God is in the Vagina

I use facebook for a few things. It’s a good source of news updates in science, sustainability, and really whatever I choose. I also use it to watch so many that I went to school with. Watching them I notice a few things.

First is that people get fat. I’m really only twenty to thirty pounds from when I graduated high school many many many many moons ago. Granted I really needed those pounds, way way too skinny, but seriously a lot of them have gotten huge and while I’m a supporter of body acceptance I am also a supporter of healthy lifestyle choices. Now a small percentage of them have health issues and I take that in consideration as well but with each passing year I watch so many of them them get larger and larger.

The second thing I notice is that so many people I went to school with seem to have found god after they have children. The ones that already “knew” god just found more of god after having a child. This leads me to one conclusion, or not really. God is hiding somewhere in the vaginal canal.

Being that I do not have one I can’t claim to be an expert but I started reading and researching human anatomy, especially the female anatomy, when I was in 5th grade. Hey what was a 5th grader supposed to do when you had read through all the books in the small public library…. Move to the college textbooks. On top of all that I’ve raised animals and seen births of animals, watched births of human children on videos, and let’s face it I’ve had partners that I’ve spent some time in between their legs. With all this I’ve never seen a divine light, heard a booming voice, or felt a presence come out of there.

Let’s face it. If that happened I would probably just become a hermit in the woods the first time it happened. Just how scary would that be? Your face down there and a deep booming voice and light hits you! No more playing. Game over man. Cashing out and staying away. That would just be too much. But really imagine that beaming light and booming voice…. No. Done. I need therapy now after that imagination session.

So what gives? Why is it that when people have children all of a sudden they go from questioning religion to finding god? Now it’s not everyone. I just see it a lot. I believe it is guilt and a feeling of “Oh shit I am responsible for another human now.” To me I see these people that did bad things, we all do, and they are suddenly like “I have to be more for this child! I must be the pinnacle of examples!” I don’t believe in that. I do not believe you need to be more for your child. I believe you need to be you in all your flawed glory.

So many parents try to hide what they did as a child. For years my grandparents raised my brothers and I. My grandfather never hid his past from me. He was the leader of a gang, fought regularly, drank, ran away from home, and you know what I respected the man more for this. I was very young when he started telling me these stories and I felt honored even then to be given the chance to see his soul. And I do that now with my fiancee’s children. I don’t hide who I am and what I was. There is no case for morality in this. Just honesty.

I believe another thing happens when someone has a child. I believe they fall back on how they were raised. So those that may have been Atheists that were in a Christian household smash themselves back into a mold that their parents were in. It makes me wonder how many truly believe. How much is it falling back on what is expected because there is no manual on raising a human so they fall back on a known instead of continuing with the unknown.

All and all it’s an amusing thing to watch. Believe if you will. Don’t believe if you will. Harm none with your beliefs, but don’t compromise yourself because that is what you think you should. And always watch out for the booming voice and beaming lights.

God is in the Vagina

Personal Philosophies

Originally posted December 7th, 2014

Wikepedia has a great defination of Philosophy that I will paste here “Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.[4]
The word “philosophy” comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”.[5][6][7] The introduction of the terms “philosopher” and “philosophy” has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.[8]”

Philosophies and symbols are woven into what we believe. They are often integral parts of us and we don’t even realize it. I personally am a strong believer in ritual, philosophy, and symbolisms. They are anchors for me when I have times of fragility. But I’ve been thinking about some of the more important ones in my life lately.

Chaos

An important and born in nature, symbol, and philosophy of mine is Chaos. This is not the American belief of chaos of a destructive uncontrollable force that leaves nothing but waste in it’s path. It is the belief that without Chaos you cannot have order. That things have to be destroyed so that things can be built. That forests and fields sometimes have to burn so that life can continue on. This is my life.

A destructive force to everything so that all can be restructured in a form of order. In a way that things, environments, people so they can truly continue their life, and myself so that I never become stagnant. Often times it is just automatic to myself and people around me. It is experienced like a whirlwind. It destroys so that we may grow and live.

I also hold to the I-Ching Hexagram #3 which is Chaos. It states “Chaos – Where Great Dreams Begin. Before great vision can become reality there may be difficulty. Before a person Begins a great endeavor, they may encounter chaos. As a new plant breaks the ground with great difficulty, foreshadowing the huge tree, so must we sometimes push against difficulty in bringing forth our dreams. ‘Out of Chaos, Brilliant Stars are Born.’”

Pain

My life since birth has been a constant state of pain. I have had to learn to battle through it because I don’t find the alternative to be acceptable. I cannot personally remember a day without it. That all aside I have a strong belief that pain is necessary both emotional and physical. That without it we do not grow. Without pain I believe that children would stay more childlike. But it is a dangerous force. Too much pain and a person crumbles. Too little and they stagnant. I can give a great example of this.

Many many many years ago I was the Drum Major in the marching band of my High School. We had a girl that was handicapped physically. She could walk she could move about okay, but her leg, feet, arm, and hand muscles contorted her body. This made things difficult for her. The band director, her friends, her family, and society in general placated her and tried to always keep her in bubble that forced this putrid level of stagnation. I saw talent. I saw power. I saw a human being trapped in a shell that everyone else forced upon her. I refused to be one of those people.

I was harsh to her. I gave a constant pressure of uncomfortable pain to her in the form of verbal blades. Sometimes this young woman cracked and began to cry. In which I would make her keep going. I never allowed her an inch. If she told me she could not do something I told her to go away and quit. Her friends hated me. I had and still have little care for them. Sometimes I might have even border-lined on the edge of cruelty. Yet in the end something beautiful happened.

She contacted me last year. She was curious how she was my friend but at the same I time pushed her so hard and wouldn’t give her an inch anything. She wondered why at times it seemed like I was so very mean to her. So I asked her something as a mode of answering her question. I asked her if she would have pushed her self that hard? She told me no. I asked her if she would have been able to pursue the degree field (Music Therapy) if she had not been pushed. She thought about it for sometime and told me no. So I then explained to her that everyone had been gentle to her for her entire life and that she had accepted her fate in the world as someone broken. I instead shredded her pillows of lies and forced her to believe she could be someone better than what everyone was giving her. I also explained to her that it required me to be harsh and to push her to her limits, to push her to crying, to not allow any failure from her, and to be there to stand her back up and prod her forward again. And this girl is still pushing forward because someone made her life incredibly uncomfortable and painful at times and refused to accept that she couldn’t do anything.

Now if I had not applied careful pain and was evil she would have broken and shattered. She would have been worthless. She would have never decided to move forward. She would have accepted that she needed help with everything and would have never sought a degree program that she did. So the scalpels had to be handled with care. The burning words eventually turned into fires of desires but could have easily been scorching blazes of destruction.

This is my belief in pain. That without it we cannot reach our full potential but with too much we may become nothing.

The Beauty of Imperfection

I detest perfection. I find imperfection and flaws to be beautiful. Show me scars both emotional and physical and I will examine them with awe and curiosity. Show me a gnarled tree that has survived disease and the test of time and I will caress it lovingly. Bring me the wine/scotch glass with the chip in it and I will be happy.

There are two Japanese philosophies that correlate with this belief system that I am ever a follower of. They are both highly similar. They are Wabi-Sabi and Kintsugi. Wikepedia has two lovely write ups on both:

Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[1] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), the other two being suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?).
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

“Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.”[1] “If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.”[2] “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”[3]

Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique.[1][2][3] As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

As a philosophy kintsugi can been seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.[8] Japanese æsthetics values marks of wear by the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.[9]
Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of “no mind” (無心 mushin?) which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life.[10]

Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.

Tree of Life

This symbol is an ancient symbol, it is older than Christianity, older than any modern religion you can think of. It’s a symbol that has bridged beliefs, religions, philosophies, and even science uses it.

For me it is a reminder of many things. It is a reminder to be connected to my past but always reach for the future. It is to be strong and weather out whatever is thrown at me. To grow in a way to both shelter and smother. To be flexible but firm. It is a symbol to be rooted wherever I am and to always reach for more.

It is my eternity. It represents my underworld and my heavens and the path I have gone through to get to them. And when my life is over it represents how I have lived and how I will dissipate and rot away and everything I was will be nourishment to something else.

Choctaw Road of Life

Part of my ancestry is Choctaw. The Choctaw believe that everyone has a road they must travel. It is their personal journey. It is the belief that when you harm someone or help someone that you step off your road. In some writings it also states that you step onto their road. Until these actions are completed you cannot continue your own path.

For me it always helps to temper my action. How is my actions stopping me from continuing my life? What of my actions is stopping my forward motion? Is what I am doing worth me stepping off my road?

Mindfulness

We will go back to Wikepedia for a simple definition of it:

Mindfulness is “the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment”,[1] which can be trained by meditational practices[1] derived from Buddhist anapanasati.[2]

I am a huge proponent of this practice. I am often telling people “You are allowed to feel (angry, sad, depressed, etc) but you are not allowed to let it control you or control others.”

Mindfulness for me is about accepting and letting go. It has allowed me to control my depression and other darker demons in my mind. It is a daily practice for me, and sometimes it I have slips and falls but I always fall back on it.

I know I touched on some of these topics in my religious beliefs blog but many of them I did not. For whatever reason these other aspects of my beliefs have been cycling through my head over and over again. I felt the need to get them out and write them down.

Personal Philosophies

Religious Beliefs

Originally posted 6 months ago elsewhere

Every year or two I like to make an assessment of what my beliefs are. This encompasses a lot of things but the only one I really write about are “religious.” It’s a place that I’ve evolved in greatly. I grew up in an Assembly of God Church and was a devout Christian. I’ve studied with so so many Christian denominations, Buddhists, Hindu, and so so so many other religions its not even funny. For a while I called myself a Theist with Christian leanings, then a Deist, then an Atheist. Then I settled in where I am now and have been for a while.

The simple answer I give to people about what I believe in is I am a Secular Spiritualist and Humanist.

When people ask what I mean by Humanist I like to share this definition “Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a “human nature””

So of course I have to explain Secular Spirituality as well. I’ll swipe from wikepedia because it’s almost spot on for me. “Secular spirituality refers to the adherence to a spiritual ideology without the advocation of a religious framework. Secular spirituality may embrace many of the same types of practices as religious spirituality. Secular spirituality emphasises the inner peace of the individual rather than on a relationship with the divine. Proponents make a case for a form of secular spirituality in which the motivation is to live happily and/or to help others. Secular spirituality emphasizes humanistic qualities such as love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, responsibility, harmony and a concern for others.[2]:22 Aspects of life and human experience which go beyond a purely materialist view of the world, without necessarily accepting belief in a supernatural reality or divine being. Spiritual practices such as mindfulness and meditation can be experienced as beneficial or even necessary for human fulfilment without any supernatural interpretation or explanation. Spirituality in this context may be a matter of nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions that are in harmony with a belief that everything in the universe is mutually dependent.”

But these two elements really are only half of what my beliefs are. The other half is much more amorphous and some of it is more primordial. I do not believe in morality. I do believe in the supernatural elements but believe that it is aspects of science and the natural world that simple have not been explained yet. I believe in the power of pain and how it pushes growth and evolution. I believe that destruction has to happen for growth to continue and this includes personal destruction. I do not believe in a higher power but have a “Deity” for lack of better term.

To tell people I do not believe in morality always causes people to want to argue with me. “If you didn’t believe in morality you would be in jail.” No. I follow a set of rules that have been placed upon me without my consent by generations long dead so that I may mostly live the life I want to live. Moral structure is developed by those in charge. My example is this. If you grew up in a society where you were required to rape a child on your 18th birthday then it would be morally acceptable. It is as simple as that. Many Native American tribes the right of passage for males were to go on the warpath and to kill an enemy. This was morally acceptable. So morality is nothing more than a human construct that guides a culture. So the concept of “higher morality” I do not believe in.

As for believing supernatural elements but believing that they will one day be explainable. One example is white sage smudge sticks. White Sage has always been a plant to purge evil and cleanse places. Science has shown this to be true in the cleansing aspect. Burning a white sage smudge stick causes ionization of the air where the smoke passes. That ionization purges and cleanses, think back to how ion air purifiers work. Also I study quantum mechanics/physics for fun. Once you see what has been discovered on a quantum level you can understand some supernatural. I’ve also seen things that I, and everyone else, cannot explain. I’ve experienced things that should not “rationally” have been experienced. Thus I keep a very open mind. Now I do think a lot of “supernatural” in the aspect of the damn New Agers is a bunch of bastardization and hogwash (if you are a New Age person I’m sorry if you are offended). But I believe in the power of the Human Mind to influence things. I believe in energy. Energy of the human body and mind and how it can affect crystalline structures, people, and life/death. Hence why I have a strong desire to study with shaman’s and medicine men/women. I want to study from old roots. Roots that I believe to be more true. I want to learn and grow with that study.

A core aspect of my belief is pain. Pain as a form of growth. Pain as a driving force. It has been shown that children that experience less physical pain have slower brain development. Emotional and physical pain is easier to remember in the human mind. The reason for all of this is it to survive. I may take it a step further but that’s probably because my life has been a constant whirlwind of pain from the day of my birth. It’s the one obvious power I’ve known. I’ve learned to harness it and use it to push myself forward and have learned to draw out the pain from others and use it to shape them into better people. But pain has a double edge sword. It can strike you down as quickly as build you up. It has to be balanced and controlled or you’ll find yourself kneeling on the ground bleeding out from a thousand cuts.

Destruction is the same thing for me. I’ve had my life destroyed over and over again. Each time I’ve grown stronger from it. But I see this on a larger scale. Look at humanity. We grow and grow and grow and fall and destroy ourselves. Out of that destruction comes chaos, solidification, and rebirth. You can see it in history over and over and over again. You can see it in nature as well. Forest fires burn away disease, the too old, the built up rubbish that has yet to go away, and frees up the area for rebirth. Hence why forest rangers will often do controlled burns of areas. There are prairie plants that cannot go to seed unless they catch on fire. Destruction is necessary for rebirth and fighting that destruction often slows and hinders rebirth.

I do not believe in a creator or god of any kind, but I can say that I have a “deity” of sorts. There is a saying I’ve said since I was a child. I don’t know where it has come from but I’ll share it in a moment. I participated in a Oneness awakening. It was an amazing experience. One part of the Oneness awakening was discovering your deity. I don’t believe in a god so this was difficult for me at first and my mind fought it hard. When I relaxed into the exercise and stopped fighting it everything snapped into crystal clarity. My deity is Life and Death. It is an element of power that is one in the same. You cannot have life without death. I’ve challenged and faced down Death more times than I can remember. I’ve embraced Life in ways that most people never will. I learn from the Life and Death of plants, the Life and Death of humans, Life and Death of animals, the Life and Death of civilizations and cultures, and the Life and Death of my self as I have grown and changed. Because the life of everything has a story to tell to us but so does the death and how that death ripples throughout everything. They are my teachers, my guides, and my ever present companions. For whatever reason they always have been because as a child I use to say “I am a pupil of Life and Death.”

I can honestly say that my beliefs are not firm set, They are always growing and evolving as I learn and grow.

Religious Beliefs