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The Temptation to Believe in a God August 14, 2014

Posted by Steve in diary, reflections.
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You know, sometimes, when a series of bad events happen in a sequence, there is a temptation to believe in a god, if for no other reason than to have an actual thing to blame.  In reality, I’m just living life on the bottom of the bell curve.  Someone has to be there, and I guess it’s my turn.

What are the odds that I would stupidly drive my car into a telephone pole less than a week after Kaylee totals her car, and to have all this happen within the same pay period where I finally decided to take out more credit to top off my emergency fund?  And what’s more, to have all of these things happen within just a little over two weeks of having a $750 charge to get my car properly repaired?  What were the odds against Francesca being arrested on a bogus charge a week after she was beaten by her boyfriend?  And what are the odds against having her iPhone stolen a week later?

And then to have Kaylee’s phone fail to charge and need to have a warranty  replacement, and to have my phone’s battery fail and almost get it replaced the same week?  And then to return the replacement phone and to STILL not have the refund for it?

And then to have to have Francesca move INTO the house because of mold in the sun room during the same time period where Kaylee might have to make a choice to continue to live in my home over her mother’s.

Shit piled on shit piled on shit.  It just never ends.

It would be nice to have a god to blame for all this shit.  But I still think that the probability of one existing is far, far lower than having a random sequence of shitty events happening after each other.

Still, it would be nice…just sayin’

~ Steve

Blogs versus Journals August 5, 2014

Posted by Steve in diary, random, reflections.
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Blog Entry for Aug 5, 2014

The difference between a blog and a journal…well, ONE of the differences between a blog and a journal, for there are many…is that a Blog can be written at any time of day about whatever the fuck I want.  A journal has to wait for the end of a day, because it tries to accurately track what happened during the day, and all the happened aren’t finished until the day is finished.

Another difference is that blogs can be interesting whereas journals tracking life events can be as boring as hell.

Because, let’s face it.  My librarian life, while no doubt coveted by almost all of the world population, is not the deep thinking and interesting event things from which an interesting journal can be built.  With a blog, I can still talk about my life, but I don’t freakin’ have to.  The awesome potential therefore is much higher.

As for daily life, because I feel like talking about it, I’m going out for heavy drinking tonight with Bob, Laura, and Betsy.  It promises to be fun, but as I’m reading “how not to be boring” books and articles, I have hopes that I may be a touch more interesting and a hair more in the direction of being a sparkling conversationalist.  These skills will certainly be needed after I publish my book and become world renowned and will be capable of crushing the world under my thumb if I want to.  (I won’t want to, so my followers may rest assured about that.)

Reading the books, if nothing else, keeps my mind engaged at all kinds of possibilities of the exciting life I will one day lead.

But enough for that.  On to more self-perfecting.  Tootles and Oodles of Noodles.

~ Steve

This is a Blog Post!!!! Yes!!! January 29, 2009

Posted by Steve in diary, philosophy, princess ivory, reflections.
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chapters-3-6-or-fairytales_006Princess read again yesterday, and it was, again, a remarkable reading.  It is one thing to read a story, but quite another to give it life.  Princess does that, and she particularly shined with her reading of “Wolf” from The Rose and the Beast.

I’ve been hanging out in Grizzy’s Cafè before I go to sleep of late.  Last night was fantasy creature night, and you were supposed to show up as your favorite fantasy creature.  I’ve never really felt a strong inclination to be a being other than human, so I just told everyone that Second Life allows me to fulfill my fantasy every time I’m in-world simply because I have hair.

Yes, it’s a small thing, but we all have visions of who we are in our heads, and my vision of who I am happens to have a full head of hair.  As a result I am usually somewhat surprised by that bald guy looking back at me in the mirror in TAW.  Alphonsus is much more how I see myself.  I feel much more “me” being him.

I just published the last installment of Feline Blue, and now I feel like trying to explain it further and writing short, scientific articles about some of the other stuff I’ve thought about throughout my life.  I have a theory as to how the speed of light is related to the size of the universe, and should therefore not be a constant but should increase as the universe expands.  I have another theory which explains why time travel could never exist as it does in the movies.  Alas, the two theories contradict each other, so something’s got to be wrong somewhere.

I also want to expound further on my Uncertainty Theorum, from which my statement that nothing can be provable beyond unreasonable doubt was derived.

So, if you are not someone interested in science or philosophy, odds are pretty good that my next entries into my Written Word blog will bore you to tears.  It will, however, be more fresh stuff; not stuff that I’ve recycled from years gone by.

I never had the chops to be a mathematician.  I had a horrible teacher for Calculous II and I never really recovered after that.  I did have the chops to be a computer programmer, a philosopher, a writer, or a scientist of some sort.  So, naturally, I ended up as a librarian.  I simply took the path of least resistance.  I know how to think, but motivation has never been my strong point.  Oh well.

Today is my step-daughter’s 21st birthday (this is the person also known as PFKAT – Person Formerly Known As Teenager).  At long last she is an adult in every legal sense, and in many emotional and intellectual senses as well.

Well, I have early meetings today, so I should be getting ready for work.  Later, peeps.

Alphonsus

Defining ourselves October 21, 2008

Posted by Steve in reflections.
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There is a phrase so popular that it has become almost a cliche — remain true to ourselves. It is a good phrase, and caries with it lot of good feedback if followed. Nonetheless, the phrase does contain one very obvious problem, and that is that most of us don’t really have a clue as to who the hell we are.

We are, each of us, an extraordinary combination of genetics and experience. Everyone we have ever met affects us in some way, everything we have read reflects in the person that we are. Yet, there is in each of us an almost undefinable sense of “I” that we live with every day.

We are neither master to the “I”, nor are we it’s slave. We can try to shape it, and we can to some extent, but some pieces of it will only bend so far before they either stop moving, or will break off entirely.

So what this “I” is changes subtly from moment to moment, and from day to day.

It has been said that the true measure of one’s character is not in what they say, but in what they do. This, likewise, holds some truth. Unless the person is deliberately lying, what a person says they are is the shape they want themselves to take. When what a person does contradicts the words they say, this demonstrates the degree to which we have failed, for whatever reason, to shape ourselves into the person we wish to become.

Thus, this allows people to say they are one thing, and yet do something completely different, and yet allow the original statement to remain true. They can WISH they were the thing that they say they were. The can BELIEVE that they are capable of making true to their wishes, for they wish it so badly, yet, for whatever reason, they are unable to bend the “I” to make it conform to their wishes.

Thus, they beat up on themselves. Label themselves as untrustworthy failures. The labels we give ourselves often make it so. We don’t know how to bend ourselves to our desires and thus we quit trying.

What I want myself to be and who I seem to be in reality are not the same thing. I continue to make effort to bend my reality to my desires, but I am beginning to run out of ideas as to how to make this happen and grow despairingly at my ability to ever do so.

Thus, it is my own fallibilities that make me so forgiving of others. I understand how hard I struggle to be who I feel I “should” be, yet remain stubbornly as I am. I also stubbornly refuse to accept that who I am is who I will always be, so I continue to make statements of intent and fail to live up to them.

Through observation, I believe that most people share the same struggles. Forgiveness is easy for me, for by forgiving them I find it easier to forgive myself. My struggle to shape “who I am” is never ending, for there are aspects of who I seem to be that are unacceptable to me.

The world, and the people in it, are not black and white. Even those we consider evil face their own struggles between right and wrong (or at least I like to believe they do). I am imperfect, thus I generalize that all are imperfect. I struggle to forgive myself for my imperfections, so I thus struggle to forgive the imperfections in others.

And thus this is who I am, an thus how I define myself. Forgiveness to me is not so much a matter of choice, but simply a facing of reality as I see it.

Peace to all, and may those who are now hurting find some solace in my words

Love,
Steve

Sabbatical May 7, 2008

Posted by Steve in diary, forums, reflections, sabatical.
6 comments

As many of you may have noticed, I have not been spending a lot of time in resolved pixel form in world of late. My soul, or I should say the soul I share with my meat-world animator Steve, has been engaged in other adventures of life in toto. Stress, introspection, crisis, and learning have been, as always, having their way with me, and like any mistress of such masters, the time comes when I come must evaluate my own place in life, and see for myself where I really want to be.

I have been spending a great deal of my time in an online emotional support forum. Where Second Life gives me the opportunity to seek support and to give support on a semi regular basis, this forum gives me constant, unrelenting opportunities to attain these desiderata on a constant and as needed basis.

The result of this has been, quite naturally and expectedly, a total and unreasonable obsession with the place. This seems to be my nature, and as is also the nature of such places, they seem to attract people with similar predispositions to addiction. Thus, trying to get advice on breaking the addiction from such a place is like asking an alcoholic if your one glass of wine is too much. You might get good advice, but the odds are way against it.

The result of this shift in my interests has resulted in, as is also my nature, soul crushing guilt and a sense of failure. I have not, nor am I ready to abandon Second Life altogether. I’m not one to believe in absolutes. But as I am clearly not meeting my responsibilities in this world, it behooves me to bequest these responsibilities on to one more willing and able to carry them.

My mood has varied from wonderful to wanting to slam my head against walls, also nothing remarkable. My sleep has not been as I wish it to be, and I find myself unable to awaken in the morning. I’m not sure as to the reason for this, but my only solution seems to be sleeping earlier, which my body will not find difficult in the least, but my spirit rebels against. It seems like so little of my life is under my control, my evenings, where I am free to do as I please, are precious. I hate to sacrifice this time. But sacrifice I must…my work is our life blood. As much as I’d like to walk away from it, it is simply not a realistic plan for now or for the foreseeable future.

I am thinking of leading a local depression support group in RL, and I am thinking of taking singing lessons in Summer, and I am also thinking about starting on work to get my MSW (masters of social work), so that I can retire from the library at 55 and go on to a job that I would love.

A long enough ramble for tonight. There is much else to say (as is always the case), but I’m getting tired and I did want to put in at least a little bit of book time. Love and hugs to all my friends. We shall still be spending time together, it’s just that our meetings will be all the sweeter because of my absence.

Alphonsus

The Universe and Everything Else January 31, 2008

Posted by Steve in excerpts, reflections.
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[RL] I love science. I have been a science geek for as long as I can remember. Once, as a child, I got a fold up map of the solar system from McDonald’s. I loved that thing, despite the flying french fries and hamburger space ships. I used to take my finger and pretend it was a space ship, and spend what seemed like hours flying from one planet to another. Kidtime is somewhat elongated, so it was probably no more than five minutes. But, as odd as it sounds, I remember that as one of my happiest childhood memories.

As virtually everything does, this brings me back to considerations of religion. One of my principles problems with the Bible is its earth-centric viewpoint of creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The heavens. 99.9999999999999999999% of creation is tossed away as an afterthought in that sentence.

Does the reader really have any idea how big “the heavens” are?

In my unpublished and one day to be rewritten book, Of Cabbages and Kings, I considered this question. I tried to create a version of God that was consistent with the universe as science says exits. Satan is one of the characters within the story, and he has been living largely in hiding under the name of Alphonsus Luke (sound familiar) for the past 1000 years.

At one point, he relates to the story’s protagonist, Alex Taber, and Alex’s girlfriend, Charlene, the tale of how he was once allowed to see the universe the way that God sees it. This is an excerpt:

******

“Dr. Luke?”

“Call me Alphonsus, Charlene.”

“Okay. Alphonsus. I have to ask you something.”

“Yes?”

“I need to know if…well…I mean, have you killed people?”

Dr. Luke closed his eyes and sighed deeply.

“Charlene, I know what you’re asking. But you’re not really thinking. The real question you want to ask–the real information you wish to divine, is if I am evil. One definition of evil is murder–killing. But really Charlene, what do you think? I’m 39 thousand years old. Those thirty-nine thousand years cover every violent moment in recorded history. Do you really think that I, as an immortal being, could have gone through that much of life without having killed anyone?

“So, the answer to your question is yes. Yes, of course I’ve killed people. Look at Alex. He’s only an embryo at forty years old, and he’s already killed people.”

Alphonsus paused a moment, remembering.

“Life long ago was much different from life of today. Just as one sample, look at language. You have to understand, Charlene, that ancient languages were not always very flexible. There were usually not a lot of words, and sometimes it was difficult to get one’s point across. Often disagreements were caused by simple inability to get someone to understand what you were talking about. Many times, if there was a significant enough disagreement, the easiest way of settling a dispute was simply to cut the other guy’s head off.

“But,” he continued, “the real question you’re asking is if I liked killing people, and the answer to that question is no. Do I think some people are better off dead? Of course, but if I’ve learned one thing after all this time it’s that sometimes even the worst people can surprise.”

Dr. Luke hesitated a moment. “Most of the time they won’t, of course. But I’m not going to take it as my role to rid the world of the assholes. There’s an infinite supply of them, and I have better things to do with my time.”

Charlene snorted. “You don’t want to play God, in other words.”

He grimaced bitterly. “Why should I? Most of the time even God doesn’t play God.”

Alex interjected, “I thought that was the reason you got kicked out of Heaven. I thought it was because you wanted God’s job or something.”

Luke stared at him for a long moment, and then he smiled, closed his eyes, and began to laugh. It was not a happy laugh, or rather, not one that suggested happiness. Rather, it was a laugh that suggests irony or pain.

He laughed for an uncomfortably long time.

Finally, he stopped himself and opened his eyes again, smiling.

“Do you have the slightest idea what God is really like? Do you have the slightest idea how incredibly powerful–yet limited–He really is?

He paused and became serious. “All Knowing? Everyone assumes it. I believe it. I have seen what he sees. But have you ever given any thought to what the words really mean?

“He is capable of managing a Universe. An entire Universe, Alex! The Universe is not a fantasy. It is really out there, and it is large. You are both educated individuals. Do you have any idea of just how big it really is?

“Well, no matter what you think, you don’t. I don’t either. Gigantic. Colossal. No word is big enough. Not by a trillionth. The human mind cannot even conceive of its real size. The imagination is not capable of it. Think of infinity. Multiply it times infinity. Imagine what you get. Do you think your imagination is accurate? It isn’t.

“He sees all of it at once. He can focus simultaneously on each of the six billion people on this planet all and at the same time count the number grains of sand on a beach on the other side of the Universe, call it, oh, nineteen billion light-years away as the trans-dimensional crow flies. And he sees every star, every planet, every dust mot, in between.

“Do you think I would aspire to do something like that? I can barely manage myself some days, Alex.”

He looked at us for a moment, suddenly frowning uncomfortably, his expression darkening. He seemed to be remembering something.

“He took me into his realm, once,” he said after a long pause. “His realm … His reality … I don’t know what else to call it. He did it soon after He created me. I think He wanted to deal with me on a one to one basis; face to face, so to speak. His regular angels go there all the time. I think that’s why He created me–so that He could finally deal with a human on His level. A normal human body could never survive there.”

He paused again, and then continued hesitantly. “I found it…disconcerting…to say the least. Basically, I saw…no, I can’t say that I saw…I became aware of, the entire Universe, all at once.

“And then, there was the awareness of His presence. It was…indescribable…there are no words–no concepts that I can draw parallels from. You may trust, however, that the idea of some old fart sitting on a throne is mistaken. And, you may also trust that if we were created in his image, then Jackson Pollock is a realist.”

He paused. “The experience left me in a catatonic state for, well, how could I really tell how long, but at least several decades. It certainly would have killed me if such a thing were possible in my current state.”

Pain January 29, 2008

Posted by Steve in reflections.
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So much pain throughout the world. Emotional pain. Physical pain.

So much pain in my friends. So much pain in those whom I love the most.

I know the pain encompassed in my own loved ones…in my own circle of friends, and I try to imagine all the other pain that must be out there. Pain even worse than what these people suffer. What would the pain of 6 billion people look like if piled into one place. Could even the mythical Hell be worse than what is suffered by some in our earthly paradise?

I want so much to heal the world; to take all this pain and make it vanish for people. I want to have the strength to be able to take everyone’s burdens and place them on my own shoulders. I can’t bear to watch another suffer while I stand idly by.

Yet, I know that I haven’t the strength. I can’t even bear my own emotional pain. I can’t carry another’s physical pain—I can’t hardly tolerate going to the dentist to get my teeth clean.

If I was given the chance—the gift—to take all the worlds pain unto me, so that the world would free of it finally, I’m certain that I would do it. I would die from unbearable agony moments afterward, but in the moment before that happened I would be happy, knowing that I was doing the right thing.

Alas, I do not expect such a gift to be given to me. So I must suffer as I watch others suffer. Helpless. With folded hands. Knowing that whatever comfort I can offer will be at best, fleeting. I haven’t a cure for anyone, and for some there are not even words that I can say that would ease the suffering even a little.

I want to heal the world. I can’t even heal myself.

Aianna, you have my blessings and prayers today, for whatever they are worth. The same goes for my loved ones who are in pain. I don’t know what to offer other than kind words and support…

These are not enough to affect much, but even if they are completely useless, they remain all I have to offer

Love and blessings, all Please keep the pain at bay as much as possible. I may not be able to help you, but please know that I desperately want too..

My Religious Beliefs with a Brief Mention of Pizza January 7, 2008

Posted by Steve in philosophy, reflections, Triskele.
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Others have been posting there religious beliefs online, and as I was just appointed the official Second Cleric in Triskele, I feel it is perhaps time to share what I believe.

I was born and raised with absolutely no religion in my life. Religion was not so much ridiculed as it was ignored. The closest religious experiences I had while young were reading Genesis in hotel rooms when I was bored, and occasionally watching televangelists, at whom my father bestowed ridicule and my brother would giggle at insanely. When I once asked my mother what religion I was for the purpose of filling out a form, she said, “I don’t know, probably Lutheran. That’s what your father’s parents are.”

Having no religion made me an oddity among my peers, and from time to time they would talk about things utterly foreign to my little world. Eventually as I grew older and was able understand the concepts a little better, I became fascinated by the whole religious thing, and remain so to this day.

The term that would best describe me is Militant Spiritual Agnostic, and I am currently as close to being Christian as I am ever likely to be. My full beliefs could only be described in chapters rather than paragraphs, but I generally hold that if God exists, and if God created the universe, then, if God were fair, he would have written his commandments and wishes for us into the nature of the universe itself. The more we study and learn by the principles that the universe teaches us, the more we would follow God’s plan.

Of course, the main statement has 3 ifs and makes a rather large assumption the issue of fairness from a Godly perspective. My current “Christian” leanings are due to debatable biblical evidence that Yeshuwa’s life was prophesied from the Old Testament, a document that was finished being written at least 300 years before Christ’s birth.

I believe that fundamentally most religions are positive forces which are frequently very corrupted by bad people to excuse unspeakable things.

I do not, however, hold that all religions and beliefs are equally valid, as some are more clearly full of crap than others. I believe in crystals, as they are great in salt shakers. Astrology is likewise great for giggles in the morning paper. Psychics are sometimes people unusually tuned to making assessments of people at a glance and can be good at giving common sense advice. At other times they are great for helping relieve the problems of people who have too much money but don’t have the brains to keep it.

How Scientology even managed to get itself qualified as a religion is testament to L. Ron Hubbard’s creativity. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is pasta it’s prime. I strongly object to any religion that advocates the wholesale extermination of those who don’t believe it as I would be one of those exterminated and I’m a nice guy. As for those religions who advocate exterminating themselves, well, Darwin works in mysterious ways.

The most compelling evidence for the existence of God is pizza. That such a perfect food could be created without divine intervention is beyond reason.

Safety and love to everyone. Hugs to those who want or need them.

The Last Anxiety-Ridden Post January 4, 2008

Posted by Steve in diary, reflections.
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This morning, after a horible night’s sleep, I had vague recolections about writing something last night. Having just re-read the experience, I have been debating whether to keep it there or not. I’ve decided to let it stay if only for my own reasons as oppossed to meeting the needs of anyone else. It’s a bit stark and not terribly well written (I’m leaving in the typos as is, although the spelling errors are forever gone), but it is an honest recording of a moment in my life, so I’ve decided to let it stay.

Anxiety is an issue with which I have struggled most of my life. It is one of the reasons, I suspect, that I’ve developed the calm demeaner that I have. I try to remain calm on the exterior to help calm myself on the interior. Even so, it can still be debilitating. Staying calm on the outside sometimes requires that I burry my head in the sand, losing myself in videogames or other mind-numbing activities as simply a way to keep the anxiety at bay. It does not always lead to being a very productive person, unfortunately.

My rational mind, fortunately or unfortunately, is not often affected by the anxiety. It is fortunate in the sense that I can still sound reasonable and calm under the worst of circumstances. It is unfortunate in that I am fully well aware that I AM burying my head in the sand. My efforts to keep my anxiety at bay lead to a considerable loss of productivity. There are medications and they do help, but I find that they are more likely to produce a state in which I simply don’t CARE that I’m not being productive. Either way I find myself in a constant state of doing nothing, and either being anxious about it or not caring.

This is not a new insight for me as I’ve had it before and forgotten about it. I’m hoping this blog entry will serve as a reminder. Sorry to trouble y’all with my inner demons. I promise I will be back to writing Second Life related stuff again tomorrow.

Hugs to anyone who wants or needs one.

The Best Pixel January 2, 2008

Posted by Steve in philosophy, reflections.
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“Use what talent you possess – the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

As those of you who know me reasonably well may have already guessed, I am not a perfectionist. I am, by nature, lazy, and I use my brain to come up with ways to do the absolute minimum work possible to get the job done. If this means duct tape and coat hangers, then duct tape and coat hangers it is.

One example of this is the way I provided power to our dishwasher in our home. Our kitchen is very small, and all the the electrical outlets were on the same circuit. Runing the dishwasher meant that no other appliances in the kitchen could be run at the same time. Also, none of the outlets were convenient.

So I fixed it the simple way–I just drilled a hole through the floor using a 1 inch spade bit and shoved an orange extension cord through to a basement power supply. The dishwasher is now run off a seperate circuit, and all is right in my little world as I don’t have to figure out the mysteries of sophistcated electrical wiring.

Nevertheless, there is something about the human/avatar ego within me that still wants to be “the best” from time to time. I may be lazy, but I am also competetive. When I write something to submit for a writing contest, I want it to be “the best” entry. Otherwise why bother? Same with my paintings, I suspect. I look at works of art so far beyond me that, again, I wonder why should I even try? And then my laziness grabs me and then the answer becomes simple. I don’t try.

The fact that I’m not the best in my community chorus doesn’t seem to bother me however. I am just now getting to the point where I can sight read a little, and I’ve heard other voices among me that put mine to shame. I am fully aware that I will never be the best singer, but somehow that doesn’t matter very much. I’m just there to have fun and to tone what little laughable talent I have to become a little better each year.

Life isn’t a contest where only the best may qualify. It is a more like a digital movie screen, where each pixel in itself can’t be aware of it’s overall importance to the show. My monitor has one pixel which is defective–it essentially isn’t there. It is amazing how noticible the absense of this single pixel is. It would not be “the best” pixel should it miraculously fix itself, but it would be a welcome addition to the overall picture.

Each of us is more important than that single pixel. Imagine what we leave out when we don’t try just because we can’t be “the best.”

The lesson here is that we shouldn’t worry about being the best pixel in this new year. Just make the effort to “be.” This is a lesson that I must work very hard at myself. But as resolutions go, it is a simple one. It appeals to the lazy part of me.

Be well my friends. And special hugs to any who want or need them.