08Apr

Believing in Karma and in Hell are Not Good Things

Concepts of Karma and Hell, Do Not Serve Us Humans Well

Humans believe that justice is attainable via Christianity and/or Karma.  They see justice as a function of the universe.  The popular conversation is as if injustices will be managed by the universe through Karma or through the use of an afterlife called hell.

So when the downtrodden and the poverty stricken are beaten down even more, they appease themselves by believing that the perpetrator will go to hell.  The perpetrator will receive all kinds of payback at the hands of God or at the hands of the unforgiving universe.  I propose that this is not true.  Perpetrators do not receive revenge by the hands of God or through Karma.  They live their lives with their ill-gotten gains and then die, happily grasping their ill-gotten gains.

By believing that the universe will dish out the evil-doers just desserts, we skip our own opportunities to deliver retribution or even (gasp) revenge.  We allow people to get away with some really awful stuff, all the while saying to ourselves “he will get his someday, and then he won’t be so happy about taking away from me.”

Think of this concept from an historical perspective, when feudal lords in England and Europe were raping women and children and stealing from hardworking farmers, the Catholic church was busy telling the peasants, “you will receive your reward in heaven.”  The peasants were comforted by these words and thoughts, and so the habits of repression could continue as long as the peasants could believe in a hereafter that gave them power and punished the sinner.  It is these beliefs and habits that produced a careless princess who told the starving peasants to eat cake.

It is this way today in America.  We have left the confines of religious beliefs behind, and yet now, Karma has taken over as the new revenge machine.  Karma is ‘all the rage’ for the tormented women and other such victims of America.  The word is used all over Facebook, Twitter and on Meme captions.  We want to believe in Karma and in the revenge of a just God.  This helps us to get through the suffering of the trauma of a hardship caused by another.  It helps us to make sense of being victimized or of our loved ones being victimized.

I will never forget my girlfriend telling me that she needed to believe in karma, it was the only way she could live with the knowledge that her husband had beat her every day for ten years before she could get away from him.  She said that if karma did not exist that it would hurt her terribly to know that nothing would happen to the man who had inflicted such suffering on herself.

No, I thought, though I did not say, he died and he got away with it.  No one hit him back, he never went to jail, he never suffered the horrifying fear of knowing that another beating was coming at any moment.  He got away with beating his wife every day for ten years.

So, if you know that your perpetrator, that your bully, will get away with whatever that person is doing to you, would you be more likely to want to pursue justice yourself?  Would you be more willing to make sure that your perpetrator faced a judge and some justice?  Would you be less likely to hope that karma resolves your need for revenge?  Would you be less likely to wait for heaven or hell to get your justice?  I think so.

We cannot wait for “outside” to bring justice.  We must take justice into our own hands.  We must make sure that some future promise is not what we are hoping for.  We must make justice now.

This is never to say that vengeful violence is the option to pursue.  This is to say that we must speak up, we must pursue justice ourselves and not leave it to others, nor leave it to the universe.  We must seek it by telling others of the crime, by ensuring that potential victims are aware of the perpetrator’s history.  We must, ourselves, block further efforts of the perpetrator to commit more crimes.  This includes the idea that we must protect our own self from others.  We must never allow ourselves to be beaten and stolen from. Report the criminal behavior.  Even if no one believes you, the perpetrator is sure to continue the behavior and someone will eventually believe you.  Your story will help keep others from being hurt.

Remember the saying “My reward may be in Heaven, but rent is due here on Earth”.  Use this wisdom as your guide, don’t be a victim of anyone.

 

25Jan

We Have to Decide: What is Truth?

The most pressing challenge for America is how we will determine truth.  Will we believe the computer screen in front of us?  Will we believe the advertisers on Madison Avenue?  Will we research and do the work of truth?  Will we settle with what is served to us as truth?

This is such an important question as it determines the future welfare of America.  If we believe that our leader is telling the truth, when in fact our leader tells no truth at all, we end up supporting someone who leads us to doom. 

We believe the press is a place for lively discussion as well as the ability to disagree, however, we will only watch news that we agree with and that we enjoy or like.  This means that we look only for what will make us happy and will agree with our own opinion.  We refuse to examine truth, or worse yet, get angry when someone gives us a truth that doesn’t agree with our own truth.  As we muck about trying to determine a future for us and our offspring, we can do great harm if we do not at least look at what could be lies, and what could be truth.

The thing is that it is an effort to see the truth.  Some truths are harder than others, as some truths can violate how we see ourselves.  If I see myself as a strong and hard working person, I may be resentful of those people who do not work.  The only belief that I will support is a belief that strong and hard working people are good and people who do not work are bad.  It doesn’t matter to me why people don’t work, I just believe they are bad.

It would be no surprise that I would ignore any news that gave people who don’t work *the face of humanity*.  If people who do not work, are okay, then I am just an ordinary working human, not better than anyone.  This may be an unwelcome thought for me.

Let’s go further and talk about advertising (Madison Avenue).  Somehow advertisers have been able to get men to believe that having a gun and being dominant in relationships, is the correct way to express masculinity.  Additionally, advertisers have convinced women that they need no less than 14 shades of eye shadow and uncountable shades of lipstick.  For anyone who watches TV (everyone) the “right car” is fully automatic and will start itself even if you are 25 feet away.

I know that we continue to follow what is popular, whenever I go out, I notice that everyone dresses the same (even myself).  Women wear leggings, men wear cargo pants, kids wear jeans with the phone stuffed into the right rear pocket.  It is no different no matter where I go.

Society has spoken and while we must be special, special means a very specific prescription: dress according to designers, drive according to Madison Avenue advertisers, live according to Facebook, Pinterest and every other advertising means that works in the media.

So how do we get at the truth?  We can’t seem to trust experts, they are for sale.  What used to be police officers protecting our welfare, now are robots who must collect a certain amount of traffic fines in order to gain raises for themselves.  Now we have a congress and a senate that has sold itself to large corporations and billionaires.  They have sold out Americans as well.  We have been sold to wealthy entities because of our inattention to what is true.  The price of our inattention to the truth is huge.  We make our once pristine world filthy and we continue to allow wars that kill and maim our young people.

What will it take for us to get to caring about the truth and making & defining our own truth instead of that which is sold to us?  What will it take for us to make our country great again?  How do we make a country built on equality for all humans?  How do we make a country that will be healthy today and tomorrow?

We must-must decide and define “the” truth and then we must stick to it.  Back to the simple: Thou shalt not lie…

17Dec

Now I’m Judgmental: My View, the Graduation

Unfettered power, is it always selfishly concerned with self?  I attended a graduation this weekend and was deeply disappointed with the pomp and circumstance, there was none for those who deserved it.  Rather than the acknowledgment and coronation of these graduates, rather then giving these students their due…the ceremony was nothing more than a few old white men congratulating themselves on their own achievements.  There were young men and women who have spent $35,000.00 and more on the degrees being awarded here.  Instead of acknowledging those who have completed a course of difficult work, a decision was made to acknowledge upper management at the college.  These managers each took their own sweet time screaming their own personal message from the pulpit and not a bit of it had anything to do with the now “poor souls” who had worked so hard to be there at this graduation ceremony.

What is happening in the world when those among us who have power, care not for anything but themselves?  What is happening in the world that so few recognize this selfishness in others?  It is no wonderful thing to award a degree in exchange for $35,000.00.  You have done nothing special or important, it is simply an economic exchange and yet you wish to pretend that you are noble and wise and do great things.  No sir.

You, who spoke, are all disappointments.  You gave nothing and you served no one, you do not belong on the pulpit.  You are no leaders.  You are simple self-aggrandizing old white guys looking for a pat on the back and using a Graduation ceremony to get those needs met.Beautiful Church F2AA5F57-EB2B-485E-923A-59F83B42381A

17Sep

Why Do We Have to be Strong A.L.L. the Time?

It is as if, there is shame in weakness.  Worse yet, illness is a condemnable offense.  I don’t understand this, because as mothers, we realize that there are good days and bad days.  As mothers, we don’t hesitate to provide love and care to our family members no matter who and what they are, or how they behave.

My challenge is this: why aren’t we women defining society?  We understand, we acknowledge the different faces of the human condition.  As women, we should be defining the societal structures of being human in America.  It’s ok to be weak, it’s ok to be sick, it’s ok to be ignorant, why add insult to injury and shame those less capable than the strong?

This strength thing has become its own illness, in the sense that lots of people say and think, “I don’t need anyone and I don’t need anything.”  This can go past the point of wisdom and could even cause self harm.  Look at those who die after refusing medical help, or women who are murdered by a husband or boyfriend because they refuse to go to the police?

This norm of strength is fostered by our society.  Perhaps it is the pushback from the way people are treated when they are in economic need.  Our society is not very nice to the poverty stricken, but again that is because we all believe in this notion that strength is enough to overcome anything.

Needy people are normally put down, made fun of, ostracized and of course, they are deprived of very real and very normal opportunities.  This can become a hamster wheel of frustration along with denial that keeps those in need – in need.

How do we balance all of this out?  Strength and weakness, need and satisfaction?  How do we ensure equality in spite of the fact that not all humans are strong?  Those that are strong, what price do they pay to exhibit that strength?

Mother and Son, modern life

26Aug

The Pressing Need to be Better Than

This universal pressure here in America permeates everything, in almost every way.  People have a need to be better than someone, almost any one will do.  Most of the time, this need manifests itself blatantly.  Men who buy the biggest truck, they may have no need for a truck, but they must display the largest truck.  Women who spend an entire paycheck at the spa, getting manicures and pedicures, as if to say, I don’t have to work, look at my manicure: perfect.  In these situations, for the most part, it is a matter of successful marketing and is harmless, except perhaps to the wallet.

However, there is nothing harmless about the crushing need that certain sectors of our society have to be better than entire races and cultures.  This “being better” ideology allows a belief system to justify harsh and hate filled judgment of others.  This harsh judgment separates humans from each other and consequently allows cruelty to proliferate.

What I don’t understand is where does it come from?  In almost every conversation, particularly in business and social settings I see the conversations slipping into comparisons of wealth, status, intelligence, to say nothing of displays of wealth and privilege.

Not all societies have this need, and certainly there are gradients to the need.  This need is causing more destruction than can be counted.  One-up-man ship is a relationship killer, so we can readily acknowledge what it is doing to the melting pot of America.  Throughout our short history we have punished and denigrated all new cultures, indeed, beginning with the genocide of the American Indian.

Long term world peace is a real goal.  The attainment of such peace must begin with the individual who is willing to be equal in rights and privileges to all other individuals.   That can be a scary thought, as we can’t seem to imagine the abundance that is enough for everyone.  We want our own wealth and an assurance of survival.

As long as America grants person status to corporations and idolizes wealth and the wealthy, we will struggle with equality.  That is shameful for a nation founded on the tenets of equality and emancipation.

18Aug

Disturbing and Worse, it Continues

I think John Kasich said it best, when asked why no one is taking action against Trump “Well he’s the president.”  Under that simple statement lies a plethora of beliefs, some of them American and some of them Feudalistic.

I watch the news, I read the news, I hate it, but I do.  There seems to be universal agreement that we have made a mistake electing Trump and allowing him to stay in place.  Yet, there is no one to step forward and do something about this travesty.  We listen to Klan members telling us why it was justified to kill a 32 year old woman.  We listen to Trump justify the actions and the words and yet, here we sit.

The clinical side (and thousands of therapists have banned together to make these statements), is that Trump is a narcissistic man, with a disregard for humanity and a never ending interest in self aggrandizement.  The “duty to warn” case law is very clear, if a therapist can realistically predict harm, then the therapist must act to warn those who are in danger.  America, we are in danger.

For whatever reason, we allow this monster to proceed down a path where human life is inconsequential and his own comfort and pleasure are monumental.  Two things, our capitalist culture  values wealth above human life and admires wealth as if it is meaningful in some way.  This is part of the reason Trump’s dynasty has continued.  Trump is seen as a Demi-God, after all, he is wealthy.  Of course the fact that he is president stops us from taking action against him, and we must.

Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a selfish, antagonistic childish man who does not deserve American respect.  He does not deserve admiration for his wealth, he is neither responsible for it, nor responsible with it.  He is a sexist, power hungry, nasty little boy and he needs to be removed from office.  This is America people, not North Korea, we have the right to require that our leader be humane and compassionate.

17Jul

Dishonesty

Unknown author

Unknown author

For the first time since I started this blog, I am materially aware that I have an audience.  It has stopped me from writing.  I have been through a painful experience which made me leave my job.  I have been grappling with such issues as self control, my ability to modify my environment and the effects that another person can have on me.  In some ways my experience has been at odds with my belief system, which has caused a cognitive dissonance.  As you can imagine, I have been struggling.  This does not cause me to write less.  Indeed if you know me, it actually causes me to write more.

What has caused me to write less, is this awareness of my audience and the fear that my life would be negatively effected by my work here on the blog.  There is nothing more anxiety producing than losing one’s income.  I am not willing to be a starving artist, I have too much going on in my life to stop the train for the sake of my own written word.  Trust me, I have saved the words.

Some things that have caused me concern is the idea that my old boss, who is vindictive and mean spirited, would work hard to block my efforts to find new employment.  Another concern is that, a person interviewing me (with hiring authority) would turn out to be a Trump lover.  Based on experience, I know that these things can be real and I want to avoid the effect of someone’s negative feelings on my future.

Today, I read some research about why we want to believe that the universe is just and that things happen to people because they deserve it.  It’s far easier for us to believe that the universe will treat us right if we act right.  We can then believe that we have some control over life.  We can believe that people get what they deserve, even when there is an injustice.  I have known that this is not true for many years.  The universe is full of injustice and apathy and even evil.  We humans do not have control over the universe.  We are subject to life.

Which is why, in order to thrive, we must sometimes resort to dishonesty.  I have dishonestly withheld my truth from this blog, in order to create a transition as painless as possible.  My feelings had endured enough pain and I would not be my own perpetrator.

I have been dishonest with my blog, and I hope you will forgive the lapse.  It was intentional and it is over.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.

 

21May

If You Are Uninformed/Ignorant, Stay Out of the Conversation

If you don’t care enough to look past the PR campaign and search out the truth, you are irresponsible.  That’s important and I’ll tell you why.  We are living with a crazy president, we are not buying soap.  Your ignorance is causing my life problems and that is unacceptable to me.

PR is okay for purchasing cereal, it’s not okay for running a country.  Just so we are clear here, PR is ‘public relations’ and is most usually associated with lies and fairy tales.

We have a responsibility as human beings to know the truth about the people that we trust with our lives.  If the leader of our country is making billions of dollars by cooperating with a foreign government on oil deals and other commercial enterprises not available to a private citizen, that is criminal.  It is also a way to sell Americans for the evil of “the love of money”.

We Americans are unhappy and we have every right to be.  We live in systems that take advantage of us.  No matter how much we work hard and earn, there are mechanisms in place to break us: minimum wage, the price of healthcare, racism, sexism, bigotry, and the big one, greed.  Greed creates political systems that steal from us, Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.   Another recent example includes fighting in wars that protect oil wells instead of human beings.  These governmental activities cost money and we forget, that we pay those bills.

As Americans we need to know when politicians legislate for their own personal profit.  We need to know when our trust is betrayed.  This requires work and information.  As Americans, we must sacrifice our ignorance to a greater good.  That good is to know when we must act, and that time, the time to act, is now.

23Apr

It’s Not About Religion versus 🔬 Science

It’s really about a group of people who want to spin reality according to their own benefit.  Religion allows us to tell great falsehoods because there is no standard for the truth.  All one must have to be in this exclusive club is faith.  Those with no faith are found to be lacking and therefore denigrated into silence.

The issue with science is that, it asks for evidence of a stated truth.  With science you cannot get away with opinion.  This is really the cruxt of the problem with our current presidential administration.  It is an old problem, one that has been argued for many thousands of years.

Do we believe the ministers of faith about the way of the world, or do we ask for a more objective truth?  The objective truth stands on its own, however, it is often unkind.

We humans have made a fine art out of self deception.  We want to believe in a good father, we want to believe that we are beautiful, we want to believe that everything is going to be alright.

When a man preaches that he will take care of it all, it is difficult to ignore.  We are hard wired to listen to old men.  We go to old women with our problems, but listen to old men for our truths.

As humans, our old behavior does not serve us well.  But before we even begin to ask questions, we must ask ourselves how important is the truth?  For most of the humans that I know, truth is an unwelcome reality.  Most people don’t want to know the truth, they’d rather not know how bad off they are, how much they have been tricked, or how much they have lost.

Most don’t even want to know the small details, such as “I am overweight” or “I am angry” or “I have a drinking problem”.  Indeed, many diseases of the modern world are built upon the very fine art of denial, heart disease, obesity and some types of diabetes are diseases that are completely avoidable.  How do you justify drinking a 350 calorie coffee drink and a 1,000 calorie bowl of soup?  What untruth do you tell your body in order to have that bit of body destruction?

This whole religion vs science isn’t really the question.  The question is, how much truth can we stand?

Why can’t we just relax and let the nice man take care of everything?  The truth is that the nice man is a liar.

 

06Mar

Lying, Truth and Covert Activity

Flexible lying, alternative truth, these terms are laughable. Philosophy is arguable, but the concept of truth is not. Your truth may be different from mine in matters of thinking and in matters of the heart, but “the” truth is universal.
I don’t speak of philosophy here. I speak of the objective observable universe that surrounds us.
In the “breaking news” parlance, a wiretap is a wiretap, an earthquake is an earthquake and the ocean current moves in an easterly direction, not a westerly direction. Five inches of snow is not one inch of snow and rain falls to the ground.
If you do not “like” something ~ that is your truth, it is not “the” truth. People in power have used their power to force others to adopt their own truth. So it is; if a person in power does not “like” something or someone, that person will also insist that all people who are subordinate to them adopt the same version of their own truth.
Forcing others to adopt your truth does not make a concept into “the” truth. Too often, managers and controllers do not understand this fact. Indeed, corporate culture is evidence to this. Anyone who does not buy into the boss’s idea of reality (personal truth) soon finds themselves without employment.
The next logical step is covert activity. When those in power insist that, we agree with them, our choices can be limited. Often team members will keep their own truth to themselves because of the power position of other team members.
However, the most common use of covertness is to trick others and use this trickery to take their choices away from them. The point of cheating on your spouse is to take your spouse’s choice away. If your spouse does not know that you have cheated, then they will not file for a divorce.
Such is the way of briberies to elected officials. Congressmen and women do not want anyone to know who is paying bribes to them. These bribes are paid in order to control the congressional votes. Congress put a law into effect allowing slush funds (PACs) so that they could legally collect bribes and do the work of the wealthy. An example of this is that the average American does not know that wealthy business owners have paid millions and millions in bribes to keep the minimum wage artificially low. We are not informed about which millionaires paid the bribes, nor do we know which congress-people voted against living wages for full time work. (We can draw this clear line with information available, but have not.) This is covertness at its best. Americans don’t know who to be angry with, they just know that they are being cheated in many and varied different ways.
Americans know that health care is ridiculously expensive and cannot be provided to anyone without insurance, but whom should we be angry with? Congress-people who have allowed drug companies to rape the American economy and Medicare? On the other hand, do they blame doctors for charging ridiculous fees for very simple procedures? Should Americans blame insurance companies, who cherry-pick the healthy, leaving the aged and poor to taxpayers for healthcare?
Covert activities that hide the truth: take our ability to choose, away from us in a very big way.
The internet has given us powerful tools to fight against economic oppression. The most useful tool to combat oppression is truth and transparency. With truth, we know who to communicate with, we know who is at fault and we know what to choose. Our reactions can be specific and guided. This is the kind of America that I want to be a part of: I want to live in a place where if others are doing bad things (lying, stealing and cheating) that there is a way to discover the truth, then act on the truth, and do so in a reliable and honest way. I do not want to be part of a culture that encourages lying and cheating because of wealth and money. I do not want to be part of a culture that keeps harsh secrets that benefit the few, but not you. I do not want to be part of a culture that condemns truth, just because that truth is damning.