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I'm awestruck at the concept of existence, and of being aware of it.  I feel an almost overwhelming love for humanity in general, and for mother nature.  The littlest things amaze me... I was walking the other day at a beautiful state park and there were these butterflies linked together (I've never seen that before), and they would fly from here to there; and after a while they flew straight up, up, very high.  I observed the whole "spectacle" with total amazement.

Sometimes I stop everything I'm doing (if even for a moment), and meditate.  Even thought I don't consider myself a real practitioner of meditation, the more I try it, the more I've begun to see it as one of the most spiritually-fulfilling activities one can undertake.

To me, the payoff (as it were) is when, during meditation, you "sense" a flash of "understanding."  Some readers have probably heard or read about the concept of nirvana.  The way I would describe the experience is as if the concepts of time, the past, the future, cease to be real, and the here and now is magnified along with a faint brush of consciousness with the concept of oneness, of all things being connected.

Either way, I don't think that kind of experience can be conveyed in writing, or speech.  My take is that it would make sense to those who have experienced it...

I'm not worried about what happens after, because it's not important.  I'm grateful for the here and now, and again, I'm in awe of the concept of consciousness and awareness.  For example, being aware that the earth is traveling through space at 70,000 miles an hour.  Or watching a flock of noisy geese land at the nearby lake or park.

I don't have a need to explain any of it.  I'm not interested into defining it with debates related to religion, agnosticism, atheism.  I'm at peace with just letting it (existence and consciousness) be until it is no more.

The other day two very nice young ladies knocked on my door.  I opened, say hello, and they proceeded to tell me about the good news from the Lord.  I used to be kind of curt with them before, but not anymore.  I'm more patient and gentle.  I see the eagerness in their eyes.  They are true believers.  I thank them for stopping by, take their little booklet and wish them a good day.  And off they go to the next door...

Of course, I'm not into organized religion, and again, I'm not going to be harsh about the reasons why since I know many readers find solace and comfort in it.

Tonight I watched three shows on MSNBC: Rachel Maddow; The Ed Show; and Lawrence O'Donnell.

As I watched them, and noticed that all three were focusing on the same inane and totally unimportant things (Iowa Caucuses next week), I kept thinking about how bizarre the world can be once all the levers of power are taken over by debased and immoral individuals who do so with the sole objective of enriching themselves and exploiting people and the environment.

And when I think about these things, and with the help meditation, I start to see the very huge gap between truth and reality, and what we are being exposed to every second of the day through media outlets, and corrupted institutions.

And it gets me thinking... So here we are; superstition is venerated and exalted and promoted as a good thing across the entire society.  Because of graft and corruption, the levers of power are taken over by debased parasitic individuals who also use that control to pollute the entire media landscape in order to control, manipulate, and subjugate people.

And this causes people to speak in completely nonsensical ways, framing issues in terms of Liberals versus Conservatives, etc.  Using false constructs.

It's not that complicated.  There are people who are sane, rational (and therefore secular when it comes to government).  And there are people who are just plain bigots, ignorant, religious fanatics, etc.  You want a society led and populated by of the former, and less of the latter, of course.

And why is it that sometimes it looks like speaking truth to power, or plainly pointing out facts, and advocating for equal justice under the law for all, and for the defense of environment, and against war profiteers, and corruption, and graft, and influence peddling, and exploitation, is consider "radical" or "outside the mainstream?"

Is there is something to the adage that "the inmates have taken over the asylum?"  Are things turned around, up is down, down is up?

Do sane people need to rally around "The Church of Sanity and Reason" and be as wild-eye about it as the most fervent religious fundamentalist?  Is that what it takes?  Is it about tapping into something bigger, deeper, primordial, than just plain old reasonableness and common sense?

I think that the disconnect between reality and truth, and the manufactured reality we are exposed to every single day does immense damage to individuals, and to society.  It creates a generalized and collective sense of anxiety and uneasiness.  It is used to manipulate us into accepting the imposition of tyranny (i.e., PATRIOT Act), and into justifying wars of aggression and profiteering, like the war in Iraq.

So my advice is, do whatever you can to limit your exposure to the harmful effects of TV (especially); try to stop and "smell the flowers" (meditate a little); think carefully about the effects of rampant materialism and consumerism.  Try to find balance in your life.

And if you find out if the "The Church of Sanity and Reason" is formed somewhere, please do let me know.  I'll join and become a an extreme fundamentalist for its cause.

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 12:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  True believers vs thinking people (6+ / 0-)

    Fanaticos vs. Pensadores

    It's the confrontational polarization of today.

    Good advice;

    So my advice is, do whatever you can to limit your exposure to the harmful effects of TV (especially); try to stop and "smell the flowers" (meditate a little); think carefully about the effects of rampant materialism and consumerism.  Try to find balance in your life.

    We will succeed by transcending.  Perhaps OWS and other recent uprisings have transcended traditional movement organization.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 12:26:38 AM PST

  •  Become fearless and most problems just (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, elwior, DerAmi, SherwoodB, ichibon, Shockwave

    People who worship a god they fear blows my mind. Worshipping, following doing anything or nothing because of Fear defeats you.

    Face your personal demons and most things are curable including many physical and mental 'disorders'.

    Fear seems to be the root of most problems.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 01:25:32 AM PST

    •  I get confused by the God fearing (6+ / 0-)

      people telling me that God loves me. And he so loves me that he sent his only begotten son to save me. And if I don't love him then I am going to burn in hell forever.

      Reminds me of this girl a dated a long time ago (for a very short time).

      This better be good. Because it is not going away.

      by DerAmi on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 04:14:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  fear is much more real than hope or love (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that people worship an embodiment of their experience of power. "Primitive" peoples worship nature; other cultures worship kings who expect tribute and who dispense favors and punishments according to their personal disposition; the Abrahamic religions worship a lawgiver and judge, impartial but above influence.  If literal sheep had religion, I think that their god would be the ultimate wolf, not the ultimate sheep.

      Do you know why they call it the American Dream? Because it only happens when you're asleep.

      by Visceral on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 10:25:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it boils down to this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, SherwoodB, houyhnhnm, Shockwave

    In the absence of real and verifiable information about situations, the force within humans that wants to know the truth sends us in two different directions, depending on our values.

    Some are driven to know, to go find out what is happening or has already happened, and they are reasonably OK with having whatever assumptions they may have had going in challenged and even obliterated, as long as it takes them closer to what their senses tell them is the objective truth of whatever they are seeking or studying.  These people know that the only real answers ask a million more pertinent questions, and act accordingly.

    Others aren't so driven and are more inclined to swallow existing mythologies about the subject matter, and regurgitate them as if they were known facts. They are part of a long line of laziness that fills the vacuum of needing-to-know-that-which-is-as-yet-unknown with MAKING SHIT UP. These folks are often very insistent and their chief assumption, and that which keeps their worldview intact in their own minds despite often ample evidence to the contrary of their beliefs about things, is that proscribed and accepted social norms around the false assumptions and mythologies relating to the subject matter will intimidate others into going along with their MADE UP SHIT.  Then they can point at their invented realities and say, look, I'm right and I KNOW.

    Something tells me people like you, Ray, are in the first category.  And that is why I never, ever fail to read your stuff here and why you might, now that I think about it, be my favorite DKos diarist.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 02:26:10 AM PST

  •  "My mind is my own church." - Thomas Paine (7+ / 0-)

    The only path forward for this nation is the UTTER DESTRUCTION of this Republican Party.
    November 6, 2012 | OCCUPY THE VOTING BOOTH

    by NamelessGenXer on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 04:22:23 AM PST

  •  My own church moment. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherwoodB, Shockwave

    I get it when you saw the butterfly's doing it.  It's when the world stops and you just have to take it in.  
    Sometimes I see two of my cats sleeping next to each other, and I say something to wake them up, and they don't move.   One of them moves his lip in a tiny motion, sort of like "F off, we are sleeping"   And I can just watch them sleep, knowing they are doing just fine, no matter how bad things might be on the rest of the planet.  So, my church, is pretty much limited to the here and now.

    I get scared when people suspend belief, and run with it.
    Its the perfect example of crazy.    Jim Jones ?  Great example of what religion can do.

    So, there.  Be good to your cats.  You will win.

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 05:19:18 AM PST

  •  For me it's fireflies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherwoodB, ichibon, Shockwave

    hovering on the edge of the Mississippi in Western Illinois, late at night, as a river barge cruises by, with shooting stars dancing in the sky.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 05:31:04 AM PST

  •  Very rational and beautiful diary... (5+ / 0-)

    extending this rationality to the political realm is difficult, but possible. You have to put your principles and priorities first, always, and see how politicians measure up. Principles meaning what is really valuable in life? Where should the focus be...really? Children? The environment? Then you begin to see how our political system no longer represents our true values. Oh boy...then you're really in trouble, 'cause you know you must do something about it, you can't remain silent...ever again. Except perhaps, to rest, of course.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    You are here => (i,j,k,t); or, perhaps, simply:

    You are here.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 07:43:36 AM PST

  •  Your's was a very unsettling post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    On the whole, it was a primer on being aware of the small interactions taking place at any given moment and at any given place.
     You state:
    "It's not that complicated.  There are people who are sane, rational (and therefore secular when it comes to government).  And there are people who are just plain bigots, ignorant, religious fanatics, etc.  You want a society led and populated by of the former, and less of the latter, of course."

    I beg permission to differ. There is a huge chasm between belief in a God and following a religion. One must never confuse a religious zealot with a man or woman who believes.
    Those who believe are content in their being, while a zealot needs to convert more and more to his or her religion, or else they are forced to annihilate those, 'Unbelievers', better known as infidels. This applies to all religions, none are immune.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 10:15:43 AM PST

    •  I think you misinterpret my intent. I really have (0+ / 0-)

      no objection to the idea of people believing in a God, or a spiritual force, or whatever brings joy and contentment to them.

      However, when it comes to governance I don't think organized should have any say, especially if it's a matter of influencing the government to favor one religion over another.

      I'm neutral regarding the question of believing or not believing in God, since I recognize the limit of the human intellect to answer that question.

      •  I might have misinterpreted and been (0+ / 0-)

        misinterpreted as a result. I do not believe religion has any place in politics.
        I feel a church should lose its tax free status, once it steps out of the confines of the Church property and tries to influence the outcome of an election.

        "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

        by Cruzankenny on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:35:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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