Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Son the Manifestation

This is a tale of unlikelihood transcended.

First, a preamble: I am not a witch, warlock, demon or angel. If I am anything unusual at all, I am by nature an experimenter who keeps an open mind.

In recent years I have been experimenting with my own mind, in the manner of many who have gone before me.

Oh, it wasn’t my idea, not at first. I didn’t seek this out.

It all started with my synchronicities. I didn’t ask for them. But they started, at about age 35 or so, and they’ve continued apace until this day. (I am 48 at present)
There are far too many to dismiss with random chance and the bell curve. If I were to focus on any one, I might explain it away easily enough, but taken together they force me to at least consider the possibility that there is more to this reality than readily meets the eye.

For more background on this, see my “Big Brain Speculations,” if you haven’t already.

To summarize, I have been forced by what I have seen happen in my life in recent years, to at least consider the possibility that this reality, this universe or what have you that we all find ourselves in, is not based in matter and energy as it so readily appears to be. I have instead found myself seriously considering the possibility that this reality, everything we can perceive, is instead made of thought, or if you prefer, data. We only think that reality is matter and energy and that we are as well, because all of it, ourselves included, is thought or data. Or even ‘spirit’ if that floats your boat. At this most basic level there’s little difference between them. In other words, I have been entertaining the idea that reality is a dream. Similar to our sleeping dreams, yet very different in that we are all dreaming it together.

This is where my thoughts have led me. A lonely place, to be sure.

So naturally I have to test this all the time. It’s too unbelievable for me to just accept, even though my ‘experiments’ are the very thing which led me here.

The nature of these experiments of mine is usually that I attempt to influence reality in some way by merely thinking about it. Oh, not in the “abracadabra alakazam” magical sense, but instead more of attempting to change my subconscious picture of reality, since in the course of my mental experimentation it became apparent that if our thoughts influence reality at all, it is our subconscious thoughts that do so and not our conscious thoughts. The idea is that if I can change my own deep beliefs, change my ‘picture’ of reality, then the dream that is reality will resonate with that and also change. So they’re basically various techniques that taken together amount to controlled self-hypnosis.

>Synchronicity alert! (Intermezzo)

I felt that since I am in the middle of writing about this very thing, it’s only right to report to you a synchronicity that I’ve only just experienced ten minutes ago as I write this. I think if you can imagine having this sort of thing happen to you all the time you might feel more sympathy for my search for alternate explanations of what is going on with reality.

It went like this: Tonight I was sharing some of the music of my youth with my wife, a la YouTube. Fantastic thing, Youtube. For some reason I found myself thinking of Traffic with Steve Winwood, and so I let her listen to the band "Traffic’s" “Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” one of my all-time favorites, and damned near a half-hour long, too. Steve Winwood is amazing. And what better name for a drummer ever existed than “Reebop Kwaaku Baa?”

Then I looked at the other "Traffic" songs listed there on YouTube and I played her another one that I recalled from my early days, named “John Barleycorn Must Die” and then in answer to her confusion explained to my darling wife the legend of John Barleycorn, the death and rebirth of the barley seed being an allegory of *our* death and re-birth… Then about twenty minutes later after she went to bed I picked up the novel that I am currently in the middle of reading, (re-reading actually, from twenty-five years ago) “Time Enough For Love” by Robert Heinlein, and started into it again. Well, four pages after the point where I picked it up again I read that the main character Lazarus Long had lost a couple of mules while on a pioneering excursion, and one of them was named, you guessed it, John Barleycorn.

John Barleycorn? Really?

I hadn’t spoken anything of the legend of John Barleycorn nor the song of the same name to anyone nor even thought of it in many years, perhaps decades, and then when I do, well twenty minutes later there I am reading it again in a random novel. It’s like an echo in reality. Sure, I had read that novel before, but a quarter-century ago, and there is absolutely no way that I would have recalled the name of a mule lost in transit from that long Heinlein story after all these years. I hadn’t even remembered that there were mules in the story, much less their names. I was thinking about the band "Traffic," and not the novel that I'd be getting back to in a while.

I really do get this all the time.

>End of Synchronicity Alert. Back to my son.

Originally when my wife and I decided on having a baby I thought that it could not hurt if I ‘affirmed’ in my mind that such would indeed happen. I constructed what used to be called a “sigil,” a physical symbol representing my son-to-be, even including his name, which we had already picked out. Connor. Lover of hounds, or perhaps lover of wolves. This is how one can influence their own subconscious mind. By constructing real-world representations of their desire in symbolic fashion. Anything that has emotional resonance works. By this I mean that employing ‘props’ makes the self-hypnosis more effective.

So I put a good amount of effort into the construction of a sigil representing my hopefully-soon-to-be-conceived son Connor. A symbolic representation, drawn on paper, carefully folded, with other ancillary actions performed. The more important I made it on my mind, the more likelihood of it affecting my reality, or so the theory goes.

Oh and yes, this is indeed called “Magic” or even “Magick” by some, but it’s really just a controlled form of self-hypnosis through symbolism and emotion. I prefer to think of it as focused meditation with the aid of props. I’m no Merlin. Just a humble experimenter. As one author calls it, I am a psychonaut. Or just a psycho. I'll leave that to you to decide.

So my wife got pregnant, tested pregnant the very next day after my experiment. Then she miscarried a month later. So much for all of my meditation. Or so it would seem.

We then tried various doctors, and the verdict came in. It was highly unlikely that we could ever get pregnant naturally. In fact, they were amazed almost to the point of disbelief that we had managed to get pregnant even the one time.

Our remaining options were artificial insemination, which we tried, and tried, and tried again, and after the many times that that didn’t work, all that remained to us was ICSI in-vitro fertilization, the proverbial “test-tube baby” At about twelve thousand dollars a try. After our insurance, which is fortunately a very good plan, it would still be the better part of four thousand dollars a try. And all that we had to spare in our bank account was about four thousand dollars.

We had run out of options. All that we had left was ICSI, but all we could afford was one try, one attempt, when our doctors all told us that we would likely need between four and six tries to get pregnant.

To gamble with all that remained of our savings on that one attempt which was likely doomed to failure, or not? That was the question facing us.

Now I have to say that while the first mental experiment was a failure in that the baby did not survive, it still produced (so to speak) a pregnancy, and an unlikely one at that, and right on cue, so I wasn’t giving it up yet. After all, this sort of thing costs me nothing to try. There’s no fee attached to meditating. And I still had the sigil that I used as a focus from the first time.

So in what in retrospect seems a truly foolish and even crazy thing to do, I decided that the one ICSI attempt would have to do. Moreover, I decided that it would work. So we scheduled it and went through the process. I had decided that I’d darn well make it work the one time. Looking back at it, it was brash overconfidence.

So I tried my meditating again. This time however I put a lot more effort into it, emotional effort as well as intellectual. I employed mental imagery from Judeo-Christian mythology in my visualization, since that was what I’d grown up with, hoping that it would have the most significance to my subconscious mind, and even employed fire at the end to rather dramatically destroy the sigil, imagining that I was ‘releasing it’ into the world. Drama is the key to this sort of thing, if there’s anything to it at all. There is no ‘magic’ in a sigil or in visualization. It’s all in the mind of the person doing it. In the person’s conviction, in their ability to truly believe something that is essentially unbelievable, just enough for reality to echo it in response, much like what I think happens when I get my odd synchronicities.

It isn’t easy to suspend one’s own disbelief. However, at the end of my little ritual with my sigil and visualizations when I lit the fire and attempted to muster as much conviction as I could, I had the distinct, albeit fleeting impression of *something* happening, almost like a distant sound in my head, gong-like almost, for the lack of a better description. I immediately *seized* on that fleeting echo, ‘pretending’ that it was real and symbolic of a successful completion to the operation, all in order to more effectively convince myself that something happened, causing myself to believe in it all the more so because of it. Even if nothing happened, I did a very good job of convincing myself that it had, is the point.

Did it *work?*

All I can do is list the ‘results,’ if such they were. I still can’t really believe that this stuff can work, but here’s what happened afterwards. Once again my wife tested pregnant, the very next day. Of course that’s when she would have tested pregnant since we’d gone through ICSI, so nothing miraculous in that. The fact that the one attempt worked was a one out of four or five shot however, and the fact that it turned out to be a boy (as I had affirmed) was another fifty-fifty of course. So approximately a one-out-of-ten, or a ten percent shot that it would have worked as it did. Plus a very healthy baby testing off the charts on height and in the 95th percentile in weight. A big, healthy boy named Connor, who looks enough like me at that age that he could easily be my clone. We’d selected the name in advance of it all of course, and I’d employed it in my meditations, so that’s his name.

Here’s the strange part, or one of them at any rate. I knew it would work right after I ‘heard’ that ‘sound’ in my head at the end of it, and I knew that it would be a boy. I just knew it. Now maybe I could have been wrong, but I had definitely defeated my own doubts in this matter, as I had set out to do. Did the fact that I had defeated all of my doubts influence the outcome? Who can say? Most would deny it, as being irrational or even crazy to even think it. Myself, I’m not so sure. It *felt* like something happened, and the results are exactly as hoped for. No evidence that I made it happen, but none that I didn’t, either. Also, I’d done this sort of thing before and always had pretty good results with it, although never with something so important as a baby.

So that’s my story, incredible as it may sound. And incredible it will remain to most of my readers I think. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I wasn’t the one involved.

I like to think of it like the Shakespeare quote. “There are more things in heaven and earth…”

Minor Update, April 13, 2010:

I neglected to mention that I also visualized him looking just like me only with his mother's eyes, bright blue. I even spoke of it often with my wife before the first pregancy and subsequent miscarriage.

My eyes are hazel.

He is the exact image of me as a child, so much so that I've got the rather uncommon experience I think, of looking at the living face of myself as I used to see it in a mirror as a very young child. I cannot tell you how eery that is, and still very, very cool at the same time.

And yes, his eyes are bright blue. We can be sure now because he's over 9 months old. Cue the Rod Serling intro...

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Prayer

"The oddity
Is that the sanity
Of humanity
Is in short commodity"
-Saint Brian the Godless


This post was Hypochrist-Inspired on another blog which shall remain nameless and somehow still survives post-mortem in a sombie-like state somewhere between real life and putrefaction, with a little of the flavor of both.


A Prayer**

Lord Jesus, you represent the Divine Mind,
And the source of all intelligence and knowing.
Guide our nation at this critical moment,
As the immoral hypocritical Republicans attempt to scuttle health care.
Give our elected Democratic officials the intelligence to know
That religious conservatives are petty and self-centered as a species.
Give them the wisdom to realize
That Christians only TALK about love and morality, then do the exact opposite.
Give them the strength to resist the idea
That Republican Christian Conservatives are worth even the powder to blow them to hell,
Or that they are in any way real followers of Christ.
Give your people the courage to speak up
And to hold Republican public officials accountable for their hatred, hypocrisy and mental retardation, even unto incarcerating them for their sins.

Save us, Lord Jesus, from a culture of stupidity created and encouraged by those who claim to follow you yet aren’t smart enough to even know what that means,
And let every reform in our public policy
Be based on love for others and genuine selfless morality rather than greed or self-righteous pandering to the ignorant for personal gain,
In the light of your Infinite Cosmic Consciousness,
For you are and always were so much better than those who co-opt your good name out of Pride and Arrogance and not in Humility.


(**My prayerful response to "Prayer and Testimony Will Shape Health Care Debate" by Fr. Frank Pavone)


You know, my ultimate, best prayer, the one that I really would most like to come true, more of a wish or a dream than a prayer really but still... My most sincere 'prayer' would be that those who believe that they are Christians and yet somehow are still capable of adjusting their inordinately flexible morality in such a way as to be able to support an unjust war in Iraq (no connection to 9/11 whatsoever,) those who are totally comfortable with the idea of our country torturing people, those who can somehow find their way to not supporting something so obviously good for America (not to mention Christ-like) as universal health care, those who spread blind kneejerk hatred for others with whom they disagree up to and past the point of actively demonizing them and even speaking of violence against them, those who value prenatal life a thousand times more than they do post-natal life, those who do not care one whit about the less fortunate but are always the first to claim that they do, those who go to church and pretend to themselves that just that, mere membership and attendence in a church is all they need to do in life in order to 'be saved,' those who consistantly claim the moral high ground whilst dwelling in the swamp of egotism, indifference and depravity; and those who in general pay only lip service to a spiritual path which they claim to be on, named after a man (Jesus Christ) who apparently acted absolutely nothing like they do, will one day (hopefully soon) wake up in the morning and have a mind-shattering "Aha!" moment that goes something like this: "Holy Christ On A Popsicle Stick, What the hell was I thinking? I've completely soiled the very name of Jesus Christ in every conceivable way! Doh!!!" and from that point forward feel actual genuine *painful* empathy for their fellow humans all over the planet regardless of faith or race. You know, like any decent Atheist does.

However if they truly were to realize all of that in one moment and had to suddenly digest what incredible jackasses they've made of themselves in their shallow overweening pride, it is doubtful that they would survive the experience. A plaque of exploding hypochristical heads would sweep the globe.

I like to call it "The Crapture."

Hopefully they'd manage to do it on the fouth of July, so that the percussions could be explained away as fireworks. Their last patriotic act. How fitting. I must admit that I would be there in the front row with my hand over my heart.

Monday, July 13, 2009


“Yea, though I walk through the valley of strange vagina, I shall fear no evil
For my Rod and my Staff are comforted…”

Thus Mark Sanford prayed in earnest for guidance from the Lord, and the Lord answeredeth him with a painful priapic episode that could only have been divinely inspired, even if it might have been Viagra induced. It was true love, as true as the love of Capulet for Montague, if that involved hot latin titties in the moonlight, too.

And thus Mark Sanford enteredeth into the realm of the Hypochrist. For to be unfaithful is perhaps a sin, but one I wouldn’t normally care about that much in an elected official, it being their private business…
…unless of course the person involved was actively promoting his own flawless Christian morality all his life, used it to get elected, and even had gone so far as to speak out against the very idea of homosexual marriage, as a threat to traditional marriages…
Traditional heterosexual marriages like that of say, Mark Sanford.

He publically flayed his wife, virtually assassinated her in front of the entire world (nice job, that) and probably destroyed his children in the process as well. But at least he’s not a homo. After all, they’re yucky and sinful in the sight of God. Whereas philandering self-righteous bloviating hypocrites who cheat on their opposite-sex traditional wife are obviously okay with the Lord, and no harm to the family unit either, unless you consider publically nuking your entire family unit harmful to it.

Ted Haggard is a similar sad story of a man rising to power by speaking out against the very things that he practiced in his private life. So of course is Larry Craig. It’s a type, and unfortunately a fairly common one.

There is a special brand of hypocrite about in the world nowadays. Oh, they’ve been around for millennia, but their star has been on the ascendant lately. Their voices have been more strident. More frantic. The voices to which I refer are those of the Hypochrists, our modern-day Pharisees.

Pontificating on their ‘superior’ morality which they supposedly derive from God rather than common sense, they fail and fail and fail again to actually demonstrate any of it, thus proving it illusory. They are always the ones attacking the morality of others while they fail miserably to be even remotely moral themselves. They call themselves Christians while they consistently act in a diametrically opposed manner to anything that Jesus would have done or even would have remotely approved of. And they inform people of other faiths or of none at all how inferior and wrong they are, while they demonstrate not only inferiority and wrongness themselves, but even bring it to the point of a psychosis.

And they can’t even understand why we non-Christians would be so angry at their hypocrisy, their condemnation of others for that which they do themselves. They don’t see it at all. They can’t see the sheer humor in the Larry Craig saga, or the sad ridiculousness of Mark Sanford. This isn’t just stupidity; it’s *phenomenal* stupidity! Comedians can’t even improve on it for the sheer humor factor, it’s that stupid.

These are people who have made a deal with the devil of ignorance. They’ve chosen to believe rather than to think. And they are taught that those who choose otherwise are to be reviled. Their entire belief system is all about making them feel good about being ignorant and attacking knowledge whenever possible. They bond with each other in the foxholes of the war against logic and reason. (No atheists in those foxholes, that’s one thing they’re right about)

Their belief system serves not to help them grow spiritually as one might think, but instead to inflate their egos to the point where they feel absolutely certain of their superiority over others, any others, all others not so conditioned, all others that believe or think differently. And thus it retards whatever spiritual growth might have been possible, for in order to grow spiritually you can’t be an egotist. You can’t just ‘know’ that you’re right all the time, or what room for growth can there be?

They are like trained monkeys, most of them. Triggered by keywords that their masters have programmed into them. No thought, no analysis is required of them; merely their condemnation of whatever they’re trained to condemn, and of course their voting for whomever they’re trained to vote for. And they obediently oblige, since to them hate is love and right is wrong, black is white and God is Satan.

(Or Santa. One of the two. I get them mixed up. But whoever they’re worshipping, it’s no God of goodness and Light, that’s for sure.)

They share the common bond of being hateful, small, and petty. Their senses of humor reflect this, usually involving slurring people or ideas in a manner reminiscent of mean-spirited spoiled semi-literate children. Lately we hear them ranting against little Malia Obama, for wearing a peace-symbol shirt. Calling her and her family thugs and saying that her mother likes to make monkey noises to her and such. Unbelievable.

It’s very hard not to hate them.

Not hating them has occupied a lot of my time lately.

Because they’re practically asking to be hated.

And yet, if I hate them, it lessens me and not them. It doesn’t faze them at all. It pollutes me and they learn nothing. In fact, they would only interpret my hatred as proof of their rectitude, of their righteousness, of their 'superiority' to me and others like me.

They love to hate. It’s their hobby, their comfort, their favorite pastime. The more they hate and demonize others, the better they feel about their own sorry sad shallow selves in comparison.

I don’t want to fall into the trap of hating them. It’s too easy. And yet perhaps I already have.

How can one not hate such ignorance, ignorance raised to the level of a mental disease? An ignorance founded in a long tradition of ignorance, made unassailable by sheer repetition in our society… How not to despise the utterly despicable? How not to hate people who have made braying hateful asses out of themselves for God, and believe that they themselves are without flaw or sin?

And yet, by far my biggest motivation for *not* hating them, for trying to somehow love them too, in whatever way is possible, is that by hating them I will become more like them. This is an intolerable option to me.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Additional Benefits of Reading

“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed.”
-Anne Rice, The Witching Hour

“The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”
-Autobiography of Malcolm X, 1964

“The connection between reading speed and comprehension; a film is made up of still images flashed in rapid succession to simulate movement. Slow down the film, and the movement and meaning slows and the film's impact is diminished. Viewers won't learn as much about the film as if it were shown at normal speed. With reading the same thing can happen. When a person reads word by word, like frame by frame, they are not reading on the level of ideas. You need to read on some level that's more conversational and allows things to coalesce into ideas themselves.”
-Doug Evans, Institute of Reading Development

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
- Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


When I was a child I had a lot of excess energy. I was very inquisitive. I wanted to learn about the world as fast as possible. However my (very loving) family into which I was adopted was nothing like me in that regard. Wonderful people, but with all the curiosity and imagination of complacent basset hounds. They loved me very much and gave me a great childhood; however I was so different from them that I almost think sometimes that they thought of me as more of a curiosity than a child. Something to be wheeled out at dinner parties to recite religious-based poetry verbatim at the age of six. “Oooh, he’s so smart…” Well, compared to them, I guess I was.

“Dearest Loving Jesus, please help me to be good,
And do the things and say the things that all good children should…”

(It’s burned indelibly into my memory. I wish I could forget that shit.)

Fortunately they did one thing right. Almost as if they realized that they had little to offer me in the way of satisfying the black hole of curiosity that burned within me, they did the one thing that they could have in that pre-Internet age to set me on a path whereby I could do so myself. They taught me how to read. More than that though, and an important distinction, they taught me how to *love* to read. It was a big thing with my mom that I should both be able to read, and should love to read, even though she herself did not. I have to give her a lot of credit for getting that one right.

I remember that it was in the fourth grade though, that I really got hooked on reading. Like a pathetic junkie, I mean.

After that I remember spending days with the Hardy Boys. My standard rate was five of them in eight hours. Not bad for a twelve-year-old.

Once when I was about thirteen I actually threatened my dad that if he didn’t buy me a certain book that I had been waiting to read which was “just out in stores” that I would have to steal it. Like as if it would be his fault, so he'd better buy me the damned book or start me on a life of crime or something. To his credit, I didn’t get the book, and did get spoken to very sternly about my self-centeredness. Good job there, dad.

And then in conjunction with all of this, the Wonders of Science Fiction were revealed unto me by a used car salesman that worked for my uncle’s AMC dealership, where I would frequently spend time as a child due to the fact that my dad was the General Manager. I am forever indebted to Bill the car salesman who gave me his discarded pulp mags, and later some appropriately silly novels of Alien Invasion and other standard fare SF of the day that caught my interest. When I discovered Larry Niven (a four-book set given to me by my aunt at Christmas) I was hooked for life. And of course on television there was Star Trek to further fuel my imagination and oddly enough I think even shape my future morality to some extent. That was when I managed to convince my parents to let me watch it instead of them watching Lawrence Welk. Ahh, back in the day of one TV per family...

(As an aside, I have to recommend Star Trek to anyone as an excellent thing to park your kids in front of regardless of how bad that sounds. It’s like imagination gasoline with a positive message.)

Sometimes I think that if I hadn't found reading, I'd have long ago gone insane, or at the very least clinically depressed. It was everything to me as a child.

I have come to believe that developing a true love of reading is much more important that we realize. If you do not like to read, you do not develop your visual imagination anywhere near to its potential. With your visual imagination, in tandem with your logical ability (which we all have been trained to think is the more important by far) we have essentially two huge tools with which to accurately judge what we perceive in this world, rather than only one.

Visual imagery adds dramatic depth to the level of our understanding of what we are judging with our logical abilities, and thus how we perceive reality.

With a well-developed reading ability, when you are examining a logical problem you can better understand what the logical words you are saying to yourself in your head actually mean in relation to the “world out there” due to the fact that there is also a very detailed illustration in your mind that you are automatically manipulating to match the word descriptions of various things which occur to you in relation to your train of thought. This ability is like being in possession of a futuristic 3-D viewer in your mind that can show anything you desire it to, automatically, no effort involved. You do not have to think “I wish to visualize this sequence of events that I am now thinking of in verbal form” when you are a practiced reader, because you automatically access visual imagery when you think of verbal information. When you think of a verbal series of events, you automatically have the accompanying visualization of it to 'look' at as you do so. You’ve learned to visualize what you read in a book; this is automatically transferred to what you “read” out loud to your self in word form when you think logically about anything whatsoever. It's not that non-avid-readers cannot do this; just that they cannot do it nearly as well. By becoming an avid reader you have installed a bridge in your mind between verbal thought flow and visual imagery, and have subsequently strengthened that bridge with every new book that you have read.

People who have no great reading skills do not develop them because they do not read stories and novels and adventures and mysteries, cannot 'get into' such stories, because they were never coaxed to go beyond the tipping point where one starts to visualize what one is reading, and so it is my belief that they also automatically have a real handicap in being able to visualize day-to-day problems well enough to solve them optimally.

Often times when I cannot "see eye-to-eye" with someone, I feel that the problem lies in their inability to visualize what I am talking about as well as I am visualizing what they're talking about. Sometimes it even seems to me that they aren't capable of adequately visualizing what they themselves are talking about.

(I must always consider the possibility that I am the one in error of course, but still, even after that...)

Visual imagination is also a key to empathy since you must be able to first truly imagine the travails of another person in order to develop empathy in the first place, and you can’t do so without being able to accurately visualize what their day-to-day life is like, their situations, their dilemmas. Words alone, or even words coupled with the increasingly-normal-now sub-par power to visualize, just aren’t enough to really do that. With a well-developed visual imagination one almost automatically puts one's self into the other's place and imagines seeing out of their eyes for a bit. And once one does that, one is automatically empathetic to their lives and can better relate to them as fellow humans.

So teach your children to read, and then go that one step further and teach them to love to read. It’s one of the biggest gifts that you can give to them. Oh, and it won't be easy. There are a lot more distractions out there now than in my day. Do it anyhow.


Sunday, March 1, 2009


I’m writing this right after having watched the Rush Limbaugh speech at the C.P.A.C. on CNN.

It was amazing. It needs to be standard classroom material in Abnormal Psych class.

I’ve never seen so much projection in all my life. And I was an usher at Showcase. Apparently most of what is wrong with the Democrat (sic) party and Liberals in general is exactly, precisely, amazingly, and completely coincidentally what we Liberals think is wrong with Conservatives. Of course their side is right in all of this, because they base their entire lives on their immutable beliefs, so naturally they trump mere facts whenever they meet them.

Rush’s message to conservatives here seemed to me, basically, that it’s not only okay, but desirable to never change anything about yourselves, never be nice to your political “enemies,” not to seek real bipartisanship, that egotism is a virtue instead of the ultimate cause of all evil, that Barack Obama is out to destroy America and that you all need to wish him to fail too, that it’s optimal to not care if others dislike you, and to me most salient given my past conversations about it, that *belief* is far more important that *thought.* To Rush, beliefs are sacred, to be clung to at all costs, or you are a deficient human being.

(Update to above paragraph: The reader should know that this is not mere conjecture on my part; he either directly said or strongly implied all that I stated above.)

And he did all of this, and so much more, while being very eloquent and humorous. Lotsa of one-liners and good old-fashioned (read: 1820) zingers. Granted that the appalling insensitivity and distastefulness of his humor renders it very unfunny to me. However, he really *reached* his audience, no doubt about it. He literally lit a fire in their shorts.

Most of which audience is of course in the double-digits, IQ wise… And the ones that weren’t have no souls. Just like Rush.

He was so consistently and frequently wrong, and very often *diametrically* wrong, about everything, and so pompous and proud about all of that, that I was usually in the middle of yelling at the television about how incredibly stupid and even nauseatingly disgusting his last statement was when I would realize that he was now already on to something even more ignorant and reprehensible.

The combination of eloquence, disinformation, hatred, and sheer verbal fire reminded me of Hitler. No really. Not a hyperbole this time. If the country were still stultified enough to fall for it, he’d be dangerous not only to us, but to the entire world, because the right wing would elect him President on the basis of his communications skills and ability to creatively insult Liberals alone. Then he’d go for Poland. Morgen der welt. He’s a skilled manipulator of belief with no real morality whatsoever, and he’s incredibly (considering how evil he is) popular and thus a potential serious danger to us all.

And perhaps he reminded me, ironically enough, of the Antichrist as well. I’m talking about the fundamentalist’s description of him here.

Now I’m sounding like him, I know, but that’s his skill. To precisely reverse things so it seems to his mentally-limited audience that we fellow Americans who are Liberals, are trying to do to them precisely what, in reality, their Conservative leaders (now including Rush apparently) have always in the REAL WORLD been trying to do to us.

Fomenting paranoia, xenophobia, racism and hatred that effectively is a real skill, and Rush has a tenth-degree black belt in it, I must admit.

Plus, the right wing Christians actually seem now to believe that the antichrist will be a liberal atheist. What a joke. As if. Their very description of him fits a Christian far-right-wing conservative best (Father of Lies, The Deceiver, etc.) and we already “know” that he’ll believe in God. After all, it says so in the Bible. (Now be properly awed and believe it or go to hell. Makes no nevermind to us.)

Now here’s what I see as the Silver Lining to this atrocity that the media is nice enough to merely call a speech:

I think I want Rush to succeed. Oh, not in his wishes for the country, not ever that. I want him to successfully convince the most self-righteous right wing side of the right wing to NEVER CHANGE THEIR WAYS. I seriously doubt that he’ll be convincing anyone else but those people, so there’s not very much real danger and a lot of potential for backlash.

I want them to all start now having the confidence to parrot everything that Rush said today, to everyone with a brain. Because we’re now in the MAJORITY, those of us who came equipped with one. And if the Conservatives were paying attention to reality instead of living in their usual state of allowing belief to trump all thought, they’d have long ago realized that there is actual change in the wind here. A change to a more intelligent country.

(Egad, the Conservative Anathema! Nobody will just believe shit anymore!)

We’ve started to open our eyes. It’s no less than that. And I don’t think I’m being too hopeful here. More and more people are spurning the hatred now, and as the eyes open, they can see the old ways for just what they are. They just weren’t paying attention before. But now it’s in their face. And it’s about to be kicked up three notches.

The CPAC attendees literally sucked it up. This is what they knew that they needed to hear! That they were all right after all, that they have *always* been right, and will always *be* right in spite of losing the election and being so unpopular. To create a good idea all you have to do is believe in it, and thus insist that it's a good idea, and is one, no matter what. To counter all objections to it, you merely turn up the Belief Volume and insist more convincingly.

In fact, Rush has now programmed his dittoheads (now including all in attendance at the C.P.A.C.) to specifically *not care* if *anybody* complains or disagrees with them, and never let it bother you or even touch you in any way if anyone is offended by what you’re saying. So I literally can’t wait to start to see the Now Revitalized Core of the Conservative Movement start to shred their credibility *en masse* now that all restrictions have been removed, even their humanity.

I think that many of the real die-hard right-wingnuts with the tinfoil hats will now be coming out of the woodwork and really showing their true colors as never before. They will have new resolve, inspired by His Pomposity’s certainty and rhetoric and inflammatory comments to believe in themselves now as never before. Now they’ve been programmed by the Master Programmer Himself to be totally honest about themselves and their bigoted, stultifying, changeless beliefs regardless of what others think or say about them. They will have heretofore unheard-of vigor and renewed *faith* in their cause, and a new, deeper commitment to their *beliefs,* for the simple reason that they have now been so totally and effectively sold on them themselves. The Bloviating Bovine has convinced them beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re absolutely correct about everything, regardless of such silliness as facts, and they’ve been now told that if they just insist on that with no fear, no caring who they insult, no caring what the Hated Evil Liberal Media says since they’re evil anyhow, that they will somehow regain popularity. So declareth the Rush. So believeth the sheeple. Amen.


They have a better chance with the armed revolution that is suggested on Hannity’s site. (No, really, he has a poll about which kind of revolution the real Americans want now that it’s obviously time for one what with the black guy in the White House)

More on this as it occurs.

I can’t even find a link to his speech yet. You all really need to see it, if you haven’t already. Its evil raised to the level of an artform. The more emotionally perceptive you are, the more it fucks you up. If you can watch it and not scream, you’re a better man than I.

I want all readers to eventually relate back to me on this blog what you thought the most horrifying statement was.

There were so many, I think Keith Olbermann will do a whole week on it at least. And Rachel Maddow will just snap like a dry twig. She’s probably dead already, poor girl.

UPDATE: Here's part one of the speech.

Part two

Part three

Part four

Part five

Part six

Part seven

Part eight

Part nine

Part ten

Ron Christie defends the valorous Rush

Thursday, February 12, 2009


By a lie, a man...annihilates his dignity as a man.
-Immanuel Kant

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time unless they are religious.
-Saint Brian the Godless


I’ve been having an email argument with a Christian biblical literalist, on and off for the last few days.

It’s been fascinating… And a lot of laughs. But this one was the best.

We were arguing about the supposed inerrancy of the Holy Bible.

And then he sent me this gem:

Leonard R. Brand
Chairman, Department of Biology
Loma Linda University

Origins 4(2):102-104 (1977).
Related page — | IN A FEW WORDS | Leviticus 11:6 is sometimes used as an example of an error in the Bible; it states that hares chew the cud. Hares are not usually known as cud-chewing, or ruminating, animals. Is this really an error in the Bible, or did Moses know what he was talking about?
When a cow swallows a mouthful of grass, it goes first of all to one compartment of the stomach referred to as the rumen. The culture of microorganisms that exists in the rumen digests the grass and converts much of it into nutrients which the cow can utilize. Then the cow brings the microorganisms and leftover grass back to her mouth, one mouthful at a time. She chews it and sends it on through the rest of her digestive tract. Thus the cow really doesn't subsist directly on grass alone, but also on the protozoa and bacteria that she breeds in her rumen (Carles 1977).

The process of digestion of grass by microorganisms is referred to as fermentation, and it occurs in many other animals besides the cloven-hoofed ruminating animals. Special forestomachs for fermentation are also found in kangaroos, whales, dugongs, hippopotamus, sloths, and colobid monkeys (McBee 1971). Other modifications of the stomach or some part of the intestines to provide a fermentation chamber are found in rodents, rabbits and hares, gallinaceous birds, horses, hyrax (McBee 1971), and in mallards (Miller 1976).

Some herbivorous animals consume part of their own feces, thus recovering fermentation products that have passed through the digestive tract. This process of reingestion of feces occurs in many rodents (Thacker and Brandt 1955) and in all genera of hares and rabbits (Carles 1977; Hamilton 1955; Kirkpatrick 1956; Lechleitner 1957; McBee 1971; Myers 1955; Southern 1940; Watson 1954; Watson and Taylor 1955). Reingestion of feces is an especially well-developed practice in Lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) and is important for their adequate nutrition.

Lagomorphs produce two kinds of fecal pellets which are produced at different times during the day. When the animals are active and feeding they produce the familiar hard pellets. When they cease their activity and retire to their burrows or resting areas, they begin producing soft pellets which they eat as soon as they are passed (Myers 1955). Rabbits reingest 54-82% of their feces (Eden 1940), which they apparently swallow whole, without chewing (Watson 1954). The soft pellets are composed of material from the fermentation chamber, which in the Lagomorphs is located in the cecum, a blind pouch at the beginning of the large intestine (McBee 1971). The soft pellets are composed mainly of bacteria, mixed with some plant material, and each pellet is enclosed in a proteinaceous membrane secreted posterior to the colon. These tough membranes remain intact for at least six hours after reingestion. When swallowed they pass to the fundus portion of the stomach, where they remain for several hours (Griffiths and Davies 1963). Other food that is swallowed moves past the accumulation of soft pellets and goes on through the digestive tract. The membranes around the pellets and a buffering solution in the pellets control the pH, so that fermentation continues in the pellets even though the rest of the stomach is acid (Griffiths and Davies 1963).

The process of cecal fermentation and reingestion helps the rabbit in several ways. Amino acids and proteins are synthesized by the bacteria in the cecum, using nonprotein nitrogen (perhaps urea). Amino acids are absorbed directly through the walls of the cecum and provide 4.4-21.8% of the animal's daily energy requirement (McBee 1971). Proteins synthesized in the cecum are carried to the stomach in the soft pellets. This protein is important to the nutrition of the rabbit. Experiments have shown that "nitrogen balance in the rabbit was reduced 50% if soft feces were not eaten" (McBee 1971). Fermentation and reingestion also improve utilization of sodium and potassium and provide 83% more niacin, 100% more riboflavin, 165% more pantothenic acid, and 42% more vitamin B12 than would be available if soft feces were not consumed (McBee 1971; Myers 1955).
Is this special digestive process analogous to the rumination, or cud-chewing, in cows? There are both similarities and differences between the two processes. The rabbits are different in that they do not have a four-part stomach with a rumen, and the material that reaches their fermentation chamber has already been chewed and partially digested. Cows and rabbits are similar in that they both have a fermentation chamber with microorganisms that digest otherwise indigestible plant material and convert it to nutrients. Some of the rabbit microorganisms are different from those in cows, but many of them are the same or similar (McBee 1971). Both cows and rabbits also have a mechanism to pass the contents of their fermentation chamber back to the mouth and then on through the digestive tract.
Madsen (1939) wrote an article entitled "Does the Rabbit Chew the Cud?" Southern (1940) concluded that reingestion has an advantage to the rabbit "equivalent to 'chewing the cud'." Griffiths and Davies (1963) concluded that "we consider that the fundus of the rabbit stomach, loaded with soft pellets, is analogous to the rumens of sheep and cattle."

Carles (1977) compared cows and rabbits and reached the conclusion that rumination should not be defined from an anatomical point of view (the presence of a four-part stomach), but rather on presence of an adaptation for breeding bacteria to improve food. On this basis he stated that "it is difficult to deny that rabbits are ruminants."

What is the correct explanation for Leviticus 11:6 — is it an error in the Bible, or is it evidence that Moses had a source of information far ahead of his time? Since rabbits and hares have a process that is so similar to cow rumination that it becomes a question of the technicalities of one's definition of rumination, it would be difficult to justify interpreting Leviticus 11:6 as an error in the Bible.

Salient part of above article: "The rabbits are different in that they do not have a four-part stomach with a rumen..."


So, because a rabbit eats its own shit, it’s a ruminant! Voila!

It HAS to be a ruminant.

Because the Bible says so.

Whenever belief comes into conflict with cold, hard facts, belief wins every time.

So what if the scientific classification of a ruminant is very clear? So what? All one has to do is look for the one or two scientists that disagree with convention and have their own agendas, being Christians themselves… And quote them as if they were a part of the mainstream. As if one uncorroborated source is equivalent in value to established, peer-reviewed, generally accepted science.

I find this particular Desperation Obfuscation uniquely entertaining. Because it would seem that ingesting fecal pellets is not the sole province of the lagomorpha. Many Christians do it too. And apparently they also think that regurgitation is the equivalent of defecation, and so it often is, for them. When they regurgitate scripture and dogma, it’s all crap to me.

Further note on above article:
The rabbit doesn't even chew the fecal pellet. It swallows it whole. So no cud chewing of any kind. Even if you define "cud" as their own poop.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


For among Judeans there are three forms of philosophy.
Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another,
But in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline.
- Josephus, Jewish War 2.119

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.
-Charlotte Bronte



Jesus warned people of Pharisees in the Bible, often speaking of them in a negative light. But what was it about them specifically that He found so offensive? He was actually quite clear on the matter:


Luke 18 (King James Version)
1And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
9And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


Luke 11:37-54 (King James Version)
37And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
39And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness
40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
42But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
43Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
44Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.


Matthew 23 (King James Version)
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
17Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
34Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.


So while the actual term “Pharisee” merely refers to a Jewish sect, when Jesus spoke of that sect in a negative light what part of being a Pharisee was he talking about? What common discerning features of the Pharisees seemed to really annoy Jesus?

In the first story it is plain that Jesus is pointing out how the Pharisee was too proud and thought himself superior to the lowly Publican. This is made especially clear in the last line: “for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

In the second story Jesus openly rants against Pharisee *hypocrisy.* He even uses the exact word, calling them “hypocrites!” with an exclamation point. He also speaks of their egotism throughout.

In the third similar example from Matthew again we see the phrase “12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” But we also have “13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” And many additional cries of “hypocrites!” to be found throughout.

I’m sorry that my “Luke’s” are out of order. I hope it’s not a sin or anything.

So what are our common denominators here? What is it about the Pharisees of His day that Jesus found so personally repellant?

Going by the Bible, the only source available, we would have to conclude that it’s a mixture of hypocrisy, egotism, and pride.

Now, I’ve spoken of the evils of Pride before. How subtle a sin it is. How the proud are never aware that they are the proud, and think of themselves as the humble. They’re even proud of being humble, ironically enough. And excessive pride naturally begets hypocrisy. So they do go rather hand-in-hand, is the point.

In order to really excel at being a modern Pharisee one has only to be proud of their religion, and how righteous belonging to it makes them, how much less sinful than those *other* people they are.

Speaking incessantly (and proudly) of Jesus and His path of love and inclusion and yet living the opposite one of pride and exclusion is in my opinion the defining hypocrisy of the modern Pharisee.

Judging others when you yourself are lacking is another distinctive feature.

To call one’s self a Christian requires nothing. But to actually be a Christian, you have to follow the path of Jesus Christ. And that path is the narrow path of love. Of loving all others, no matter how different they are, no matter what you think of their way of life, no matter how sinful they look to you.

Because it’s not our place to judge.

I’ve never been against the path of Jesus Christ. It’s a good path. One of the very best, in fact. There’s nothing better than all-inclusive love. Jesus is more than just all right by me.

It would seem however that the path of the Pharisee is much more popular nowadays.

The wide, easy path. The one that goes in a spiritual circle.

People are weak. The path of Christ is the difficult path, so it’s no wonder that so few Christians are capable of following it.

I wish they’d at least realize that they’ve strayed from it, but the pride keeps them blind to that forever.

For the ignorant are always ignorant enough not to be able to see that they’re ignorant, and the proud are always proud enough not to be able to see that they’re proud.

Such is the nature of human folly.

So to any Christians reading this: If you’re a proud Christian that feels that people of other faiths (or none at all) are somehow inferior…

Congratulations! You just might be a Pharisee!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like.

Multiple entries allowed. Post the link(s) and we'll all get to vote on them. (No voting for your own)

I am not counting this as one of my regular posts. I just thought it might be fun, and we all need to laugh more, I think. Myself included.

So please post links to whatever video or film clips that you think are just too funny to remain continent while watching. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's funny. Any type of video, a section of a commercial, a home-made video, anything. I want to have to use a Depends here.

The best ones, let's say the top five for sure, will go into my photo gallery at right permanently. Lost forever in the plethora of well over a hundred confusing images where no-one ever goes. Because they're all afraid of the one hidden rickroll perhaps.

Hey, it's the best prize that I can come up with without spending money, and that's out.

I will not be posting any of the videos, by the way. All of my favorites are already hidden away safely in that aforementioned vertical Sargasso Sea of picture links on the right. I will be voting on yours, though. And keeping track of it all.

Oh, and while we're at it, what the hell...
If anybody has actually taken the time or feels like doing so now, please vote for your favorite photo link in my gallery. In most cases I've tried not only to find a funny (or interesting) video or picture or site, but also to select a picture that is not directly representative of it but relates to it in a humorous fashion.

If you've got a lot of time to kill, well, I've just solved your problem there......


Oh, and PS:
Let's not get too much into discussions of religion or atheism or spirituality or politics on this one. I just posted one yesterday for that, and there's still the Big Brain Blog at top right to post to... This one's really just for fun.

Monday, January 5, 2009


“As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.”

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”
-Joseph Conrad

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”
-Robert F. Kennedy

Does Evil Exist?

Ask a Christian and the answer will be “of course it does.” And if you tell them that you're an atheist, they'll be happy to define you as part of it.

However the religious Christian defines evil as a metaphysical reality. Evil is like one of the two teams that we can choose to be on. And evil and good are in a constant struggle, the two teams being led by God and Satan respectively. Or is that Satan and God? Yes, that’s it. I get them mixed up sometimes.

Not being a Christian one might think that therefore I’d be likely to say that evil does not exist. And if one were talking about the above metaphysical variety as understood by Christians, you’d be correct. I don’t believe in God or Satan or the conflict between the two, so how could I believe in that definition of evil? To me that definition of evil is itself evil!

(Because it vastly oversimplifies the idea so that those who follow it and believe in it are likely to make errors of judgment that hurt others.)

I use the term evil often in my writings. However not as a metaphysical concept. I use it because it’s a useful word to describe what I would define as human behavior patterns that are harmful or deleterious to other people or to one’s self. These types of behavior patterns are the result (I think) of the person having a basic imbalance within themselves, within their psyche.

So I relate the idea of evil to an internal imbalance.

Now, how do I mean that?

Well, if a person is not properly balanced between their logical/rational side and their emotional/intuitive side, then their behavior will reflect that. Too much or not enough of either side, and the person is incapable of correctly judging reality, and by misjudging it can thereby easily make decisions that others would consider “evil.” But of course it’s not quite that simple. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Everyone has an emotional side and a rational side. But the rational side must be developed (and constantly updated as well) in order to be accurate, and the emotional side also must be developed *beyond the point of self-centeredness* in order to be intuitive or to have access to the higher modalities of emotional function such as agape-type love of others. Mere underdeveloped (self-focused) emotionality with insufficient logic to moderate it is almost always both powerful and very counterproductive, and all logic with no higher emotion to regulate it is either stagnant or tends toward the pursuit of personal power, since where else would such a person derive their motivations from with no higher emotional desires?

As a person matures and hopefully starts to integrate their two sides and seek a balance, both of their “sides” start to come into tune with each other, and cause each other to develop in unison by mutual interaction. Higher feelings such as true selflessness, empathy, and agape-style love do not happen in the person that has not gone through such a process of self-rectification between all elements of the two polarities of the psyche.

Through such an *integration.*

An integration of the Yang and the Yin.
Of Masculine and Feminine sides of one’s own personality.
Of Logic and Intuition
Reason and Emotion
Descrimination and Loving Kindness
Thoughts and Beliefs
And so on, basically forever…

Here’s a very old alchemical maxim that relates to this process and the hoped-for results:


The word, which used to refer to certain solvent acids and is usually used today only to refer to verbal (acerbic) anger, was used long ago as an acronym and mnemonic by the medieval alchemists for the very process of attaining enlightenment itself.

Thus in Latin, we have Visita Interiore Terrae, Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

In English this reads, “Visit the Interior of the Earth, There, by *rectification* you will find the Hidden Stone.” In modern English without the symbolic frills this means “Go within yourself, and by making things “right” and balancing (rectifying) what is there within yourself, you will attain enlightenment.”

So if Ultimate Balance leads to the light, perhaps then Ultimate Imbalance leads to the darkness.

We are, let’s recall, discussing Evil and not Enlightenment here.

The person that does evil never realizes that they are doing evil. They just think of it in some other way, since if it were evil *to them* they wouldn’t do it in the first place. Most if not all of them believe that they’re doing good and not evil.

Do you think Hitler knew that he was evil?

Of course not. Hitler thought that he was doing the highest good, even possibly that he was doing God’s work for Him…

How could Hitler lie to himself like that?

No internal balance whatsoever. Everything skewed toward the logical/rational side, since his higher emotional/intuitive side was underdeveloped, stunted even. Most of us have at least some development of our higher emotional side, but Hitler didn’t seem to. Powerful primitive emotions like anger and hatred and fear were all there, but not their higher counterparts such as empathy and love.

Such a person can’t even tell when they’re lying to themselves. And there would be no check to his ego; nothing to stand against his logical side when it informed his emotional/desire side, which only desired to “better mankind,” that it “had a plan…”

There was nothing within him to feel the horror and revulsion that he should have felt. It had either never developed, or had been excised. So all his emotional side could answer was “Why not?”

Now the interesting thing is, we all are motivated by our emotional side. Really, all motivation comes from there, no matter how logical we think that we are. We are creatures of emotion, even those of us who deny that to ourselves. That part of our brain, the emotional part, is much older than the rational part. Many of us make the decision to trust our logical sides more than our emotional sides, but even that is ultimately based in emotional desire, the desire to not be wrong all the time. The logical side is a newer acquisition, much more recent evolutionarily speaking. It’s so “new” that it’s almost like a tool that we can choose to use or not to, and not “really” as much a part of our very identity as our emotional side is, and therefore many of us choose to not use it to its best advantage, thinking perhaps that it’s less important, since we don’t really “feel” it. We should try to recall in such instances that after all, it is what differentiates us from the “lower orders.” For properly used, the logical side can shape and mold the emotional side so that it evolves to the point where it can feel the higher, selfless emotions, just as in the process the emotional side in return provides a constant flow of desire to attain a more balanced state and so regulates the logical side so that it conforms to the emotional side’s ever-changing (evolving) desired ideals... all while the logical side in turn is still shaping the emotional side and helping to direct it’s evolution, and so on. It’s a mutual process that is simultaneous and any one part of it is hard to even define without also describing at the same time all of the actions of the other parts. I think of it like a pendulum, or an oscillation back and forth between the two sides, each constantly checking the other.


So this is how I think of evil. A psychological imbalance, and perhaps also a spiritual one as well. Nothing to do with religion, however.

So what of Biblical Evil then? What of Satan, the Adversary? The Eternal Struggle?

I cannot begin to believe in some dark deity and a whole system of demons and subordinate demons and various mechanisms that was put in place to tempt us all to stray from the path of righteousness, all decreed somehow by a supposedly loving God. To me, that is by far more nonsensical than anything from the Brothers Grimm.

I’m afraid that I can see this Biblical Evil thing as no more than an elaborate story that was concocted for the poor, ignorant people so as to make them properly fearful and to assure that they forever remain properly ignorant, and thus obedient. I can see that this story of Satan and the Horrors of Hell and Damnation was carefully constructed so as to be the stick in a system of so-called carrot-and-stick conditioning that has sucessfully warped the minds of the multitudes. Warped their minds so as to believe that all the world’s problems are due to this deep dark fearful tangible external EVIL that is some orchestrated metaphysical reality decreed by God and executed by Satan so as to both test and tempt us while we’re alive and to punish us eternally after we die, so we’d all better be really faithful in God and not think of the details too much.

Evil exists, yes. But not the external openly horrific evil of some demonic Satan who wishes to torment us with his hell full of fire and eternal pain. That’s an evil mirage constructed by evil people so as to lead the good astray into their evil fear-based belief system. I see real evil in the internal imbalance of one’s own mind, thereby causing it to misjudge both itself and the outside world enough to do real harm, all the while honestly believing that it is doing the exact opposite.