Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Serving One Master

Cloud Joshuas

Serving one master, as suggested as being necessary in the Bible, is much more simple than we may have thought.

We may think, “Wow, there’s me and what I want/need, and then there’s my family and there’s my parents and my religious peers, and then there’s my job and my boss and the corporation that employs us both. There’s my community and there are my friends.”

“I’m being judged by all of them; how could I possibly serve them all?”

We can adhere to a particular sect of religion/philosophy or gang, or we may call our self an Atheist (Self God?). We may call our self spiritual but not religious. Outside of our own wishes, we may find ourselves labeled “new age”. Maybe Science is actually our God.

Apart from the commercial marketplace or our standings in the materialistic, Capitalist culture that we find our self, we may notice “This is not my beautiful house”…

Maybe these queries lead us to self-label from a Political standpoint: “I’m a Socialist at heart”, or “I’m an Anarcho-Capitalist”, “I believe in the democratic ideal: I’m a bureaucrat”.

From any of these (or other) perspectives then, the master is?.. drum roll please..

I’d like to offer a lil’ tid bit to you, dear reader: I’ve been to A.A. Most of my friends used to/do label themselves liberal, and this means, usually, that they’re more usually inclined to call themselves “Atheists” than “religious”. The usual comment from friends that I would keep is that A.A. focuses too much on God and that the organization is too Christian.

My friends, I still like to drink alcohol. I never intended to quit drinking, but I was required to attend these meetings, and after having said all that, I gotta’ tell ya’ “a higher power” or “arc of the universe” in nothing to reject or act rebellious toward.

To believe in “something bigger than yourself” is fully rational and totally useful. Humility is a virtue in life to strive toward.

Whatever you wanna’ call that, realize that we’re all in this together and the rise of “No God” or Atheism is the very root of this empty and pointless societal gloom that we’re experiencing right now.

What I like to say to Atheists is this: I don’t believe in Atheists. I would almost wager that every single person has perceived SOME kind of bigger system that we, ourselves, are a tiny part of.

If you believe that you are a simple cog in the wheel, then you are not an Atheist (by my own definition), you’re Agnostic.

Just give in, just believe that your actions are part of something worth while and see that your life is not a waste. Someone/something needs you.

To sort of blow your mind, or maybe just to tune you in a bit deeper, I’d like to mention a few things because, quite succinctly, I had, at one time, seen them as counter-intuitive philosophies:

1. There is a documentary movie called “Gay Republicans“; Yes, they exist!

2. The Unitarian Universalist Church accepts adherents of Witchcraft as well as Christians, Jews, “New Agers”, Buddhists, etc.

3. I don’t believe in Atheists (link above) is a book by an author, previously unbeknownst to me,that has another philosophy in common with me: War creates purpose.

4. Anarchy is NOT a synonym of Chaos. Literally, it means “no hierarchy”.

5. Hinduism is known to Westerners as “The Religion of 3,000 Gods”, which is actually a mis-translation of “..Infinite Gods”.

Whether you see God as an “it”, a “Him”, a “they” or an “us”,  however you choose to conceptualize this world and beyond, HAPPY XMAS!

Working On “Ourself”

Are we all working on ourselves?

We’re a parent: are we working to become a better one? We’re an artist: are we advancing our skills? We’re a religious adherent: are we working devoutly to understand selflessness?

As a person, an individual -a human -do we accept personal responsibility? Do we strive toward conservation?

Do we recognize wisdom in ourselves OR in others? and do we endeavor to share that wisdom once we find it? Do we see the difference between those who need our help and those who don’t?

Imagine: what if “ourself” was a word commonly used in the English language?

A Snake Parable

It is not clear if the snake was once a man. It seemed as though the powerful snake had always been there, always hungry for power.

Early on, the snake was only twice as powerful as man and he struggled alongside man to retain and expand his power. The snake’s advantage allowed him to advance to twice that of man and then twice that until his rate of growth over man became exponential.

There was once a time when the snake was loud and obscene and he ruled man ruthlessly with displays of public cruelty. He challenged man. He worked his slaves to build fortresses of gold for him and he whipped thousands of men and killed thousands more with ease. He humiliated man for sport.

The snake had an unquenchable lust for material wealth and he knew that he had to keep man producing. The snake had nothing without man. He started to devise ways to expand his stable of men, which brought him more and more wealth. Intervals of war and peace were pastimes of his design.

As mankind grew, the snake’s power continued to grow at unfathomable rates until his growth became unknowable to man. The snake had become invisible, and with time, memory of the snake began to fade into myth and fantastic stories. His very existence had become doubtful to man. Mankind started to see himself as his own ruler.

This pleased the snake as he silently wrapped himself around the world. His bidding was being done at the behest of man rulers but all under his own control.

Myths began to proliferate regarding the divinity of the rulers and some became known as gods. Man will follow man, even if that man is a god.

The snake was still the highest in earthly power and he spent his time plotting and playing games to amuse himself and he wondered how such a lowly and lost race could continue living, deceived, day after day, in such defeat. He took time to observe the ways of man and the snake saw how man’s passions kept him alive in the face of adversity and he saw men die purposefully for what they believed in!

The snake only believed in material gain and since all the wealth was his, he surmised that mankind was illogical, despicable and absurd and existed only for his own amusement. “Something that acts so absurd must be a toy!” he thought. “What else can I make them do?”

The snake had started to observe that the mind of man directed itself toward meaning outside of this world and stories of myth and religion were prevalent and key to the rule of societies and nations. To the snake, man was foolish and this world was all there was.

It was at this moment that the snake said to himself “Mankind is crazy. Mankind belongs to me. I will make mankind destroy itself!” He began a new game. The various gangs would destroy each other!

The snake allowed religions to grow powerful until followers would die in opposition to other religions. Eventually mankind had stopped recognizing itself as one. Divided, the most powerful groups of mankind overcame the others.

Man worshipped nature and then man worshipped gods. Man worshipped various forms of wealth and men divided into nations to fight over all of these.

Man became skilled at dividing itself and the snake found this new game to be ingenious. The snake had found passive entertainment.

Watching man’s foolish endeavors, the snake had long ago lost the power of imagination. His wealth was still growing, still consuming, after all these centuries, but his spirit had withered and died. He had stopped creating.

With his invisible body wrapped around the world, the snake had nothing to do and had no interest in devising a new game. All he knew was hunger because he wanted to keep growing.

Man had worshipped at the altar of beliefs, but when he stopped possessing and started sharing these scattered beliefs, man led himself to full self-knowledge. Man was always looking for what was missing but the knowledge of his own completeness became undeniable. Mankind is its own creator. Together we are God.

The snake had become a soulless, invisible, devouring carcass. His power was empty. There was no he anymore. Man realized that he, himself, had created this snake. Fighting emptiness will devour itself.

Conflict was the only thing feeding the snake. Once mankind quit dividing and fighting, he found his own peace and the snake, did indeed, devour itself.

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