The journey to being a (lower case) god

So its blog post no 8 by my counting.

The response has overwhelmed me, something akin to flood waters breaching the levy.

Of course I’m not talking about the external world but those ragamuffins,  ne’er do wells, vagabonds, clowns, hucksters, popes and priests, poets and painters, saints and sinners, the whole melange  and menagerie of characters who make up my internal world.

All have vied for attention, hustling to get to the front of the queue to say their piece, to direct and give expression to their bile, their soft platitudes, questionable wisdom and colorful language.

Sometimes with my mind its like living in a train station; you just wish though they would all occasionally get on the train and go on holidays for a while.

If you think though that my mind is so very different to the worlds majority, to describe it in these terms, I’m afraid not; if it were I might try and patent it.

You only have to look in your own dreams to see the vast array of characters who come to life every night to plague, seduce or entertain you. They are all part of you, in all their extremes, in all their weirdness and sensitivity.

The great thing is they all have something to give and tell us.

You can certainly look at your mind as a random thought generator, refer to archetypes and aspects, right and left brain traits etc etc, and there is a place for that.

I wonder however given we generally live in and around people whether sometimes we might be better placed to look at our minds and what populates it,  in very human terms, as characters, with very specific traits.

If I am to understand myself I must find my own way in; dreams and the characters who populate them work for me.

What’s that got to do with the journey to being a (lower case) god? Well I seem to recall from my days of religion its suggested (upper case) God knows and understands all its people, individually.

I rest my case.

 

 

 

 

Ghosts from the Pulpit

Every Sunday for much of my childhood, till around the age of 15,  I had to attend Church where, by rote, I learnt how to sit, kneel and stand. As the mass was in Latin who had any clue as to what was being said, until of course it came to the sermon.

Sermons ranged from the proverbial fire and brimstone to less than lucid ramblings, perhaps induced by too much of the good stuff; altar wine.

Only one sermon across all those years, told by a priest I heard preach only once, remains with me.  It was a story about a juggler who habitually came into the Church to juggle in front of the altar but would equally habitually get thrown out of Church for such inappropriate behaviour.

That was, until a new priest arrived and realised the only thing the juggler had to offer God was his juggling. 

Its been suggested to me in recent times that I can have a tendency to “preach”. Its certainly not the most endearing of habits and I can see the truth of it.

The obvious conclusion would be that I picked it up from listening to all those sermons, but that’s not the case.

I’m no great believer in any religion nor the upper case Gods of mens’ making.

I have to however thank that priest for telling me that story all those years ago, not as a priest but as a human being.The virtues of compassion and understanding  transcend any religion and its against that which, ultimately, we have to each measure our own lives.

My observation of my own life is that it is usually the smallest truth which lights the flame but its the larger universally accepted ones which try to extinguish it.

As to the preaching, well the voices in my head, when that happens, are certainly not ghosts from the pulpit.

A neutered God

Having decided a little while ago to become an apprentice god, which is why I use the lower case rather than upper case version, I came to wonder how God  got its name in the first place.

Why we continually call it, him, befuddles me somewhat. I suppose its a bit like calling ships, she. I think most of us though realise that a ship does not really have a gender but there definitely seems an agenda in assigning God a gender.

That font of all knowledge, Wikipedia says it is generally agreed that the word God “derives from a Proto-Indo-European neuter passive perfect participle *ǵʰu-tó-m”.

Did you notice that “Neuter”!

I’m somewhat surprised there has been no take down notices issued from the Vatican over that one. But wait, could it be that Ratzinger (or Benedict XVI if you prefer) got there before me, realised the truth and now to save face has been forced to resign?

And you thought that meeting of the cardinals was all about electing a new pope? I smell the hand of Opus Dei here; or at the least another sequel for Dan Brown.

Now before I get berated by true believers just remember I haven’t suggested God doesn’t exist, I’m just curious why its been assigned a gender specific category.

Now I’m aware of all those arguments about transubstantiation and the holy trinity and that Mary though she’s the mother of  the Son of God isnt really a God herself (not even a lower case one) and God though it never had a wife could have a son and I could posit the thorny question that if we are all made in his image and its called a he what on earth does it look like, but I will lightly side-step those egg shell bombs and confine myself to the question in hand.

Why do we call it he?

Answers in less than 349  words will be up for a papal blessing.

Any in excess, I think life has taken on a  too ponderous seriousness you are unlikely to have been born with.

 

Friday Night Why Nots

Slaving over a hot blog all week, I ask, “why write on a Friday night”. There’s no better answer than “why not”.

Some people have though lost their lives by a spur of the moment “why not”; not many mind, just some.

We all have our own internal risk profiles so in responding “yeah, why not” some part of us has already evaluated the risks, weighed up the potential consequences and made a decision.

Writing a blog on a Friday night is hardly going to amount to a life threatening situation, unless someone asked  me to jump on a plane to go to downtown Baghdad to do it.

I’ve never read the statistics about Baghdad, I’ve just assumed its dangerous. Statistically it might actually be safer than the flight there but would those statistics overcome my own fears?

A couple of years ago I had to go to Egypt. There was a bit of unrest at the time. Would I get blown up, gunned down,  spread all over the town, you get the drift.

I went and of course nothing happened. Whilst there I asked my guide who were the easiest tourists to deal with.

“Canadians and Australians” he responded

“What about Americans”  I said,

“Ach, they hardly open their mouths”.

“You’re kidding” was my reaction.

“No” he said “they think Al Qaeda is hiding behind every pillar; if they start speaking they’ll be found out and attacked”.

It begs the question of course as to the minimum linguistic standards Al Qaeda requires of its minions. Trained killers also adept in United States accent detection. Interesting.

It may seem counter intuitive but saying “why not” based on just a feeling is often not really a challenge. When we statistically challenge our own assumptions and act then we become open to the real “why nots” of life.

Life in 271 words or less

Have you ever met someone you haven’t seen for 5, 10 or even 20 years and after 2 or 3 minutes the conversation runs out?

Naipaul once said he could have a really interesting conversation with anyone, once.

If I cant write something interesting about the 24 hours since my last blog post, what does that say of my life? What does it say of the lives of bloggers whose poor, poor blogs lie languishing, untouched for days, weeks or even months on end?

Are they just too, too busy friending up on facebook, texting up a tweet on twitter or sedentarily surfing the web looking for really interesting things to blog about ?

Or is the problem one of immediacy, or put another way, are we just too busy to think very hard?

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, one of most succinct speeches ever delivered, comprises some 271 words and took only 2 to 3 minutes to deliver.

The other orator on the day, Edward Everett weighed in at 13,607 words speaking for over 2 hours. Preparation time though, word for word, I suspect was much less than Lincolns.

Perhaps that’s why really good blogs are so very hard to find.

Put simply, to write 271 really good words will usually take you at least half as many minutes; for a Gettysburg address try a couple of lifetimes.

Perhaps intuitively we all know that, apart from the dot point bloggers and the proponents of MSC (mass stream of consciousness) blogging.

Maybe its time to implement for blogging what the French did for cooking when they introduced slow food; slow blogging.

And I didn’t even mention my last 24 hours; it was just so damn interesting!

Blood Sugar Sex and Magic

Blog titles, I’ve read, should be be pithy and inviting.

It could also be assumed the title will have some relevance to the actual post.

Well its 3.30 pm, the blood sugars are low and there’s no sex going on in this cafe.

There is though a certain magic in writing.It seems many of us have a need to express ourselves in the public domain. I’ve been writing journals for years but they remain in my cupboards unread by anyone including me. Mass stream of consciousness stuff mostly, a cathartic process to expunge my own demons, find the light,  to make ( common) sense of uncommon things but not for public consumption really.

So many unread blogs, unloved, immediate and unconscious.

Unknowingly we lay bare our minds but our minds, in truth, are not particularly interesting. It is what we do with our minds that will make us interesting or just an also ran.

Like music. There is a surfeit of excellently recorded music, but the quality of the music itself is often questionable. Today we all have the tools, but it  remains the case that great imagination is still as scarce as it ever was and likely ever will be.

If you’ve ever meditated you realise the mind is like an engine or random thought generator, designed solely to produce thoughts. The idea however is you drive it, it should not drive you; it takes far longer to learn to drive than any car.

This blog then is really just a test drive, in public, of my own mind. Eventually, like all of us with a brand new car, I hope to get onto the open road and put my foot down but at the moment I’ll just have to be satisfied with my L plates.