Susi... not Suzi Q, not Suey... just Susi. Welcome to my Soap Box. Everything is up for discussion... Relationships, politics, religion, current events, stupid people... EVERYTHING!
Nothing is sacred... especially religion.
And then occasionally some poetry. Enjoy.
That last one, some might get their panties in a bunch, but understand I'm agreeing with the sentiment of it. It is not saying you are being a bad human being, it is saying that you are limiting yourself in discovering all the things you are capable of being when you hide behind a religion that, by it's definition, tells you 'just believe and don't think'.
This piece started out with me wanting to define god's plan. Reading one thing after another, after another, after another of other people's definition of what that is, I stopped wanting to write about it. Reading the many variations just made me realize that I don't want to define it, try to understand it or even set in motion something to talk about that would in any way give any religionist an excuse to defend it. So, in other words, who cares about god's plan? Not me. Because, seriously, it's not logical that there is one plan based on the different themes that are out there. It's just whatever the flavor or interpretation of that particular faith is.
I know that I always debate people about their beliefs but today, I'm not willing to have a discussion of understanding what god had intended. I don't believe in god, so why would I try to even fathom what that made up person had in mind for us? No, the theme today is reality.
Why do we, those who oppose the idea of a supernatural being, always try to discredit him and his practices? An atheist's stance always has been to focus on reality, maybe that's what we should be speaking about. If making sense is why we choose not to believe because the whole supernatural thing doesn't, then let's choose to only talk about life in terms that do just that.
Concentrating on living the life that we think it is and what we want it to be should be a priority, right? Considering that life is a journey that changes with each new experience, I would think that anybodies plan ultimately should be about ensuring that the life we live with all its changes, as well as its stable periods and every situation in between, should be as enjoyable and smooth, but as exhilarating as it can be.
Along the way, nature and the society in which we live that life throws us curves that can make or break us. Comfort and resolution, at those times, is what we crave but don't necessarily get. What is the next step, how do we fix things, why does it have to hurt so bad? Those uncertainties or unanswered questions should logically drive us in the direction of resolution but not always. Sometimes we get trapped in the cycle of bad chemistry combined with bad choices but also, in situations that are beyond our ability to rectify. Not learning how to rationally handle those situations that are within our power to handle, can stop us from progressing to the next level of understanding and moving beyond it.
A person who does not rely on a spectre up in the sky to handle those moments in life that are fraught with crisis has to think about the next step, evaluate the reality of his or her situation and then determine what the next best solution is to handling their crappy reality. The only progress that can be made is with the determination to change the outcome of the current situation. Even and especially those that are in potentially life-threatening situations.
It sounds so easy to just put it out there like that, like I've got all the answers. I don't. Especially when I know that we have all had situations in our lives where commanding oneself to do the rational or sane thing is incredibly difficult and seemingly impossible. Intense emotions are powerful expressions of the reaction to those situations in our lives that bring us to our knees. Experiencing them can intensify whatever the situation may be and deny us the rational thought it might take to get a handle on the situation that is going out of control.
Many situations also require intervention of a medical kind because, at times, imbalances in our brain chemicals create a whole host of other physical situations that just 'facing' reality do not solve. For all the rationale I possess myself, I could be one situation away from a nervous breakdown. We are complicated machines with a rationally functioning brain that also performs millions of chemical interactions on a daily basis that can change the outcome of how we use that brain.
Aside from an imbalance that impedes our ability to see our situations exactly as they are, reality isn't really all that scary. It just is as it represents itself. No expectations that it would be any different than how it appears to me. When I look out the window, the sun in shining, birds are chirping and the wind is blowing through my window and eliciting a favorable response for just 'being' what it is.
The child in the picture below has the opposite reality, one of desperate living conditions and a quality of life that is obviously a hardship. This child's reality is certainly an emotion-evoking situation for me, but again, this picture is of a child who is starving. Does this stir me to action, yes, but does my reaction to it change his or her reality, no.This is one of those situations that would be hard for the average innocent, vulnerable child to just turn-around using logic and rationale because the factors contributing to this are out of its control. Yet, it is a reality, one that I, as a rational thinking person could, upon seeing the problem, rationally come up with a solution to end this suffering.
picture compliments of jesus-is-savior.com
This is what living in reality means. You accept the horrors, as well as the beauty of it and you live with it, through it and because of it. It just is. The emotions that come with it shouldn't change your perspective of it, but serve to enhance it or motivate you to change the circumstances that are adding to your dissatisfaction or downright discomfort because of it.
Facebook - The place where you get to read things that don't necessarily always coincide with how you think....
A couple weeks ago, I shared with my Mom a struggle I'd been having and she told me I should try "Praising God" more. She brought a book over called Pocket Praise. Basically it's a book with different Bible verses and songs to read or pray out loud to God. It's amazing the faith building and worship along with blessings and joy it's brought to me to focus on spending time each morning honestly praising God.
A while ago, I shared with my friend a struggle I'd been having and she told me I should try understanding more what got me into this position of struggle. She helped me focus on what the reality of the situation was, what I had contributed to it and what rational steps could be taken to help myself into a better frame of mind. She also told me that the more we try to understand the real world rather than hoping and wishing for things to be different, it will give us more solid footing in this world. It's amazing the comfort and also, the joy facing reality has brought me. Things are hard, reality is crappy at times, but always doing what makes sense will always give me peace.
If there truly is a god, I'd really like to understand what he was thinking when he put in motion lives that don't resemble anything close to what the human race is accustomed to. Not only does he supposedly create all of us as spiritually flawed but then a small percentage are also endowed with these physical anomalies.
The majority of believers will tell us this is all part of god's grand plan that we are absolutely incapable of understanding. The reasons are too much for us to be able to comprehend. As with everything they can't explain, god is just mysterious.
Oh yeah, god is mysterious all right. So mysterious as to not be believed in at all.
On the 21st of May, 2011, according to Harold Campings, we were supposed to finally experience The Rapture. Well, it came and went by us, no one experiencing anything that would even remotely classify itself as life-changing; unless, of course, you count the people who believed this crap. Their lives changed in many ways. The people who were following this guy not only gave up their hard-earned cash, but also, some died in the aftermath of this failed prediction. Luckily, we didn't hear a large number of reported suicides or other fatal tragedies.
A stunned Harold Camping didn't know what to say, as he was sure this was the day. A couple of days after the supposed rapture was to occur, a more confident Harold came back and said that it had indeed happened, but he had misunderstood how it would actually play out. It seems that October 21, 2011, is when the world will definitely, utterly and totally come to an end... really.
End Times Predicted
My question is – when will the Harold Campings of the world stop trying to think they know it all and secondly, when will the gullible people of this world stop believing that a simple man like him would have that knowledge? Crazy people have been predicting the end of the world for a long, long time. Loren Madsen created a beautiful chart to illustrate how long it has been going on. Go ahead, pick a year to begin THE END. I never knew there were so many! This just really cements my thinking that we have way too many lost people in this world.
The year of my birth, 1962, made the list. How delightful, but oops... I'm still here! Ha, ha, ha... even funnier, there were multiple predictions made for that year. Interesting, so in 1961, did anyone ask which one is right or which one should come first? I guess it didn't happen because they cancelled each other out. Oh, it's just too stupid to put in words.
I cannot understand that people, who we would think otherwise rational (well, maybe, I'm wrong), would be led to believe that there is one person out there who could possibly know the exact time and date of the earth's demise. Doesn't the fact that it's been predicted more than 250 times just solidify the theory that they are wrong and will be wrong on every occasion? WAKE UP PEOPLE!! Believing this stuff is a waste of your time, money and effort! Put your resources into living a more productive life on this planet we call the real world and stop wishing for some unreal expectation to be met like meeting your heavenly father who will transform your life into a living paradise. It's not going to happen.
Harold Camping's organization took in $18.3 million during 2009, according to the IRS, and had assets in excess of $104 million. A large portion of that had to be used to plaster the fleet of RV's and 5000 + billboards world-wide that were decorated with the May 21st Judgment Day announcement about to happen; not to mention all the costly marketing strategies used to get more followers on board and more donations rolling in. I'm sure we'll never really know how much money has stayed within the organization and how it benefited only the small group who orchestrated this sham. The fortunes this organization received not only before, but also after the May 21st failure, will presumably continue to thrive after October 21st, as well. They made out like bandits, but the people who believed in Harold Camping and his message paid dearly; losing their money, their grip on reality and some even their lives.
The Foolishness Continues
The website for his organization, Family Radio International, is still in operation, collecting donations of course and predicting that October 21, 2011, is indeed the correct date for the destruction of our fine planet. They even ousted the old servers the website had and replaced them with new ones to keep everyone in the know about it. Funny, you'd think with the world coming to an end shortly, that money could have been spent on something more meaningful like feeding starving children, so as to enhance their last days.
The AP reported, “ The globe will be completely destroyed in five months, he said, when the apocalypse comes. But because God's judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there's no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21.” Oh, joy, no more mini-vans or billboards or hysterical news reporting that the end of times is definite once again. Sadly, there are still people who hang on to the hope or strong conviction that Harold Camping is right this time, as if all his previous failed predictions didn't matter. They continue to see October 21st as their last day because they believe we are the crazy ones for shaking our heads.
Harold Camping suffered a stroke in June 2011 and now resides in a retirement home. My guess is that he is well taken care of and should meet his maker in style, but will he be around to witness another failed prediction? Who knows, but it sure would be sweet justice to see the look on his face when it doesn't come true again. It might alsobe a learning experience for all those who initially disengaged from reality before the first prediction and continued to follow this nonsense after it. Maybe.
I predict that this earth will continue to see people who abdicate their ability to use common sense or use wise judgment. Will this prediction come true? Definitely.
"Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."
-Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (1917-1986)
When you only mirror you are choosing to remain willfully ignorant. What is an utter waste of your brain.