Friday, March 22, 2013


There is one scripture I still believe in wholeheartedly.  It says that perfect love casts out fear.  I think it's more a matter of good reasoning and acceptance of reality doing the casting out.  Words are sometimes imperfect in transmitting all there is in a concept.

I believe fear is the greatest enemy we have to face in life.  It leads us to "settle" for the familiar and the safe, to comprise with our deepest needs and desires and a multitude of other evils.

I'm sure even the greatest and most successful among us have had to struggle against the monster of fear many times during their lives.  The most successful are those who squared their shoulders, made a decision and ploughed ahead.

When my department was precipitously demolished by the leaders of the cult I had fallen for, I was completely at sea.  I could have, like many did, desperately sought a way back into some other position, to the delight of the power-mad people in control who would have continued their campaigns to assure that everyone was acceptably humble and groveled just right.

It took about three years for me to find and settle upon a self-employed occupation that eventually led to the real fulfillment with which my life has been blessed.

For years, I desperately held onto my first marriage and tried every way I could think of to asuage the discontent and accede to the demands of my then wife.  Once I realized it was a hopeless endeavor, if I was to maintain any self-esteem, and developed the determination to accept the obvious, fear lost its power over me, and I was able to set out to build a new life.

It was easier the next time around to let my second wife separate from me over my teen-age daughter coming to live with me and not fearfully send her back to the overbearing rule of her mother just to not have to endure the uncomfortable aspects of having to again live alone without the comforts of companionship, regular sex, a sense of stability, etc.  In the end, it all worked out to my overall benefit.

Fear leads people to compromise with their deepest innermost needs.  It leads them to stay with jobs that demean them and sap their very souls.  I leads them to stay where they are and not move to a better and more soul-nourishing environment because they fear giving up associations, familiar surroundings, support networks, etc.

I've been back to California many times since I left there in 1981.  I could have found many reasons not to come to Arizona, and all would have been based (and quite logically so) on fear.

I did come.  I had to face difficulties.  I had to find solutions.  It was not all a "walk in the park."  Overall, I'm forever grateful I found the courage and determination to do it.

Same with coming to Cottonwood.

However it might be stated, fear is an enemy if it takes over one's life so thoroughly that no logical change can be made.  There is a time to say:  "This is the situation.  This is where I am.  I can do this, or that or something else.  This looks best in the long run.  I'm going for it.  Somehow, it will work out."

Thursday, March 21, 2013


There was a program on the Science Channel last night about the search for the Higgs Boson.  It was interesting, and I have to marvel at the tenacity necessary to prosecute such monumental searches.  I can't help wishing I could be part of it.  How fulfilling, and at the same time, frustrating that would be. 

In science, as soon as one question is answered, there seem to be an innumerable series of other questions that come up.  Are there other bosons?  Is the boson the ultimate or composed of still more particles?  Originally, the atom itself was considered the smallest component of matter.  We now know it's not.

What disappointed me in the whole program was inanely constant references to the Higgs Boson as a "god particle."  We just can't seem to wean ourselves from the trappings of mythology -- a yearning for a simple answer to it all.  The simplest answer of all being "God did it."  Subject closed.  Don't bother me with the facts.

Talk about magic!  The universe is so complex that we have to have ever greater and more powerful machines like the Hadron Collider and physicists who dedicate their entire lives to the quest to even begin to fathom its secrets, but a "god" who would have to dwarf and put to shame all those machines along with their super-educated and dedicated operators just automatically "always existed."

Pardon me -- don't you assert that the universe is too complex to have come to be without a creator?  Yet, you assume -- on faith -- that such a creator just happened to be there in all its magnificence and just happened to be endowed with knowledge and abilities we humans have striven to accumulate for centuries just as a matter of fiat!  Would the financial magicians at the Federal Reserve ever like to hire someone with those innate chacacteristics!

No wonder we're a race staring possible extinction in the face from our own foibles and base attitudes! 

C'mon.  We shouldn't still be a gang of ignorant savages stumbling around in this terrestrial jungle chanting spells and prostrating ourselves to imaginary beings!  That mindset is potentially lethal in any time, but much more so in a super-technological age such as ours! 

We just don't know how it all began, and we may never get to the ultimate answer.  It's just certain that no magical super-being did it who had all knowledge and all power just as a matter of fiat.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


We had a partial family get-to-gether yesterday.  My oldest daughter, Jaime, mentioned how much more she has learned about me and my past through Facebook. She appreciates it and so do I.

That's exactly why I blog and Facebook. It's why I wrote my little autobiography a few years back.

If I had to wait for those rare times when we can all get together and have a long conversation, not much would get transmitted, and even then, not to everybody who could perhaps profit from, or just enjoy, hearing it.

Everybody, regardless of age, is extremely busy and preoccupied with their own cares most of the time. That's no longer the impediment it used to be.

I can write what I want to write when the urge comes on me and whoever is interested can tune into it when and if the desire comes.

Writing, which made possible scrolls, monuments, books, newspapers, mags, etc., was the beginning of the end of the need for personal, one-on-one transmission of everything. Steadily, innovations have come along to the point that just about everyone can be in instantaneous communication with just about anyone else on the face of this planet and wherever in outer space we might be able to get to. It's marvelous when you think deeply about it.

I know. There are still people who don't want a "damn cellphone" or computer (or much of anything else that takes them farther from the stone age). They're going to hie their ossified old behinds straight into the grave proud to have never learned any of those new fangled, time wasting things. They're usually to be found behind a scowling face and grumpy attitude, as they scream at some kid who dared to walk on their precious grass, while expounding about "the good old days."

Got news for them and everyone. Those days weren't all that damn good. I was there. I know. But, they were all we had and better than the alternative. I appreciated all of them, but I don't want to be stuck back there.

However, it's mighty nice to pass on some of the things I experienced and learned.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


The world of humanity is sick! 

It has been sick for millennia! 

It has a virus of the mind called religion!

Ever since man became a sentient, thinking being terrified of the vagaries of nature and his own vulnerability in a dangerous world.  Life was short and brutal back then.  It became a little less so as bigger communities evolved and tools and shelters became better making us fragile creatures a bit more secure.  But, the developments came slowly and sporadically. 

Not only were there dangers in nature, but competing humans often proved more dangerous and lethal than less mentally devoloped creatures.  The "gang" in the next valley or on the next mountain could prove positively lethal and certainly something to be suspicious of and cautious about.

The present world is also a very unsafe place in which to dwell.  We have all kinds of problems right here on the earth, but we've also come to realize how vulnerable we are to dangers from above -- from space itself.  Nearly any educated human has to now realize we could easily join the dinosaurs in a cosmic extinction event.

Early on, especially thoughtful and often crafty individuals tried to come up with simplistic answers to it all.  It isn't easy to answer a frightened child, or adult, as to the whys of the world as it exists.  That gave rise to supernatural explanations which involved gods, ogres, nymphs, fairies, etc.  That all led to theologies that grew more involved with the evolution of myths and bombastic assertions of protection for believers who toed the line.

Inevitably, that all led to elaborate theologies and hierarchical priesthoods.  Today, we have the spectacle of competing and warring religions, themselves split into innumerable sects and splinters that militantly strive for control of as many people as they possibly can gain sway over.

Dr. Darrel W. Ray has published a book on the subject that I just finished reading today.

The God Virus points out how much like an infectious virus religion has become in manifesting itself throughout the world.  Everyone infected gets taken over to greater or lesser degree by whatever virus they happen to succumb to, either through the accident of their geographical birth or their infection by an effective vector (like my encountering Herbert Armstrong at the age of 18 and being instanteously infected to the point that I was absolutely sure I had a truth few others had been blessed with -- and certainly no one outside my specially called little group).

I wasn't unique then, nor would I be now.  Except for the Muslim world, America is probsably the most thoroughly religiously infected nation around.  Just in my lifetime, religion has gone from being  pretty much an incidental in politics to a litmus test for eligibility into the political dynamic of the country.  Neither Jefferson nor Lincoln, among many others, could ever get elected to office in this country today once their honest statements about religion came to light.

One of Dr. Ray's closing statements makes the present situation abundantly clear:  "Religions will be with us as long as humans seek easy answers, as long as skilled vectors sedate people to avoid life's difficult questions, as long as the infected let their preachers, popes and imams do their thinking for them, we will have religion."

I would add, as long as people are cocksure that they are so special that they are specially chosen by some deity as recipients of "the truth" through accident of birth, geography or mystical calling, we are going to be a tragically, and possibly fatally, fractured species on the face of this earth.  I can only wonder, in an age of the potential for worldwide mass destruction, how long this insane plethora of infections can continue on without the ultimate in madness taking over.

I will close with this final sobering statement from his book:  "All of the prophetic religions -- from Christianity to Islam, Mormonism to the Ghost Dance religion of 19th-century Native Americans -- proclaim an end time and return of a savior god.  Utter terror of a return and judgment keeps people working within the confines of the religion.  Non-believers have figured out that there is no second coming, but there may be an apocalypse of viral stupidity.  I am more worried that fundamentalism in all its forms will cause a holocaust than that any 12th Imam, Jesus or Messiah will reappear.  In world history, there have been many crucified saviors.  Many were born of virgins; many were of humble birth with a royal lineage.  All of them claimed they will return some day.  Some were resurrected; some even flew up to heaven."  (At least, that's the bombastic story!)

I highly recommend this book and plan to read it again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Life can be so good at times! I don't think I've ever been happier or more contented.

Phyllis and I came back from our car washing jaunt and a trip to the local gelato cafe to a glorious and beautifully peaceful afternoon and shared a beer on the patio while we watched the busy wild bees swarming around the nectarine and apricot trees. The dogs joined us and added to the joyous ambiance.

This morning, I went and reattached a bedroom of carpeting that had been flooded and dried out over in Camp Verde and had to turn on the air conditioning on the way back. Spring is busting out all over.

I'm reminded of that picture from the Bible of relaxing under your vine and/or fig tree. Really, what is satisfying is being able to relax in peaceful surroundings on a piece of land you can call your own (in partnership with the bank) and feel somewhat safe, anyway as safe as it's possible to be in this sometimes unreliable world.

While we sat there, my mind wasn't on politics or anything else divisive. It was on feeling grateful for what I have to be grateful for and being marvelously peaceful. I have a sign over our carport that labels our little place "tranquil oasis." Made it myself.

That's what it is.

I appreciate it!