Skip to content

I will attempt to share some of those random tendrils of thought that sit and rest for the barest moment within my mind before they continue their journey beyond space, beyond time, beyond me.

Nature of Man – Sin (a quick note)

I have much to say on the topic of sin as part of Man’s nature.  So much in fact that I have had to keep a journal of just the topics I wish to elaborate on.  But tonight, in lieu of today’s horrific events and a multitude of people screaming “Where was God?!” I feel it pertinent to say a little something on the topic.

Why do people question God when bad things happen? Who exactly is it that they think they are? We are created beings…we are property!  Get over that fact.  Our ability to choose is a gift.  A gift we can use for good or ill.  Bad things happen because we do them…not God. Don’t question Him when people mess things up and then demand your right to make your own choices. And before you get sanctimonious on the really foul people out there (and yes, I am appalled as everyone else)…they are God’s children too…and all of us are just plain arrogant, stupid, selfish, and belligerent. It just takes different triggers for that to come out in different people.  And before you consider yourself better, or at least less evil, you aren’t. All sin is equal in the eyes of God. If you don’t like that then don’t be surprised that you have no relationship with your Creator. If you want the world to be a better place you have to own it…you have to fix it.  Every moment of every day.

We are all evil…every bad choice we make makes us so. If you have a problem with that…let’s look at a few verses…and yes, I consider the Bible the Word of the Living God.  There is no other Truth.  I found these in under 5 minutes, so imagine what an exhaustive search and study would provide.

James 2:10 – “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (so missing anything at all makes us accountable for everything, meaning if you sin, you are sinful…period.)

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (everyone has sinned)

Romans 3:10 – “None is righteous, no, not one” (same as Romans 3:23)

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death”  (It doesn’t say for this sin or that sin, it says sin…period.)

So no, there isn’t a specific verse that says all sins are equal but there is a lot of evidence that any sin whatsoever has the same eternal penalty as another. Pointing at another person and saying you are better than them is in itself a sin and only shows a person’s arrogance…and inability to accept your true nature. Without doing that you cannot truly understand forgiveness…or Jesus. Only through acceptance of this Truth can a person truly open themselves up to an honest understanding of their nature and then engage in a meaningful relationship with God. Until that happens, people should stop asking where He is…they should start asking where they are.

By The Door

Waking By The Door

Often when I wake I find

That Darkness still reigns over Light

And that I am standing at the door

Blankly staring into the womb of Night.

My hand is gripping the trigger

Marbled flesh of alabaster hue

Transformed to stone, devoid of warmth

Was I leaving behind the artifice of You?

Am I escaping from that which is

Or quietly delivering myself to what may be?

Seeking the source of my Soul’s song or

Hiding my heart from the hurts yet to be?

You see, dreams are given hope,

Starlit wings of ephemeral flight

By the source of all our tomorrows

The chill embrace of Mother Night.

And when Light returns to rule

Its warmth suffusing its subjects below

Dreams, so often but whisper born,

Are robbed of life, not allowed to grow.

You remember not the songs from slumber

As the Day begins to set your path anew

Separating you from the blissful touch

Of promises that on sighing wings once flew.

You see, if you wish to kill what may be

You need only turn to the Light

But beware for oft it is sadly true,

Blessed are those not cursed with Sight.

For seeing what is may lead to Truth

Oh perfect thing that I never may hold

But Darkness lends hope beyond my reach

Sustaining strength of what I may yet behold.

Untitled

Nature as a Binary Construct vs. Man’s Desire for Ambiguity

All my life I have sought the intangible touch of Truth, that focal point around which the multiverse dances while you stay motionless, at perfect peace and Balance with creation.  On some rare and magical occasions I have sensed for the briefest atom of time the perfect Balance of nature and in those moments a terrifying Truth revealed itself to me, and it is this: Nature exists as a binary construct.  All things are a series of interwoven 0’s and 1’s, an  immensely complex fabric of polar opposites.

Carrying this to the metaphysical or spiritual or ethereal (choose the word that best suits you) I come to the inevitable conclusion that all things are “black” and “white”.  Yes, I do mean all things.  I have had this discussion with many people and each time I am amazed at humanity’s capacity to defend the “grayness” of life as a necessary and critical component of the human condition.  I tell you now, and without hesitation, that anyone who embraces ambiguity or “grayness” as a component of Truth is not only wrong but so steadfastly addicted to moral ambiguity that any discourse on the subject is doomed from the onset.  To embrace the idea of “gray areas” implies two possibilities, and only two.  Either you do not have sufficient information or ability to perceive the Truth of a situation or you are intentionally (consciously or subconsciously) avoiding the ramifications of Truth so as to allow yourself wiggle room in what Nature knows to be a black and white situation.

Consider, despite what our mathematics tell us an elementary particle is where it is with the properties it possesses at any moment in time.  Our mathematics tells us that it is actually experiencing multiple possible paths, locations, velocities, etc and that it is the act of observation that forces it into a single “existence”.  Einstein once said, “God does not play dice with the Universe”.  I don’t know that to be true…but I do know that while statistics will tell me the probability that a die will result in a specific number (a statistical approximation), each roll of that die will indeed only have one outcome.

So, before you tout the amazing and wondrous marvels of quantum physics and statistical analysis of physical systems (which I myself have studied), quiet yourself for a moment and hear what I am saying.  First, our very perceptions and awareness of our surroundings are based upon interpolations, extrapolations, and approximations.  As such it should be no surprise that the frameworks we create to assist us in our understanding are similarly architected.  There can be no doubt as to the effectiveness of our mental processes nor that of our mathematical schemas but I believe they are intrinsically flawed by the very aspect of their nature that has allowed them to achieve so much and that they will therefore fall short of true understanding.

To clarify, I am not saying that the same answer is always the right one across varying situations.  I am saying that for each unique situation there is only one correct answer.  Even if other approaches achieve the desired end, there is only one that is the fully correct one.  All others are “degrees of correctness”, which is the same as saying “degrees of wrongness”.  Continuing this line of though consider humanity.  We, as humans and fallen creatures full of imperfection, exist in that grey area I mentioned earlier.  Not because it is really a grey area but because in our arrogance we refuse to admit that even the tiniest bit of dirt means the garment is dirty, no longer pure.  Just so, the barest hint of hate, anger, lust, arrogance, self-interest, et cetera is enough to make us impure and therefore black, not white.

So you see, humanity embraces the concept of the “grey area” not because it is the Truth but because it hides us from the Truth.  This includes everything from our basest of mathematical models to explain the world around us to our interactions with each other, making undesirable behavior acceptable in various circumstances.  Most importantly it includes, and perhaps is predicated upon, our relationship with God.  Greyness and situational selectivism allow for bad decisions, bad behavior, and improper action.  It allows us to substantiate incorrect action.

Nature is a binary construct.  Only humanity, gifted with the freedom of choice by God, perceives creation in terms of ambiguity.  Not because we are the height of God’s creation but because we are fallen creatures.

Untitled

 

To Waken…briefly

Work to do, always more.

My Mind’s toil is never done.

Night, my time, and day as well

Inundated with work, both Moon and sun.

 —

Yet tonight my Soul overrides my Mind,

Crying tears of Blood, as it does so oft.

Beseeching tendrils of poetic voice

To carry my true Heart on Silver wings aloft.

 —

Night, my truest friend and foe

Holds me once again in Her forgiving embrace.

Hiding from my Inner Eye

My whitest sin and hidden disgrace.

 —

But the Circle must be completed,

A price paid for each brief respite.

Loneliness, self imposed or not, is mine

For the peace brought on by Lady Night.

 —

Without those parts of myself

That drive me to invert my hate within

Would I be that which my Lord so despises?

A god of my own making, my own idol of my own sin.

 —

I cannot know and I cannot say

For that Path is hidden from my Inner Eye.

But is it possible that that which drives my pain

Is also that which will allow my eyes to Heaven espy?

 —

And upon completion of this verbose voyage

Of honeyed words of Soulful decree,

The bindings of my Heart are loosed

And once again Words have set me free……

 —

                ….for a time.

A poem of love lost

As with all my poetry…I hope that it speaks to you in some way.  But do not comment upon it…these are the whisperings of a poet’s heart and should never be critiqued.  So say I, so say we all.

I see you are married now…

Frequent thoughts of you drove me to seek

What should have been left to languish

My treasured memories of our soul’s touching

Now transmogrified to a spiteful anguish.

So long have I dreamt of what might have been

Had I the wisdom to move beyond your consuming gaze

Now my yesterday is as tainted as my tomorrow

Passion altered from a sustaining to consuming blaze.

As I seek to let go my now tarnished memories

Perched as I am above a hungry and rapacious flame

My forlorn face flushes with a rush of hateful thought

As the flame’s heat is reflected in my bitter shame.

Memories struggle, seeking to be free

Just as leaves willingly die and fall

The Night reaches out and enfolds me

Hearing my silent screaming searching call.

But despite all efforts you refuse to dim

Even as the sky lets fall drops of delicate rain

Whispering solace like nearly spent tears,

In answer to a long held, treacherous pain.

Memories, my heart still perpetually pursue

As I drift aimlessly into the crying Night

Never shall I be free of the sweet pain of you

No hope has my soul for even the briefest respite.

Untitled

Scouting – A Retrospection

I recall as a child spending several years as a cub scout.  As is the case these days the dens were typically led by mothers rather than fathers, at least up to a certain age.  Once the scouting curriculum became, well…more interesting, fathers began to take over leadership of the dens.  The same holds true today to a large extent.  In any case, I recall doing little field trips and projects in various people’s homes…but never my own.  We were very poor…I mean Appalachian poor…and we didn’t have folks of other socioeconomic groups visit very often if ever.  The last thing I recall from scouting was becoming a Webelos.  For those without the proper indoctrination that means “We Be Loyal Scouts”…don’t ask, I have no idea how it was bastardized thusly.  That is the point at which the father’s get interested and take over.  In my case that didn’t mean my own father.  He was, shall we say, emotionally distant from me.  After the loss of my older brother my father found it very difficult to identify with me.  That didn’t stop the other fathers from charging in however and before long my scouting experience degraded to watching the adults get drunk and the boys beating each other up.  So…I quit before bridging over to boy scouts.

Now…I am a den leader and have been for a few years.  My den, which includes my son, is about to bridge over to boy scouts and tonight I am preparing the Arrow of Light kits for them to work on tomorrow evening.  As I was doing so and going through the instructions something struck me.  You see, the arrows need to be painted with colored rings.  Each ring represents an accomplishment.  My den has completed every one of the 20 activity pins, the religious award, conservation award, and various others.  So much so in fact that I am not entirely sure there is enough room on the arrow for all the bands!  I am a bit proud of this.  The boys did a wonderful job, as did their parents, in focusing on these activities and getting them done…all while having fun along the way.  This bridging ceremony is for them but I can’t help but feel both a swell of pride at their accomplishments and a sense of loss.  With the bridging we move on to another chapter in their development.  As boy scouts they are required to become more self motivated and governed.  The adults play less of a leadership role, allowing the boys to grow into their own.  While I will be taking a role in the organization of their troop and will remain active I will miss the more frequent mentoring aspect of the cub scouts.  I am sure though that the increasingly exciting activities of venturing, camping, hiking, etc will make up for it.

In any case, if you read this and you have children or know someone who does, encourage them to be a part of a healthy scout pack…either boy or girl scouts.  It is an experience that will remain with you and provide memories for a lifetime.

Forgive me for being relatively mundane in this post.  I try to pass on those intelligent thoughts that pass by from time to time but tonight I thought a little “normalcy” wouldn’t go to far amiss.

The Nature of Man – Trust

Today I am thinking of trust.  It seems to me that as a general rule humans tend to trust very easily on those items that could potentially cost them little or where the likelihood of that trust being forsaken is low.  On the other hand, for those things where a potential impact is high or the likelihood of betrayal is high then trust is not given.  While this is blatanly obvious the ramifications are widespread.

For example, one trusts as a general rule that the vehicles driving all around you are not going to hit you as you travel down the road.  The impact to you should that belief prove to be false is very high, but the likelihood based on your experience is low.  On the other hand, if you have been in an accident your trust of others on the road is very low.

Similarly, though you may have never been threatened you are unlikely to trust someone very easily if you wander into a poor neighborhood of a different ethnic background than that to which you are accustomed. Why?  Obviously because you deem the potential impact and probability of incident to be high.  You would react and behave much differently than if you were in a place of middle to higher income, not known for violence, and of the same ethnic background as yourself.

So…it seems fairly obvious that one’s ability to trust is based on two factors; stereotypes (which may be considered as societal statements of probability) and your own experiential data.  Given these factors, a generalization and a singular or series of factual data points respectively, you then perform (either consciously or subconsciously) a risk assessment.  The result of which is either to trust or not.  The examples given above seem to place somewhat equivalent weight to each factor, though perhaps slightly more toward the experiential side.

So why am I taking all this time to go through what is fairly obvious?  I am outlining this because it occurred to me today that humans excel at violating “best practices”.  (I will talk another time about circumventing evolution and “survival of the fittest”.*)  In this case I am referring to our ability to override a natural process of risk assessment and mitigating action in order to accommodate some other, often less clearly defined, need.  Take this example:

You have entrusted your innermost secrets to another and have a very real physical and emotional attachment to them.  Now consider that after such an attachment is established and you have structured your life with this person as a cornerstone you find that your trust has been betrayed.  Following the discovery you go through the cycle of intense pain, anger, hatred, and then on to acceptance of the truth.  There are two predominant paths I have seen from this point, I will take each in turn.

The first predominant response is to consider the betrayal as something insurmountable and to cease the attachment.  One never truly heals from such a betrayal but you have performed yet another risk assessment and determined that the risk of future betrayal and resulting anguish has a higher probability of occurrence than some unknown risk should you move on with your life.

The second predominant response is to realize that future betrayal is highly likely but when you perform your risk assessment you reach a different conclusion than in the first option.  In this case you weigh different factors such as personal ethics in following the other’s betrayal with what you would consider to be your own betrayal.  A betrayal to the promises you have made in the relationship as well as a betrayal to your own behavioral code of conduct.

So what comes to bear in making a decision in those cases where trust was more “personal” than “general”?   Regardless of the nature of the trusting relationship (general or personal) after betrayal is experienced the factor of experiential data takes significant priority over that of stereotypes.  To differentiate between the two then, lets consider each prior to betrayal.  As stated above, the general cases of trust seem to place roughly equivalent priority to the two governing factors (stereotype and experience) but the same cannot be said of personal trust.  In the case of personal trust the two factors are almost never considered at all.  Risk assessment itself of any form is rarely performed on any level.  In other words, the heart co-opts the mind or even the subconscious and decisions are made in a manner that puts one at great personal risk of a betrayal.   Considering that humans are part of the natural order (or are they, a discussion for another time**), it makes little sense that we would have developed such a proclivity.  Therefore, it must not be a developed trait, or dare I say it one that has not evolved into our makeup.  It follows then that it is part of our original design…a created function rather than a developed one.

And there you have it…betrayal follows misguided trust and misguided trust is indicative of our creation, not our evolution.  Ergo, betrayal is proof of man as a created being.  Interesting how that works out…

Now…having said that, I could also argue that development of an ability to behave outside the confines of quantitative risk analysis shows higher conscious function and therefore evolution toward a less constrained universe.  Which of course means that evolution would be working toward a higher level of awareness…but given the ramifications in relation to the breakdown of the very “emotional” and “intuitive” substructure in support of such an ability it is unlikely that this would be a merely developed trait rather than yet again, a created one.  So again, betrayal shows an ability to deviate from rules as set forth by the natural order, which in turn puts the organism at risk of not coexisting with the natural order, which is anathema to evolution, which means that the trait itself is either an evolutionary dead end (which has not proven to be the case thus far) or it is a created ability for a created being.

In summary…humans base trust on stereotypes and experience.  Generalized trust weighs the two roughly equivalently whereas personal trust tends to ignore them entirely unless a betrayal incident occurs.  Under either trust type, a betrayal incident makes the experiential data of high priority in future risk assessments.  The course of action as to trust again or not is based on the trust type.  After a betrayal incident, generalized trusts will not be granted again based on the experiential data.  Personal trusts are often re-established, bypassing the logical course of action.  This may be construed by various means (e.g. ignoring risk assessments) to show humans as a created rather than a developed being.  Final outcome, the presence of betrayal is indicative of the existence of God.

This is not to say that God is betrayal, but as in the clearly stated case of weakness shows strength as outlined within the Bible, the presence of betrayal shows the presence of trust and trust is a product of a holy God.

So…next time you are betrayed, give thanks for the opportunity to glorify He who is without betrayal.

Topics for future discussion:

*  Violating Natural Best Practices: Circumventing evolution and “survival of the fittest”.

** Man as part of the natural order