They lied to you in Sunday School

The bible is one of the most widely published and least read books.  Almost every home has one, and it undoubtedly lays at the very foundation of basic principles of Western Civilization, but most people have knowledge of the book second or third hand.  It gets worse though.  Many of these myths get repeated from pulpits.  Take for instance, “The Curse”.  I have heard most of my life that we carry within us a curse from God as a result of the fall of Adam, but read carefully Genesis 3.

14The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;

15And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Only two things were cursed in the garden, the serpent and the ground.  Neither the man nor the woman were cursed.  That moment of awareness of sin changes all of us, but God does not curse us.  His greatest wrath is reserved for those things around us that confuse and bewilder and deceive us into distrusting His goodness.  PortlandJapaneseGarden_20120923 (1)

An Introduction

This is my own story and my own insights gleaned from a life that has many more yesterdays than it does tomorrows.  I share it only because I trust it will give hope inspiration and help to a few others.  It is what I have found to be true for me and it is a way of understanding myself that has led me to a level of freedom and happiness I never thought possible.  It is an eclectic mix of experience, science, philosophy, and faith.  It leans heavily on others who have gifted me with their wisdom and acted as companions, mentors and surrogate fathers and brothers.  In the field of science it is said that all models are false but some are useful.  In the same way, the paradigms or models through which I may gain understanding of myself are inherently flawed at some level and they may shift and bend and I may incorporate bits and pieces of many, but I work under the premise that the underlying moral truths of the universe like the laws of physics must be universal.  What is right and wrong, moral and immoral cannot merely be a convention, the creation of the mind.  Else we would have no basis from which to condemn the choices of any culture.  You cannot condemn the NAZI and at the same time claim that all morality is a human construct or else you must conclude that the only failing of the NAZI’s was not to win.  Any other position is simply vacuous.  We may disagree on what the Natural Law is, what the highest eternal moral values are, but they are not mere arbitrary constructs or we cannot find any common ground upon which to engage in a discussion about them.  Otherwise Nietzsche was right and morality will be whatever I am able to impose on you through the force of social pressure or the power of the state and discussion will give way to whoever can manage the more resolute will to power.  In such a world morality truly would be a force of oppression.

With that spirit I will be sharing the paradigms that have helped me and why and those that have not helped and why along with observations on the world in general.  I hope you find that my insights and my own journey will be of benefit to you.