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Showing posts from November 7, 2010

Conspiracy Theories in American History, Malcolm X entry

What's Next?

I went to a number of toddler birthday parties this year, and one thing that toddlers have in common is the way they open presents. For the most part, they never look at the present they've opened for more than a few seconds. With so many unwrapped boxes, toddlers simply must move on to the next present. Of course their parents are prodding them to do so. Left to their own natures, toddlers very well may spend more time with the open present in front of them.

Not that Christians are toddlers, of course, but think about the attitude expressed by Christians who long for either the afterlife or the return of Jesus. Instead of savoring the present they've been given -- basically, Earth and the entire observable universe -- they long for the unseen. The next present.

Why is it so wrong to stop and appreciate the life we're given? Suggest that, and Christians will frown. They have been told not to be of this world, which often times translates into not appreciating this world.…

Choose It All

Why not have it all?

Gloria Steinem has now spoken, and she says the idea that women can "have it all" is a myth.

But since when did anyone want to have it "all" in the first place? I mean, other than Napoleon or Alexander the Great, say, no one really wants it all when they use that expression. And all that "having it all" every really meant, I think, is that we shouldn't settle for less than striving for what we want -- and I'm using "we" to include both genders.

If we want a career, great. If we want a family, great. And if we want other things in life, let's go get them. How do we know what we can or cannot have unless we go for it?

Sure, we have a limited amount of time and resources. To that extent, it's silly to think we can have "everything." Nevertheless, humans are capable of achieving far more when they try than they are when they simpl…

Christian Epic Fail

I'm not sure why, but even when I wanted to believe in Christianity, I could never buy into the literal interpretation of Genesis. Adam and Eve as real people. Really? Adam and Eve eating literal fruit and therefore casting the entire human race into sin and death. Really?

Years later, it no longer surprises me that people literally believe this. After all, most people don't stop and think about what they're taught. And, most people don't read. Add those two things together, and it's easy to see why people believe in a literal Genesis account.

For years, however, I've tuned out to the possibility that Christianity has any real value in my life. Not necessarily because of its worthy principles, but because of what people believe and teach. That, I realize now, is my own shortcoming.

When read properly, there's nothing wrong with the Genesis account as a metaphor. I can even buy into the need for Jesus and the Crucifixion, as long as it's interpreted me…

The Meaning of Owning

With Netflix, I have access to thousands of movies and TV shows; I don't own them, but as long as they remain available in my instant queue, what's the difference? I can watch them as many times as I want, and for all real purposes, they are "mine."

Now, think about the future of e-Books. As much as I hate to jump on board, it's all but inevitable that the e-Book will replace the paper book in the very near future. What will this do to libraries? Libraries are already lending out e-Books.

Question: why would anyone buy an e-Book if the library will lend it to you for free? Sure, the e-Book will delete itself off your reader after the lending period is over, but so what? If you want to read it again, just "check it out" again. No need to take up space on your reader's hard drive...

Technology is changing the way we think about ownership. Pretty wild.

The Unconventional Life

How conventional is your life? If you're in your 30s as I am, think about how much you and I have in common:

Spouce? check
Kid(s)? check
Job? check
House? check
Debt? check

Obviously there's nothing wrong with conventional living, but if that's all there is, it seems kind of robotic to me. We have our freewill, and yet we all go through similar life stages, and we all share basic common experiences. What makes my life any different, then, from a million other lives in the Western world?

This bothers me, and I yearn to make my life more unconventional. Of course people that are "unconventional" often find themselves being unconventional in uniform ways. So, perhaps there's no way out of the box. There's no way to live a life that someone else hasn't already lived. And maybe that's okay. I would just like to be able to add some unconventional elements to the satisfactory conventional elements of my life. The question is: How can I do that without se…

What's Your Secret? Practice

This morning started immediately. Linda had errands scheduled, and I had to do the basic routine things. All I wanted was a pot of coffee with an hour or two to collect myself, by myself. Those days are gone.

Of course after being "on" for an hour, I now have exactly the opportunity that I craved above. I have the hour or two by myself, with that much appreciated pot of coffee. I simply wish I could turn time around so that the coffee time came before the abrupt move from sleep to routine.

Anyway, what's your secret? How do you keep your sanity, and how do you defeat routine and the stresses of daily life?

For me, it just means starting another book. Today I'll be spending time with the Dalai Lama, reading his book How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life.

It's a Good Day

I've been reading Huston Smith lately. He uses a trick that I decided to put into action this week, and so far, it's worked.

For the past three days, immediately on waking, I've told myself that it's going to be a good day. Today was the toughest test, as I was up at 6:30, which is almost never a pleasant time to be up... not to the mention the crud that everyone seems to have, etc.

But, three hours into the day, I'm happy to report, it has been a good morning, and I have high expectations for the rest of the day as well.

Amazing what a little positive thinking can do...

Hex Girls!

If you're not watching the newer Scooby Doo movies, you've probably never heard of the Hex Girls. Octavia loves them, and she must have sang "I'm a hex girl, and I'm going to put a spell on you" about a hundred times last night...

Correcting Jesus

Brian Griffith wrote a book called Correcting Jesus. I'm just 30 pages into it, but I'm already to recommend it -- especially if you're interested in looking at Jesus beyond the cliche of modern thought.

Griffith's goal is to show how the story of Jesus has evolved over time. How most people view Jesus doesn't necessarily have anything to do with who he was, because political and social factors influenced how his "biographers" described him in their written accounts.

Interesting stuff.

Friendly Planet -- Taj Mahal Express

Have you ever done a vacation package with Friendly Planet?

Linda and I have thought about doing one for a few years now, but the timing has never been right. Almost all of their options interest me, but the Taj Mahal Express has to be right at the top. I would, of course, want to add the Nepal extension. What a trip it would be...


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