getting to silence

Knowing how to meditate allows us to rest our thinking to the point of having no thoughts for periods of time.

Some folks claim all types of weird and fantastical things one can experience by meditating.

Magical thinking is passe, yet many because of their heritage cling to it. It really is a great comfort to believe there will be an eternity of bliss for the faithful. When it doesn’t take place, he or she will never know it. It’s a win/win situation…specially for the hell-fire-and-brimstone preachers.

Meditation is good for undoing stress, and meditation is also a way to commune with one’s being (one’s body and steed).  This communion happens during the silent periods of meditation. Meditation allows us to become more positive.

Imagine what a relief it would be for the language going on in our brains all of our waking moments to gradually become still, silent. Meditation gives the body and brain small vacations.

Getting to silence is not easy because we are hooked on language because it’s the best tool available. 

So, we use words – listen to words – or produce thoughts constantly. This is why music and good stories are so restful because they can take us away from ourselves for a while.

Meditation is
the dimension of silence,
and it’s free and open to all humans.

Classical meditation:

We sit or lay down and get comfortable and begin to relax our body parts one at a time from the top of the head to the bottoms of our feet or the other way around.

Then to slow down our thinking, we put attention on our breath by noticing the air going in and its coming out again and again. There are tiny hairs at the openings of our nostrils which are affected by the flowing air of our breath which can be sensed if noticed and can capture our attention.

It’s normal for us to eventually begin to use words while meditating, and when we do, don’t worry about it because it’s natural for the mind to reestablish its normal activity, and we’ll eventually notice the thoughts, and without a sense of failing, we’ll go back to noticing our breath again or we’ll begin using a mantra again: Ommmmmmmmm…Ommmmmmmm again and again until we notice our thinking and will return to noticing our breath or a mantra again. 30 to 45  minutes daily will put us on firm path. We can break this amount of time into 10 or 15 periods or have a single period of meditation.

Daily meditation is best because its affect becomes greater and greater, yet any amount of meditation is good for us.

comfort and hope

What are the classical religions? Are they very old and compelling traditions based on beliefs and promises passed on by the living to the next generation? Memes.

What is religion’s purpose? Is it to capture (save) large numbers of humans by giving them comfort and hope based on the promise of having a wonderful and never ending existence after death? Who can’t see the opportunity in that?

Organized religion is one of the greatest tools for herding humans. Nothing is wrong with this unless the power is abused by leaders. History is full of horrific examples of organized religion being used to abuse human beings.

Religion is the territory of belief and faith which makes for an interesting game of comfort and hope. But…

The odds are very high there is no afterlife, and if true, evildoers will not get their promised eternity of suffering, and the odds are exactly the same for believers to not receive their eternal rewards.

Is living not being able to know for sure what’s going to happen in the future the best way to live? Is it because the odds of an omnipotent, warlike, and vengeful god calling all the shots are so small, the god might as well be nonexistent.

Did the idea of a god existing come about to explain good and bad events as many have suggested and then did leaders pounce on the power of belief?

resonate

Who wants to do things which

hit as a thud with no

after sound?

When

one strikes

a string on a guitar,

it resonates and the sound

eventually dies

out.

Is this a lesson it’s better to do things

which have ramifications?

It’s more economical?

Yet there are no exceptions?

Let’s see if I can come up with one…

Maybe

spitting not into

the wind but with the

wind would be of no consequence.

But there could be a drought going on,

and the spittle lands at

the entrance of

an ant hill

and the queen lives to

produce another generation of ants.

And maybe there’s no ant hill,

but the spittle hits

the ground

and

mixes

with the dirt, which

contains an unimaginable

number of life forms in one cubic

inch which would

benefit.

Well maybe

it’s just better to

do things which have

beneficial ramifications,

but don’t go around spitting?

Make a wave. Make another wave

and then another. We all

while living and

many even

after

dying

leave paths of

beneficial radiating waves.

is time a fountain

Do we actually know something if we

aren’t changed in some way?

Does mindfulness equal

meditation with

our eyes

open?

Is

time

a fountain

for each of us and

do we naturally

balance at

the top

in the

froth like

a beach ball?

One day will we

fall from the fountain?

Has one never fallen from a

fountain? Nor anyone ever drowned in a mountain?

sharks

Imagine two sharks taking a break from their hunting to take a few moments to rest. They are floating facing each other and the smaller one says…

Food is getting less and less each year. There’s a rumor going ‘round there’s better hunting over close by the shore this time of year.

The other shark replies…

We know better than to mess with the humans, but their constant pollution of our home is the last straw. They don’t realize what we’ll do to live another day.

my best guess

Is it that life doesn’t worry whether or not it will ever be fully understood? What is life’s greatest concern? Is it the desire to survive long enough to create? What do we humans desire most? Isn’t there more than the above concern?

Most of us desire to keep breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping, dreaming, working, loving, creating, exploring, playing, doing good, doing bad, being lazy, drawing pictures, punishing, being punished, rewarding, being rewarded, collecting, communicating, inventing, as well as storing up stuff in order to survive harder times and as well as dying, etc.

It might but shouldn’t come as a surprise that these above actions are the same actions our cave-dwelling and tribe-member ancestors spent their time doing. Did they also daydream? My best guess is yes. Perhaps even before inventing language with its subjects, verbs, objects, etc.

wrong about God

This was a response to an email a friend sent to me which had only a poster presenting this slogan:

“If I am wrong about God,
I’ve wasted my life,
but
if you are wrong about God
you have wasted your eternity.”

This was my reply to my friend:

“ If you are wrong about God,” you haven’t wasted your life. Being a Christian is a legitimate and positive (for the most part) way to live. That Christians desire to do good and participate in making this a better world is proof of their good intentions, and so should be respected.”
(End of response.)

Choosing to not fear what may come after death is not a 50/50 choice as the poster would have us believe.

The magical god of the old testament has left a terrible trail through history. So it’s hard for me to believe in it. But who knows, there may be something or a situation which created our universe by accident, and it’s very doubtful we will ever know what was happening before its creation.

Maybe some type if entity created our universe on purpose and enjoys checking up on what has occurred since the last time it took a look-see. So I’m an agnostic technically because there’s no convincing evidence for or against a creator. But there is evidence that an all powerful god is not necessary to explain our situation in the universe. So I feel like an atheist.

Maybe the universe created itself or just happened as a natural occurrence or by accident. Not knowing for sure is not comforting but learning to live not knowing for sure is an interesting situation.

Reason leads me to think the god of the Bible was probably invented in the same way the other thousand or so gods were created, and it needs to be mentioned that the followers of all those other gods believe as just as sincerely as the followers of the god of the Bible believe that they are believing in the only true god, having the only true scriptures, and the only true faith.

So who’s right? Could it be none of them? Can sincerity of belief create a real all-powerful and all-knowing god? If a person believes with the highest possible sincerity he or she is headed south but is actually headed north, do the thoughts in everyone’s mind automatically change to accommodate this mistake? Do all maps also magically change to accommodate this sincere belief?

If one religion could actually prove its god is the one true god by having their god show up and — instantly and at the same time — create a county-sized governing palace in every country on the earth and be a visible presence in all of the palaces at the same time and making speeches based on “love your neighbor as yourself” and taking away the freedom of all criminals until they have sincerely promised to change their ways, etc. etc.

So, how long would it take for there to be only one religion in the world instead of thousands when each new member gets perfect health and plenty of energy and a sound mind as side effects? What good news! No promises only a wonderful present.

Leaving fantasy land behind, what are the odds of my going anywhere when I die? Is godly magic going to keep me alive so I can be rewarded or punished forever? I no longer believe in real magic, but I know how it feels to believe in real magic, and it’s not a bad feeling knowing you are right and knowing for sure you will exist in bliss forever. This is a very compelling dream from which I have awakened.

I’ve given my trust to science because it deals with evidence, and tries to disprove its own latest findings. Science uses facts and gives really good odds for my future non-existence after death because the “I” in me was created by and is supported by my human animal which has all the goodies: senses, intuition, memory, creativity, etc.

The idea of an eternal human soul is a very clever invention and is used as leverage to control folks and to get some of their money, but the soul does not exist: it’s an idea, a magical idea.

If you can produce convincing evidence there’s a soul dwelling in every human and it will exist forever, write a book and set science straight. You would make a fortune and be famous. People have tried to convince science the soul is real but have come up short when trying to produce convincing evidence. So the preachers say “You will be rewarded for your faith.”

Every group of religious fundamentalists believes their own set of facts because they believe they have the truth and no one else has it.

I have only opinions based on educated guesses. Here’s one. The odds of us identities not making it past the death of our human animals are as close as one can get to a sure thing.

the game of life

I’m imagining I’m in my crib slobbering and goo-gooing and in comes the one I love to see, and my mouth opens wide squealing and my legs kicking and hearing sounds and seeing lips moving and smiling, and I’m picked up and the lips kiss my forehead and cheeks and the one I love puts me back down into the crib. I feel so very good as I pull myself up bobbing and weaving to stand in my crib unaided for the first time.

Down the road I came to recognize a sound and decided the sound was referring to me. I became me, the name, the ID: the one who will eventually choose and figure. My body is the one seeing, feeling, smelling, etc. Today I’m guessing I’m an arrangement in a powerful brain inside of a body which has mobility, language, and will. The last one is critical and is my specialty, it’s my duty to choose. And starting out it was easy.

I didn’t know where I came from until I was told by a girl in my Sunday-school class that I came out of my mother’s stomach. And I asked my mother and she said so too.

I went to church three times a week with my mother for years and they taught that I had an eternal soul inside of me, and to be safe for all eternity, I had to believe and trust in Jesus to be saved from terrible punishments that would never stop.

So, I believed and trusted. Yet I still wasn’t totally honest all the time, and I treated others as I would like to be treated but not all of the time. I was caught shoplifting a pocketknife when I was twelve. Knives weren’t kept under glass when I was a kid. This episode in my life turned out to be a good thing.

The important thing is I was and am a normal human being. I, like everyone else, have either a constant flow of language going on inside of me, or I have language coming out of me, or I’m paying attention to language sounds coming from my surroundings.

Our desire to continue this constant gathering in and reeling out of language must be the reason why there’s a hugh market for entertainment. It’s a wonderful thing to have the opportunity to relax and hear and see the best ideas and things going and to read what others are recommending. What a relief it is to be entertained. 

As one matures, one eventually and naturally wonders about the answers to questions like Does my life have a purpose? and Why am I here? Unless your mind has been made up for you. Which is usually the case until one starts to think for one’s self.

However, it’s not likely we carry around from birth a purpose to complete, and it’s more likely a purpose can find us by appealing to us and then convinces us. How so? Purpose can’t talk but situations can pull thoughts out of us. For a long time I’ve thought there’s no special purpose for anyone, and circumstances help to make it so. 

Beyond giving our gifts to the world, what is there? Can we give something to ourselves? Can one explore without becoming religious? The spiritual philosophies of the East appear to be the oldest and best. Excluding Hinduism’s many gods, is there anything else besides Buddhism and Zen Buddhism which comes close to the depth of their spiritual insights?

Are Buddhism’s ideas about personal fulfillment or enlightenment valid? Does communing with one’s being plug one into the universe? Can existing without language   for a while each day eventually bring a realization which completes a human being?

Countless sages in the past agree there’s more to life than a life where one’s identity dominates all of the time. This is because of its ancient position of decider and planner. 

A normal type of life is all we can expect when normality is all we want. The search-for-enlightenment meme is one of the oldest memes existing. 

No search is necessary because the sages agree our wonderful and powerful carriage is the key. Commune with it silently and it will take you home.

Desire will prompt an adventurous baby to climb out of its crib to explore. Does language represent a special crib which naturally, without malice corrals the normal life?

We don’t notice the corral because being occupied with language has always been the case. There’s no expectation of anything more after death except an afterlife. Is the belief in a never ending joyous or torturous afterlife the ring in the nose of the followers of most organized religions?

Are we all dreaming and snoring, and this rumble is the breath of identity: the wonderful and powerful tool of language? 

is death the thing

Is death the thing? Has no one ever reported back from death: real death, utter death, complete death? Are the stories we hear of an actual afterlife from folks who haven’t died throughly?

They came back from a near death experience perhaps remembering a dream while on an operating table or the visions of a drowning victim who is later revived, etc. and not from a complete-death. There are scientific explanations of how and why these visions and dreams could occur during a near-death experience.

In a complete-death occurrence, the identity is no longer supported by the animal, the human body. So the identity disappears or evaporates because the neurotransmitters and electronic signals of the brain are no longer working. Language has gone kaput. Would there be no visions after one dies completely? 

Does nothing exist or happen which is not in the theater of the natural…even though sometimes a thing may appear to be a miracle, it is natural and has a rational explanation which may be evident or hidden and not come to light until much later.

Here are two examples: dinosaur bones seemed to be miracles in the nineteenth century, until we found out the earth was over a billion years old, and today we know it’s over four billion; and we thought the sea shells near the mountain tops proved Noah’s flood really happened, until we found out the mountains were pushed up from the sea and are huge chunks of the earth’s crust, and so forth and so on.

If there is such a thing as real magic, it may reside in the quantum part of our universe which is everywhere, but the magic there may be unknowable yet still be natural.

Our human body is the only thing standing between us and complete death. Physically and rationally, would the identity’s evaporation or its winking out of existence be the natural result of a complete death, regardless of our dreams and desires to live forever?

Unless real magic comes to the rescue and the faithful rewarded.

Great story…but what are the odds?

Dreams of an afterlife and our desire for an eternal existence require faith because they are dependent on actual magic which has almost no possibility of existing. But the dreams give hope to the gullible (us humans) and we all suffer and gain to some extent from this human foible. Would the world be a better and a totally different place had the idea of an afterlife never occurred? It’s hard to imagine the idea not happening because we humans are such wishful folks.

Did our desire to live on after death create religious organizations? Who wouldn’t go after this grand opportunity for control and money: You can have guaranteed joy forever for a bit of your faithfulness and money, on the other hand after you die, you’ll receive eternal punishment for not going along with us.

Are “eternal souls” creations of the human brain like the all-knowing and all-powerful gods are?

Russians

I just read an astounding thing. In Russia some of the highways and avenues have a single center lane which goes both ways! I laughed and thought it a joke, but it was in The National Geographic magazine. The writer calls this single center lane a “suicide feature” which is a good joke.

What will they think of next? In Moscow they are starting to build buildings above buildings already existing on the ground. They are doing this where space is desperately wanted: the rental and lease profits will be high. A hotel room with a spectacular view of the Kremlin’s wonderful towers costs $5,000 and up per day.