Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I remember my youngest son was about 5 years old when he came to me and asked point blank, "Is there a Santa Clause? A real Santa Claus?"
We were able to hold off on answering that question for his brother till he was older, but the second born grows up in the accelerated class.
I repeated the same story that seemed to work on his older brother.
"You know, Santa is like the spirit of Christmas. He is the symbol of the giving nature of Christmas. Just like the Kool Aide man who bursts through the walls in those TV ads; that animated drink pitcher is to Kool Aide as Santa is to Christmas."
No visible reaction on his part. I continue with my revelation, "You know you can't really see spirit with your eyes so we sometimes invent pictures that symbolize the essence of what spirit is."
In the few seconds of silence that followed I could tell my son was not buying this explanation. He turned his head to look at me more directly through his left eye, and said,
"Is there a man with a white beard wearing a red suit that actually comes down our chimney on Christmas Eve every year?"
There was no other way to answer that question.
My five year old son wasn't questioning the idea of Christmas nor the Christmas spirit of giving, he just wanted to know if there was really an unshaven, over weight guy in a funny red uniform delivering packages through the chimney?
For me there is a lesson in that experience. It becomes a metaphor to Life's other conceptual struggles.
(Me) My inner self asked (I) my conscious self "Is there a God? A real God?" Everyone comes to that point in their growth and maturity, when we ask ourselves if God is real. We have been told stories about God. We have been shown images of God, there are books on God. Good things were said to be delivered by God, but what is my individual adult opinion of who or what God means to me. I ask the question of myself. There is no answer immediately. I continue with my revelation, "God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, All Life, Truth, Intelligence,
I turn my inner head to look at me more directly through my right-eye and say,
"Is there an old guy up in the clouds with a long white beard wearing a long white robe with thunder bolts from his finger tips? He blesses some and judges others according to a strict set of rules?"
Any anthropomorphism of God inverts creation. No human concept of God can be true. We exist in the image of God not God in the image of us.
If God doesn't have any human physical qualities nor any human emotional qualities in what "image" are we made the same? The capacity to conceive of conscious existence, that is the Image and Likeness of God. To know that we know, I am that I am. It could be religion is as simple as that. What we call Mankind is the point at which Omniscience becomes aware if ITS self. God can not exist without mankind any more than Knowledge can exist without knowing. A consciousness that does not know of its own existence can not exist as consciousness.
Religion defined is: an organized collection of beliefs and cultural systems. So past the idea of I AM, the point at which knowledge knows itself, the rest of religion is just costumes, clubhouses, rules and exclusivity. Can't we all just let everybody celebrate this consciousness in any way they want to? We need to find our own salvation and stop trying to "save" everyone else from theirs.
The only thing that I am certain of is this: God would never encourage, condone, require or accept violence and killing as a franchise to any reward, here or hereafter.
Stepping every so quietly off this very short box I am standing on. Deep Breath... explain what that was all about...
I just keep hearing the term Holy War or War against Religion it seems like such an oxymoron. God on the side of War... any side, of any War? It's impossible.
All for now.
As you were,
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I have been under voluntary house arrest for the last week. I think I have another week to go before I am able to socialize in public again. Currently my look will scare small children and cause Grandmother types to say, "God bless you". I am what they call in the film business, "Not camera ready." I look like I fell face first into a camp fire and passed out for awhile.
Some of the joys growing up a fair skinned red headed kid in Texas was the clear sky and hot summers. I don't think I went through a summer without at least one major sunburn. There was no such thing as "sunblock" only "sun tan lotion" which was meant to increase the effect the sun had on your skin. Who knew? We thought all that vitamin D was a really good thing.
Well, half a century later... (don't do the age math... every one's age is just a google away) I am having to rethink my sun exposure. In my mature years I have made regular trips to the dermatologist to get "sun spots" frozen off my face. The dermatologist has a really fancy name for them. He calls them: Actinic keratoses (AKs) which are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that can lead to skin cancer. It is important to treat AKs because there is no way to tell when or which lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Well that is scary enough for me to continue to be vigilant about these little buggers.
So I have a new doctor who suggested we do a Blu U treatment for these Actinic keratoses. He said, that he would continue to freeze them off as they became apparent but this treatment would stop them from developing. He pitched it by saying that it would find all the AK's that have not even shown up yet and destroy them. It was a simple treatment with a special light. "It only takes 14 minutes..." he said. "It will feel like you got a bad sunburn."
I was well aware of what a sunburn felt like. I lived through many as a child. If the treatment did some good, What the heck, I could live through one more. So, last Thursday we did the treatment. He was right, after they plastered my face with some sort of gel it only took 14 minutes. 14 minutes of almost intollerable pain, which has become less intense over the last few days but still a "happy" reminder. I wouldn't say this felt like a "sunburn" as the Dr. pitched, I would say it feels more like I washed my face with run off water from the Fukushima nuclear reactor. My face looks like the first step in making a pizza and it feels like the PinHead character from the Hellraiser movies.
We had some friends over for the Academy Awards who said my face was glowing in the darkened room. I said , well it just looks like I got a bad sunburn... They said, "Oh no.... it looks like a bomb went off in front of your face." My friends have a way of always making me feel great about myself.
So... While the southern and eastern parts of the country are growing cabin feverish from the snow and cold, I am getting cabin fever from self imposed exile from humanity.
They tell me that the super redness will fade and just the red spots of "potential death" with hang around for a few days. When that phase starts I think I will wear my Mickey Mouse ears and tell everyone I got the Disneyland measles.
So, although the snowbound East coast is not thinking that way right now, I have just one word of advice to all..... sunscreen.
As you were,
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
I had an essay on the ridiculous quest the Texas courts are going though to nullify the marriage of a lesbian couple. First gay marriage in the Lone Star State of Texas. The couple has been together for 31 years and although Texas recognizes Common law marriages they do not recognize a same sex relationship of any duration.
I had some lucid facts and personal outrage about the situation in my home state. However, when I went to fact check one of my statements the blogger app on my iPad erased the 500 words. Rather than rewrite, I took it as a sign not to express that outrage today. I'm sure I will get back to it at a later day.
Just know that marriage has nothing to do with morals, religion or morality. It is a specific definition of a couple that facilitates the legal transfer of property and possessions. It is not a religious union although religion has co-opted the idea for it's own reasons. And for whatever reasons, religion is on the side of banning this form of love. If homosexuality was such a huge sin, wouldn't it have been mentioned, even in vague terms in the Ten Commandments? There are commandments condemning murder, lying and also lust and adultery of another man's wife. I don't believe it says anything about the other guys husband. That is the cliff's notes about the missive, but no more.
But... instead a joke from Jim McGeorge.
Two guys have finished a round of golf and walk into the locker room. A cell phone rings and one of the guys picks it up. The conversation goes like this:
"Hello... you are where? Shopping in Beverly Hills? (pause) well how much do they cost? (pause) 10 thousand.. apiece? (pause) Well go ahead a buy both....(pause) sure why not (pause) What about the house? (pause) An offer? but it isn't for sale (pause) spontaneous buyer? (pause) he offered what? (pause) Isn't that less than we could get from a listing? (pause) Well, bird in hand I say, accept the offer, we can find a better place to live. (pause) Sean wants us to co-sign a 80 thousand dollar loan so he can buy a Tesla? (pause) You're only 18 once... tell him to get the car in whatever color he likes. (pause) What about Joanie? (pause) a facial tattoo of what? (pause) A facial tattoo of Hello Kitty? Well if Sean is getting a car I guess his 14 year old sister can get a tattoo... tell her it is okay by me. (pause) You too honey... nice talking to you... Glad I could help.
The man clicks the phone off and sets it on the locker bench and says, "Hey, does anybody know who's cell phone this is?
As you were,