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I can’t help but be scared of it all sometimes...the rain's gonna wash away I believe it. Matchbox 20

"That's what a confession is." "I don't think so," he says and cocks his head. "Isn't the confession separate from the thing being confessed? There's the crime, the action, which is crude and violent and without context. And then there is the confession of the crime, which is all context, motivation and" he looks at the ceiling. "I dont know. Cleansing. There must be millions of crimes every day. But a confession? A real confession? I'd guess those are pretty rare."

I want to wake up next to you.

I think we are capable of fooling ourselves in a lot of different ways. People talk about what makes a child an adult, as if there is some physical or emotional or mental threshold we cross, but I tell you this, and if you are honest with yourself you will know it is true: the thing that makes us adult is our ability to delude ourselves. Thats all. Children know what they are. Try telling a fat kid he looks good, or a child who is a bad athlete that he just needs to try harder. He knows better. But as adults, we start to believe the bullshit. We tell ourselves that cheating on our taxes isn't really stealing and that your young candidate with long legs is really a better fit for the company. We look at our lives and pretend that we aren't money hungry and consumed by status, that we have kept the morals and ethics of our college years, that we are healthy not fat, distinguished not old, that grey looks sophisticated in our hair, that it doesn't hurt her if she doesn't know, that it's not really lying if he doesn't find out, that we deserve a break now and then, that we had no choice, meant no harm, didn't know what would happen, would take it back if we could, that we are still liberal and openminded and easygoing and unafraid. We come up with rationalisations and justifications after the fact, and then convince ourselves that these things aren't true. We pretend we are doing the best we can. But every man dies the death of his own making.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

'Cause nothing good is stable, that was just a fable we were told
By those afraid of growing old
You think I'm lonely, but you don't even know me. Speechwriters LLC

So long as humans are brought up in different paths, so they will see the world differently, and for each path some things will seem natural and right and others not. But the paths cross. We can benefit from that. Social justice, which Marxists struggle for; human freedom, which liberals emphasise; love of God and fellow humans, which Christianity preaches; brotherhood, which Islam promotes; calm and mysticism, which go with Buddhism; devotion and pluralism, which Hinuism points to; harmony with nature, which Taoism commends; the cultivation of interpersonal behaviour, which is a lesson from Confucianism; holism in life, which we find in Africa; finding meaning through suffering, which Judaism has had to emphasise; the importance of inner sincerity, which we find among the Sikhs: these and many other spiritual and moral values are not of course mutually incompatible. In that respect, though we may not achieve a global religion, we may achieve a global civilisation in which values from the great traditions are woven together in a glittering net. Perhaps it will turn out like the jewel net of Indra, of which Hua-yen so eloquently speaks: each stone refecting every other.The World's Religions by Ninian Smart

Woke up this morning it was 1969 and I was
Tangled up like christmas lights around an old girlfriend of mine
We'd watch the east bring up the dawn, race west and drink our kisses as the
Sun sank down to drown within the sea

Seasons came and seasons went, love got made and love got meant
Wake up late to pass out spent, play all day and pay the rent
And things were finally starting to make sense, the world was ours to save
And every day it seemed like it could last forever

Woke up from that dream and it was 2001
Shirts tucked in and drinks with gin and living on the run
Our happy ending never got around to getting done, it seems like
Everyone's still playing games but they sure don't look like fun, and they tell me

You don't have to change the world, you don't have to save the girl
You don't have to live your life like you believe in something more
You shouldn't want for her to wait, you're pretty good but you're not great
Just sit back down and take your mind off everything you think you should do

People I meet say to cover your feet and try a different pair of shoes every night
But what do you do when it's shoe number two that seems to be the one you fit just right
Do you go ahead and roll with the moment even though you both know it's gonna
Hurt like a mother when your foot comes out
Or do you throw it away and keep shopping
Or think about stopping there to wear it till the sole gives out

And I'll be back to save the world, sing my songs and get that girl
And I will try to live my life like I believe in something more
And when it all seems less than great I guess I'll put my trust in fate
Just sit back down and take my mind off and try to stop aching for you
Speechwriters LLc

Never before has it been as obvious as it is at this moment. Science is the new God. Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation...these are miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will give us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obselete. Science has won the battle. But science's victory has cost every one of us. And it has cost us deeply. Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided an array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but it has left us in a world without wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has being destroyed. Science proclaims that planet earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand sceme. A cosmic accident. Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. We are bombarded with violence, division, fracture and betrayal. Skepicism has become a virtue. Cynicism and demand for proof has become enlightened thought. Is it any wonder that humans now feel more depressed and defeated than they have at any point in human history? Does science hold anything sacred? Science looks for answers by probing our unborn foetuses. Science even presumes to rearrange our own DNA. It shatters God's world into smaller and smaller pieces in its quest for meaning... and all it finds is more questions. The ancient war between science and religion is over. You have won. But you have not won fairly. You have not won by providing answers. You have won by so radically reorienting our society that the truths we once saw as signposts now seem inapplicable. Religion cannot keep up. Scientific growth is exponential. It feeds on itself like a virus. Every new breakthrough opens doors for new breakthroughs. Mankind took thousands of years to progress from the wheel to the car. Yet only decades from the car into space. Now we measure scientific progress in weeks. We are spinning out of control. The rift between us grows deeper and deeper, and as religion is left behind, people find themsleves in a spiritual void. We cry out for meaning. And believe me, we do cry out. We see UFOs, engage in channeling, spirit contact, out-of-body experiences, mindquests - all these eccentric ideas have a scientific veneer, but they are unashamedly irrational. They are the desperate cry of the modern soul, lonely and tormented, crippled by its own enlightenment and its inability to accept meaning in anything removed from technology.
Science, you will say, will save us. Science, I say, has destroyed us. Since the days of Galileo, the church has tried to slow the relentless march of science, sometimes with misguided means, but always with benevolent intention. Even so, the temptations are too great for man to resist. I warn you, look around yourselves. The promises of science have not been kept. Promises of efficiency and simplicity have been nothing but pollution and chaos. We are a fractured and frantic species moving down a path of destruction. Who is this God, science? Who is the God who offers his people power but no moral framework to tell you how to use that power? What kind of God gives a child fire but does not warn the child of its dangers? The language of science comes with no signposts about good and bad. Science textbooks tell us how to create a nuclear reaction, and yet they contain no chapter asking if it is a good or bad idea. To science, I say this. The church is tired. We are exhausted from trying to be your signposts. Our resources are drying up from our campaign to be the voice of balance as you plough blindly on in your quest for smaller chips and larger profits. We ask not why you will govern yourselves, but how can you? Your world moves so fast that if you stop even for an instant to consider the implications of your actions, someone more efficient will whip past you in a blur. So you move on. You poliferate weapons of mass destruction, but it is the pope who travels the world beseeching leaders to use restraint. You clone living creatures, but it is the church who asks you to consider the moral implications of your actions. You encourage people to interact on phones, video screens, and computers, but it is the church who opens its doors and reminds us to commune in person as we were meant to do.
And all the while, you proclaim the church is ignorant. But who is more ignorant? The man who cannot define lightning, or the man who does not respect its awesome power? This church is reaching out to you. And yet the more we reach, the more you push us away. Show me proof there is a God, you say. I say use your telecopes to look to the heavens, and tell me how there could not be a God! You ask what does God look like? I say where did that question come from? The answers are one and the same. Do you not see God in your science? How can you miss him? You proclaim that even the slightest change in the force of gravity or the weight of an atom would have rendered our universe a lifeless mist rather than our magnificent sea of heavenly bodies, and yet you fail to see God's hand in this. Is it really so much easier to believe that we simply chose the right card from a deck of billions? Have we become so spiritually bankrupt that we would rather believe in mathematical impossibility than in a power greater than us?
Whether or not you believe in God, you must believe in this. When we as a species abandon our trust in the power greater than us, we abandon all sense of accountability. Faith is admonition that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable. With faith we are accountable to each other, to ourselves, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. If the outside world could see this church as I do, looking beyond the ritual of these walls, they would see a modern miracle, a brotherhood of imperfect, simple souls wanting only to be a voice of compassion in a world spinning out of control. Are we obselete? Are these men dinosaurs? Am I? Does the world really need a voice for the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the unborn child? Do we really need souls like these who, although imperfect, spend their lives imploring each of us to read the signposts of morality and not lose our way? Tonight we are perched on a precipice. None of us can afford to be apathetic. Whether you see this evil as Satan, corruption or immorality, the dark force is alive and growing every day. Do not ignore it. The force, though mighty, is not invincible. Goodness can prevail. Listen to your hearts. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

On this coldest of January nights
We'll drive out past the runway
And watch the planes go flying by
The runway lights are the deepest blue, like the colours of your eyes
So close them tight and kiss me one last time.

If you could go anywhere right now
Where would you go?
And would you miss me when you get there?
There's no place that I would rather be.
Please don't let me go falling from the sky
This "fasten seatbelt" sign just needs to go out
If only you could be, right here by my side
Home wouldn't seem so far from here.
- The Ataris

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything. Katharine Hepburn

Save the Humans

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Mahatma Ghandi

The Arrogance of Man

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34

You don’t have to believe in something to think it’s a good idea.

It is usually the, “Father forgive them,” that is held under the microscope; “they know not what they do,” means far more to me.

Yesterday, when finding out about a decision someone had made, I asked myself if they would have chosen differently if they had been able to see the bigger picture.

How often have we done something wrong and then only later found that we could have avoided the mistake, if only we had been looking in a different direction for guidance when deciding?

In a literal context, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” is Jesus praying to G-d to forgive the men who crucified and then humiliated him. Generally, this is taken to represent a plea for forgiveness for all sinners. Apart from the first thing that strikes me being this man’s extreme selflessness, I can’t help wondering what was going on from the soldiers’ point of view. These soldiers were crucifying Jesus as any other criminal (two criminals were crucified on either side of him). Had they been able to see who Jesus was, would they have done the same? Undoubtedly, they would still have crucified him, as they would have been killed themselves if they had not, but would they have done it with the total lack of respect that they did? Without being able to see the bigger picture, this was unavoidable as they crucified criminals every day and would not have treated any of them with the slightest bit of respect.

We base our decisions and opinions on things we see as fact, when really there is so much more that we do not, or maybe could not ever, know. This statement is boundless. Where does it end? How far do we have to go before we have the whole picture? Well really we can’t go that far. All we can do is try not to pass judgement upon matters that we have very little or no understanding of until we have tried to find out more.

It can be seen as a type of arrogance, in fact, to make apparently sensible judgements on a person’s character or decisions from what you know about them, when you know relatively little. You are, in effect, saying that you have no need to know more because what you already know is enough to pass judgement upon. It can be compared to a judge passing sentence halfway through the trial. Even this comparison is not entirely suitable, as a judge in a courtroom is still unable to understand fully what they are passing judgement upon.

“What makes it even worse is the veil of ignorance that forces most people to believe what they believe simply because that’s what they want to think. You ask a person on the street "Does God exist?" They would most probably say no. You ask why? "Because it’s just stupid" or "because I say so." This obviously shows how dumb most people are. They don't believe in God because they get told not to and it’s cool not to. Scientists and Governments tell us what they want us to hear, not what we need to hear. Some guy in a white suit tells us about atoms and suddenly it’s the facts? People are too gullible, maybe the scientists are right, but I’m not going to assume it’s true until it’s proven to me.” – The Arrogance of Man by Sam Spurrel

Here, I would like to use “The Arrogance of Man” in my own context. The Arrogant Man looks without seeing and listens without hearing. The Arrogant Man can sit though a priest’s sermon, listening politely, but step out of the church without having absorbed a word because he is a Jew. The Arrogant Man stepped into the church knowing all he needed to know about G-d and therefore needed to hear no more, especially from a person who may uphold views that contradict his own.

The Arrogant Man does not like to be wrong. It is his first instinct, when faced with criticism, to defend himself. It is said that we form opinions of people within moments of meeting them. A person does not have to open their mouth, or even look us in the eye, for us to form opinions on them from the way they stand or the way they dress. How then, if we instinctively judge people without knowing anything about them, are we to treat them with an objective mind? To do this The Arrogant Man has to be prepared to stand up and say, “I Was Wrong.”

How many times has this simple phrase been used by people in positions of power? Is it a sign of weakness to admit you have made a mistake? Is it the making of the mistake or the admitting to it that frightens The Arrogant Man? Surely it cannot be the mistake, as the mistake is made subconsciously. It therefore must be admitting to his mistakes that scares him. Why is he so scared of admitting to his mistakes if everyone makes them? Well, admitting he has made a mistake is admitting he is not perfect and his arrogance forbids this.

Therefore, “we know not what we do,” is untrue. It is possible for us to know exactly what we do, and yet our innate arrogance forbids us to acknowledge it. Maybe the search for the truth is limitless; maybe truth is an unobtainable goal. But The Arrogant Man’s arrogance not only forbids him to acknowledge truth, it forbids him to search for it, for in searching for truth, The Arrogant Man is admitting his preconceptions may have been incorrect.

Therefore the solution is not to look at the whole picture because, invariably, this is not possible, but to try to piece together as many scattered pieces of the puzzle as we can find. One who is searching for the truth must keep an open mind, as they cannot know what the truth with hold. In keeping an open mind, The Arrogant Man is overcoming his arrogance.

So how could the soldiers crucifying Jesus have acted differently when they were under orders to crucify him and thought of him as any other criminal? They didn’t know he would lead billions of people as “The Son of G-d.” If they had treated all of the men they executed with more respect then they would not have had to know. If they had not taunted the men about to die, they would not have taunted Jesus as he died.

Why did they taunt the criminals as they hung from their crosses? Because of The Arrogance of Man. These soldiers knew all there was to know about the men they were executing and the crimes they had committed and so had the right to worsen their last moments on earth as punishment.

Was this torture meant as punishment or was it meant as entertainment to feed their arrogance?

Either way, it was The Arrogance of Man that caused Jesus to cry, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Perhaps this would better be rephrased as, “Father forgive them; for they do not want to know what they do.”

“Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” – Native American Saying

It is hard to speak properly upon a subject where it is even difficult to convince your hearers that you are speaking the truth. On the one hand, the friend who is familiar with every fact of the story may think that some point has not been set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows it to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the matter may be led by envy to suspect exaggeration if he hears anything above his own nature. For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity. The Funeral Oration of Pericles - Thucydides

Nonviolent resistance avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. At the centre of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In stuggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the centre of our lives. Martin Luther King Jr.