons (for Sparkletts water) said across the top, "Good things always come in threes." I showed it to my husband, who, somewhat shaken, had to admit, "That IS a little eerie." He's a very slow learner, but I love him anyways.


Monday, August 02, 2004

Why Americans are overweight 


I went grocery shopping with a friend who's trying to lose weight; this is a woman with a PhD, a high IQ, and who has studied a great deal about weightloss, mind you. Her purchases, and comments, are a perfect demonstration of why her attempts at losing weight are failing:

She announced that her problem is "eating too may carbs late at night." I asked her what she was eating, and she said "ice cream." When I pointed out that ice cream has far more FAT then carbs, she insisted that she wasn't eating it for the fat, and thus that the fat didn't count somehow. I asked her what else she was eating, and she told me "nuts." I responded that nuts were all far higher in fat that carbs, and she again brushed the comment aside, telling me that it's the carbs that put the most weight on you. When I reminded her that fat has 9 calories per gram, as opposed to only 4 for carbs, she hemmed and hawed. When I added that if she just wanted carbs, she's be eating high-carb foods rather than high fat foods, she denied it... how SAD that even someone bright enough to get a physics PhD can be so easily brainwashed by the low-carb hoopla that she'll ignore the facts and keep believing that carbs are "evil."

And what did Ms. Diet purchase? Grape seed oil to cook with; she told me that she wouldn't use cooking sprays, which add no fat or calories to food, because they have preservatives. A JUG of cherries in syrup, and jars of walnuts in syrup and jam that was mainly corn syrup. Then, we went to the deli counter, and she selected imported salami; to my comment that this was a high-fat item, she airily replied that it was "a treat." She also got a container of olives in oil (apparently, the fact that olives are almost all fat wasn't enough), telling me that the oil was healthy; at my rejoinder that all fats have the same # of calories, she rolled her eyes.

Does ANY of that make it sound like she's actually going to lose any weight? It sounds to ME like... every other overweight person in America, justifying eating the same high-calorie foods that made them fat and wondering why they aren't losing weight. {sigh}


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Karma slays the psycho bitch 


If you're new here, and haven't seen any of my posts about "the psycho bitch," she's an aptly-nicknamed individual who got away with rampaging over a forum, attacking people savagely and without provocation, despite which the admins were holding her up as a favorite who could break the rules with impunity... until just recently, when people finally, FINALLY, in response to her vicious public attacks on a KID, started ganging up on her and kicking HER butt. I was THRILLED. She then stormed off, came back under a different name, caused more trouble, got found out and BLASTED by the forum members. I was ECSTATIC. That's where I left off, until now:

She got quiet for a while after the last round of attacks on herself, and was posting politely; I waited for her next move, and it finally came, in the form of a post saying, in effect, that she wanted to get people back as friends, but she wasn't going to apologize for anything she'd done. (No, I'm NOT kidding, she really seemed to think that this was a valid approach.) The forum EXPLODED, and even people who hadn't said anything before have united in an all-out assault of a kind I've never seen in all my years online. There's an unbelievable extra twist this time, too; some members are so enraged, and have come to hate and resent her so much, that they're... brace yourselves... printing out a bunch of her psycho posts, and the NUDE PICS she had taken and has posted all over the place, and mailing them to her PARENTS, with whom she lives, and who pay for her internet access and pretty much everything else (she's in her 30's, unemployed, penniless, and lives online).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With the obvious exception of stalking and other illegal activities, this is by far the ugliest thing I've EVER seen done in the online world; I must admit, when I confidently predicted that karma was going to amply repay her for all the people she'd hurt, and for destroying the forum for everyone, I never imagined anything like THIS. In case you're thinking this is just a simple case of injured parties getting revenge, here's the kicker; as with the other well-deserved abuse she's received, this mailing to the parents is NOT coming from any of her victims, but from a sort of vigilante posse that has formed to try to force her totally offline, so that she can't dump on anyone else ever again... and when non-victims pay wrongdoers back, especially in ways and under circumstances that are surreal like this, that's karma making the necessary negative energy flow back to the wrongdoers in whatever way it can find.

I wonder if it'll ever occur to the print-and-mailers that it's nuts for THEM to be doing this, or if they'll ever ask themselves WHY they took this route. I doubt it; we rarely look that carefully at our actions.

There's a final tidbit of karma here; for no apparent reason, and apropos of nothing, several different people among those who are posting slams to the psycho bitch brought MY name up, referring to how admirably I'd handled it when *I* was attacked in the past, and calling for my return, or expressing hope that I'd return when the psycho was gone... and no other victim got these mentions. That's the wildest thing to me, in a way, because it shows clearly that this is tied up with MY karma, that I wished ill on her for what she did and now it's happening; this is further pointed to by the eerie fact that the leader of those responsible for the "mail plot" is the one who's been calling for me the loudest, and has even PM-ed me asking me to return and telling me about what they've done (it's still a secret from the forum at large)... and this is a guy I barely know, mind you.

Don't EVER mess with karma... or with anyone who knows how to manipulate it.





free counter
tomcat hosting











Navigation by WebRing.
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Google