God Exists

15Apr09

I wrote the following as a comment on Digg this morning:

“He is Everything. Everything is He. Have you ever heard the story about the guy walking through the desert and looks back at his footprints? Of course you have, everyone has. So this fella looks back and sees that every time there was a downhill slope there were TWO sets of footprints, but every time there was an uphill slope there was only one. So the dude says to God, he says, “Hey, Why is it that you walked with me when the trail was easy but you deserted me when the trail was hard?” and God replies, “Whadaya mean? (I give God some kinda New York accent here, I hope HE doesn’t mind), He says, “Whadaya mean? When you were goin’ downhill I kept you company, but when you were going uphill I carried you!” This is an old parable and it sure makes a lot of sense. He is with us always, and He doesn’t mind carrying us……He literally has nothing else to do but be everywhere all the time. He IS Everything. Everything IS He. That’s written in ALL the books, I’m sure of it. I haven’t read them all, but I’m pretty sure that His omnipotence is a recurring theme. God created the universe in His own image. God is the universe. Thou art God. It’s the only thing that really makes any sense.”
I dunno, I may have been off the mark. I’m curious to know where anyone thinks I made a mistake.
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“Anger is easy. Challenge yourself.”
-LucFerris


Dear Pope,

I’m not gonna take up too much of your time, since I know that you’re busy, but I really need to ask a favor of you.  Could you please please please withdraw your ban on birth control?  Please?

I know what you’re thinking, “What, is this guy outta his mind?”  And you’re right to question my thought process, so let me explain.  You don’t have to buy the notions of Freud, nor must you carry Darwin’s book in your back pocket to be able to acknowledge the fact that sex is … it’s just the best.  You don’t have kids, but I do, and I love ’em more than butterflies, but if having sex wasn’t so great than why would we bother having kids.  In fact, a roll in the hay is SO great that a whole lotta people keep having kids when they’re not even ready.  Now, I know that is primarily the fault of the parents and the fault of society and the fault of television and the fault of the media and the fault of the the kids themselves, but at some point we gotta stop pointing the finger of blame and start solving some real world problems.

Life is sacred, and no one is arguing that.  But for whatever reason, humans like to do the monkey shuffle (I’m taking these innuendos too far, Pope, and I am sorry) at almost every and any opportunity.  This need is God’s way of making sure we ALWAYS want to propagate the species.  As a race of intelligent beings, we must learn to accept this fundamental fact of human nature.  Like communism, abstinence only works on paper.  Also like communism, the negative attitude that man’s most trusted institution has against birth control is having adverse effects on the people it is trying to protect.

Teenage pregnancy is on the rise.  And then there’s abortion.  Don’t get me started on abortion.  To destroy a life before giving it as chance is mostly deplorable.  Guess what, though?  Most people get abortions because someone in the twosome forgot to get the birth control.  This may not be right, but it is very very human.  Don’t forget about education, Pope.  How is a high school dropout supposed to teach her kids about the need for a good education?  No matter how smart the kid, if the kid don’t wanna go to school, the kid will not go to school.  Mind you, the kid might be there in the classroom, but if he don’t wanna learn then he won’t.  The kid will rather learn the skills that the kid thinks he needs to learn to survive.  Even if that means learning how to hurt other kids.

OK, OK that was a worst case scenario and I obviously used it for shock value.  But consider the fate of the children of parents who just do not have the facilities to make sure the whole family gets a descent education.  Here in America, our cities, while being beautiful, are responsible for the education of our children.  Have you seen DISD (Dallas Independent School District) on the news lately?  A pretty sorry lot, indeed, eh?  How does an entire district go $84 million over budget?  I’ll tell you how: They just NEEDED the MONEY to TEACH THE KIDS, so they spent it.  Can any parent blame them?  Can you blame them … Pope?

Anyways, I promised that I’d make this short and I will.  Withdrawing the ban on birth control could free our kids from some of their most pressing problems.  I’m not trying to go the route of Bob Barker here, because 1) birth control is NOT sterilization, it is only exercising choice and caution before embarking upon life’s single most important journey, and 2) humans are not pets to be spayed or nurtured.  We are humans.  All animals desire to propagate their species, yet humans are different in that we NEED to propagate our species.   So whatever we’ve gotta do to keep that van a’ rockin’ (don’t come a’ knockin’) we’re just gonna keep on doin’ it.

All I’m asking is for you to use a little common sense here, Pope.

Every childhood lesson is precious … for the child.

We were all children at one time.

Did we learn anything?

-LucFerris


The great thing about knowledge is that it is possible at all. For example, my cat, Jimmy, knows only a few things – he doesn’t even know any tricks.  Since he’s just a cat, he lacks the capacity to learn much more. It’s easy to see the comfortable joy there must be in being a cat and not needing to know much. On the one hand, I am in envy of Jimmy the Cat, for he will always be safe as long as I am around. I pay the rent, I buy the food, and I keep the predators at bay. All the cat needs to worry himself with is chasing cat toys and enjoying his little life to its fullest. On the other hand, however, he lives at my mercy, yet he doesn’t even know it. Chaos is always only a few unfortunate choices away, and you never know when a bad choice may come to affect you. If I were to lose my house (which may happen), I would probably have to send Jimmy away.  Of course I’d find someone caring, and tolerant, and also very very patient.  Jimmy would live a descent life with someone else, but without me to assure him that everything’s gonna be OK, his perception of his fate would always be uncertain.

Now, if Jimmy were smart – in fact, if he had ever bothered to pay any attention, at all, to any of the hardships to affect us recently – then he would best get busy preparing himself for dire possibilities. If he were really smart, then he’d have some kind of “Plan B” ready to go in case all should fall victim to chaos. But that’s the rub: he’s just a cat; he’s a really sweet and well-behaved cat, but ultimately he’s still just a cat. He unwittingly takes his existence for granted, for he lacks the ability to think otherwise.

People have that ability to think otherwise, and we have it in droves. There’s an ultimate game show going on, let’s call it SURVIVAL. The premise: “Life exists on Earth in myriad forms. Whomever SURVIVES, wins. Everybody likes to WIN.”

everybody likes to win.

whether it’s winning the love of a former enemy

… or a friend …

even if it means winning the respect of one’s peers.

even if it means winning a gift card to sears

… or a day within a family …

(imagine if you won the big game or a statue from the academy)

to win.

quite honestly, it’s the reason we bother gettin’ outta bed to the sun.

We like to win 🙂

SURVIVAL is the easiest game there has ever been, and, so far, we’ve been racking up points. Most of us don’t pay attention to it (hell, many of us condemn it), but humanity is always doing what it can to defeat nature. In doing this, humans remain firmly on our quest of of winning the game of species SURVIVAL.

(remember … we like to win)

It’s in our nature to be innovative and to create new ideas from the lessons that came before us.  We always learn … throughout our lives. The more that I learn, the more that I cannot afford to be blind to any possible “Plan B’s” that may make things a little better.

My wife taught me recently how much easier it is to drink through a straw.

Duh! Right?

Now, when I sit here writing this stuff, I’ve always got a straw in my mug of water next to me. There’s always music playing, and Jimmy the Cat is sitting at my feet staring up at me.

Neither the convenience of the straw nor the love of a good pet need be your motivation. Just always be on the lookout for one or many “Plan B’s.” Always be on the lookout for an easier, more efficient, more economical, more user-friendly, more renewable, more eco-friendly, and … dammit … more PROFITABLE way!

It feels good to do good things

For my fellow humans.

I do better,

And feel better,

For my fellow humans;

and I get paid.

Knowledge is possible so that our species can win the game, and humans are cruising on the expressway to victory – maybe even on overdrive. Humans are tool users who can forge anything out of anything else, as long as there is knowledge, a need, and a profit available.

Jimmy wishes that he knew as much as I do.  Then again, does he?  Hell, he knows so little that he doesn’t even know what he’s missing.  There are lots of people out there who don’t know what they’re missing.  Many of us find it hard to break the chains created from the erroneus things that we are taught. many of us cannot find a way to truly think for ourselves.


It’s been an exciting road being a political junkie in this 2008 Presidential Election, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Later today, as the world watches, my fellow Americans and I will be getting into the voting booths to make our decision for the future of our beloved nation. No one can doubt that this election has already become a pivotal moment in American history. The 24-hour news channels may well release a best of collection in order to highlight the various shenanigans that have gone on in this contest.

Both men promise that change is their overall message, and rightfully so. Everyone agrees that some of the American policies in the last decade have considerably injured the world. Either way the vote goes, the world as we know it will be changed in a very fundamental and positive way. The issues have been debated, the ideologies have been categorized, and now the time has come to correct the errors of the recent past. Of course, things could easily get quite worse, but hopefully whichever of these fellas gets elected will do the right thing for the people he represents.

Still, I have noticed that there is something a little different going on this election year. The culture of the world is rapidly changing, and we all see it. From the ubiquitous news coverage to the youtube videos made instantly available from anywhere on the globe: this is NOT your father’s election. Modern technologies have taken stump speeches from the neighborhoods in the battleground states to our living rooms, offices, and kitchen tables. “Joe Six-pack” has become potentially more accurately informed than ever before.

Our multimedia world will continue to make us more connected to opposite cultures, and our energy needs will continue to grow exponentially. Our world is at a crossroads where the tools we create are becoming integrated with the very way we live our lives. At the same time, people are altering their viewpoints on racial inequality. Most of us are too busy just living our lives. We get up in the morning; we go to work; we get through the day; we go home; we make dinner; then we have some family time or watch some TV or read or shop online or break dance or whatever. We eventually go to bed and dream of a better, more fulfilling life. It doesn’t matter in what country you live, the color of your skin, or what you believe, the truth is that we are all in this thing together. It’s not about taking from the rich and giving to the poor, it’s about enlightening the life of our government, which will, in turn, enlighten the lives of us … “We the people” … the true owners of our government.

This world has gotten too big and too connected for us to continue to harbor our old prejudices. No longer will information control and propaganda sway the people.  Nowadays, we can instantly be connected to differing viewpoints, and, in turn, to those with whom we choose to share those viewpoints. Heck, this very editorial is being read by thousands of people all over the globe. The future history of the new world will be based on ideas like global economy, global communications, global cooperation, and an eventual global culture. We are the world, and the world is a-changing.

People will be aware of this tonight whether they are conscious of it or not. It will be that unspoken of elephant in the voting booth that is peering over their shoulders, and nudging them toward a world that is representative of its people. America is poised to lead the world in its journey toward a universal culture. Perhaps it is fitting that one of the candidates in this election is half black and half white. Back in middle school, he was probably made fun of a lot. American middle school kids can be cruel. Coming from both sides of the American spectrum, though, a candidate like that, regardless if he is successful, can be a symbol of solidarity. The kind of solidarity that our developing technology, along with the intellect of the people, is evolving toward.

-LucFerris


Lessons

02Nov08

The Great Depression has suddenly become more than a distant memory. The contestants in the world’s ultimate game show – the upcoming US presidential election – and the ever-present media have been talking about the Great Depression with renewed vigor. They talk about the fear of the current crippling economic crisis and the possibility that it could lead to a 25% unemployment rate and a worldwide economic devaluation. A few people even talk about learning from the mistakes that led up to the depression, which ultimately pulled humanity into the horrors of WWII. Everyone has their ideas of how to bandage the hemorrhaging world markets, and create a temporary sense of confidence and stability.

This is all well and good, after all, now is not the time to point fingers and wait for things to be OK again, now is the time to move forward and create a new world. However, the true lesson of the Great Depression is not how we fell into it and fought our way out of it, but rather how it changed the way people thought about personal responsibility. When it comes to wealth, personal responsibility used to mean fiscal responsibility. That means that people used to keep track of how much money they had and how much money it would cost to support their families, and they would save the rest. These people taught their children these lessons in the hope that their children’s children would be capable of creating a better world. In the past few decades, the personal responsibility of wealth has centered on the idea of credit responsibility. From catchy commercials advertising websites where you can check your credit to organizations that can protect your credit from others, we have learned and have taught our children that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, as long as you’ve got good credit.

Does anybody else but me see how fundamentally stupid that is? Trying to teach Americans – a diverse race of free thinking people who have come to think that they deserve the world’s respect – something like not overspending money that can easily be borrowed again, is like trying to tell a dog not to eat all the food in the dish. The dog doesn’t know any better, and for the last few decades neither has many Americans. It’s not that Americans are stupid; on the contrary, it’s just that there is not the overwhelming need to save when there is credit available.

If you talk to any of the old-timers who grew up during the Great Depression, most of them will tell you about being hungry for years. They weren’t afraid to lose their cable or even to lose their homes; they’d already lost their homes. These were people who had nothing to eat. Those old-timers can tell you about how when the depression was over, people began learning to save. Not just money either, they saved things as insubstantial as leftovers from dinner.  They learned not to waste anything.

The Great Depression gave Americans and people all over the world a true sense that “things may NOT be alright after all.” This left most people in a scary, and hopeless place; always wondering from where the next meal would come. Humans were oftentimes forced to return to their animal instincts and actually steal food from others to feed their families. The Great Depression could have easily been called the Great Desperation for what it meant to the populous. That same populous went on and learned from that desperation. They kept with them their notion of saving for tough times. In the mean time, the government, having to look after the really downtrodden – the people who had nothing to save – created social programs intended to help raise the nation out of its slump.

Then came war. The economic desperation left the world ripe for change. That change came in the form of evil socialist empires with the goal of taking over the world and committing genocide on those that they blamed for that same strife. It was a bitter time for the world, and once America was brought into it, the people turned their desperation to nationalism. Again, the value of saving and working hard for things were reinforced. The men had to go over there to protect freedom in the world, while the rest of America stayed back and went into production for the war.

Once the dust had settled, and the Cold War was being quietly fought, America began to lose some of its hard-fought values. There were a number of reasons why this happened. Most people, that being the middle class, moved out to the suburbs after the war, and promptly began having kids. These were highly competent and capable people, and they created a culture of high school shenanigans mixed with hard work and collegiate achievement. Their kids went on to truly believe in the American dream in a way that had never been recognized before. They graduated from college with stars in their eyes and made our country strong and great. Many lived quiet suburban lives, where going to church and having a strong standing in the community had become more important than teaching their kids the truth about personal responsibility. Having cut themselves off from the rest of America, many of these soon to be evangelicals came to fear anything different from the world they had created.

And in their minds, they had much of which to be fearful. There was a counter-culture growing that stood fast against the conformity that the suburbanites took for granted. The hippy generation had the right idea: peace, love, and happiness are amazing things, and if humans could just learn to live with each other than everything would be groovy. These folks didn’t save money, most refused to work, ‘cuz such conformity was lame. The problem is that humans are clearly not ready for this ideal, and with the mix of psychedelic drug abuse, murderous violence, and the diseases of the sexual revolution, the hippy movement came to an end, leaving a cultural influence that has permeated through to the modern day.

Without even taking into account the civil rights movement, or the Vietnam War, you must be able to see how the American values were changed. We had come from different places and we continued to celebrate those differences. America quickly became a class society structured between the excesses of the haves and the apparent laziness of the have-nots.

The haves were the so-called rich people who had used the Cold War for profit. These folks believed themselves to be among the country’s elite. They were the masters of industry and they taught their kids that the American dream is something to be bought. Their kids promptly bought that dream by the handfuls, on credit, not savings. It was easy to keep the money flowing, for America was the country to be. No other country produced so much in the history of humans. The American civilization became a shining beacon to the world, and as long as you were one of the haves, wealth could be yours.

The have-nots were the poor people. There were poor people whose ancestors were former slaves; there were poor people whose ancestors were former plantation owners; there were poor people whose ancestors were former working class immigrants. These people largely thought of the American dream as something that was fundamentally only a sense of survival. The depression had hit these folks’ parents hard, both financially and psychologically. They had taught their kids that it was hopeless for the most part unless a person was exceptional. As generations came and went, many poor people gave up hope and lived as subjects of the system, which had originally been created to stem the tide of the Great Depression. When you were poor, you didn’t really have enough to save, and even if you did, some other poor person would probably just come around and take it from you, maybe even harming you in the process. Poor people learned to stay on their side of the tracks and keep their drugs and violence within their community. Some would cross the tracks from time to time and make the ten o’clock news when they invaded the world of the middle class.

The entire time the middle class lived in relative ease. They sat in church and pretended to be separate form the fray. They locked their doors tight every night, to protect all of the stuff they had acumulated over the years. America’s technological advances are due in part to the way that the middle class latched onto the importance of the information age and what it had to offer. They racked up a lot of debt by trying to appear better than their neghbors, and spent money on big cars, big houses, and big HDTV’s. This love of excess had become the new American dream, and it was catching.

Even the poor people wanted in on it. It started with Robin Leach and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and evolved to MTV’s Cribs, but the culture of having “stuff” became the very ideal of that dream the people wanted. American consumerism hit its pinnacle at this time. The government began letting banks loan the American dream to just about anyone, because it only made sense that everyone should be entitled. We’re all Americans, and Americans are the best, most exceptional people on the planet.

Then the shit started hitting the fan. Our culture, coming from so many different directions was suddenly thrust together in the name of solidarity, human rights, and personal freedom. The sociopolitical walls that were around after the depression were being taken down as American government expanded all social programs. Consumerism united the country as the all the classes chased after the next smartphone or gaming console. All along, America’s credit debt grew and grew. Soon, the need to supplant the apathetic culture of the poor through that same sense of consumerism became the thing that defined modern America.

Now, the spending spree is over, and it makes all Americans sad.  We can learn from this, though.

America is not the same place as it was before, during, or after the Great Depression. This country has been shaped by its history and there is no turning back. We need to take this current economic crisis and really see what we can learn from this. The culture of this country needs to be changed, literally from the bottom up. We need to educate the masses. Education empowers people. The Internet is the perfect tool to be used for this task. It’s easy just to throw money and food stamps at people, while others scratch and claw their way to a greedy precipice, but we’ve been doing things the easy way for a long time now, and look where it’s gotten us.

Many of the mistakes of the past eras were made because the people were divided and isolated. That is largely not the case anymore. As much as the media would like to keep us apart, Americans as a whole are much closer in their thinking, and we are capable of making great changes. There will always be people who are too greedy for their own good as well as people who are too lazy to better themselves – let them become the second class citizens while the rest of us strive for a better nation.

Already we can see what impact our habits and actions have on our world. Anybody notice how fuel prices have fallen…sure the economic downturn has something to do with that, but it is the demand that has gone down. Most of us have not changed the way we live; we have just become less wasteful. Efficiency is about doing things with less waste.

That’s the lesson we need to learn as Americans. We can no longer be a nation of people waiting for handouts. What’s the difference between social security and corporate tax breaks? Nothing. Hell, what about food stamps and bailouts? We need to change; and such change will keep us out of another Great Depression and catapult us to the standing as a world power that most of us think we deserve right out. Patriotism has to be measured not by the size of our trucks but by the size of the efficient use of our resources. I’m not talking about the dubious idea of the carbon footprint (even though that will be a healthy byproduct of the human revolution) but for a change from the culture of spending to a culture of living well and being happy with our lives.

-LucFerris


Broken

02Nov08

Too many humans spend a lot of time broken.  Like all machines, the human needs to run at a certain level of efficiency in order to be capable of working. Many things are said about the physical health of the body, for this is the system of machines that makes the human go.  Nowadays, the fast food jungle that the masses are used to, especially in this country, are being condemned for their heretofore silent attack on the waistlines of the people. Everyone on the planet with access to media, now knows that it is important to have a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise to keep the machine that is the body in good condition.

Plenty of resources are spent for this aim, and much thought goes into it.  Modern science is even beginning to understand the most amazing machine in the human body.  The Brain.  The human brain is the most advanced organ to have ever been built or evolved on this planet.  It requires only a small amount of energy to make it run, yet it exudes an enormous amount of output.  As a computer, the brain is the ultimate central processing unit and the envy of scientists around the world.  Humans can make machines that do faster and more complex computations, yet no one can – as of yet – duplicate the awesome paralleled connectivity of neurons and synapses in our brains.

When any part of the system of machines that maintains the body breaks down, much worry is created.  Emotional bonds are questioned and reaffirmed when a love one takes ill, and many other causes of anxiety are set aside while the love one’s needs are met.  Humans spend a large fraction of their incomes on the maintenance and prolonging of the functions of the body, and with further research, the brain.  However, the other part of the human, the mind, has been largely forgotten.  The mind is that ‘organ’ that does not exist.  It is the ‘place’ where consciousness lies.  The mind can be thought of as a collection of the cellular memory of the body – an extension of our DNA.  It is influenced most by the chemical and electrical functions of the brain and the chemical and electrical functions of the body.  It is also influenced by environmental changes and the minds of other humans.  The mind is the closest thing that scientist can dare themselves to call the soul.  It is also the part of the human that is the easiest to break.

Consider a scenario: a child is told an untruth by an adult, say a parent, and remembers that untruth throughout its life.  The child grows to believe the untruth as if it is true until much later in life it finds the truth revealed, yet chooses to continue to believe the untruth out of either habit or loyalty to the one who originally spoke the untruth.  Sound familiar?  Most of the beliefs that the mind hold are engraved at a very young age.    Whether good or ill, beliefs can permeate throughout a human’s life.

Everything changes; and everyone knows this.  The human body changes.  Science shows that the brain and body go through fundamental changes as the human progresses from childhood to adolescence and ultimately to adulthood and old-age.  To the mind, however, many of these changes can be a concept unknown, or even feared.  Sometimes the very chemical and electrical functions that make up the brain have never been as efficient as they could have been, either because of childhood trauma, or even something as simple as a flawed belief system.  In order for the human mind to deal with any kind of change, the human must learn to accept the fundamental nature of change.  Many times, a large amount of resource and thought needs to be spent for this to happen.  However, those who choose to spend any amount of time or effort (or, god forbid, money) on any sort of maintenance of the mind are oftentimes ashamed to do so.

The idea of mental health has been theorized countless times in the history of humans.  From the narcotic induced trances of shamans and spiritual healers, to the psychiatric studies and medicines of today, people have been constantly chasing answers to unknown questions.  At the same time, too many humans spend a lot of the time broken. These people – and we are many – spend most of their time being shamed and ostracized.  These poor souls are usually written of as ‘crazy people’ and oftentimes made fun of for their failure to be able to cope with the world around them.  Sometimes, these humans are even feared, because you never know what a crazy person might do.

When machinery breaks down, chaos ensues.  No system made up of non redundant machinery can survive without every part of the system working.  Every cog must turn and every bearing must be oiled for the machine to work properly.  If this is not happening then the machine is broken.  If the brain is broken than the body is broken.  If the body is broken then the mind can be broken.  The mind is made up of more than just the brain and the body.  Sometimes the mind can be broken when the brain and the body are working just right.  This is the underlying problem with matters of the mind.

Another scenario: a human body can suffer from extensive hypertension and have a blood pressure monitor to prove it.  The brain can interpret the numbers on the monitor to cause the mind to decide to make lifestyle, diet, and medicinal changes to thwart the disease.  This is how humans deal with being broken in the physical sense.  The mind, however, does not have this measurable function of understanding.  The mind is the part of the human that makes understanding possible.  How can a human decide what actions are necessary without the mind to make the right decisions?

Humans are the only creatures on our planet who make a full and conscious impact on our world.  We are almost viral in our way of taking any environment and changing it for our own needs.  In our minds exist a constant struggle with our own selves.  Our bodies exist to feed us the instincts that are buried within our DNA while our brains exist to feed us the impulses that make us what we are.  Our minds exist to make sense of it all.  If a human cannot makes sense of it all…(can you?)…then the human is broken.

Most humans don’t realize just how broken they really are.

-LucFerris