For twenty years I’ve been a political and religious shuttlecock and by now I’m really sick of it. My brother has alcohol and drug problems, but I don’t want to believe it’s due to his ideas on religion and morality. When I was a kid, he was the coolest guy, and very funny and fun to be around… Well anyway, this afternoon is going pretty good for me and I don’t plan on church in the morning. If I wanted Dark Age thinking then I’d ride a time machine back to the 17th Century and watch them burn witches. I don’t want to be jerked around anymore, and those who do the jerking have no excuse. As usual I’ll probably get a poor sleep tonight. In the end, something’s gotta give, and we either move forward or we completely tube it and revert to barbarism for the rest of our existence. I doubt if we can have it both ways. Or at least, I can’t do that.
It’ll be light outside until eight o’clock. It reminds you that the planet we’re on is not static, but moves in space, and things are not totally stable. It’s hard to hold this view when I was indoctrinated so thoroughly with religion after my mother passed away. It’s as though I’d done some crime that deserved punishment. It was never fair. And I guess it never will be fair, no matter how we protest it. Our solution to things like madness and alcoholism is to “church” those people, for the lack of a more scientific and humane treatment. We throw a bible at what we don’t understand rationally— a practice that is itself irrational. It only shows the extent of human ignorance and how far we have to go.
I’m a huge advocate of psychiatry, by the way; but even this has a long way to go to reach the goal of understanding and humane care of people with behavioral health issues.
I imagine we’re all doing what we can. It’d be nice if we could go just a bit faster.
(Never mind me. I’m full of crap.)
Bite the Apple of Knowledge
This is the advice I would give to my neighbors and everyone cheated by biblical scaremongering on the issue of science, especially in the Old Testament. I knew one old guy from Minnesota who said it’s not okay for people to “know as much as God.” It’s one interpretation of Bible stories from Genesis and Job particularly; as if an individual would go to hell for daring to learn anything about nature; as if curiosity were a thing to be punished. Aside from scriptural authority, there’s no evidence for such a claim. Indeed, since antiquity it’s a tool used by people in power to control the masses, playing upon superstitious fear to intimidate and subjugate everyone.
What do you suppose would happen if you ate from the apple of the Tree of Knowledge, as Eve was tempted to do by the snake in the Garden of Eden? Is it possible for humankind to rewrite Milton’s epic of Paradise Lost, turning “man’s first disobedience” to a virtuous act, something more like Prometheus Bound? The juice of the apple is the same as the firelight of reason stolen from the gods in Aeschylus; or was reason native to human beings from the dim beginnings of time? What do we need stories for? The deeper the analysis, the more complex it becomes…
I’m having a high energy day and things are going right. I just practiced on my Aria bass and for some reason it sounds pretty great. Perhaps the battery is fresh, or maybe the Donner cable makes a big difference. Or both. I hadn’t played it in a long while. The Aria is the bass I’ve had the longest; about 13 years, yet it’s never seen a real gig. I suppose that could change before too much time goes by… Gloria was here for two and a half hours this morning and it was rather fun. Something has happened to me that changed my whole perspective. I have no fear or dread of anything. During the small hours today I got up and listened to The Joshua Tree and some fusion by Yellowjackets, and that didn’t hurt… All day it’s been scattered showers, like early this morning when I walked with an umbrella to Community Market, and again for our road trip to the thrift store to dump off old useless junk. I don’t really have any more didactic things to share with my readers, and just maybe my job as a blogger is completed. I reckon time will tell. I could be gathering myself for the next jump; and I could be full of beans, too. It doesn’t matter very much.
Two o’clock in the afternoon.
I have a happy little tune playing in my head, something from a compilation 8 track tape that was titled Instrumental Gold. My mom gave it to me when I was an eighth grader, and I still listened to it into the next year of school. It makes me think of lost innocence, or perhaps the innocence is invincible, even though we read Lord of the Flies as a class. The question of human nature was my motive for reading Shelley again. I desired to know if humankind is perfectible, and if love is the way it can be achieved… Today there is sunshine through the haze, but overall the weather has been very unusual for May. I hear a lot of talk that denies human responsibility for climate change, but scientists have warned us of this outcome for 35 years or more. Nobody wanted to believe it, and the media downplayed it. Contrary to people’s Ptolemaic ideas, the earth and human life on it are not at the center of the universe. We tend to be vain and presumptuous about our own importance. Indeed, this is what we’re brainwashed with everywhere, and because it flatters us we accept it. I knew someone who thought that human beings are a cancer on the face of the earth. And maybe misanthropy is going too far, but we need to be aware of the facts about ourselves and the world we inhabit. If science and poetry could join together with a common goal then we might see good fruits.
I’ve decided not to be passive today, but to be instrumental in my own moods and thoughts. If it rains outside, then it doesn’t have to rain within me. I can dust off the old idealistic philosophy and make life better. I don’t know why everything is in a slump currently. Maybe it’s not necessary to know in order to fix it. I wish we had more choices than just the same old Christian and Buddhist churches in Eugene, but then it’s really up to you to form your vision of reality. I don’t believe in a Resurrection that Christians are waiting for so excitedly. It’s probably nix on going to service this Sunday. When you don’t believe, there’s no sense in pretending otherwise. It’s also impossible to turn back the clock to peachier times… I reckon what I want is another brain to have an intelligent conversation with; someone who’s not a church pastor or other spiritual leader. Someone for whom Jesus is not the point of reference for every topic of discussion. And finding a person like that requires a trip abroad, or going online in search of international forums. My experience is that this country has gone intellectually stagnant.
I see that my dog is in a better mood today than yesterday, but I admit that I’m still in the pits. Nature doesn’t seem to know that it’s springtime now; we’re getting wintry weather still in Oregon. Maybe that’s better than super hot like it is in Texas. Well whatever. Nobody’s listening to anyone else anymore. No one seems to care on this gray and rainy day. It’s a good thing that most Americans have a dog.