Phil-osophy 101

Perversion, death and breasts, advice from a SEAL, and our right to question everything.

Perversion, death and breasts, advice from a SEAL, and our right to question everything.

Shunamatism Nun
Image by Juergen_G from Pixabay and edited by the author

I’ve successfully made it through about a fifth of the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible. About now, is when I’m getting a little leery about reading any other scriptures, as I’ve seen what happened to Pharaoh.

I mean, I don’t want to go read back through the copy of the Quran I have on the shelf and end up coming down with the plague!

But, if I did come down with the plague, would I be stupid enough not to burn it?

Of course, this is only speculative.

Isn’t this a war on literature?

My co-worker Phil (hence the title Phil-osophy) made a point that something like 1.2 billion people on Earth believes in the Hindu religion. So, wouldn’t be punished for exploring their beliefs, to better understand them, be a little harsh?

It’s kinda like turning your back and ignoring the others. Or, as Phil put it, basking in ignorance.

Some of the other co-workers joined in and pushed further. We talked about religious intolerance. Isn’t that what really starts wars of all kinds? The cutting off of conversation; The “No! I don’t even want to look at your book!” attitude?

One thing was for sure. The majority of those involved in the conversation had a firm stance against the banning of books.

“It’s all knowledge,” they said.

Albeit, some knowledge arguably is best left to rot, or never be repeated.
Or, is that wrong?

It really comes down to the freedom of speech and the heat of debate.

We’ve all been witness to the embarrassment of the U.S. Presidential debates during the past couple of years. But, one thing I can say for them is this:

They didn’t come to blows on the stage.

They got heated for sure. But they did stay contained.

It was out in the masses. Among the people of the nation (that watching) continued the stoking of the flames and turned the argument into action. And all of it was literally civil war.

Civilians warring among themselves over empassioned arguments.

The government, of both parties, playing like Mom and Dad, trying to quell the temper tantrums in their own different ways.
Mom’s passive and Dad’s active.
Send in the National Guard! De-fund the police!

To be frank. The Country is who’s acted like children not the government.

How did this become political?

Obviously, what falls short is listening.

Perhaps the next debate ought to have an entire night dedicated to one candidate making their claims, and the last half of the night be dedicated to fact-checkers Googling and debating with each other over their findings?

Then the next night, the other candidate could do the same?

Then let them talk on the final night together… and listen to the facts together, for God’s sake!

Someone on a forum suggested the candidates wear masks and their voices be changed so no one can be bipartisan until the winner is declared!

I’m growing kinda fond of the pastor at my church.

It is non-denominational, so that helps, but he is not the type to force dogma on anyone. He does his share when it comes to delivering scripture and thus his duty to his deity.
What’s nice though, is that he doesn’t waste words. He’s not like some of these early morning TV evangelists (you know the ones).

I mean, what’s the sense in preaching, or even talking to someone about the growth of the spirit if they’re not being receptive? My pastor has a way of weaving himself and his truth into the conversation and daily life in the most appropriate and efficient manner.

I use the word efficient because it is something we should all strive for.

Think of those presidential debates. They are timed, so the candidates don’t have the luxury of knowing they still have a lifetime to get their point across. So, it ends up becoming a battle of who can keep the attention of the mediator the longest.

In real life, believe it or not, we do have that luxury.

Problem is, some people see God as the great mediator, their friends as religious opponents, and a thirty-minute conversation as the great debate. There will always be time for that… and your point isn’t all that important anyhow.
When you die alone at the end, doesn’t it really only matter how you see it?
Ultimately isn’t it us alone that is elevating?
I may be wrong!
We could still be waiting on the rapture to happen like some mass export of the good… or would that import?

I still haven’t finished the bible.

So, I don’t know.
There are those people who think you just kinda take everyone with you when you go.
But that sounds a lot like a Uni-bomber.

An old Druidic axiom states,

“Men will always go to their graves preaching their own truths.”

But, smart men will know that Truth always prevails. The key is to see it wherever you can, and that more or less happens by how unbiased you can remain.

It’s a difficult thing; to be unbiased.
Especially in a world where all the sensors are going off. Emotions are tugging on your heartstrings, past-experiences causing fear, even physical irritations as the body’s systems try and revolt when you go and correct them.

It’s really hard to hear and problem solve, when your mind is screaming.

In the Seals, they have an exercise to practice this kind of mental soundness.

What starts as simple team exercises in a swimming pool evolves to more demanding activity.

A weighted ring was passed around a circle of men treading water. The only rule was to keep your hands above the surface. But, then the instructors started adding more rings.
In the end, there are more pairs of hands than heads up there.

Next thing you know, you’re underwater, trying to untie knots in a dive mask and the scuba instructor is pulling your mask off in the middle of the exercise to see if you can complete the task under new circumstances.

Water rushes in. Temporary blindness and now the prospect of drowning should not deter you from getting the knot untied. Further down the road, neither should a knife in the back.

But, that’s why they’re badass. I’m not that badass.
Well, maybe one-day.

One of the most curious things I’ve heard from a mentor of the spiritual study was,

I never debate.

It has taken me a long time to meditate on those words, and the more I look to all of the major religions of the world, Christianity being the one with the most followers, I can’t help but ask myself what would happen if…

Well, if we all just conformed? And would the absence of debate lead to conformity? Or would the truth lead the wrong to self-destruction?

It’s a lot like Amazon monopolizing the trade industry, especially booksellers. But, the fact is, they have a better system!

I’m not vying for one religious system over another, yet.
I’m just making a statement.

Societal structure is based on how we handle transactions. Now, imagine not being able to make transactions in any traditional currencies. You’d be ousted. Forced into labor or slavery for trade.
Isn’t that the most convenient way to perform an instant rapture?

Whosoever was good by the laws of collective man, would be able to continue transacting.
They’d be chosen.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t also silence the damned.

I recently sat through a Zoom meeting with my peers. It was monthly.
I could see all of our little icons on-screen that were attending but there was no option to un-mute ourselves and offer opinions or feedback.
Even when the meeting was over, the manager just offered a brief thank you and disconnected.

We were all left aghast.
Not that we didn’t see it coming. They must’ve finally gotten tired of hearing the same old complaints each month.
Honestly, though, don’t ever let me be a manager like that!

People should be able to at least ask questions.
If you don’t give them that, you’ll just eventually be trying to block out the sound of their torment from the depths of hell.

The fact is, when one system seems to work better than another, more people tend to use it. It’s easier, more concise, more connected, less likely to be misinterpreted…

Though there are always downfalls.
Some people need a bit more discipline, a few more falls, and failures to finally form a strong grip.

Is there research on this? Do those who get it easy upfront eventually fall hard later?

It’s probably irrelevant.
What is important is that the best system draws the most people to come together in unity. And the point of life is in the people.

So, it would stand that the most popular stuff, whatever it may be, is the best way to get more connected to life.

A friend of mine and his wife are moving out of their neighborhood because they found out a child predator lives two doors down. He was so excited to move that he was practically ready to bake the guy a pie.
He said he would poison it first, but… (I assume he was being sarcastic, as he was joking about the whole thing anyhow)

But, man, it’s got to be hell to be that predator guy.

I’m not vying for one kind of person over another, yet.
I’m just making a statement.

But, being totally cut off from community and publicly ousted?

I told my friend, with a rather light aire, that hey,

“God brings everyone into your life for a reason.
Even the hurt ones.”

His wife was right though, and I just did an article on Norway and how they rehabilitate their felons back into society.

It’s probably not the best idea to start the guy back out on the same block as a high school swimming team, especially with an unenclosed Olympic pool.

I mean, how much glory is a man like that supposed to have at risk before he won’t pick up his 10X zoom Canon camera from the bedroom window?

Furthermore, even if he does resist the devil’s temptation, what’s stopping some billionaires from zooming right in via satellite while floating on their yacht in the Pacific and doing the exact same thing?!
Also his glory at risk?

Everybody lookout!
Samsung just released a 50X zoom lens on their new Note 20 telephones that you could capture the tail feathers of a red robin from a football field away!

I’ll just keep my kids indoors!

The fact is, the world is a beautiful thing and everything in it. The older I get, the more I understand that perversion is the real demon.

Perversion: The alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.
-Oxford Languages

You can take a picture of anything and cherish it.

I wrote a book called Still Perfect. It’s kinda creepy, but I was thinking a lot about this topic after watching Robin Williams in One Hour Photo.

I mean, centuries ago it was sin to even write things down.
Perhaps because it could later be perverted?
Way back in time, the Pheryllt priests only dared to keep their knowledge in Leaf Houses.
They would burn symbols into leaves and string them on a long line in a hall to later decipher their meanings by flipping through.
It may be where the leaves of a book came from.

Before that, history and religion were passed down through stories. Verbally and through dance and acting.

Back then hope was always in the future. The excitement was always in the present.

There were no capturing moments. You took what you could get and moved on. Built. Made things better. No regrets.

Now, we snap a pic of something and it’s kinda like telling the Universe, I don’t have time to enjoy this now so let’s capture it. Look at it again later…

But later, God may have better plans for you!
And your picture is fine, too! As long as it’s not perverse! Hang it on the wall.

The beauty of life lies in its unpredictable end.
You might just have long enough to get your point across yet. So stay focused.
Just not on teens in bikinis.

Enjoy the waves, sand, and sunset once in a while, and breathe the fresh air as it comes your way.

Let’s face it.

The best things are supposed to be left for the dead.
Else, what’s there to reach for?

Only unrealized actions can be harnessed as fuel.

All those clean and dirty thoughts are just ponies of potential racing through the gorge.

With that thought, someone needs to create a group of Shunamatistic Nuns that pray over all these old men in the hospital while covertly flashing their tits at the old geezers, just in case it is his final trip to Valhalla.

Ladies, you deserve the same — I just couldn’t think of the proper metaphor, or didn’t want to picture men in kilts;)

Society would have them sign a waiver, of course.


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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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