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.

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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.


The real story

January.22. 2019

The shutdown currently afflicting the nation is the most absurd thing I’ve ever seen in politics, and I’ve seen a good deal.

If you don’t get what you want, punish a certain group of people, more specifically those who keep the country running and safe from its enemies.

It’s like Tom and Harry having a quarrel and to try to resolve the situation, they grab a poor innocent bystander, Dick, and starve him to death.

On the surface, that’s what it looks like but look beneath the surface, and there’s something more sinister going on.

There’s a real method to this apparent madness.

Let’s say you’re the Commander-in-Chief who also happens to be a Criminal-in-Chief, and the hounds are hot on your trail.

They’re literally barking at your front gates.

So what do you do?

You try to kill the hounds.

You try to starve them to death.

You’ve got nothing to lose. It’s a do or die situation for you and your family.

And to heck with the millions of people who have to work without a paycheck. They’re just so much collateral damage to you, the least of your concern.

The hounds are of course, the criminal justice system, the law enforcers, the FBI.

They’re the ones trying to keep the country safe from its enemies. And one of those enemies happens to be you, the famous no-collusion twitter guy on Pennsylvania Ave, the Siberian Candidate.

Brilliant move, but it’s only a temporary respite.

We’ll see how the strategy plays out in the next few weeks.


A synopsis

December.1. 2018

Consider this plot for a blockbuster movie.

It’s a time before time and space.

Nothing but a Super Being alone in a deep void.

And then one day, the Super Being decides to create a universe and along with it gazillions of stars.

How many?

Just a wild estimate, but in our galaxy alone, the Milky Way, there’re over 250 billion stars, give or take 150 billion.

And that’s just one galaxy.

Now, imagine over 100 billion galaxies, each one of them filled with hundreds of billions of stars.

To put this in perspective, this is about:

250,000,000,000 x 100,000,000,000 stars

Truly a blockbuster setting.

Now imagine that in this humongous immensity, the Super Being decides it would be good to create a small garden, a paradise, on a small planet circling a small sun on the fringe of one of these billions of galaxies.

And in this paradise, he places two human beings.

A man-child and a woman-child whose only reason for existing is to do nothing but enjoy the paradise.

But every blockbuster needs a villain to create some conflict.

So an anti-hero enters the scene.

Well, you know how the story goes. He hoodwinks the woman (of course it has to be the woman, the story is obviously written by men) and the man-child and woman-child get thrown out of paradise.

But in the process, they gain something more precious—knowledge.

Now the story shifts to the main conflict of the plot—how do they get back into the garden, or rather, how do their progenies get back into the garden?

Well, for that to happen, a redeemer has to appear.

So the Super Being sends his son to help his poor creations regain their paradise.

Never mind that up to that point, there have been no mention of a son…

So the son comes and dwells among the creatures he had created before time existed, along with the trillions upon trillions of stars…

Long story short, he redeems the whole world by undergoing a gruesome death at the hands of his very creations.

You would think the plot would end there but no, that’s not all.

The real climax is yet to come.

He will come again and this time, he will establish an earthly kingdom and reign for 1000 years. (Why 1000 years? Because it sounds better than 10,000 years.)

And still that’s not all, to make sure that this is the blockbuster of all blockbusters, you have to throw in a period of seven years of rapture and tribulation before the earthly kingdom can happen.

So who wrote this story?

It’s a team effort culminating with a particularly imaginative writer who lived on a small island in the Mediterranean.

In another place and another time, the author would’ve made quite a name for himself as a fantasy author.

But in the first and second century, his writings captured the imagination of some bureaucrats at the time, and they decided to adopt it as part of a new religion.

Never mind that his wild and fantastical scenarios have more to do with his own wild imaginings and dreams than the ideas of the man whose name they co-opted for the new religion.

Like every blockbuster, every religion needs a bogeyman and some dastardly fearsome endings and the writings of this man fit the bill exactly.

That’s the total summary, the backdrop to the gift that keeps on giving.

The story has everything going for it.

Love, betrayal, villains, innocence, loss of innocence, gore, heartache and of course, redemption.

The perfect recipe to tug at the hearts of people who yearn for meaning and purpose in life.

And the perfect vehicle to perpetrate whatever evil deeds you may have in your heart on poor unsuspecting folk.


The ultimate gift that keeps on giving

November.25. 2018

As you might have suspected, I’m addicted to Daystar and when that’s not available, I watch GEB, so perhaps it’s an addiction to ‘Christian’ TV.

No, I haven’t been ‘born again.’

You could call it research.

I’m doing research. I’m fascinated by the human condition, in particular, the various methods of mind control being practiced by people on their fellow human beings.

Again, not because I want to utilize any of these mind control techniques myself but so I could avoid being entrapped by any of their methods of enslavement.

In my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that religion is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

What other gift will make people give you ten percent of their income willingly?

And how in the world do  you make them come back every week, listening to you spout nonsense after nonsense about fantastical scenarios that would make Lord of the Rings sound like a dull unimaginative school essay?

It’s not easy, but with the right elaborate mind control techniques, you can do just that.

The folly of man.

Or man’s incredible gullibility.

To be taken in by all this ‘refi.’ (I propose a new genre of fiction called religious fiction, much like science fiction.)

But milking money from their super duper foolish flock is just one of the gifts that religion gives to these con men.

It also gives power, instant power.

The minute you don on that robe, you’ve become God’s representative, a ‘father.’

You could be a mediocre nondescript individual that nobody would give the time of day to, but the minute you don on that robe, you’re a special member of the community, to be looked up with respect and reverence.

But there’s more.

For the more nefarious inclined, religion gives you the perfect cover to commit dastardly deeds.

Like preying on young children.

Not only can you prey on them with impunity, but you’re protected by the code of silence.

So does that imply that all ‘religious’ leaders are phonies?

Probably not.

You might find perhaps .1 percent of them who are really sincere.

Trouble is, if they’re really sincere, then they’re truly insane, to actually believe all the nonsense they’re preaching every day.

Next, a short summary of the nonsense, the methodology behind the gift that keeps on giving.


Song of Longing

November.21. 2018

I discovered Leonard Cohen many years ago.

I remember the first time I saw the white album in a dusty shop in a small town in Borneo, the one with the halftone pic at the front and Marianne at the back.

And finally getting the record.

And I haven’t stopped listening to him since.

What was it that drew me to him?

His ‘Book of Longing’ says it all.

Longing as in a sense of incompleteness, a sense that there’s something missing but you don’t know what it is.

Here’s my favorite song of his, possibly one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

 


Truth and happiness

November.18. 2018

I’ve been catching Andy Stanley on Daystar on Sundays. The man is an unusually enlightened Christian.

Today, he talked about a concept which seems to be universally true.

Most people do not want truth, they want happiness.

When presented with facts that are true and ‘facts’ that are false, they will usually chose the option that gives them happiness.

This is at the heart of all the conspiracy theories out there.

Many of these theories are way out wacky and yet people still prefer to believe them over real facts.

This is because stories that reinforce their worldview and their prejudices are comforting. And comforting news make people happy.

Whether the stories are actually true or not are of little relevance.

This is an important tool for politicians.

Facts don’t matter. What matters is saying things that people want to hear.

Interestingly enough, you could make up over 6000 false ‘facts’ and as long as they make people happy, they will continue to believe and support you.


Nightmare come true

October.20. 2018

It’s a classic case of killing off your competitors by buying them up and then closing them down.

That’s what happened to OSH, an old venerable hardware store chain, started in 1931, bought over by Lowes in 2013 and this year closed down for good.

Sure it took Lowes five years to complete their plan of elimination, but you can’t do these things in a hurry, or it would seem too obvious.

During the closing down sale at the local OSH store, I found a few Craftsman tools made in the USA. It was a surprise. I didn’t even know these things were still being made in the US.

As it turned out, they were the last of the old stock.

Because all Craftsman tools are now made in China.

So I bought them all, what I could find.

These days, increasingly, it looks like there’s only one country manufacturing everything.

I was in New Zealand recently and every screwdriver and pliers I found in the stores were made in that one country.

But not just screwdrivers and pliers, my favorite brand Swanndri, my old high school jersey, the raincoat I bought for the rain shower at Milford Sound—all were made in that one country.

I did manage to find a school scarf still made in New Zealand, and cookies, and yes the same full cream milk that I used to drink years ago.

But it seems like a nightmare come true.

Everywhere you go, it’s the same generic stuff staring at you.

You can’t escape them, the cheap knockoffs—the dollar store-supersave-flea market stuff, and they’re all made in one country!

I haven’t been to South America or Africa, or Europe recently but I bet the situation there is not that much different. (I’m hoping the latter will be the exception.)

What do I have against stuff made in that country?

Nothing, I’m particularly fond of my iphone which is a product of that country too.

But it is a worrying trend.

When one country manufactures everything, you end up with very little choice.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it’s quality stuff, but far from it, most of what you get are junky stuff that will work a few times and then you have to toss them.

I know because I just threw away an old adjustable wrench made in that country.

For all intents and purposes, it looks just like any good wrench, but to adjust the screw mechanism, you’ll have to use a pair of pliers because the darn thing has been stuck for years.

So why did I throw it away?

I had gotten for myself a couple of Craftsman wrenches made in the US from the OSH sale.

The difference?

The screw mechanism on these wrenches is so light it practically glides under your fingers.