Response to “CHK” post on the Peaceful Choice weblog:
The web blog “Alligator Farm,” linked to from a comment on the Peaceful Choice blog (http://peacefulchoice.wordpress.com/), is an example of the paranoia I wrote about there. Headlines above the featured article are enough to make most people move on to something more sensible. “500,000 FEMA Coffins in USA Wilderness,” is one. Another is the one of those headlines bandied around the internet for a year now: “Barack Obama: Antichrist or Precursor?” Good grief!
If an ounce of paranoia was worth a dollar CHK would be a millionaire. Really, CHK, do you think anyone will ever take you seriously? If you’re up to it you might want to check out this link: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4312850.html
I’ve been reading a magnificent book called What Buddhists Believe. The copy I have was printed by the Texas Buddhist Association*. I’m a bit slow in getting through it, haven’t finished it yet, but on about every page I find stuff that just thrills my soul. What a wonderful world this would be if people would abide by what this book teaches!
Consider these examples:
In the world today, there is sufficient material wealth. There are very advanced individuals, brilliant writers, talented speakers, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, religious advisors, wonderful poets and powerful world leaders. In spite of these intellectuals, there’s no real peace and security in the world today. Something must be lacking. What is lacking is loving-kindness or goodwill amongst mankind. (p165)
Man should learn how to practice selfless love to maintain real peace and his own salvation. Just as suicide kills physically, selfishness kills spiritual progress. Loving-kindness in Buddhism is neither emotional or selfish. It is loving-kindness that radiates through the purified mind after erradicating hatred, jealousy, cruelty, enmity and grudges. (p166)
All my life I’ve had one question on my mind. That question is WHY? Well, there’s actually a few thousand questions that begin with the word, “why?” Why are humans so cruel, so hateful, so rude, so selfish? I grew up in the sixties. The news carried video of dead VC, gave body counts, told about the war in Vietnam. The next story on the news was of some race riot or protest. It was a quiet day around the house when someone wasn’t arguing, mom wasn’t complaining about some illness, or some other crap was going on. Why?
Just below is an excerpt from my book The Lies, The Truth, The Way. I wrote it three years ago. At the time I was a Unitarian Christian with universalist leanings and Buddhist sympathies. I have, since then, completely rejected Christianity. I am now an agnostic Buddhist. The following excerpt was written when I was much more sympathetic towards Christianity and, thus, less direct in my prose.
Here’s the excerpt:
May as well tackle the biggest taboo first. The Bible, that most venerable and venerated of books, upon which the whole of Christianity is supposed to be based upon, did not fall from the sky like manna from Heaven. I am often amazed at how little Christians actually know ABOUT the book. Oh, sure, they know what it says, they quote it, they reference it, they base their lives upon this or that passage. But they never question where it came from. “The Bible is the Inspired, Infallible Word of God!” This statement in some form or other graces the top level of every doctrinal statement. But why? Where does it come from? How did it get here?
Sitting here on the first floor of Memorial in a snack bar I hear conversation behind me. From their dress and mannerisms the people are Pentecostal. There were two families talking. One person ask another, “what can we do for you?” The answer: “just pray, that is all.”
Over there, on the right. Check it out. There’s just so many juicy bits about the Republican Bimbo you really should check out.
From the top article it seems I’m not the only one who freaks at the idea of Palin getting the top job:
6. Even Ed Koch, who supported President Bush, thinks Palin is “scary.”
Former Mayor of New York Ed Koch is a bit of a controversial figure with a long political history. But the last race he got involved with was in 2004 and he endorsed George W. Bush. Koch not only endorsed Bush, but campaigned for him in six states including Florida; so, not exactly a passive endorsement. But now Koch is making it clear that he’s endorsing Obama, and he’s making his reason for switching sides clear: it’s Palin. Ed Koch told Politico’s Ben Smith what he thought of the new VP nominee, “She’s scary.” In his endorsement of Obama, Koch put the sentiment in writing, saying:
If the vice president were ever called on to lead the country, there is no question in my mind that the experience and demonstrated judgment of Joe Biden is superior to that of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a plucky, exciting candidate, but when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency.
8 more stories, Alternet
There’s much more in the article. It’s the top link under Palin Watch.
My daughter has a myspace page. It worries me a little but at least it’s an outlet for her to find friends. Her being on myspace encouraged me to get on there once again and revive my myspace page. I did.
My updated myspace is here: http://www.myspace.com/texas_writer
The past few days I’ve been searching around for Buddhist groups. I found and joined one that lists the “Fourteen Precepts” as given by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. Here are two of the precepts:
8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
Find the complete list here: http://groups.myspace.com/EngagedBuddhism
Notice the underlined portions. Are they not contradictions? I greatly admire the venerable master. I have another quote of his on my myspace page. I would very much like to hear his response to this post.
How is it possible to “speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten …safety” and NOT “utter words that can create discord?” How does one “speak truthfully and constructively” and “speak out about injustice?”
I have left Christianity. I continue to distance myself from everything “Church” and “Christian.” I’m not running but I’m certainly walking rather quickly.
Fornication: voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other. (dictionary.com)
Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
Old-fashioned words. Old Testament, even. Both are popular sports in America. Americans wallow in them, like the David Duchovney show Californication.
The question of “living together” vs. “marriage” is a question of sexual activity, not sharing the same dwelling. “Living together” is an extended euphemism from “sleeping together.” Call it what it is.
Is it a “right” thing to do? Will God strike a couple down, “withdraw his spirit,” any of that fundamentalist junk, if a couple has sex without being married? These are the wrong questions.