Personal Experience


Here is the second part of our podcast. We discuss other significant activities on our blog such as the Fellowship of Friends, prescription psycho-pharmacology, media, conspiracy theories, Scientology and more.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

We have decided to put a book end on the current version of this blog. In some ways this is our goodbye to AnimamRecro as you may know it. Due to the lack of personal posts in the previous year, we felt it was only appropriate to create a podcast reflecting on where we have been and where we are today.

If you’re interested in hearing the voices of AnimamRecro for the first time, here’s your chance.  Here is the first part of a 2 hour recording.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

Brought to you by: Alcohol, American tourists in Europe, frustration, dualist perspectives, and unjustified generalizations.

If you are an American male or female citizen reading this post, I would like you to reach down into your pants and touch your proverbial balls. Do you feel something? Good. Now stop being such god damn pussies (so to speak). I’m tired of hearing all the Americans in Europe bitching about how the US sucks, how president Bush is an idiot, and how everything in America is going downhill. No shit! It’s wonderful you came to this profound realization seven years too late. And to clarify, the current conditions we are dealing with aren’t a result of the Bush presidency, but the general decline of society in the US over the past few decades. Of course, that would require some actual insight by some of you, which at times seems too much to ask for. But I’m going off on a tangent.

I write to tell you that there’s hope. This isn’t the manufactured, rhetorical hope that Obama is spouting nor is it the blind and wishful hope that other institutions have been peddling for centuries. I’m talking about jumping off the “America sucks” band wagon, thinking progressively, and actually doing something. Criticizing the United States at this point in time is like being critical and concerned with Britney Spears. Everyone knows something needs to change, so get off your asses and do something about it. Do something in whatever area interests you, whether it is law, movies, acting, dancing, cooking, just do something in your own little way. Stop counting on someone else, grab your nuts, and act.

As the Zen demon once said:
Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!

It’s official, I have (for the second time in the last 4 years) stopped smoking. While the last attempt involved tremendous amounts of self-re-programming and will enforcement, this time around it’s proving to be less difficult. Conditions are just as difficult as before, including a partner and 75% of my peers who smoke frequently and passionately.

The trick seems to be simple.

Daily hatha yoga practice has strengthened my will and given me a different insight into breath observation and breath control than mindfulness of breath, which I have been practicing on and off for the past 2 years. Consequently, I didn’t feel the need or wish to smoke during the day, only the most powerful triggers and routines pushed the right (wrong) buttons and reminded me of the addiction in the evening. And even then, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. The added insight into the effects of smoking on anxiety (anxiety makes you light up, the physical side-effects of the cigarette, ie. faster heart rate, make you more anxious) have made the decision even simpler.

So if you want to stop smoking start playing with your breath and build-up that will one step at a time.

nines_poster.jpg Someone once expressed the opinion that ‘Butterfly Effect’ is comparable in quality to one of my all time favorite films, ‘Donnie Darko’. I disagree and have been waiting for another film to outdo it. Perhaps my hopes were too high for ‘Southland Tales’ and although it is a great film, which I await to see again in better quality, it had failed to capture the same essence of ‘Donnie Darko’. Richard Kelly’s first film will always have a special place in my heart, but I think it may have found a new contender.

‘The Nines’ is sort of like ‘Donnie Darko’ meets ‘The Fountain’ with a modern and quite timely twist. And for those of you who are fans, it’s quite Grant Morrison-esque. Not wanting to spoil the experience too much with my already excessive praise, I must mention that the film also defies genres, leaving the viewer in expectation of what could possibly come next.

This film is executed perfectly! If you like the ideas on this blog then you’ll LOVE this film. Do not read any synopses or reviews… just go out and see the film! Go!

P.S. Look For The Nines (or 23, to each their own)

Update: If the film wasn’t cool enough already…

The director of the hit 2007 movie ‘The Nines’ says he’s been monitoring BitTorrent for its inevitable leak: “Sony, Interpol and the MPAA will do their best,” he says, “but as the guy who made the movie, I honestly want people to see the movie. If the only way you’re going to watch The Nines is illegally, so be it.”

Via Torrent Freak
Download: The Nines Torrent

I remember the very first time I used bittorrent. It was 2004 and I was at a prominent university in the USA, which I quit after a few months.

It wasn’t until reflecting upon Steal This Film that I realized how much the acquisition of copyrighted material influenced my life. This is not just because PC games, films, and music brought me countless hours of entertainment. It’s because the time spent searching for ways to download these forms of media exposed me to new information and more importantly, taught me how to find the information/data I seek. Being able to distinguish between fake sites from real sites, being able to find information pertaining to a computer error, the latest news regarding the pharmacology industry or some esoteric literature- I owe my abilities to the hours I spent searching for the latest warez release of a computer game when I was a teenager.

What does this all mean? To paraphrase Douglas Rushkoff: “The Internet is not a information revolution, it is a communications revolution!”

I have yet to see a documentary that expresses this so well as Steal This Film Pt. 2. The first part of the film is pretty good too, but the second part (produced a year later) is in a league of its own. It includes interviews with top intellectuals and academics from around the world and is a MUST see.
Part 1

Part 2

Bush Protest


Yet another mention of the USA’s proposed missile defense system in the news today. For months the current administration has been seeking to build these bases in Poland and the Czech Republic as a defense against a possible Iranian ballistic strike. Russia has been responding to the USA’s plan with disdain, perceiving the defense systems as being a little too close to home, and has even offered a location in Azerbaijan to take the place of the bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. The USA refused to accept such a compromise.When asked most Czech’s feel conflicted about the proposal and would certainly be much happier if they didn’t have to choose between the power that once occupied their country and the power that is continually encroaching on countries around the globe.

This post isn’t about the missile defense though- at least not in its entirety. On the 4th of June this year a demonstration took place in Prague to protest Bush’s arrival to the Czech Republic and his administration’s plan to build their base. I will tell you about an unprecedented event that occurred on that day, an event that was never reported by the Czech media.

A little background first: On the day Bush arrived in Prague, millions of Czech crowns were spent on security. Most people don’t really consider this but whenever Bush declares a visit a country must prepare hundreds of police officers, anti-terror squads, block of streets and other communications, and so on. On that day the Czechs planned a protest to take place on Venceslav Square. This isn’t just some random location but a place of incredible significance. Here the independent Czechoslovak state was declared in 1918, the occupation of World War II was protested against in 1945, Jan Palach burned himself alive in protest of the Soviet occupation in 1969, and the culmination of the protests which led to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 also took place here. Since then Venceslav Square has seen countless protests.

But on June 4th 2007, no protest took place at Venceslav Square, even though it was a matter of national importance. On that day, for the first time in Czech history a protest was relocated, banned from taking place at this prominent square in the center of town, it was rescheduled to take place behind the Prague castle, where few people ever go and few would notice. The symbolism of appearing before this traditional meeting place was lost completely. The reason: It was too much of a security risk for president Bush’s visit.

Also lost was the significance of this to the Czech people. Being accustomed to protesting where they like, as seen during the CzechTek protests in front of the interior ministry, this relocation was an unexpected inconvenience, but no one seemed to realize how this marginalized the message of the demonstrators. In the USA it’s a common tactic, we are regulated to our “free speech zones” and are often arrested for not staying on the sidewalk. Any excuse is used to arrest a protester. It’s an absolutely genius method of limiting the power of the people, because no one is prohibiting our freedom to gather or our freedom to protest, we are simply being relocated to a less noticeable and less symbolic spot. It completely undermines the message because the demonstrators are taken out of context, appearing like a random group of hooligans.

Why didn’t the Czech media cover this aspect of the story? Maybe they were too focused on the “anarchists” protesting. Maybe they simply weren’t used to such political tactics. Maybe it wasn’t a intentional maneuver at all, but simply a “security issue”. But one thing is for sure…

This day will never go down in the history books.

thomas-friedman.jpgI was reading the New York Times today when I came across Tomas Friedman’s article ‘Generation Q‘.

He writes: “I just spent the past week visiting several colleges… I am impressed because they [students] are so much more optimistic and idealistic than they should be. I am baffled because they are so much less radical and politically engaged than they need to be.”

Friedman calls this generation of college students “Generation Q- the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad.”

He continues: “America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q. That’s what twentysomethings are for – to light a fire under the country. But they can’t email it in, and an online petition or a mouse click for carbon neutrality won’t cut it. They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.”

“Activism can only be uploaded the old fashion way – by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers, on campuses or the Washington Mall.”

The article incited many conflicting emotions within me. If you follow the Princeton Review, I apparently attend one of the top five most politically active colleges in the United States. So are “we” the exception? Should my college be the model for the rest of the US? No, not really. We certainly attend many protests in our state and abroad, but this is hardly what Friedman is calling for. It’s going to take more than 10 students in front of a Wal-Mart or on the corner of the street with ‘Impeach Bush’ signs to make a difference. Thousands of students meet at protests around the US every year, to what end?

Oh, and “young voters”? Give me a break. What happened to the last kid who confronted a US politician about the bungling of election results?

If our generation is to be the fire lit under this country, then it’s to make people aware of the road this nation is heading down. We need to be seen and heard, and this is where the older generations have failed us miserably. How can we start a fire in a media vacuum? In a country where the government has engineered the most powerful techniques to silence us. Sure we can “protest” as long as we stay in our “free speech zones“. We can be fined and arrested for loitering in malls, and we should be protesting there? Sounds like fun, but when the previous generation organized they faced this. Today, if we organize in mass we face this and this. Rubber bullets being shot at us, getting lodged in our skin, with broken arms and bloody faces. Our message mangled and distorted in the news as we are all dubbed anarchists. And still many of us continue to protest.

Tomas Friedman, we are active and we certainly are outraged but we face a government that has learned from previous generations. In the 60s college students met face to face with the state and learned it was even stronger than they imagined. The government won’t allow such a threat to arise again.

I may come off sounding hard, but I sympathize with Friedman’s message. He is certainly right about one thing: “Virtual politics is just that – virtual.” Many of us have mistaken the tool which enables us to organize for the act of organizing itself. In other words, it’s pointless to form groups on social networks such a facebook for political ends unless students actually mobilize, all at once, and are heard.

There may be another explanation for “Generation Q”, one that Friedman unsurprisingly looked over. As the old saying goes “beware of the quite ones”. Perhaps some of us have learned that protests are inefficient. Perhaps we have experienced the power of the media, of culture, of corporations, and of politics. And perhaps a few of the really smart students are sitting in their library carrels studying hard and hoping to one day make obscenely dirty and wild love with their shadow. If you can’t beat ‘em, become ‘em.

And please do not miss the irony of my post because – “In the blogosphere, no one can hear you shout.”

If you’ve taken a philosophy class you’re probably familiar with Rene Descartes. In this post I will be using the foundation of one of his theories in a rather nontraditional format.

“Cogito Ergo Sum” translated from Latin – “I think, therefore I am”.

This is probably one of the most influential phrases in the history of philosophy. Descartes considered the ‘cogito’ to reveal an absolute truth. The statement came to him while he was expressing doubts about the certainty of all aspects of knowledge. Some examples of such a skeptical stance:

-Knowledge is based on experience (or the senses), which are sometimes unreliable, and so cannot provide an indubitable foundation for truth.
-The life we live, and the world we live in, may be nothing more than a dream, and so we may not be certain of it

Having reached what he considers to be the ultimate level of doubt- Descartes examines his beliefs to see if any have survived the doubt. When he calls into question the certainty of his own existence he realizes his belief in existence is secured, for how could one doubt unless one existed to experience the doubt? (I think, therefore I am)

He continues in his Meditation and presents us with a piece of wax. We can observe a candle to have one form, yet change shape when exposed to a high enough temperature. If someone were to walk into the room and notice the pool of liquid, they would have to rely on your word that it was once a candle. On the other hand, you saw the candle stick, observed it change form, and saw its new form.

What does this tell us?

First and foremost, mental concepts are necessary for us to deal with time and space. We need to use our mind to create a sense of linearity. The candle, the melting process, and the pool of wax. What is this absolutely dependent on? The idea of each, i.e. Memory!

(From this point onward I will mostly diverge from Descartes)

If your body, like wax, changes form as you grow older, than how do you know you’re the same person you were five years ago? Biologically and physically speaking, the vast majority of your current cells are not the ones you were born with. If you’re not physically the same, how do you know, while you read this post that you’re the same person you were when you were born?  You believe you are the same because you have particular memories from different stages of your life which create a sense of linearity! Your self-concept is merely a mental construct!

Now, how does your mental construct make you feel?  How often have you wanted to do something yet waited until it was too late? The decisions you make and the actions you perform are often deeply connected to your self-concept. You may say to yourself “I’m not that kind of guy” or “It’s not in my nature”. Also, an individual whose self-concept is full of insecurity and overrun with self-doubt will experience higher levels of stress. This correlates to various effects such as increased likelihood of physiological problems and psychological distress.

Now that I (with Descartes help) have reduced you to an identity-less goo, and perhaps you’ve come to realize aspects of yourself which you would like to change, I will proceed to provide you with insights into how you may choose to reconstruct yourself. Remember, your self-concept has grown with you for many years. Altering it may be a challenge and abandoning it altogether can be perilous. Our identities provide us with a safety blanket, a lookout post from which we can see the world. The farther out you venture the more twists and turns you’ll encounter. But not to fear, for what you need to overcome is yourself.

In the next series of posts I will present you with a number of observations by various intellectuals, psychologists, academics, and other such weirdoes. You will read about techniques used to ‘hack’ or modify your self-concept, and insights into how some groups use this knowledge to manipulate you as well as others.

What made me write this article? Well, just an hour earlier I read a blog entry in which an author was comparing 4 different people – a sex addict, a God addict (Christian), an alcoholic and a yogi (3 hours of yoga a day). He came to the conclusion that since those 4 people were attaining a feeling of wholeness, happiness and togetherness through their pursuits; that it is wholeness, happiness and togetherness that we all need in order to be satisfied as human beings. It is an interesting notion.

I am aware that we very often do not feel whole, happy and together and that it is painful. We never really meet the goals that we set for ourselves, we never really measure up to what we perceive ourselves to be capable of. We attach ourselves, we judge ourselves, we always strive for more. That is the reality of a Western lifestyle and it becomes more and more obvious as a person grows up.

Now, there are numerous ways of temporarily breaking through this state – among them the numerous addictions that have been pointed out by the author of the blog entry.

Alcohol is a depressant – it takes away certain functions of our mind while being consumed – among those the feelings of emptiness, fear, paranoia. That is why it gives us the illusion of being whole and happy. After the intoxication ends the feeling returns even worse than it was felt before and it takes a couple of hours to get back to starting point from which the only road is to drink again. Been there, done that.

Sex is the easiest tool of losing yourself in an action. The same way that a professional sportsman enters a zone in which nothing else exists than the acitivity that he is doing, the person who is having sex can lose him/herself in the activity. Sex is the easiest way of attaining this temporary higher state of consciousness. It also calms you down after the point of orgasm – orgasms releases endorphins and raise serotonin levels. Once again though, sex will not give you a permanent state of wholeness, happiness and contentment.

Belief in God and yoga are different – rather than being tools to the temporary attainment of happiness and wholeness, through the continuous practice the practicioner attains them semi-permanently, for as long as he continuously practices and believes in his practice. He does not only feel whole while practising – rather his whole life becomes the practice and the feelings last.

So, there are temporary, semi-permanent and permanent ways of attaining wholeness. Those temporary methods are known to us all, semi-permanent ways too. Yet, many people feel it impossible to enter the semi-permanent states as they believe that belief in God is an uninformed jump in logic and a lie, while yoga is a strange pursuit for those who are too weak for the gym, or female. These people are partially right in that the belief in God is a jump in logic – there is no proof for the existence of God except for personal experience. Yet, they only need to be shown glimpses of higher states, whether through psychedelic drugs, meditation, prayer, yoga, spontaneous experiences, psychological turmoil, release of addictions, aesthetic beauty, near-death experiences or other ways, and they change their opinion. Why is that? I have been a witness of a lot of people questioning the non-existence of ‘something divine’ or at least ‘the inexplicable’ and it is often-times very beautiful to witness. And no, it is not self-delusion.

Ever wondered why the hippie or the yogi is happier than the investment banker? I guess that getting high on happiness works better than getting high on money, stress and adrenaline. Yet a combination of both brings more potential growth.

 

To return to the first question I asked – what is the meaning of life? Well, I don’t think that the meaning of life has anything to do with what I have been writing about so far. In order to feel happy, content and whole it is not enough to intoxicate yourself – almost all my friends have taken this path in order to alleviate the feelings of alienation, confusion and indecisiveness that all young adults feel, yet they are still unhappy and report feeling empty and depressed. Maybe it really is worth it to put some work into understanding yourself better and working out your issues.

 

But the meaning of life – I don’t worry myself with the global and transpersonal meaning of life. I am happy to quote my friend with whom I had the pleasure of spending New Years with. He said: ‘You have to love – everyone, everywhere.’ I laughed at the time (as he was lying on the floor unable to say anything else and repeating his message of love every 20 seconds – for 2 hours) but to be absolutely honest, loving yourself and everyone else is not a bad meaning of life. As to the personal meaning of life – well, you are the only one who can give yourself a meaning to life – what you do, and what you set out to do is the meaning of life that you have (un)consciously given yourself. Be careful what you wish for.

 

If you have to do something in order to achieve happiness then it is not happiness that you are achieving. Happines is in the here and now.

In other words: If you have a goal set as a prerequisite for the attainment of happiness, ie. ‘I will be happy when I’m rich’, or ‘I’ll be happy when I make some friends’, then the attainment of that goal will not bring you happiness. It will not last – but find out for yourself. The trick is to be happy with what you are and have, right now, right here.

I went to my local supermarket to purchase a few odds and ends, when I noticed something very peculiar. While pondering my purchases, walking down several isles, I must have heard at least 9 incredibly annoying pop songs blasting over the speaker system. “What’s so strange about that?” you may ask. Stores worldwide use pop hits to keep customers in their stores, perhaps taking advantage of the positive associations most people have with such music. I won’t go into a deep psychological analysis of how these things work, basically psychology combined with marketing. In short- if playing pop music wasn’t advantageous to the stores, it wouldn’t be on.

What made my last visit to the supermarket different from the previous several hundred ear-splitting, nausea-inducing experiences was the rate at which these songs were played. I was in the supermarket for at most 4 minutes! Paying closer attention while waiting in line, I noticed merely the chorus of each pop hit was played once. They’re mixing the songs! I heard Enrique Iglesias fade to Will Smith, fade to Venga Boys, fade to Christina Aguilera, in nearly a minute and a half. Looking over to a man in the line adjacent to me, I saw a shared expression of confusion, disgust, and bewilderment. There was a slight moment of mutual empathy, not unlike two strangers spotting each other across the two sides of a torture chamber. Ok, I’m over-exaggerating, but you get the picture.

The question that immediately comes to my mind is “why?”. No really. Why? Did someone listen to ‘I Want It That Way’ by the Backstreet Boys and think, “this is good but it needs a little something, lets fade it to Gwen Stefani, and then to N’Sync for its full mind numbing effect”? These songs are engineered to be catchy. And it all started when a few men in business suits noticed the purchasing power of teenagers, as the popularity of a man named Elvis Presley grew. If you’re interested in more info, I’d recommend the wonderful book ‘Teenage Nervous Breakdown: Music and Politics in the Post-Elvis Age’ by David Walley.

Returning to my prior question- Are the pop tunes not catchy enough, and so must be split into 20 seconds samples for full auditory bombardment? Or is it the contrary? Are people sick of hearing that same pop song from 8 years ago and need only short reminders to facilitate a full shopping experience? Most likely only the supermarket’s marketing surveys have an answer, unfortunately something we aren’t privy to.

One final question remains. What happens when you expose an individual to songs which are engineered to grab and hold one’s attention, while changing said songs approximately every 25 seconds? Customers aside, what about employees who are exposed to such an environment for a period of 8 hours, 5 days a week? And if an experiment were created to replicate such an environement, would it pass the APA Ethical Guidelines for Research with Human Subjects?

And

How’s your attention span doing lately?

I thought it would never happen but I started a new blog. This one is going to deal with the more personal side of the Esoteric Sheik persona. I am not going to advertise it much – since there is very little to advertise and all the exciting stuff is on animamrecro anyway, but come and have a look if you wish. My confused mind can be an interesting place to explore.

Tempus Trinus.

logo_britishgas.gif

 I have had a very busy month. Looking for a job, looking for a new flat, moving to a new flat – all that jazz. Then when most of it has finally finished, a con-man arrives to stir things up.

Me and my girl-friend just arrived to our new flat – I was unpacking while she went for a dinner with her friend. The doorbell rang and I went to open the door.

There stood a man with the British Gas uniform (british Gas being the prime supplier of gas and electricity to British homes) wearing a British Gas ID-tag. He asked me whether I lived in the flat and whether I was the one paying the bills. I said yes. He asked me where the electricity meter was. I told him. Then he went on to take my name, address and phone number. I thought that he simply needed that information for the company billing system - I din’t know which electricity provider we had in the new flat so I wasn’t suspicious. Then he asked for two signatures and I was so out of it – and so naively trusting – that I signed the first document, then I woke up and started reading the second document that I was meant to sign. He started saying something and he got me so confused that I signed without argument. He left with a smile on his face and only then did I have a look at the documents I signed.

What the bastard actually did was to make me believe that he was doing a routine check-up. Instead I signed a contract with British Gas to change from my current provider to British Gas. He consciously mislead me, manipulated me, withheld information from me. He did not actually lie to me but after 3 days of moving all my belongings from flat to flat I was so intelectually drained that I didn’t catch up with any of it. I robotically followed his instructions based on a false belief in his authority, all of it leading to a negative result for me.

I guess that this event shows how much we all trust authority – I was cautious only until I was sure that he was a British Gas employee. It did not occur to me that I could be conned by a man with an uniform, ID tag, and a note-pad.

When I finally realised what has happened I first felt absolute shame, I couldn’t believe my stupidity and gullibility. Then I became angry. Then finally I escaped all negativity and understood the event for the lesson that it was. I have already called British Gas and I will be cancelling the contract (no bad done afterall). I will be finding out the identity of the salesman and I will report the mother-fucker to his company, to the bodies that safeguard face-to-face sales,… Basically I’ll do everything I can to get this man fired from his job and unable to find another sales job for the remainder of his life. I may not succeed but I will make my point.

And I guess that this is the moral of the story. We are all susceptible to manipulation, what matters is how we react to it. If I let the shame and guilt rule the day, British Gas and the salesman would have won over me. If I let the rage consume me I would have done nothing meaningful about it. By creating goals for myself and seeking a solution, I may have made the world a service.

I seem to remmeber Bill Hicks arguing for all marketing and advertisement employees to kill themselves. I would like to use this opportunity to stretch it to sales people as well. People, let’s not be fucking victims anymore.

My parents are Christian but luckily they’re incredibly open-minded and loving. They’ve granted me a great deal of freedom and provided me with wonderful opportunities throughout my life. My parents made me attend Sunday school for several years during my childhood and adolescence. I resented getting up on Sunday in order to be bored out of my mind for an hour and a half.

Living in an incredibly atheist country for half my life definitely had an influence on my religiosity. This does not mean that I am nor ever was an egotistical hedonist who broke all the rules, quite the contrary. Of course, some would just label me so simply due to the content of this blog.

An internal compass has always guided me through my life and it is something that I’m incredibly proud of. Was it a result of a good upbringing by my parents, early childhood experiences, role models, or all these combined? Was it learned through experience or is there something deep down at the core? I honestly don’t know.

My confirmation was uneventful, certainly nothing remotely similar to the incredible ‘coming of age’ rituals performed around the world. But, there was a point where I stood up and the entire congregation clapped for me. I felt something at that moment, it was unusual but I could never figure out if it was a divine moment, psychological reaction caused by the environment, or just self-induced. Probably, more like the later two than the prior. It felt like an important moment but also unclear in a way. It’s difficult for me to describe.

I will never forget the moment which occurred only a few years later. At the age of seventeen I refused communion at church while my parents sat right next to me. I’m pretty sure they noticed even though nothing was said after the fact. All I know is that my parents never made me go to church again. To clarify, the reason why I didn’t partake in the ritual was not out of rebellion towards my parents or even the Church. I simply didn’t feel right partaking in an act which was holy to some but meaningless to me.

Many years have passed since then and through my various experiences I somehow feel closer to the religion then ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I still denounce belief and faith. To me religious faith requires the voluntary suspension of knowledge and commonsense. It’s the act of accepting something as a truth in accordance to ones will alone.

I would prefer a kind of intellectual anarchy where whatever was pragmatically applicable was brought to bear on any situation where belief was understood as a self-limiting function. Because, you see, if you believe something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite; which means that a degree o your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of committing yourself to this belief.

-Terence McKenna

Today, Christianity gets a lot of criticism from many different groups. It seems to be the cool religion to bash and due to many events from the past and present it has gone beyond the necessary prerequisites to deserve such a harsh critique. Islam has also been hit hard; many people lead us to believe that an extremist hides behind every follower.

I find many popular religions to be like the diet coke of the people. “Follow this doctrine and your soul will be saved!”

Yet, I still find many ideas presented in Christianity and other religions very similar to my own. My respect for those who practice a religion has grown immensely. Now, I won’t say these are my beliefs; I’ll be slyer and say that I like these ideas but don’t hold them to be true.

God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Energy, consciousness, and existence can be equated with the very same concept. There is not an action that can be performed which is outside of God. The image of the father figure who gazes upon us like the owner over his fishbowl is a glitch in the mainframe.

We arose from a void to create and experience. God is playing with itself; we are the actors, the spectators, and the show.

“the devil? that still exists, that concept? really? does it really exist? the devil? a devil really exists? does it really, ya’ll? well tell me something, what could oppose god’s will…? nothing, could it? hahaha! a little delightful little realization. NOTHING COULD OPPOSE GOD’S WILL! NOT NOTHING!”

-Bill Hicks

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