Similar to many of BD00′s posts, this one is most likely to offend some people who stumble upon it. Why? Because BD00 felt the need to hoist these eloquently concise snippets from Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion“:
Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument. Teaching children that unquestioned faith is a virtue primes them—given certain other ingredients that are not hard to come by—to grow up into potentially lethal weapons for future jihads or crusades.
Because each new generation of children is taught that religious propositions need not be justified in the way that all others must, civilization is still besieged by the armies of the preposterous. We are, even now, killing ourselves over ancient literature. Who would have thought something so tragically absurd could be possible?
To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.
OK, so now it’s time to open myself up to a counterattack. I believe, but not unquestioningly, that we are all unique, individual manifestations of a universally distributed life force that permeates all things. We are like waves in the ocean of life. We rise up, we create, and then we return home again.
Actually, we never leave home. We just “think” we do.
I don’t know about you, but this quote seems magical to me:
So, in the midst of the relentless erosion of integrity of all matter over time, how in the hell does anything ever get organized in the first freakin’ place? While something is being created in real-time, be it you or me or our own creations, the 2nd law of thermo is magically suspended from doing its damage.
It takes “work” to create something. As soon as the entropy-defying work stops, the disintegration of that something begins.
Matthew Gill’s “Accountant’s Truth” provides a fascinating analysis and expose of the attitudes and culture of the accounting industry through a series of in-depth interviews with practicing accountants. As I’m reading the book, I’m using the Kindle’s marvelous “share” feature to tweet snippets like this one out into the ether:
Now, compare this excerpt with the following pair of tweets from one of my fave spiritual teachers, Byron Katie:
Interesting, don’t you think?
What causes your “delta” to increase? Decrease? How does your delta vary with time? Are your delta’s mean and variance both close to zero? What do you think the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Jesus’s deltas were?
Existential despair is the painful discrepancy between what is and what should be – Paul Watzlawick
Your despair can be my peace and vice versa. On the other hand, my despair can be your despair and my peace can be your peace.
Wow! I can’t believe I stumbled upon this. What’s “this“, you ask? It’s a video of a talk given by Eckhart Tolle at Google. Yes, Google.
I know that religion is a deeply personal issue, but if you’ve never seen Eckhart Tolle in action, please indulge BD00 by at least watching a few minutes of the video with an open mind. Lemme know if it tickles something inside of you. If you get a “meh” feeling, then that’s OK too. Do you think he’s the real deal or just another Swaggart/Bakker clone?
The other day at work, while diligently plying away on an interface design, I just happened to notice that I was singing the (artist formerly known as) Cat Stevens’ tune “Peace Train“ to myself. Not out loud (thankfully), but to myself – in my head. This is just another example that reinforces the fact that “we don’t think; thinking happens to us“. No?
It may be scary to some to discover that thinking unconsciously and automatically happens to us, but the saving grace is that at least we can consciously choose how to react to those thoughts. Well, most of the time. Well, some of the time?
What was the last song you sang to yourself?
“Change your thinking, and your behavior will change.” How many times have you heard or seen that sentence? Of course, it’s true, but as ever, the devil’s in the details. In my case, I’ve often fooled myself into thinking that my thinking has changed when it really hasn’t. So, the question is, who are “I” and “myself” in the previous sentence?
Because it’s very different from any other “religious” book that I’ve ever read, I really like “The Most Rapid and Direct Means to Eternal Bliss” (free pdf download here). In the book, mysterious Michael Langford lays down step by step instructions for five spiritual practices:
- THE AWARENESS WATCHING AWARENESS METHOD
- THE ABANDON RELEASE METHOD
- THE ETERNAL METHOD
- THE INFINITE SPACE METHOD
- THE LOVING-ALL METHOD
To give you a taste of the book’s style and content, here is the procedure for THE LOVING-ALL METHOD:
Love your thoughts, your feelings, your body, your actions, the objects you see, the people you see, every input from each of your senses, every word you utter, every word spoken to you. Piece of cake, no?
The other night, I went to bed with a strong resolve to start practicing THE LOVING-ALL METHOD “tomorrow“. When I woke up the next morning, within seconds I deviated from the plan. My shoulder ached from a touch of arthritis and I automatically thought and said “Ow – damn shoulder!“. Upon discovering my transgression a few milliseconds later, I thought “D’oh!” and gave up. Maybe I’ll give it another spirited try in the future.
It’s weird. When I read a spiritual book that “clicks” (and not many of them do), I experience a sense of peace and serenity during the read. But as soon as I close the cover, the feeling dissolves and IT takes over once again – and it’s hard to love IT; very hard.