Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reverence for Life

I saw a sticker on the back of a car today: "I am the proud parent of a MARINE." It pleased me. It warmed me. Then I thought: "Why? Why am I having such a strong, positve reaction?" First I thought perhaps because my brother was a Marine, and I used to idolize him as a young boy. Then I thought: I am a parent, so perhaps I identified on that level. But I soon realized that the statement so pleased me because the son of the driver of the car, the boy, the young man was a person who was willing to take on a high possibility of death. I respect soldiers; and I have great respect for fire fighters and the police as well. In all three job categories failure carries the penalty of death. And I have a great love and respect for death's opposite, life...which death is constantly trying to eradicate.

My absolute respect for human life is so strong, in fact, that I have trouble with abortion, euthenasia and the death penalty. Human self-respect demands we place the highest and absolute value on human life. I believe any self-respecting society must first expend all efforts to solve societal problems, such as poverty and ignorance that leads to unwanted pregnancies, rampant crime, the excruciating pain that often accmpanies dying, and attack from other nations and/or individuals that leads to war, before considering any option that involves death.

Death, whether in the form of abortion, death penalty, euthenasia or war, should only be considered as a very, very, very last resort.

Eary in the 20th Century man there lived a man called Albert Schweitzer, a great philosopher, musician, and medical doctor, who believed in a philosophy called: "Reverence For Life". He revered life in all its forms, human and non-human: he would not even kill a mosquito or beetle....even though he spent the latter part of his career living and working among the poor as a much-needed medical doctor in the jungles of Africa where all forms of life are so overwhelminly abundant that at times they appear inconsequential. Albert Schweitzer lived his life-revering philosophy in the extreme (whereas I personally would draw the life/death absolute line at humans); but he had a point. If we do not revere life, life has no meaning. If life has no meaning, all morality, ethics and goodwill...and existence...are negotiable...and problematic. Human self-respect requires a strong and abiding respect for life..."to be proud to be a HUMAN BEING".

Friday, September 28, 2007


Consciousness creates in humans a false sense of controlling their destiny...when in truth, consciousness is nothing more than humans passive awareness of their inner--and automatic--choices of behavior, the automatic workings of their 'stimulus/synapse/response mechanism.

We humans think we are in control because we are 'watching'. We see a red ball laying next to a blue ball on a table ; we say "we 'choose' to pick up the blue ball" when in reality were choosing nothing; we are simply conscious that our prior and inner autonomic 'choosing' mechanism made us pick up the 'blue' ball according to an inner neural sense of what is 'god' or 'bad' for us, 'pleasurable' or 'displeasing' (according to our eternal, never-ending quest for positive survival).

Our internal system chose the 'blue' ball; we were just aware--watching. Human awareness (consciousness) gives humans a false sense of choosing when the system is simply 'registering' the event on a separate human neural band called consciousness--the awareness of process and the storehouse of memory-links. To foolishly equate human consciousness with 'choice' is somewhat similar to an animal (or human?) being hit by a car and saying "we chose to be hit by it because we were aware it was coming and obviously didn't choose to get out of the way"!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Only a secure person can entertain doubt

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The future is the past re-visited.

In biology it is stated "Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny." The development of an individual in his or her lifetime recapitulates the history of all human development.

Following that line of thinking, perhaps God and other universal thoughts are not mere 'irrational imaginings' as skeptics, including myself, often energetically avow, but are simply a true reflection of our infinite origins; the Big Bang (and the specific material origins of the universe to which man is materially connected) is a scientific explanation/metaphor of Man's sense of his expulsion/breaking from Paradise/infinity. Similarly, our desire to be in Heaven is a reflection of our eternal infinite future endings.

The historical/religious view of Jesus as God incarnate (part eternal, part specific) is a re-iteration of the overall human truth that Man is a temporarily fixed piece of a universal flow, destined to return inevitably from that temporary fixed status (as Man) to the universal flow (his eternal Father); or, universal infinity: 'From dust thou art, and unto dust you returneth'. The belief in God recapitulates our infinite origins...and our true eternal destiny. Ontogeny (including religious belief) recapitulates Philogeny in human essence as well as human existence.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Goodbye, Parrish

Parrish died today; in a hospice. She was thirty-seven years old. She died of a brain tumor. He death is unfair.

Parrish was grade school classmate of my son; also younger sister to the classmate of my daughter.

The universe is out of joint. Her mother and her father, our adult friends, older, wiser, more prepaed for death, should have died first.

Her youthful death tests faith. If God is listening: Re-do your human mortality schedule; take the parents first, and only later, children. You have been cruel, God. Even capricious. I'm disappointed in You. If you must test our belief and/or faith, choose another way than taking away our children.

Goodbye, Parrish.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Opinion: the beginning of the search for truth.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Sleepless Night

I couldn't sleep very well last night. It was hot. The sleeping pill was mild. I had read longer than usual...I had to finish the book. Perhaps that's it. I will blame my insomnia on "The Old Man of the Sea". Hemingway's greatness stirred my soul, like a sudden, unexpected storm stirring vast ocean depths.

The story of the Old Man's days at sea catching the great fish, only to have stolen by sharks as he brought it home had moved me even more than it had the first time I had read it as a college student.

Perhaps that is why, after reading such a story, the waves of my last night's nighttime thoughts were all dark. They were memories of incompleteness; tasks left unfinished, possibilities left unfulfilled, and relationships aborted. There were no happy thoughts, it seems: just semi-conscious memories contained no successes, no endless arrays of life's neural openings, neurons of life's stimuli swimming unattached to any synaptic fulfillment.

Whenever I spend a night like that, sheet tossing and pillow re-shaping--and I do many times even without having read "The Old Man and the Sea"--it is always the same: a time of regrets, never of self-congratulations. My semi-conscious thoughts are like ghosts, non-corporeal, an array of ephemeral desires that have never experienced birth, efforts that have never reached culmination, hopes that have never attained realization, still-born possibilities that died in the throes of non-actualization.

The failures are my fault (or so my half-dreams inform me): had I tried harder, better, wiser, with more cleverness and energy...and less fear...I would have written the resume of my life in bolder tones, in font of gold and gossamer, with hoorays and hosannas following the mere mention of my name.

However, and this is not uncommon after such a sleepless night, I woke up at eight AM, eager and optimistic for the day to unfold. I felt rested. I had obviously exhausted my regrets in endless circling of 'might-have-been'. The sharks may have stolen yesterday's catch, but "The Old Man of the Sea" and I went eagerly fishing the next day.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Garrulous talkers are rarely communicators; most of them talk to avoid saying anything.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


There are only two times in life when marriage is logical: one is when one is young and wants to have (and protect) children, and two, when one is old and doesn't want to die alone. The rest of the time--during that vast and often non-flourishing desert between these two periods of polar logic, during the long time the kids are growing and the creaks and groans of aging have yet to manifest themselves--sustaining a successful marriage becomes more an act of will than sanity. I suggest that a couple desirous of continuing a marriage during that long interregnum seek, find, nurture and partake in series of common 'social interests'...eating the same foods at the same kind of restaurants, believing in God, voting for the same political party, drinking and furtively smoking cigarettes together, hating (or liking) the same kinds of movies or TV shows, exercising--yoga, walking, biking, jogging--travelling, praying together...ANYTHING...any activity they can find in common...rather than admitting at worst they'd both rather be with someone else, or at best, blissfully alone.