Having studied the human form as an artist I learned that it is the bone structure that defines most of what we "look" like. We can consume fewer calories and subscribe to an exercise regime in order to sculpt what hangs on our skeleton but in the end we are left with that which we have been given to work with (and we were not given any choices at birth). The fact that our physical appearance defines what most other people think of us is a sad state of affairs. In America, more so than most other countries, we are bombarded with images of what we are "supposed" to look like, what is beautiful and, by default, what is not. We are all sick with affluenza and the resulting, constant striving to achieve, what is for most of us, unachievable.
On WMNF 88.5 FM, I heard a conversation between the commentator and a young woman during one of the talk shows a few whiles ago. They were discussing automakers earning $28 per hour. The caller thought it was too much to pay somebody who just assembled cars and trucks. The discussion went on to living wages, but before it did, the commentator asked the caller what she did for a living: she was a pharmaceutical representative. He said he knew a few ladies in that profession and that they were all quite good looking. His next question to her was to the point and it went something like, "What makes you think you deserve your earnings based mostly on your looks?" (not his actual words)
Is our inclination to judge a person by their looks some innate human trait or can we blame the whole thing on culture or society? If someone could direct me to some studies for more information I would appreciate it.
You old timers might remember Carlos Castaneda and his concept of "separate realities". Well, no one can literally see what I see or otherwise perceive anything by the manner in which I do. Likewise, you have your own unique perceptions and constructs of your reality. Take a minute to think about the tools you have by which to perceive this "external reality" and the limitations on their relative ranges of perception. My dog, so I am told, can hear 100 times better than me. Not totally sure what that means (we'll get into the inadequacies of verbal and written communication another time) but I know she can hear things I can't. If you start thinking about all the different frequencies of light and sound (just to name two) that are buzzing around right in front of your face (of which you are totally unaware) you may think; what do I really know about reality? (Then again, how many people think about anything beyond their immediate gratification?)
[image-1]The toolbox gets a little smaller when you get beyond the realm of Newtonian Reality (NR) and into what I will call Quantum Reality (QR). The mathematics that the smart guys have devised to explain "everything" contains 10 or 11 dimensions (string theory and M theory). We reside in three simple dimensions and think that time is the fourth dimension, although, for us in our everyday lives, it is nothing like the other three. We basically know and move about in three dimensions. Let's do the math; three divided by eleven is .27... Therefore we are able to perceive only what is happening in less than 30% of this thing we call reality and have extremely limited tools (sensory organs) to capture any of the available information. Our perceptual limitations are more than significantly inadequate. We actually know very little about what is going on around us (or within us).
Ah, but you say, "I have spiritual connections. There are links that exist beyond the NR of which you limit yourself." Okay, show me. The creation of religion is a story that explains that which we have no ability to prove. (More about religion later.) Reality is not two foxes and a chicken deciding what's on the dinner menu. This is not a matter of voting or polling. When it is all said and done, when NR and QR are combined, I have my perceived reality and you have yours.[image-2]
A lot of people will not even discuss the remote probability that 9/11 was an inside job (that the officials in our government either knew it was going to happen ahead of time and let it happen or actually had a hand in it). I assume it is because they feel that their own government would never do or be a party to anything like that. I've got news for ya kids: governments lie, all governments lie, and if you think that the feds are looking out for your behalf you're wrong. They don't care about you at all (or at least George Carlin thinks so). Just look at how the FDA works. Additional examples are far too numerous to list.
If you can't get over the idea that the feds could have been involved then there is no room for discussion. However, 911truth.org has a top 40 list of questions that need to be answered and I have my own little list.
[image-3]Look at the original hole in the Pentagon. A plane could not fit through it, there were no plane parts and the building contents at the immediate site of impact showed no signs of high temperature explosion. Watch the video of building seven going down and tell me it was not a controlled demolition. Buildings one and two fell at very near the rate of gravity, again, an indication of controlled demolition. Remember the guy whose plane went off course in the year prior to 9/11? There were two fighters at his side within ten minutes. Why did Dick Cheney assemble massive military maneuvers for the morning of 9/11? Why were there no bodies at the main crash site in Pennsylvania? Why there were parts of the flight 93 found miles from the main hole in the ground? Just a few stumbling blocks on the way to believing the official conspiracy theory.
I was raised as a good Southern Baptist boy; I always told the truth and respected my parents. Today I am a Zen-Existentialist, still respect my mom and I try to tell the truth whenever I can. My mother is so worried that we will not be in heaven together. I constantly reminder her that she should be tolerant of the way other people deal with religion. It seems that religions who postulate that "My God can beat up your god" have no need for tolerance. I also try to remind her what her "good book" says in Deuteronomy about family members talking about other Gods; it says they should be killed for doing so. Here is George Carlin again with some interesting thoughts on religion.
When I talk to some people they tell me that there are parts of their bible that they consider irrelevant to their interpretation of how they choose to practice this or that religion; sounds like a cafeteria style approach. I'll have a little begetting but hold the turning to salt deal, if you please. It is absurd for someone to be so arrogant as to call me an infidel and then expect me to have any respect for them or their bag of superstitions.
If you could picture this world without our species would there be any definition of good or evil? I don't think so. All of nature would simply be, well, natural and nonjudgmental. Are we really supposed to be here? Vonnegut had some interesting comments on that in his book, Galapagos.
Faith comes under the rubric of QR or cosmic stuff or some kind of reverence that can't be proved with the tools we have at hand. Sam Harris in his book, The End of Faith, does an excellent job of revealing the absurdity of faith in organized religion. Here is a video of him speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, July 2 - 8, 2008.
Now for the really fun part of religion: murder, rape and pillage. You have all heard about the crusades; try researching them a little more deeply. How bout Bush's reference to Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL), no wait, they changed it to something else I think. Well, anyway, he so appropriately called it a crusade. We are still using religious differences after thousands of years as a justification to kill, maim, and dismember innocent people half way around the world. Check out the recent efforts of army chaplains in Afghanistan; it just warms my soul.
Your homework assignment is to watch this little video called Constantine's Sword.
Peace, Love, Dove. Everything is just fine.