The message

April.23. 2019

The message from Easter Sunday’s massacre is clear.

They are the only ones who can create mayhem and commit havoc in the world. They own the label ‘terrorist.”

And woe befall those who would dare to venture into their hallowed territory of gore and destruction.

Very apt message.

Even more apt—religion of peace.

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The party of the opposite of what they say

March.31. 2019

So I hear our esteemed president saying that his party will be known as “the party of health care.”

(If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that anything that comes out of his mouth is just hot air, quite indistinguishable from the hot air that comes out from his other orifice.)

“The party of health care,” and the first thing they will do is take away health care from 20 million citizens.

But this is really a clever ploy—say the opposite of what you really plan to do.

It’s worked before so why not this time?

For instance, there’s a religion that claims to be one of peace and how did they spread that message of peace?

Through invading other people’s lands.

I believe someone said that if you tell a lie enough times, people will actually believe it’s the truth.

And I say, if you want to do something dastardly to people, tell them the opposite of what you plan to do.

For example, if you want to invade a country, tell them you’re a religion of peace.

If you want to take health care away from people, tell them you’re the party of health care.

It’s worked before, why not this time.


The difference

March.29. 2019

This is the difference.

I heard 20,000 gathered in NZ today to honor the victims of the massacre. 20,000 good decent people.

I don’t recall hearing of 20,000 people gathering in Mecca after the twin towers fell, not 2,000, no, not even 2 people.

Instead, they were dancing in the streets in celebration.

Tell me which religion is the true one of peace.


The current debacle

March.15. 2019

The current debacle with the college admissions scandal and the Manafort saga has a strange intersection.

It underlines one fact.

There’re two kinds of rich people—those who get their riches through cheating and bribing and those earn it through hard work and talent.

And talent is what separates these two.

If you’re lacking in talent, get someone to sit your SAT for you, or bribe some greedy official, or do some lobbying for some foreign despot.

As a boy growing up in Asia (specifically Borneo), I had long been aware that rich people are more filthy than crazy.

They got their ill-begotten wealth mainly through cheating and bribing local officials, and in the case of Borneo, cutting down centuries-old virgin jungle by bribing the head of the government to get the concessions.

There’s no thought, no consideration for anything else.

Their only consideration is to line their pockets with that filthy money.

The college admissions and Manafort intersection underlines another important fact—and that’s rich people will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

This is positive thinking on steroids.

To them, nothing is impossible. Everything is doable.

So if you want to get that ostrich jacket, find a wealthy foreign patron, if you want your son to go to a good college, bribe the coach or pay someone to sit his SAT.

This modus op is what separates rich people from poor people.

Poor people tend to be negative. They’re always thinking about obstacles, that’s why they don’t get anywhere.

Rich people on the other hand, don’t take no for an answer. They will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

This is a good positive trait, until it gets entangled with legalities.

And that’s the problem.

When you’re fired up with this positive energy, and it gets you all the riches of the world, at some point, you start to think that you’re invincible and that you will get away with it all the time.

But, to paraphrase that famous saying by Abe.

‘You can cheat all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t cheat all the people all the time.’

It is true; some people do get away with it.

However, a useful lesson—if your money is more filthy than crazy (or smart), don’t run for president.

Because you might win, and then the nation’s eyes will be on your ill-begotten wealth and soon you’ll be blessed with a special counsel to examine every one of your past business transactions.

 


What goes around

March.15. 2019

Sad the mayhem that’s happening in the world today.

Innocent victims everywhere while the merchants of hate (from all quarters) continue to do their dastardly deeds.

In all this, one thing reigns supreme—the immutable laws of the universe.

Specifically, the law of return, or karma, or what goes around comes around.


God is love

February.10. 2019

Watching Christian TV, it seems like there is one phrase that is always popping up—God is love.

It’s almost like a mantra, a cliché, so easy to let roll off your tongue. (And of course hoping the jingle jangle of cash follows soon after.)

But it started me thinking.

What exactly is this love?

Love, as we know it, is mostly a human concept, a human emotion.

Surely the force, the energy that created the galaxies, quasars, black holes, supernovas, etc. surely this entity or being is beyond human emotions.

As the great Lao Tzu said, Heaven (God) is unhuman; It treats man like disposable straw dogs.

However, if we remove all the human corruptions of the term, we can see that, at its core, love is nothing but positive energy.

Positive energy that uplifts and creates.

Looking at the skies at night, it’s easy to see how the universe is overflowing with positive energy.

Just imagine the endless creation that is taking place all the time.

But you say; how about the black holes, the spent remnants of exploded stars, how about all the dead planets out there etc etc?

Isn’t there plenty of destruction in the universe?

Yes, superficially, but here’s the critical difference.

When the universe destructs, it’s actually an act of creation. From the destruction usually emerges another creation. Think of it as one stage of creation giving way to another.

As opposed to when men (with evil in their hearts) destruct, their destruction is pure annihilation, nothing good emerges.

So yes, it’s easy to see how the concept works.

God (the universe, the force that creates everything) is truly love.

You don’t have to look far. You feel that love in every breath you take.


Another possible scenario

February.2. 2019

Now, there’s another possible scenario; possible, but not necessarily plausible.

The Gods of our ancestors are higher life forms from other parts of the universe. They are, in a sense, super beings because they have attained a high level of technological advancement but they’re not the supreme Super Being who created everything.

Rather, they’re creatures like us, created by the great Supreme Being.

Their mastery and knowledge of the inner workings and hidden forces of the universe have enabled them to manipulate space and time effortlessly.

It’s very possible they came to the third planet of our rather ordinary star, and seeing it was perfect from every standpoint, decided to create the garden and place in it the first two human beings.

This would explain the small-mindedness and the wrathful God of the early Biblical books.

This ‘god’ was just an ordinary being or beings like us, prone to anger and displaying an insecurity which constantly demands respect and obedience from his ‘creations.’

It’s even possible that this ‘God’ or ‘gods’ created the conditions that made life possible on this planet, and possible they created the planet itself. Their technological advances may have been that much superior to ours.

When you consider the number of stars in the known universe and the law of probability, this theory does not seem so far fetched.

It is very probable that there are many other intelligent life forms out there among the myriad stars, and considering the age of the universe, some of them probably light years ahead of us in terms of technology.

The theory also explains why the ancient ‘gods’ always had to descend and ascend from heaven.

Why would a Super Being who created everything in the universe have to physically descend and ascend from earth?

Surely he/she/it is beyond space/time and could just miraculously appear anywhere in the universe?

Unless, of course, if they are physical beings who exist in physical space.

All harmless conjectures.

As I mentioned earlier, our capabilities are indeed too limited to understand any of these deep questions.

All we can do is ponder and debate plausibility.

Knowing that at the end of the day, it’s all going to be a huge waste of time.

Because whatever conclusions we arrive at is sure to be as puerile and as implausible as what our ancestors had arrived at in their efforts to explain the world around them.


The bogeyman in the closet

February.2. 2019

Earlier, I had laid out the scenario for a universe consisting of a gazillion stars and the creator of this humongous universe deciding to also create a garden paradise on a small planet circling one of these stars.

It is true, anything is possible, and this scenario could be very possible too.

But is it plausible?

No one can fathom the mind/innerworkings of the creator/God/mechanism that created this universe so all we can do is debate plausibility.

The unspoken factor in all this is man’s incredible powers of imagination.

Man’s mind is infinite in its capacity to dream up all kinds of scenarios.

Sometimes, these scenarios are in the metaphorical category, sometimes there’re just way out wacky—things people make up to teach moral lessons, and sometimes they’re just pure fantasies.

Anything is possible.

It’s possible there’s a tooth fairy, or a bearded obese guy in a red suit on the North Pole.

But is it plausible?

My preference is for the theory of changing understanding/consciousness creating scenarios that reflect these changes in understanding/consciousness.

For instance, let’s say when you were young, you were told that there’s a bogeyman living in the closet at night.

So you were terrified.

But one day, you shine a light into the closet and you realize that there’s no bogeyman.

What do you do?

Do you still persist in believing in the bogeyman myth even though your light is telling you that there’s no bogeyman?

Think of science as the light and our fears, superstitions, and religions as the bogeyman that lives in our minds.

The usual response when science is brought in to debunk old myths is usually “a little knowledge is dangerous, or you’re getting too smart for your own good.”

To which I say, when I shine a light in the closet and there’s no bogeyman, what do I do? Do I continue to pretend that there’s a bogeyman in the closet?


The other scenario

January.28. 2019

Or consider this other scenario from another hypothetical blockbuster movie.

A movie set in a world of mountains and plains, rivers and valleys, and blue seas and oceans.

A world where creatures large and small roam the earth, where birds fly in the sky and fishes swim in the rivers and seas.

A world where day turns into night and back into day and into night again, and so forth, with clockwork regularity.

Day is when a fiery globe ascends into the sky and fills the world below it with light.

And night is when everything turns dark with magical pin-prick lights flickering in the dark skies with sometimes, a pale globe casting a ghostly light on everything.

It’s a world filled with magic and calamitous events.

One minute, there would be peace and quiet.

The next, the world would seem to be ripped apart and everything turned upside down. There’s rain and hail and huge explosions in the sky accompanied with crazy streaks of light.

Or sometimes the ground itself would shake and split open or sometimes the mountains would erupt and rain down fire and smoke.

In this world, high in the sky, in a place called heaven, lives a superbeing and with him, winged creatures and the souls of the good departed.

And deep underneath the ground, where molten rocks and smoke reside is the other place where the evil one, the enemy lives with the bad departed.

It’s a simple three-tiered flat world, with the earth in the middle, a sky/heaven above and a hell below.

This world is the entire universe.

It is the center of everything.

No other worlds exist.

But how did this universe come into being?

It’s all the handiwork of the superbeing, also known as God.

From a place where only darkness ruled over the surface of the deep, God decided to create light, and land, and water, and he filled the new world with living things.

Well, you know the rest of the story.

In this scenario, the story makes perfect sense.

It makes perfect sense that it was all created by a superbeing, a superbeing who still watches over us from heaven. (And even sent his son to come down from heaven to die a gruesome death so that we can be ‘saved.’)

And looking up into the blue sky, it makes perfect sense that this is where the superbeing resides, with all his other creations, winged angels and the souls of the good departed.

And deep underground with the molten rocks, it makes perfect sense that this is where the enemy lives and where the souls of the evil ones are tormented by a fire that never goes out.

Yes, the story itself makes perfect sense in this self-enclosed snow-globe world/universe.

Only trouble is, it doesn’t exist.

It became obsoleted when we discovered that the world is not flat.


How to live a blameless life

January.27. 2019

Living a blameless life is not difficult: there’s an easy way to do it. Just shift the blame to someone else.

(There’s actually another definition of the blameless life, but we’ll leave that definition to the self-righteous Sunday school crowd. For our purposes, a blameless life simply means you are free from all blame.)

Why take the blame when someone else can take it for you?

The blameless philosophy to life has spawned a whole industry of blame police and ambulance chasers, people who make their living blaming others for your problems.

The basic premise is simple.

You take absolutely no responsibility for your actions.

Everything that happens to you happens because of someone else’s fault.

The blameless approach to life has actually become the basis for an entire culture and religion.

In this culture, if you were to get into a cab, and the cab driver had an accident, he could sue you because if you hadn’t gotten into his cab in the first place, the accident would’ve never occurred.

In this culture and religion, whatever problems they have is always someone else’s fault.

For example, they look at their abject surroundings and they blame foreign aggression, or they blame another culture for their woes.

The fact that they’re incapable of governing themselves, or their propensity to saddle themselves with corrupt dictators, or their disregard for the values of hard work and sacrifice, and instead waste their time indulging in perversions and nonsensical beliefs.

No, none of this has anything to do with the miserable lives they have created for themselves.

You look at the world today and you see one group of people getting on with their lives and trying to build something of value every day.

And then you see another group intent on destroying everything the first group is building, simply because they have a “genuine grudge” against them. (Why? Because they blame the first group for all their problems.)

Just some random thoughts on a beautiful Sunday morning.