Sunday, January 24, 2010

Many Questions, No Answers

The status of my commitment to positive change in 2010 and beyond

Normally, I would dwell on such negatives as horrendous political events, problems at work and the general displays of ignorance by the public at large. As I have stated previously, I am working diligently on becoming a more positive person and focusing on those things that I can control and worrying less about those that I can not.

However, this does not absolve me from having opinions, nor expressing them when I need to rid myself of such negativity and evil outside influences. But NOT in this posting.

For much of my life, I have been fascinated by two fields of study that I dive in and out of on occasion, that of religion/spirituality and physics. For thousands of years, mankind has taken a bit of an exclusivity approach to religion and science. Sure, many scientists (not the least of which was Albert Einstein) had a religious background and even worried about what God was thinking. Generally however, people rarely are comfortable speaking of these two topics in the same setting.

With the advent of quantum mechanical physics (circa 1910), the understanding that there are many "weird" objects and forces in the universe, opened up the opportunity for science and religion to begin a processes of interconnection. This process has been extremely slow in developing over the last 100 years and many are still more comfortable with keeping science and religion separate.

I am not.

I have read the Bible, parts of the Koran and some of the Torah and I have always been a "fan" of Taoism. I even read two books about Hinduism and frankly got lost in all of their many deities. I have never explored Buddhism, other than some light reading and an ever present love affair with bronze Buddha statues and statuettes. Looking at the likeness of the Buddha has always made me smile and feel at peace. I have no real clue why, but it does.

So when my daughter gave me a Borders gift card for Christmas, I bought a new copy of my favorite Taoism book AND I purchased my first ever book on Buddhism.

Imagine my surprise when the first thing that I read in this book is a quote from Albert Einstein, "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description."


I have found that there is some quirky weirdness in Buddhism, but the basic premise and structure is truly appealing. I wouldn't say that I am or ever will be a "Buddhist", but I will say that this won't be the last book on the topic that I read.

Meanwhile, I continue to lose weight through diet and exercise. I will begin formalizing how I meditate (it turns out that I have been meditating at times during my whole life and didn't know it). I will continue to focus on the positives and learn to let go, including to let go of my own self doubt and guilt and fear and negative emotions.

I also reviewed some literature on physics yesterday and I will spend the rest of this morning dwelling on that topic, as I allow my mind to wander around and wonder about the universe.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy and Upbeat .... WTF?

90% of This Game is Half Mental - Yogi Berra

Last week started in an absolutely abysmal way.

Upon reflection, I decided to regroup and figure out how to move forward. I have often been told that my two greatest assets are my insatiable curiosity and my tenacity toward achieving objectives. Giving up is NOT part of my make up.

So on about Wednesday night or Thursday morning, I realized that the New Year wasn't going to be all that it could be, if I wasn't going to participate actively in making it better.

Oh yes, this year is GOING to be one of the best ever !

Starting with a focus on a positive attitude, followed by eating well and exercising, this year will be yet ANOTHER* break through year for me and those that I love.

Some other "notes to self" involve maintaining high energy, laughing a lot and reading in my spare time. There are several books that I wish to read and one that I wish to re-read.

The Path (Tao Te Ching, by Lao-tzu) is one of my favorite reads, beautiful and inspirational, it is one of the books that I ordered from Borders with my gift card - Thanks G Rae!

Another thing that I must do, is to rejuvenate my music library. It is too small and narrow and I want to add so many new songs AND a boat load of old favorites.

I know that this all may seem hum-drum to anyone reading this blog, but it is ALL important to me and I know that it is also a healthy approach to the new year.

Peace and Love to All !

*(there have been several before this, but not all 46 that I have been alive to enjoy, some noteworthy ones were 1968, 1970, 1971, 1982, 1998, 1999 and 2002)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yemen - Haven't We Been Down THIS Road Before? - Can I get an Amen?

So now Yemen is the new Iranquistan .....

Seriously, if someone in the White House, Congress, Downing Street or Parliament would read the many books on the Middle East by reputable writers (like "The Devil We Know" by Baer), they might understand that the "War on Terror" is not about attacking a place, but rather dealing with an ideology.

Its not enough the we are in an 8 year war in Afghanistan as "retaliation" for 9-11, then we got sucked into a war in Iraq, searching for non-existent WMD - but now there is talk of Yemen.

Sure we have forgotten North Korea (remember the axis of evil?), even though they have been quite provocative lately, but what about Western Asia?

Lets look for a minute at the US and UK and their inconsistencies in the region:

(1) We remove the leader of Iraq, because we think that they had weapons of mass destruction that could be used against our allies in the region (a.k.a. Israel). What about the weapons that Pakistan has that could be used against Israel? Egypt has a very powerful arsenal? Iran? Libya?

(2) We also claim that we wish to install democracy there to "help the people". What about our long time (220 years) support of the kingdom in Saudi Arabia? (In case you didn't know - its not a democracy)

(3) Bush, Blair, Brown and now Obama all say that we are justified in attacking any country that "could pose a threat to our national security". So due to the heavy drug traffic, kidnapping, illegal immigration and murder going on near the border with Mexico, should we attack them? Shouldn't England attack Ireland because some extremist remnants of the IRA still exist?

Assuming we had a large enough budget (we don't) and re-instituted the draft to fill our military needs (it will never happen, unless our homeland is literally under attack), the logic that is being employed by our governments would have us "fighting wars" in some 14 countries that pose a threat to us and another 45 or so countries that "deserve democracy".

This list would include China who:

A. Was our ally in two world wars
B. Owns billions in US debt
C. Has more nukes than we do
D. Has more people in their military than we have citizens

I would expect a major ass kicking !

We have all heard the thought that "Insanity is when you continue on with the same behavior and expect a different result".

Apparently we have officially lost it !

Who wants to make a bet that within the next 6 months we launch a Cruise Missle attack against a "target" in Yemen and end up killing a bunch of civilians?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back In The Flow - words of advice for 2010

The MONDAY of all Mondays.

After a ton of time off for the Holidays, its time to go back to work (tomorrow morning). I am looking forward to 2010 with a measure of cautious optimism. After all, life in America may be irritating at times, but we have a lot to be thankful for. (like plenty of food and the freedom t0 whine about how bad we have it)

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions, but here are some things that I will consider changing in the upcoming year.

How I Handle Stupid People:

Normally, I either ignore them (and make jokes about them behind their backs) or make fun of them to their faces. This year I plan on pretending that I am carrying a stun gun and shooting them. Imagine the look on their faces when I hold up my hand, pull the "trigger" and make a noise the is supposed to mimic an electric shock. "Gzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt"

How I Deal with Stupid Situations:

Usually, I find the person (usually a clerk., another driver or fast food manager) who is responsible for the stupid situation and I try my best to embarrass and upset them. This year I plan on pretending to throw my clothes, food, groceries, dry goods, or other item or service that they are pretending to supply to me or pretend that I am going to crash my car into them. Again, these actions will be complete with appropriate hand and facial gestures and sounds.

How I Vent My Angst:

Normally when I am angry, I raise my voice, roll my eyes, develop a bitterly sarcastic tone and say the F and GD words a lot.

Some things just shouldn't be changed !!

What are you considering to change in 2010?