More Issues with Christianity

I have been sitting on these words for some time now, and have lost much of the essence of what I wanted to say. But I want to get out into this white space whatever it is that remains.

I was sitting in the hall as a bible study group was going in the main sanctuary of my parent’s church. I overheard the former pastor of the church talk about how hard satan worked at drawing Christians away from God. When I heard that, something occurred to me.

In our society we equate hard work with success. We think hard work is something admirable, good, worthy. If this is indeed the essence of hard work, then how can it be the essence of a being that is presumably the antitheses of anything good?

Satan should by all rights be lazy. What is that old saying about the devil and idle hands or laziness or something? I can’t recall the worlds. How can a being that is lazy, even if powerfully motivated by hatred, ever work hard at anything, and continue in that work without giving up or quitting?

It is so easy for Christians to point at anything they disagree with or simply don’t like and blame satan for it. How much attention and credit to they really want to give their sworn enemy?

Just another example of the myriad of cracks and flaws in the house of cards that is the Christian religion.

9-4-2016 – Back To School

A few updates for you, my readers…

To begin with, I am returning to college after a roughly 9 year absence. I attended Lower Columbia College from 2004 – 2007. I think I was a good student. I worked hard at school and my workstudy job. I applied myself, I think my GPA was 2.5 at least, probably closer to 3.0 – I have my unofficial transcript somewhere.

For a long time I told the story of how I was cheated out of the degree I was pursuing. But even if that were true, I see now that no matter the machinations of others, it is possible to overcome anything thrown at you if you really want to do it. If you really believe in yourself and want whatever it is they are keeping from you bad enough. How else do black people from neighborhoods that are a step away from hell become famous rappers?

Success can never be given to you, and its not really about earning it. Success is something you work at. If you are a miner you keep digging until you find that precious material you are looking for. It seems as if working for it and earning it are the same thing. But to my mind earning has some hidden implication of a right. You have a right to whatever you feel you have earned.

But working for something and getting it doesn’t really imply some right to it. You worked until you got it, end of story. There is a quote from Bob Ross I would like to share, I may not have the words exact, “Talent is a pursued Interest. Anything you are willing to practice you can do.” I think this applies to success as well. It is something you pursue and practice until you have mastered it.

I was still a Christian back then, I was a completely different person. Physically I may look the same, and I have the same marvelous mind as I had back then, but my whole mentality and spirituality is different, as is my motivation. I go simply seeking to finish what I started all those years ago, and come away from it with something practical, some salable skill I can use to support myself. I intend to step out into the world on my own. Not, as I have previously been, to the exclusion of all outside help. I learned my lesson well in Parkdale. Trying to go it alone, believing that I have to – this is no way to live.

No, even while I seek to support myself I will practice openness and receptivity to the aid of others in whatever form it may take. Because no matter how much I learn, how smart I may be, how intelligent or hardworking, I still can not do and know everything. I can not operate independently from others. I can not exclude myself from other humans and expect to progress is any reasonable direction.

We are, all of us, dependent on each other, whether or not we want to admit it or are aware of it. The man who says he built his empire entirely by himself is lying to you. Under the foundation stones, seeped into the very walls of the structure, are the blood and sweat of others, mixed right along with his own.

The second thing I want to tell you is I think I finally have found the heart of the dragon hoarding the treasure of words to which I have so far had little access. I have been reading, “On Poetry” by Glyn Maxwell. Perhaps many of you already suspect this, but I have never studied poetry, or taken any courses. I have never been taught how to write it. I found this book in an effort to address that, frustrated with my inability to write complex, beautiful phrases.

This book has helped me to ask myself what the white space is to me, and I have discovered that I am afraid of it. That I have demeaned it, seeing it only as a container where I could pour out my feelings and thoughts, really more like stuff that I have regurgitated and thrown up. It has been something that I knew would not criticize or judge me. Something that I knew had to hear me, listen to me and whatever it was I had to say.

There is more to this, but my attitude to the white space also influenced my attitude to the black. I suspect this is why I have been, so far, unable to write, complete and publish any book, and why my poetry is so, plain. It is probably also why I struggle to draw or paint. I am afraid of the white space, I demean it, disrespect it out of my fear of it, and because I I fear the white space, I fear the black. I can never really fully embrace that which I fear. I must love the white space, treat it as something special, something precious and rare. In doing that I love the black, and treasure it as well.

If I was living in the Myst Universe, and had in my hands a rare D’ni linking book, with a desire to create a world in it, I would be careful with each and every word. So many of these books were destroyed in that storyline, the D’ni are presumed dead, the art is long lost. Assuming I was even able to learn the Art, any linking book I found would be a rare and precious commodity indeed.

To treat everything I write as I would treat a rare D’ni linking book is the task that lies before me. I may not write as many books, but what I do write will be of the highest quality possible. Anything done in love shines bright and lives long.

So that’s it for now. I will post additional updates as needed.

 

8-10-2016 – So I Completed The 30-Day Writing Challenge

I went to a book swap here in Camas a few months back and found Chris Baty’s, “No Plot No Problem!” For those who do not know, he started this while NanoWriMo thing where authors come together in November with a goal to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. Here is a link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Novel_Writing_Month

I decided what the hell and dove in. Having read it and completed the challenge I can recommend the book to anyone.

Now it worked out for me to do this, because as you know, and the last time you heard, I was headed down the coast to California. But I changed my plans, still left, but chose  a route called “The Sierra Cascades Adventure Route.” I made it as far as Parkdale – roughly 60 miles, before I knew I was done. That last night in Parkdale it was very late when I collapsed beside a Baptist church, sleeping on the ground because I had no other options. I was cold, alone, and I never wanted to feel that way again.

It was the wrong route, but it taught me a valuable lesson, that I need to have some sort of practical plan in place for my life. When I got back my parents were on their way to where they are now, so all three of us are crowded in their motorhome. Since I was in a holding pattern on getting work or going to college, I worked on this challenge. Unfortunately, I only made it to 30,000 words or so. I did get sick near the end, I could use that as an excuse, but as far as I am concerned, just like in my plans to bike to California, I failed.

It is very hard not to see myself as a failure. I try not to think of myself that way, I try to focus on what I have done. But I am not convinced. In the back of my mind the word failure is echoing, in regards not only to minor issues like my bike trip and this writing challenge, but also in just about every other area of my life. I am determined to change, to get out on my own and support myself. I am determined to go to college, and this time, come back with a degree in Computer Service. Everything seems to be flowing for me in that direction.

I am also determined to continue to work on myself, through the words of Tolle’s, “A New Earth” as I finish it and my continuing studies in, “A Course In Miracles.” I am also growing in my poetry and writing.

I have to believe that everything is exactly as it should be, even if I can not label it as desired or preferred. That I can continue developing my poetry and start another book but this time, this time, reach 50,000 words or more, revise it until it sparkles like a a multifaceted diamond, and then get it published. I have to believe this, or I will not want to keep going. I walk a cliff edge between giving in and the solid ground of going on. I could step off at any moment. I can not continue to live as I have, or even as I am. But I also must accept the circumstances and situations of my life, and be open as well as non-resistant to them.

I will try to record everything here, for anyone who wants to know. I will also try to continue detailing the experiences of my bicycle trip. The way I see it I have two choices before me, only these two. Go to college/get a job or bicycle to California, this time using the coastal route. If I choose this second options two things must and will happen. I will make it to the Big Sur in California, take “Pill B” which I may have told you about earlier, then, if nothing falls into place for me there, I am calling it quits.

For now going with the flow and not rushing into anything. Not attached to any particular outcome, or at least trying not to be, although I admit going back to college, making friends, dating, finding others who share my interests, and coming out of it with a degree is far more desirable to me than anything else. And hopefully, one day n the near future, I will have at least one publishable manuscript in the hands of an agent on its way to the bookshelves. If I can both finish college and do that then I will finally be able to honestly and truly think of myself as a success.

EDIT: WHEN I finish college and have delivered a publishable manuscript to an agent.