Friday, December 24, 2010

A Question of Morals

Recently I found myself being "friends" in Facebook with people who, like myself, are caring for a person with TBI. Brain injuries can unite some very disparate peoples, as in this case. But the real world is a funny place. I enjoy learning basic skills, like surviving in the woods, building fires, making knives etc, so when I encountered this family and their friends I was pretty pleased. They hunted with black powder guns, hand ground the meat and made sausages and smoked meat... pretty cool stuff. Then the "xmas" holidays came in and things changed. Yesterday morning one of the members of the extended family decided to post a comment which ran something like this: "All morals come from God (YHWH) and if you don't believe in God and Jesus you can't have any morals." It's hard to sit still for this so I wrote a quick, polite response wherein I declared that I am not a Christian but that I thought I was a moral person; I don't lie, cheat, steal, hurt people, I honor my parents, I am a devoted friend and I am also a devout pagan. So this gentleman replied with essentially this: "If you don't believe in God you cannot have any morals because all morals come from Him." Well I am also something of a logician and I find it hard to listen to bigotry, illogical arguments, circular thinking and lies. I happen to have a pretty good grasp of where YHWHism comes from and it's history, which is not very moral  by our current standards. Read the text! We have lies, murders, rapes, incest... all of this by the good guys! The bad guys seem to be getting killed off not because of their actions, but their very existence. People were slaughtered simply because all their lives they lived in a land that the YHWHists desired. So they took the land, killed the men, raped the women and sold the children into slavery for the sin of existing. This is an example of "morals" in the YHWH world. Again, read the text.

Now, the person who insulted several billion people with his simplistic world view must have a set of values which comprise his moral dimension. Probably things like murder, rape, stealing, lying are all included, but if you asked him about the lands the YHWHists stole violently with many innocent deaths he will say that the Lord gave the land to the Jews and that's the final word on that. Apparently their deity is outside of the moral universe, and by "trickle down" the followers are also de-facto moral people no matter what they do, so long as it does not involve worshiping other deities. I follow a different path, ergo I am immoral no matter what I do. It's a curiously circular form of thinking and it allows someone who is not a very nice person, like Dick Cheney, to get away with mass murder simply by praying in a Christian church. Amazing.

But what about the billions of people who live away from the Middle East and never heard of the Jews, never heard of Yeshua and yet conduct themselves in a moral environment with respect for the rights of others and a respect for the life of the land? They apparently are in a no-win situation. They cannot be moral because they never read the Bible and never were dunked or something by a priest. Back in AZ I had a similar situation wherein a Christian was lecturing me on my paganism and how I was doomed to Hell. I suggested that a person could live a moral life, a good life, without ever hearing of the Ten Commandments. Alas, he could not hear of this. A Pagan was by definition an immoral and bad person. Around this time was the Jim Jones incident and being a bug, I mentioned the Bibles old Jim Jones read from while he pouring poison into the kool-aid. Not a great idea. Jones was an evil man ruled by Satan, but of course it was years before they figured this out, prior to that he was a holy man preaching the Lord's words. Then he killed everybody. My point was that I did not kill people, did not steal from people, did not lie to people and so I had a shot at being "moral". Nope, not so, impossible. Nobody who follows the Goddess can be seen as moral, and no matter what I did or said I would always be a lost soul, an immoral man and doomed to Hell because I did not worship the Jewish god YHWH. This sort of thing always puts a bug up my ass.

My pagan faith has one commandment and there is no direct punishment for failing to obey that commandment. It is, "If it harms none, do what you will." Pretty basic foundation for a decent set of morals, I think. So I can study the Bible, I can study the Koran, I can study Wicca, and so forth, so long as I am harming no one. I cannot steal because it harms, I cannot murder for the same reason. I cannot go to war, I am faithful to my wife and my family. But I do so out of a sense of responsibility to myself because you cannot be loved if you do not love others. I want people in my family to be able to love me, so I follow the Pagan Way and try to harm nobody in the process. Now if we study the history of Judaism, Christianity and other related faiths we see a disturbing pattern of violating all the commandments when it suits them. Christians dropped the nuclear bombs that decimated two entire cities filled with old people, men, women, children, pets and even Allied POWs! We knew all those people were there, the POWs were less than a half mile from the target zone. Apparently we wanted to be sure to vaporize them. Well, we did, and to this day we refuse to offer any assistance to those people suffering from radiation induced abnormalities, birth defects and cancers. We do nothing to help the sick, nothing to help the broken children. This from a Christian nation which even now is fighting, trying to get the Bible into all the classrooms. No Pagan could vaporize and irradiate a city, it is such a crime against Nature that no one who believes in Life could handle the guilt. But Christians not only can handle it, they worked to make sure it could happen again. We now own enough nuclear death to kill every major city on Earth, all built and designed by Christians. Prove me wrong.

This man who has judged me as immoral and inferior goes out to kill deer and other forms of life. He never considers the soul of the animal, as would a pagan. He never prays forgiveness to the animal he is about to kill, and he will pray to his God for allowing his bullet or arrow to find it's mark. No thanks to the unlucky deer. This seems twisted to me, but his God is a micro-manager who inserts His way into every detail of life, except sometimes. Like when a crazy man rapes and murders a little girl, apparently YHWH is not there to help her. He certainly would not be there to help a Pagan girl. In Iraq a number of Christian Marines raped and murdered a 14 year old Muslim girl and then murdered her family. Then they burned down the house to destroy the bodies and went back to play pool and prepare for the next day of occupation and slaughter of civilians. I find this hard to understand,  but it seems it is okay to do this to a non-Christian because their souls are lost anyway. Like Joshua entering those cities to rape and murder, with a holy Get Out of Hell Free card.

I encourage every Pagan to read the Bible, as many translations as you can. Read the Koran translations, too, because fundamentalist Muslims are as bad as Christians in twisting a tale of Peace into a tale of Slaughter. It's important to understand the kind of thinking that goes into these faiths because many people are stuck in them, trying to be good people but having to reconcile the various stories with the various Commandments. How does one wage war if Thou Shall Not Kill? I suppose you could use paintballs, but they don't. They seem to like real weapons better. In comparative religion we find many stories of one faith fighting another. Muslims today are killing Muslims over a political dispute almost 1000 years old. Jews are still killing cities filled with Palestinians and occupying their lands, bulldozing down the ancient olive groves and poisoning the wells. We have not gotten very far following YHWH and His derivatives. Pagans seem to be doing a bit better, being more than willing to adopt science as a means of further understanding the Deity, our Goddess. Ecological movements are based firmly in the Pagan principles of harming none, taking care of the Earth. The name of this planet is derived from one of the names of the Goddess, Urda. Our days are named after Pagan gods and goddesses. Our months are named after Pagan deities and Roman dictators. Our life is rich in Pagan traditions because in part the YHWHists stole even those and twisted them to connect with the YHWH faith. Easter comes to mind, as does Christmas, both Pagan holy days twisted into YHWH's holy days, but the spring Goddess was so important to the masses that they kept Her name for that Holy Day. I'm thinking hypocrisy here.

I guess if that Christian would consider reading this I would like him to come away with the idea that all faiths have hypocrites and power mongers and politics can soil any garment. A moral person is not moral out of fear, but out of love for their fellow humans and the life that surrounds us. This does not require ell fires or homicidal Deities tossing fire and brimstone. What Yeshua was teaching, apparently, and what got him in hot water with the Priests, was incredibly similar to what the Pagan faiths convey: "Harm none." He did not think that giving offerings were enough, that helping humanity was more important, and that cut into the Temple's wealth, so he had to go. It was not Pagans who turned him in and demanded he be killed, it was YHWHists. The Romans killed him because his followers were promoting him as their King, and their Emperor did not allow that, so the leader of the cult had to be removed for treason. Simple politics, nothing to do with religion.

So, looking back on things, I have to say that regardless of how effective I am at it, I strive to be a moral person. I try not to be too judgmental and I try to be more helpful. This is not good enough for my judging friends in the YHWH camp. But it seems to be good enough for my Lady of Life and since She gave birth to the Lord of Light I suppose it's good enough for me. Like the YHWH and Yeshua cults, the followers don't always get it right, or maybe they get it too Right and their minds explode. One thing I do know for sure is that unlike Her consort and son, YHWH, the Goddess will accept each and every one of us upon our deaths. She will hold us and love us and return us to life in due Time and that is something that works for me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waking the Witch

I had a dream the other night, when everything stood still. I thought I heard King Arthur, a-comin' down the hill. A buckwheat cake was in his mouth and a tear was in his eye, but his true nature became clear when the babies came to cry. Their hungers was aflame with need, their arms were whisper thin, I thought I saw King Arthur, not once but thrice again.

People understand, but animals believe. There was no way to stop the wren from shitting on my sleeve. A buckwheat cake was in his mouth or so the label said, but what was running thru his veins was nowhere near true red.

He compulsively wipes his hands across his beard, wiping away this feeling he had, this thin skin of hydrocarbons. It's just another skin, one of many. He sniffs it anyway, hands it to his Dog and He sniffs it and falls asleep, farting without sound. The Dog can do with yoga what other men talk about online.

Hudson River Valley-Winter

This morning we missed the bus for work and I had to drive down to Albany. Margaret made it to work and Wrigley and I met a nice man and his dog in Washington Park. It was cold and both dogs seemed determined to smell each other for many more minutes than my poor fingers could stand. We bid a "Happy Holidays" to one another and Wrigley and I trotted back to the car. I decided to take the old River Road, Rte 4 because after a really cold night you sometimes see some fantastic ice below Schuylerville. Sure enough, when we got to the gate to the Saratoga Battle Grounds we started seeing geese flying in and out of the river. I parked the car and trekked in to the riverside. Thousands of Canadian Geese were sitting, standing and flying on the river. It was a study in grey scale. I took about 50 photos of the geese and the river and turned back to the car where Wrigley no doubt napped. As I crunched through the flooded field I started noting the patterns in the layers of ice. Then I saw this scene and snapped it. I am reminded of a frozen rice paddy somewhere south of Kyoto.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Quoting Will

I am finding lately that more than ads for Russian porn sites I am also getting legit comments from people wanting to "back link" or otherwise share my blog. I have no problem with that, in fact I tried to put up a note to that effect. As far as I am concerned my thoughts are free. One problem has been that they leave their notes with no way to contact them, they sign "Anonymous" and that limits me to 6 billion other people. So if you leave such a note, you find my thoughts interesting enough to share, then by all means drop me an email or something.

I am thinking about suing for my son's body. No, he's not dead but he's not officially alive either. They have moved his prognosis into "permanent vegetative state". I would like to point out that the AMA says this is a non-starter. There is nowhere to go from that point except to wait for death. That will not do, not for my boy! I insist they declare what they intend to do if my son continues to live but not respond to them. He responds to me, slight movements, slight expressions, a small smile. I'll take it. I think he's in there, floating in a white fog and occasionally floating by the windows of his soul and spotting old Dad sitting there holding his hand. What else can I do?

I am thinking about suing for my son's body to be returned to a hospital nearby so I can begin the wake. Oh, the heart beats and the lungs work and he is said to be in pain once in awhile, but they give him Oxycontin to ease his pain. Yet, how can a vegetable feel anything? The fact is they give him pain to lessen his suffering, and how can a vegetable suffer? They're trying to have it both ways and that won't do. If he is suffering, then he is self aware, yes? If he is self aware he is not a vegetable, no? So a non-vegetable gets therapy and the non-vegetable may take up time and resources that are wearing thin these days in NY. So they want it both ways. they want him dead and alive. Dead, he causes no trouble. Alive, he counts as a warm body for reimbursement by Medicare. If I take him away they get less money. So I am thinking about suing for my son's body. What else can I do?

Saturday, December 04, 2010


As the rest of the ship broke apart
   and the other victims sank
      --out of sight--
The Lady drifted
    for awhile
          at that level
                 Looking up.
Her gown fluttered about her
showing nothing
Then, as by some
                unseen signal
She sank
and became
food for thought.