Tag Archives: God

Useful Beliefs

do you believe in Father Christmas, do you believe in a brave New Year?

do you believe in the ten commandments, is your life filled with fear?

To believe is to accept that something exists, or that something is true, when there is no evidence or proof to back up that belief.  Millions of children around the world believe in Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas…..  He will remain in the hearts of children forever, and the children have proof, he brings them toys and other gifts every Christmas.  This belief is useful too, for doesn’t he have a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, checking it twice before he leaves toys and presents for the nice children, and a lump of coal for the naughty boys and girls.  A perfect cautionary tale for parents to blackmail their kids into being nice near Christmas.

Some beliefs are neither useful nor true ~ like a Flat Earth.  Those who believe the Earth is flat are either deranged, or willfully stupid, or as thick as two short planks.  There is plenty of evidence to prove the planet Earth is more or less a sphere, as are all the other planets visible through a telescope.  Also believing in a flat Earth is not useful, since long-distance navigation is based on the great circle theory, which is navigating a ship or an aircraft using spherical trigonometry.  Ergo believers in a flat Earth should never ever get on an aircraft or go on a cruise.

One does not have to believe everything one hears.  ~  Cicero

Another belief that is neither useful or true is Alien Visitation.  There are plenty of spurious reasons given to prove that alien visitation happens all the time, and I don’t believe any of them.  There is also one crushing piece of evidence to disprove the very idea that creatures / people from the stars regularly visit the Earth ~ nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  The nearest known exoplanet is 4.25 light years away, so allowing for basic physics that means a round-trip of about 12 years, even if our starship can get near the speed of light.  Just never going to happen.

One false belief that is useful is in Pythagoras’ theorem; the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.  Or more practically just remember 3,4,5.  This is mostly true, but some believe it is always true.  Try navigating from England to New York using Pythagoras and the Gods only know where you will land.  Sometimes even the dearest held, and most provable belief is only mostly true.

Believing in God, any God, is maybe the most commonly held belief of them all, along with whichever prophet fits the religion of your choice.  This belief is useful to many, especially the clergy of every religion, but there is no proof whatsoever, and that’s the whole point.  Religion is all about Faith not Belief ~ and if you start to look into Faith you get into a circular argument.  Anyway I think religion isn’t based on faith, it’s about the fear of eternal damnation

Some say that real belief needs no proof.  And that faith is trust without reservation.  All I know is I trust scientific and engineering methodologies more than I trust priests and demagogues. And I believed in Love.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the Earth is positively not flat

 

 

crisis of confidence

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.  They have their exits and their entrances.  And, one man in his time plays many parts.

~

~

Last night I became a broken man.

Let today be a new beginning for me.

Please listen responsibly.

~

It-s-A-Wonderful-Life-its-a-wonderful-lifejackcollier7@talktalk.net

liebster-12

 

Sorry Is Never Enough

The English are continually apologising, saying ‘sorry’ to one another…  Accidentally bump into someone, step on their toes, say sorry.  If someone accidentally bumps into you, also say sorry.  More often than not both people in some kind of unintended contact will say sorry.  ‘I’m sorry I trod on your toe…’  ‘I’m sorry it’s raining outside…’  ‘I’m sorry that 96 people died because of our criminal incompetence…’

Oh it seems to me, that sorry seems to be the hardest word.  ~ Elton John

You know what?  It’s pointless.  Sorry is not the hardest word.  Saying sorry is easy.  Saying sorry doesn’t make things better.  Even being sorry for the wrongs you’ve done doesn’t make things better.  All a mere apology does is show that you are not motivated enough, not strong enough, not man enough, to actually make things better.  An apology by itself is a weak and meaningless thing.

apologize

If you have done wrong, and you are truly sorry for the wrongs you have done, don’t just say sorry, do something about it.  A real man tries to right the wrongs he has done, no matter what it costs him.  Even if it results in his own destruction, a man should atone for his sins and make things right.

It is no mistake that 12 step recovery programmes use these words;

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

It turns out that I need to atone for some wrongs I have done.  I need to make my amends.  I need to put things right, quietly, without making a fuss, when the time is right and the opportunities come my way.

We all make mistakes.  Just saying sorry is never going to be enough to restore true balance in this life.

~

P1040484jackcollier7@talktalk.net

liebster-12

 

clockwork halo

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~

tock tick tock click clock times helical cosmos

curlicued convoluted corkscrew universes

mobius numberless boundless crystal spheres

ecstatic Goddess’ eternal internal rhythms

involute rainbow reflected perpetual nimbus

concentric circles connecting countless spirals

heating burning flaming blazing raging powers

cogs within wheels within whorls within curls

turns interlocking engineering winding endless

impractical perpetual galactical infinities

around helicoid determined repeating futures

click tick tock clock times chimes the cosmos

~

and, what goes around comes around

~

P1040608words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

liebster-12

the lonely sea and the sky

 

P1030943

~

I am 5,975 miles away

~

I pray for my love every day

words cannot convey what I need to say

~

yet she is often very busy

ballet of shared silence, dismal dismay

building love’s long rise from lonely decay

~

P1030482words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Chaos Theory, Fractals, and Oneness

Chaos ~ complete disorder and confusion

Chaos in Clouds

P1010350

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. ~ Mary Shelley

As well as disorder and confusion, Chaos also refers to the behaviour of complex systems where outcomes are so unpredictable as to appear random, which they are not.  Even chaos is predictable.  Hence, the branch of pure mathematics called Chaos Theory has a host of ‘practical applications’.  All of these are disciplines where tiny differences in the initial condition of a model produce wildly different outcomes.  Sometimes this is called the butterfly effect.  One of the major applications of chaos theory and the butterfly effect is in meteorology ~ forecasting the weather.  The mathematics of the butterfly effect are mind-bendingly complicated, but an easy to remember illustration is that the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a typhoon halfway around the world.  This may, or may not, be true.  However there is nothing in mathematics or physics that says it is impossible.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s eventually going to be a butterfly.  ~  R. Buckminster Fuller

Chaos theory differs from probability theory in that one tries to predict the future while the other says that predicting the future is impossible.  Both are true in life.  Most of life is safe and predictable, but it is as well to remember that Shit Happens.  Life has some very predictable things in it, such as gravity and death, but there are also some unexpected events which we should expect to happen from time to time.  Unexpected events such as; love, stock market crashes, icebergs…

Life happens.  Shit happens.  And it happens a lot.  To a lot of people. ~ Colleen Hoover

split-in-two-nautilus-shellChaos theory also relies upon the Fractal nature of the universe.  Fractal basically means something that cannot be represented by classical geometry, and looks the same whatever size and whatever portion of the whole we are looking at.  It becomes really complex when we try to understand a fractal curve.  Some say that a fractal curve represents the nature of God.  And, that God is part of the infinite cosmos.  All I know is that I have to understand that by trying to understand a spiral, which has some very complicated math to explain it.  Even a two-dimensional logarithmic spiral, (such as the Nautilus shell illustrated), is quite complex ~ three dimensional spirals even more so.

Fractals and Oneness  It would seem that the universe began in a state of oneness, as a singularity.  Since the Big Bang, the universe has become incredibly, infinitely labyrinthine and convoluted.  There is also a oneness theology which expresses the concept of God as a singularity.

InfinityThis leads us to belive that everything is ultimately expressed in the infinite,  in particular, the infinite nature of God.

Infinity is almost impossible to comprehend in the mind of man, and therefore so is God.  Man quails before the unforgiving infinities.  In order to make human sense of God we make him smaller, anthropomorphic…  give Him a name.  In my own case my higher power is the Goddess Isis ~ understandable, personal, merciful.  Isis concerns herself directly with my fate and actions.  A long way from the infinity of the cosmos and probably a long way from the true nature of God.

I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. ~ Albert Einstein.

An apocryphal story says that Einstein proved the existance of God by proving that Cold does not exist.

Chaos theory says that I cannot predict the future.  Fractals and oneness say that reality is a contradiction of infinite complexity and infinite simplicity.  The concept of my personal Higher Power, Isis, helps me make sense of the cosmos.

IsisGoddess Isis ~ (google images)

words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Garden of Rocks

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If your path is strewn with rocks

likely you made it that way

All men turn a good thing bad

seeing nothing worth nurturing

Give a man a woman’s love

and he will betray her without thought

Give a man your heart

and he will throw it into the dust

Give a man a true friend

and he will think friendship unnecessary

Give a man riches

and soon he will be a beggar

Give a man cool, clear water

and he will lust for wine

Give a man bright clouds and sunshine

and he will want dark clouds and rain

Give a man a glimpse of spirituality

and he will use science to negate it

Give a man God

and soon he will be graceless

Give a man the Garden of Eden

and he will cover it with rocks

~

words and picture by jack collier

JackCollier7@talktalk.net

The God Obsession

A very short story.

Sunrise1

the sort of sunrise God is supposed to organise

 

The God Obsession

GOD was a drunk.

The cardinals of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places were fairly certain of that.  They had applied every secret ecclesiastical test and were convinced that God was an offensive, evil tempered, megalomaniacal, raging, thunderbolt slinging, quaffing rivers of booze, chronic alcoholic.

That made dealing with God more than ordinarily difficult.  One wrong move and the unfortunate supplicant could find themselves transmogrified, or worse.  Finding your higher power when He was suffering from a hangover or delirium tremens was bad, Very Bad Indeed.  Having a proper fire-breathing dragon shoved up one’s fundament brings tears to the eyes.

There was more, and much more unacceptable.  Sacrificing your first born daughter is just cruel.  Although and to be fair, God had forsworn the whole forty days and forty nights of seething rain thing, after being caught out without his Mackintosh and front door key.

God’s favourite saying was; ‘You’re born, you live, and then you die, and if you haven’t been good along the way you’ll find yourself on the runaway down-bound train to the Lair of Satan.’

The damned well know that Satan could take transmogrification to a whole other low, which was exactly how God wanted it.  God and Satan had discussed it over a river or three of mead.

As for God, in addition to being a dipsomaniac of biblical appetites, God was a womaniser.  When He was in his cups that is, which was most of the time.  God’s drinking binges could last for several hundred years.  Apart from unsuccessfully chatting up Goddesses in bars, God’s favourite seduction technique was to take the shape of some heraldic beast, say a griffon, or a gigantic bull, and then convince some sorely unfortunate female that it had all been a dream.  Of course, giving birth to a minotaur was apt to cause speculation among the poor woman’s neighbours and family.

Early on, the Sumarian Chapter of the Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places realised God had a nasty sense of humour.  Why else would He have gone on to create the giraffe, menopausal hot flashes, Las Vagas, algebra, and quantum physics?

Of course He went too far when the created the Higgs boson, the God Particle, even though he only did that to create insanity among said quantum physicists.

That was where it all went badly wrong for God.

Using the hugely expensive Large Hadron Collider, and applying the uncertainty princple, which was one of God’s more obtuse japes, the men in white coats with bulging foreheads and lots of pens in their outside top pockets only went and discovered that the speed of light was not absolute, and subsequently went on to understand fully the Higgs boson, your actual God Particle.

That about wrapped it up as far as being an all knowing and all-seeing God of Infinite Mystery went.

Once they had understood the God Particle it was but a short step to the Nobel Prize for using the Very Large Optical Telescope in Chile, and finding out where God actually lived, and His actual telephone number.  That really VLOTed God’s copybook.

From there is was only a couple of brief, but pointed, conversations with the Head Honcho of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places before God had promised to mend His ways, to behave more like the sort of God the Head Honcho of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places wrongly thought he wanted.

Making better sunrises and sunsets, not chasing females, attendance at twelve-step recovery programme meetings, and total abstinence from booze, hit God like the proverbial bolt from the blue.

The more die-hard among the brothers of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places were a little sad to lose their old God.  For example, there were fewer clearly defined areas of ecclesiastical doubt and uncertainty to exploit.  It proved a bit difficult for the Obsessive Botherhood to garner huge amounts of cash, when anybody could simply phone God to ask Him what He thought on a particular question, without having to go through all that tedious religion stuff.

So here’s the thing, if you were to ask the brothers of the Obsessive Brotherhood of Quite Holy Places; ‘What is the Word of God?’  They could tell you.  If they are being honest they can now quote the Word of God, with total exactitude.

The Word of God is; ‘My name is God, and I am an alcoholic.’

 

words and pictures by jack collier

A Power Greater Than Ourselves

SOMETIMES, SELF-WILL AND EFFORT ARE JUST NOT ENOUGH

In 12 step recovery programmes this is step 2.  In Alcoholics Anonymous the full text reads;

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. ~ The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

For many people trying to recover from an addiction to alcohol, street drugs, prescription drugs, gambling, shoplifting…, this is where it all falls apart.  One may have been dry and clean for a while, (although cigarettes and candy will have taken the place of the primary addiction), but here we begin to flirt with the idea of God.

Addicts and people under great stress have poor memories, they will have forgotten that when they were at their nadir they will have said something like; ‘Please God, get me out of this one…’  In any event, in the quotation given above where does it say God?  It doesn’t, it says; a Power greater than ourselves.  Addiction is self-will writ large; egotism, egomania, narcissism, conceit, and vanity are all part of the psychology of an addict.  Addicts and the otherwise mentally ill believe they are the most important person in the Cosmos ~ that belief has to be smashed.

Addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, anorexia, binge eating disorder, psychotic disorders, exhibitionism…, (the list could go on and on), all produce a state of desperation.  A state where the sufferer is willing to do almost anything to escape from the see-saw of euphoria and misery that they endure.  Anything, except believe that there is more in this Cosmos than themselves ~ addiction and self-absorption go together like ham and eggs.

Trust me on this, one does not have to believe in the God of our childhood, or the God of our parents, or the God of whatever church or religion we theoretically belong to.  Lapsed Christians, lapsed Jews,  Agnostics, atheists, sun worshipers, druids, can all come to believe that there is a power in the universe that is greater than they are.  In 12 step recovery programmes this sometimes known as ‘finding your higher power.’

I believe in a higher power and I believe in good and bad, right and wrong.  You sleep in the bed you make. ~ Leif Garrett.

Lief Garrett, singer, actor, television personality, one time drug addict, member of the Church of Scientology, often in legal difficulties.

Infinity

the nothingness of infinity

So we’re in physical and mental torment of one sort or another.  In order to recover we need to give up some of our egomaniacal self-will, narcissistic denial, and the conceit that we can stop doing whatever destructive behaviour we suffer from, whenever we want to.  Whether one believes in a Deity, or not, recovery from addiction and a range of other destructive behaviours depends on faith and spirituality.  The human mind finds it much easier to believe in something, rather than believing in nothing, (although one could believe in nothingness and infinity.)

There is something about modern man and woman, particularly men and women who are suffering extreme distress, which makes it difficult for them to accept that there is anything beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch, smell, or otherwise detect with one of our many other senses.  Very well, what if I quote from one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century?  A man so smart that 99% of the people in the world don’t even understand what he was getting at.

The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical.  It is the sower of all true science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms ~ this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of all true spirituality, (geistigkeit). ~ Albert Einstein, The Merging of Spirit and Science.

Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist and philosopher of science.

Quantum physics and probability theory are both pretty wedded to the fact that nothing is impossible.  People being what they are, if one gives a lot of them three choices;

  1. There is definitely no God, Goddess, Higher Power, or a Power greater than me.
  2. There may or may not be a Higher Power, Earth Goddess, Power of the Cosmos, et alii.
  3. There is a Higher Power, Mother Goddess, Power of the Universe, Isis and Aphrodite.  I know because I have faith.

There is no possibility whatsoever that they would be able to come to a consensus of opinion.  The proof of this is in Arrow’s impossibility theorem.  Therefore, it doesn’t really matter what one believes in, as long as one believes in something that is greater than a single human being ~ that is, greater than you.  We cannot go on just existing, we need faith and spirituality in order to live ~ after all, we are broken human beings.

Spiral GalaxyNGC1365

if you can’t believe in anything else, believe in the Power of the Cosmos

Personally, I walked the road of recovery from my disease by believing in the power of the Cosmos.  It didn’t matter what I believed in, as long as I believed that there was a Power greater than myself.  If you can’t even manage that, then believe in the fact that you want to believe in something, because that will put you on the road to spirituality and recovery from whatever syndromes you suffer from.

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. ~ Carl Sagan, in Cosmos.

Carl Edward Sagan, astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science populariser, researcher into extraterrestrial life.

All of human life requires faith.  Faith in gravity, in the laws of physics, in birth, love, life and death.  To recover from serious addiction, mental illness, extreme stress, also requires faith and spirituality.

Given that I am currently not only on planet weird, I am deep in the jungle on planet weird, after experiencing reincarnation into my own life, I need a hell of a lot more faith and spirituality than most.  Currently it suits me to believe in my vision of the Goddesses Isis and Aphrodite.  They are my higher powers, not yours.  You need to find your own higher power for yourself to achieve true spirituality.

excalibur1

for some reason my vision of Isis is confused with The Lady of the Lake

 

We Admitted Our Lives Were Unmanageable

WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLESS ~

THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE

In 12 step recovery programmes this is Step 1.  In Alcoholics Anonymous the full text reads;

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

This is very specific and it is directly aimed at those among us who have a desire to stop drinking.  However, the shorter text I have given in the heading applies to a large proportion of the people on this planet.  Everything seems to be out of control, we don’t know where to turn, nothing seems to help, ‘I can’t go on like this…’  If we go to our doctor he will most likely diagnose Anxiety and Depression, and dispense something like Prozac.

Many of us will find that the drugs dispensed by our doctor don’t seem to help much.  Some of us will spiral downward into severe depression, and if we were not heavy drinkers before all this happened, we may well turn to the bottle, or street drugs, unsafe casual sex, overeating, or just staring at the wall…

The sad thing is that our doctors are doing their best to help us ~ as it turns out doctors can’t much help to cure this sort of problem.  To begin with, the underlying cause of our problems is probably still there.  Problems at work, or money problems, marital or partnership issues, child care ~ the list of people, places and situations making people’s lives miserable is almost endless.  And, anxiety and depression can lead to far worse than taking a few too many drinks of an evening ~ violence, mayhem, suicide, murder are among the really bad possibilities.

The reason I don’t Kill Myself is because I know I can. ~ Stanley Victor Paskavich.

Stanley Victor Paskavich ~ Genius by birth, bipolar, disabled Gulf War veteran, poet.

The other sad thing is that sometimes it’s impossible to remove the proximate cause of our troubles ~ we need that job, they are my children, she is my wife.  It’s another Catch-22 situation, the job is killing me but I need the job to live.

The first step on the road to recovery is admitting we have a problem.  This is where recovery begins to fail.  Many of us are unwilling to admit that we have a problem.  Some of us will go to an early grave because of liver failure, cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, pancreatitis, cancer, damage to the central nervous system, or an accident while drunk, still saying that I don’t have a drink problem.  Some of us will stay in an abusive relationship because she loves me really.  Some will say that cocaine isn’t addictive, or that the job isn’t so bad, really.

Hungover-Denzel-Washington

Denzel Washington playing a very hungover airline pilot in Flight

Some of us, (myself included), may be, or may have been, a High Functioning Alcoholic.  Part of the insanity of alcoholism is that it will allow some people to go on working at the highest level, even while they are a complete lush.  This is denial writ large.  Denial is one of the main signs and symptoms of addiction, and denial can take many insidious forms.

And in my mind, this settles the issue.  I would never drink cologne, and am therefore not an alcoholic.  Augusten Burroughs.

Augusten Burroughs is the bestselling author of Dry and Running with Scissors.

The first step on the road to recovery from any serious problem is that illusions must be smashed, broken into bits.  Sometimes this means we have to reach Rock Bottom, meaning that we have sunk as low, lower, than we could have ever believed possible.  Trust me, however low one has sunk to reach what we think is rock bottom, if we don’t change our ways there is another rock bottom below the one we are on, and another filthier, dirtier, rock bottom below that.

I will not go into some of the horror stories I have heard from others, or what happened to me.  I will tell you that if you imagine the worst possible thing you can think of happening to you, then rock bottom is infinitely worse in ways that you will not believe when they are shared with you.

Eventually, if one doesn’t die first, we will be prepared to admit that we have a problem, that we are powerless, that our lives are unmanageable.  This is where another set of serious problems beset us.  We say the words, but we don’t believe them.  We say the words and we use self deception to ensure that we don’t really believe them.  We say the words and believe them in our head, but we don’t believe them in the depths of our soul and spirit.  This is where we need to begin to discover our road to spirituality.

Spirituality requires an acceptance of reality, a dedication to absolute truth, a real determination to find one’s own path to psychological transformation and spiritual growth.  Spirituality is not religion, spirituality requires no God, although some of us find the concept of a ‘higher power’ both useful and comforting.  Spirituality requires that we believe in the power to change ourselves from within.

If we admit that we are powerless ~ that our lives are unmanageable, we need to believe that with the same certainty that we believe in Gravity.  We need to believe that our lives are out of control with the same conviction we hold in the fact that night follows day, and that the sun always rises in the east.  (Anyone having a smart thought about when the sun doesn’t actually rise in the east needs to learn the meaning of humility.)

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity, but the achievement of serenity and spirituality within and above it. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr ~ theologian, ethicist, public intellectual, professor at Union Theological Seminary.

If we are capable, this is when we need to begin some of the simple routines which will help us on the road to spirituality and serenity.  The easiest and most practical of these is to go for a longish walk, every single day, rain or shine.  By longish I mean for an hour or more ~ distance doesn’t matter, and if you are not feeling so well, then don’t try and walk too quickly.

The next thing to do is to try and eat some decent food.

There are some other suggestions in this JackCollier7.com blog which you should find helpful.

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