Why is this venue not considered by more folks? I dearly wish my dad would have taken time to write about parts of his life. I wish my grandfathers and their fathers would have sent messages ahead. Messages about what they thought, what they did, what they valued, what they see as their futures, and what they predict or expect of mankind.
Certainly, we would have to factor in their social paradigms. That is a valuable exercise in expanding our minds to appreciate the many realities in which an individual can exist. Just as with reading a Christopher Columbus account of the Arawaks, we have to transform our thinking to that time. And it takes some open mindedness to fully understand how stealing gold from those gentle people to give to the Queen and Pope to purchase Indulgences for some royal European’s entry into heaven was the right thing to do.
Or what created or allowed a paradigm which condoned genocide of those truly innocent individuals. History treats them as a race or a culture without considering their individualism. What we are missing are accounts from those who lived at the time, who saw the invaders come ashore, who felt their merciless whips, who lost hands and feet, and who finally succumbed to the rapes, brutality and starvation. I would like to have seen their side of the story.
We learn from suffering. That, says Harari, is reality.
But Columbus did document this European era for posterity. And we can take those messages and delve intellectually into their minds. We can use this knowledge to better understand our minds. We can ask, is there a demon within each of us? Were the Japanese in Nanking reincarnates of the Columbus-era thugs?
Perhaps. We may be more malleable in childhood than we think. We cannot imagine justification for our kinsmen who perpetrated the Holocaust. I fault the humans who stood just outside of those furnaces, who ignored those death screams and smelled burning flesh and did nothing. That was bad, for sure, perhaps unforgivable. Even for themselves. But we did it and we now feel the guilt.
Is that guilt learned or innate? Are we born with a sense of compassion, a sense of universal truth, of indelible right and wrong. The Bible says we are. Thus, to do otherwise shows we were not properly educated in youth. (I will get more into this and into how it relates to nutrition in later chapters. For now, this sets the stage for how supple is the mind of a child, how malleable their futures.)
What I think will bring even harsher judgement on us by future generations is our indifference as we torture and kill 56 billion innocent animals every year. We will be visited with ridicule for our gullibility to fall for the inane nutrition hoax that we need animal flesh to be healthy, for participating in and perpetuating an environmentally unsustainable paradigm where extinctions and pollutions were clear warnings.
Our addictions and attendant compulsions to eat animals compromise our health, intelligence and spirituality. Historians will lump this in with Auschwitz in the list of Greatest Atrocities of all time.
Our new Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) disconnects us from Nature. You will never know what your grandfather on the Serengeti felt through the bottoms of his feet as he ran across the plains or what he witnessed through his eyes as scanned the endless horizon. I will try to explain how this happened and what you, today and in the future, can do to save yourself. It will take more than hoping and praying.
What will great great grandkid number 42 want to know? What will be the curiosity of the day? How can I write in a style to communicate what I feel? So much of the important stuff is non-verbal. It is a daunting assignment. I hope you will take time at some point in your lives to look inward to capture a small part of yourself. You will gain respect and admiration from those readers in your future. You risk ridicule this day…don’t let it detract from your satisfaction for having the guts to put to paper with pen what you feel. Put to paper what may not be universally understood or accepted even on your day of inspiration. Do it for yourself for the understanding that Jesus says will open the kingdom of God that lies within each of us. (Book of Thomas)
Limitations and Constraints
When I began research on life, health and spirituality, I had no idea in mind to create this end product.
An early discovery was disappointing. Our species, the assumed ultimate product of Evolution, and ourselves, the assumed best of the best through Natural Selection, thinks and acts only at the extreme surface of reality. So, I began to question why we work tirelessly for a lifetime to collect visible accomplishments, immerse in Hedonism, and avoid the entirety of spirituality. We just slave away, reaching for the elusive ring on the merry-go-round. We are one with those accursed souls of Greek mythology condemned to endless, futile repetition.
So then, I looked at who I am. And this can stop one in one’s tracks. There is no way forward if you cannot look back. I can read the works of others in conversational prose offering opinion and conclusion, and in the scientific literature, which mostly ends with the need for additional research. Never going out on the proverbial limb of conclusion.
Not that I fault our researchers…it seems those conclusions are typically moving targets. We see headlines everyday contradicting those of ten years ago…and we see blatant misrepresentations…Time Magazine reported an unexpected increase in cancers in young people, and due to obesity. Made me gasp. Obesity is a product of a corrupt nutrition paradigm. But if we say cancer is caused by the bacon cheeseburgers (“American Food”) Trump fed the Clemson football champs, then we would condemn who we think we are….and would run counter to the interests of the people who advertise in Time.
Most writers have biases and some measure of predetermined conclusion. Integrity is rare commodity. I imagine it as a laser beam of purest light piercing its way to earth from the center of our universe. The simple Truth abiding within our heart at birth.
So many of our authors seem to have ulterior motives. Some of those motives serve economic interests for current or hoped-for future sponsors. Some are to reinforce personal belief systems, right or wrong. Some authors are just misguided and don’t know they don’t know.
So, I tried to look into a mirror. What can I tell you that would be relatable between this moment, my moment, and your moment? What amazing revelations could I disclose to cause you to question or even discredit with cause any and all of what I say? What can I tell you that will stimulate deliberation? To elicit introspection?
I cannot know this. I can only speak from my heart. If I am true to myself, this truth will manifest within you. I grieve for the young lady captured by Marco Melgrati.
What I know that you don’t
Who I am, why I am here, what is my highest and best role on earth, where I will be tomorrow, next year and in the infinity of the future…these are questions I cannot answer. I asked these questions of my father and his group of exceptionally kind, loving, generous and intelligent peers. I asked them what they knew that their parents did not know.
What did they know through the wisdom of maturity that their predecessors did not? What did they learn or now intuit through their participation and observations in religion and politics; in conforming with and re-shaping our paradigms for child-rearing, mentoring and education; and if they could change one thing, what would that be. The answers were uniformly consistent that they had not gained insights beyond what society handed down through our recent generations. (They were all politically aware and supported draining the swamp.)
Obviously, there is constant change. Technology moves forward in exponential leaps, seemingly with a life of its own, driven by powerful forces within us that demand Efficiency in every aspect of life. My life’s mentors understood this, thus understood each generation will create a different outward appearing world…but is it really different within the individual?
The question, what did they know that their parents could not, was philosophically beyond that we had learned to build a doomsday weapon their parents would not have imagined, rather, what in our lives, our psyche as human beings, did they “feel” had advanced beyond what their great grandparents could have known. Not about cars and planes, but about values, religion, foods, education. All the elements that constitute an inwardly fulfilling, happy life. The elements related to spirituality, that quality that sets us apart from all of Creation.
What were their “feelings” about an afterlife? Many of the people of their time had promised to make some sort of signal they had successfully entered an afterlife. So far none of us has ever seen evidence a soul can communicate from the spirit world. This does not rule out the possibility of a soul…maybe it is too much trouble, an unwelcome interruption in their hard-earned eternal reverie.
It has Changed
Today, and for the first time in the History of Mankind, some of my questions have different answers. I am excited to share these with you! It is my most important legacy. My hope is you will become inspired to question every truth and to move the pegs of progress ever forward. We can do this in ways our elders could not…can you imagine living here forever?
We will Live Much Longer…and Sooner than you Think
Mom S bought a new book for our first trip to Trinidad, Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, and it offers some terrific insights into what I want to convey to you…what people have fantasized since the beginning of time will become a reality…or at least, closer to it.
Harari says as medical science introduces new miracles every week, we are discovering we will actually find a cure for aging. The first step will be adding decades to our lives. We can stop by for a major tune-up every few years and expect to live at least to 150 years old. We will soon be able to grow our own replacement organs…maybe even brains…Sounds interesting and pretty mundane…a few more years, eh?
However, the ramifications are enormous. We will have a new relationship with death. Global society, the United Nations for example, places life ostensibly beyond monetary value. While this is not exactly true, it is a good concept. Religious leaders seem to minimize the day of death and see it as the gateway to perpetual life. We are doomed to die, so no big deal when or where. Society sorta acts this way. We are big on condemnation for atrocities and short on intervention.
Society is certainly short on recognition and remedial action for more subtle threats to life. We feed our kids corn dogs and pepperoni pizza….an adolescent-level paradigm for personal responsibility for our health…and the health our kids.
But when we live to be 150…work till we are 130…we will see the world through a very different set of eyes. We become more conservative in personal risk. No need falling off a cliff at 70 when we have 80 more ahead. We look at jobs differently, as in working for a guy that’s 98 and will be in that job for 30 more years.
This will also usher in what I so fervently want to happen…a new relationship with food, drink, exercise, sleep…a new respect for this body, this carrier of our consciousness. We will have to take greater personal responsibly to keep the engine finely tuned and serviced. Try it this day. You will be impressed at how much more you will get from your Creator’s Gift of Life.
We will Live Forever
Harari did not complete the circle. Think about the sci-fi world of our Body Snatchers. As soon as we can create a computer which can think, programs which can connect the dots as does our human brains, we can download ourselves onto a disc. A pretty big disc for sure! Then we can convert the CAFOs into nice places where we can clone human bodies, perfect human bodies with little or no brains. Then, at whatever age we want to be, we can teleport our consciousness into that new body. As easy as a snake shedding its skin.
One of the pre-qualifications is that we have to keep alive. We can only transfer a present consciousness. You would want to retain what you have learned with each cycle. Yesterday’s consciousness is of no value to the advancement of this new world order. Get hit by a truck…game over.
Thus, it becomes incumbent on you to keep each of your bodies in good shape…no sudden heart attacks and all that…if you die within a body, game over. You have to be presently conscious and in good mental health to qualify for the transition.
This joyful reality will help you break that Addiction to Foods you think you don’t have. You will see your responsibility to your kids and their kids in a new light.…that is, if you are one of the lucky ones allowed to have kids. It is a certainty your kids will want to participate in this new societal norm. Probably the omnipotent computer will also prescribe a mandatory diet anyway, so no problems with Food Addiction. Just like our original Earthlings…they had only one choice!
Comparing yourself to me
I was born in a time of war. The entire world was mobilized for personal survival. We had just left an era of deep poverty. There were people sick, starving, dying without intervention from our society. Those survivors were not the ones you would pick on!
Our society had no compunction in committing the usual atrocities of war and capped it off with an unimaginable nuclear holocaust. The biggest bang ever…twice. We moved on to openly and covertly protect Koreans, Vietnamese, Slavic Nations, Arabic Nations, African Nations. At least this is what we think. I am pretty sure we are shielded from some of the details. Point here is war is a part of our accepted paradigm. Good war, that is.
My mom and dad were teachers who with one year of college each, started teaching, and then accrued Masters degrees in 20 years of summer school. My sister and I were born and raised in a rural coalfield. Our older sister was stillborn. We still had outdoor toilets when I was born at home in my parents’ bed.
We had limited cultural opportunities. Nothing much beyond our schools. Dad raised chickens, pigs and cows. We killed them for food. Of course, we waited until the chickens were beyond egg bearing age.
We always had a large garden and raised corn and strawberries for a little extra money, known as truck farming. My dad was a school teacher and tireless worker. He and Mom put in a small grocery in the living room and a gas pump outside about the time I was born. Their entrepreneurship did not survive very long.
Hunting and fishing were both vocations and hobbies. And until about this time in history, it was generally necessary to augment our food supply with game. That paradigm carries on today, even when we can afford equal or superior nutrition.
Thus, a disclaimer is that I still condone some life taking. But talk about paradigm changes in one lifetime! I shot songbirds and cats and dogs with my BB gun when I was 8 years old. No big deal to anyone at the time. Mostly missed the songbirds and inflicted non-fatal injury to the feral or neighbor’s pets. In the 7th grade, I carried my shotgun to school on the school bus and stored it and the shell vest in my locker. On the way back from school, Arthur Sarrett, our driver, would let me off two miles from home and I would hunt squirrels, rabbits and look for ginseng until dark.
Ginseng was sold to the Chinese as an aphrodisiac. We thought its highest value was money for shells for our guns. Pretty good trade in retrospect. They got what they wanted and I got what I wanted.
There were two elementary schools in our area. When I was in sixth grade, there were three choices for teachers. My dad, my mom, and my Uncle Lawson. I chose Dad…he told the best stories and was out of class a lot…he was also the principal. Uncle Lawson was the principal of the other school where his wife, Jessie Brown, and my mom taught. He was known for his strictness. He and Aunt Jessie never had kids.
I had attention problems, and even with my dad as principal, I got dozens of paddlings each year. All the way up to ninth grade. I ended up 11 out of 60 in high school and was 2nd in the Most Likely to Succeed popularity poll. I think Roseann Farley beat me. But she was a girl…what could a girl do? I played basketball and was a class officer and on the student council. Never got a Student of the Month award, so I was really appreciative when sons Andrew and Colby were recognized more than once each during their formative years in our local schools.
In retrospective insights into some of my issues, parental smoking and incomplete nutrition probably had roles in my shortcomings with behavior and achievement. We know now there is a correlation between parental smoking and stillbirth. And many of the defects in my health/behavior profile. I am bitter at times with this new knowledge.
Before My Childhood: We are not the Same People
We are in the same genetic lineage, nevertheless we are not on the same trajectory you would have predicted 20,000 years ago. As you will read in other parts of this book, those who believe in evolution also understand that every individual has some genetic variation. Almost always unnoticeable, but sometimes sets the individual apart from his parents and ancestors. It can be a negative trait…some rare disease or organ malfunction or neurological anomaly. And it can create a prodigy or a savant…the list of random possibilities is endless.
Evolutionists contend these progressive deviations will sooner or later create a life form that replaces sapiens, just as sapiens out maneuvered a lot of other randomly created. Thus, no matter how carefully I explain life in 2019, there will soon be a time I will seem archaic and irrelevant. Might already be there. Getting closer for sure.
We can’t be the Same People…Ever
I ponder on how environmental changes are affecting our evolutionary trajectory.
(I continue to have issues with the validity of evolution. I am stuck in time by the concept of Irreducible Complexity. For example, look into the mirror at your eye. I can’t imagine a progression of useful light gathering organs that culminate into the eye I see at this moment. When was half an eye worth anything? How did vitreous humor just magically appear?)
But let’s pretend evolution is real. Our granddaddies before the Agricultural Revolution valued physical prowess and were one with Nature. Climbing coconut trees and understanding herbal medicine were important. More important than winning at Jeopardy. Then we outsmarted ourselves and began cultivation and food storage. Those were not the same foods that got us to that place in time. This new cuisine lacked fiber and phytonutrients. Processed grains changed our microbiome. We tilted the playing field for who could have more kids…a keystone of Natural Selection.
Then we discovered alcohol. I cannot explain how significant this is to you…today we are such shallow thinkers we are not impressed with how alcohol, as one of many examples, put us on an alternate course. None of us are a part of the original projection of ever better hunter-gatherers. The rules for Natural Selection changed then and are changing with every pizza party. I often think about this.
Alcohol is a deadly poison, but we can tease ourselves with it and survive. Sort of. Most human forms are still not very good at lengthy association with it. Our fair skinned “Fertile Crescent” and “European” lineages had it first and certainly suffered a horrendous era of Natural Selection. Those most capable of dealing with the health and productivity consequences of this powerfully addictive chemical went forward to have the most kids.
Today, alcohol is a recent introduction to many previously isolated societies. We can see and quantify the utter destruction within some of those groups. The survivors will be people who may not have been the best candidates for optimum evolutionary progression. A perversion of Natural Selection. One of many following the Ag Rev.
It could be that the process of elimination related to alcohol tolerance favored more violent, less compassionate subspecies.
People who can engage in genocide, who can subjugate and disrespect millions and millions of their own kind, who can create and support Confined Animal Feeding Operations, celebrate a bogus food paradigm based on consuming animal products that kills body, mind and spirit.
We can only do our Best
When we abuse our bodies with non-evolutionary foods, we commit ourselves to subjection and breed toward this status for you, my reader of tomorrow.
The take-away is if you want to do your best, be your best, the starting point is adopting a non-addicting food and drink paradigm that God gave us from Day One.
We are the Children of God
It is from a state of spirituality, a state of internal grace that we can become independent. A state where we don’t need direction from below or those magical “callings” from on high. The Book of Thomas tells of my Jesus: “If those who lead you say to you, ‘The kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds will get there first. If they say, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will get there first. Rather, the Kingdom of God is within you and outside of you. When you come to know yourselves then…you will know you are the children of God.”
This book, Thomas, and others were ordered destroyed by the early church as “fictions of heretics”. It sounds too “Eastern”, glorifies the Individual, and undermines the organized and hierarchical authority of the Church.
This goes back to Tengri, to Animism, to the Great Spirit and to Oneness. Everything is God. This is more easily understood…nay… “felt in the heart”…through proper care in all aspects of physical and mental health. As per intended design. A design we, for the first time in all of history, can begin to quantify. We can know what my parents could not.
Einstein understood us at this crossroads: “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~ John Quincy Adams
Comparing Myself to Einstein
Watching a documentary about Einstein, it came to me that I think he and I think alike. It is a process of observation and imagination… and then explanation… We resort to mathematics only to validate and refine intuition. Thus imagination is, at first, more important than tangible fact. Same with GCS.
What I do understand is the power of intuition, what is called “heart logic.” I can operate on “feel” and after deep thought, after long sessions of internal juggling of viewpoints, I settle on what just has to be the answer. This is how I survived in our universe of civil engineers without having taken calculus. It becomes overwhelmingly intuitive that 3 rows of small inclusions are superior to a theoretically-equal, single large element. Not on paper, but certainly in a world which includes so many more variables than traditional mathematics would consider. Solutions which must include and accommodate logistics, economics and even personalities.
Failure = Success
My engineering skills were developed through decades of research on physical models that fortuitously included failure. We searched for the weakest link. Thus, I matured in an environment where failure was a success. I came to see it differently, to see it as an honorable, logical, predictable outcome. To understand it as an equally likely outcome in life and to understand avoidance of failure in terms beyond civil engineering.
I designed rock and soil stability systems based on what it would take to create failure …not what it would take to prevent it. I was successful in ascendency with several emerging technologies. But I challenged powerful paradigms and which was ultimately not allowed. For example, engineers can’t construct a GCS wall without formal equations which accurately predict behaviors. I can. They can’t. These equations cannot be produced at this time and perhaps never. I was eventually excluded from their world, their panels, their committees.
So, I created my own engineering world. Luckily, Al Ruckman lives in parts of this nether land and enabled the successes that followed, including GSI!
As with Einstein, I often got off on the wrong platform, but have always had the great fortune of life and career-saving patience and support from a host of great people. Einstein had safety nets that kept him viable during times where his intuitive powers fell short…kept him going as he revisited and revised his thoughts…not his numbers.
The world has always had inventive minds. This is probably the process that underlies paradigm reorganization. The successful become our cultural heroes. The many who fail fade into ignominy…and some of those were just as prescient as our heroes. What we share in common is the ability (or curse) to persevere until death.
“Science does not know its debt to imagination” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Einstein changed and/or upgraded paradigms in science and was less successful in promoting world peace. I was more successful in science as well. I have not had much success in areas that matter most to me now. Paradigms of peace, food and religion are emotional and not scientific/mathematical. These have much stronger and less rational fixities and therefore, more irrational opposition…including forces that will willingly, gladly kill themselves and others in order to perpetuate their paradigms. Einstein’s Black Holes have few opposing interests.
Reality. I sit here at the keyboard, close my eyes and travel into an imaginary state of past reality. Now I am on my carpet for a ride that takes a nanosecond to the Lincoln Memorial at midnight looking at that monument and its reflecting pool. It is abandoned…not a single visitor. I am now with one of my sons as we read his Second Inaugural… “With malice toward none, with charity toward all…”
I remember this and recall how I suppressed tears…now I know tears only represent intensity and would have let them stream. I would invite emotion to wash over me. I would transcend without restraint to a communion with Mr. Lincoln and join him in his world of higher thoughts. Knowing he was able to achieve this higher consciousness even as our nation was enduring the greatest misery of our existence. His defeats along his way were only minor course corrections in his quest to preserve our Union.
His exceptional Intuition guided him all the way, surrounded at once by unflagging devotion and immersed in the deepest seas of corruption and deceit. His example of perseverance in his quest for truth and justice is his greatest legacy.
Marie Curie described him well: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of it? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and this thing must be attained.”
I understand this… “we are gifted for something and this thing must be attained”! Like Lincoln…unquestioned commitment to following our intuitions for knowing the Right Thing and then Doing It.
This is a common thread with our founders, philosophers, inventors…people of passion, vision and intuition…my heroes…Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Madison, Franklin, Emerson, Edison, Ford…a long list of men and women whom I respect. I also noted many subscribed to Deism. A philosophy of ethical behavior.
(Note, however, that I cherry pick from history the people who tend to agree with those thoughts which are my guidance. This can be a disingenuous manipulation of reality. This likely bias coupled with my childhood of poor diet and drugs….. you can’t believe everything I say.)
The Legacy of K. Z. Browning
My First Encounters with Death
I walked past the green, two-seated outdoor toilet, climbed the fence and waded in the creek. Up on the steep hillside on the other side was a curiously fresh mound of earth. I debated on leaving Grandpa Browning’s property for the arduous journey up to that location. The prospect of adult observation was pretty slim, so I ventured up the unkempt, steep mountain side. There I saw a mound of earth beside a deep, narrow trench. It was inside a mostly deteriorated picket fence and, inside, there were stone markers with names in a mostly orderly fashion.
I returned down to the creek and saw that Faye was looking for me. She was a little worried… We talked a while and I asked her about the fresh earth up there. She could see I really did not understand any of what I had seen.
So, true to form, Faye created a most graphic and dramatic presentation on death and burial. I guess I was around 4. Faye was 9. I had just gained maturity enough sort of understand. It was the first time I was told I am mortal. Death was inevitable and unavoidable…even for Faye. I asked about everyone else…Mother Anne, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma Punkin…
That was one of the more memorable events in my life. I was terrified, of course, but the most lasting memory was Oppression. I had no choice…none. I thought about this for months, maybe years, without actually talking to anyone. Dad and Mother Anne had spoken of the passing of various people in our community. Now it made more sense, more impact.
My first encounter with deep personal loss was when Mom (my name for my grandmother) died. I was eight.
I was her favorite grandkid…her words, not mine. (At this time, she was being assisted by Aunt Merle and her kids, Hazel, Libby, Patsy, Connie and Ralph – and little Suzie, who suffered horrible convulsions from birth and died when I was age six or so.
Suzie’s funeral included a home viewing with an open casket. I remember Pasty touching Suzie and exclaiming how cold she felt.
Mom’s youngest son, Edward, was a little challenged. He was said to have had rickets as a kid. (Funny how childhood diet and future outcomes may actually be related.) Edward was working picking slate off a conveyor belt at the Eunice Coal Mine and was living there with Mom… as was Merle’s husband, Walter. Walter was in very poor health when I became of age to remember. He did not interact with the family in a meaningful way.
I still have vivid memories…Mom’s house was maybe a thousand feet from our house She had gotten up and left her house at daylight and was missing. Aunt Merle called Dad as she did in times of need. It had snowed an inch or two in the night. Dad and I followed Mom’s tracks down from her back porch over to Harold and Fern’s house and then down the field to the lower end of the Canoe Hole, a slow flowing stretch in the Marsh Fork of Coal River terminating into a small rapid. She had stepped over a spot in the fence where swimmers and fishers had pushed it to the ground over the years.
There we saw where she had approached the edge of the water and then backed away. As if she was looking into the water. We followed the trail up stream and there was a long skid, ending at the snow line at water’s edge. Like a beaver slide.
Dad went down stream and I remember his plaintive cry for help. My grandmother had drowned and was caught in some rocks at the head of the rapid.
She had been suffering with extreme high blood pressure and depression. Dad rejected the idea Mom committed suicide, the trail showed she rejected jumping in at the first opportunity, and she slipped inadvertently at the second location.
For years and years, I remember Dad having remorse for “not doing enough” for his Mom, that he could have somehow prevented her death…. she must have been very sad and lonely that morning to have walked that far in the cold dawn.
Today I think of President Roosevelt who died of high blood pressure, and all the while a German exile was curing it 100% with diet at Duke University a hundred miles away….
Mom could have been cured. Easy. Eat rice and fruit for three weeks (zero salt). Why can’t we internalize this relationship between food choice and health? Her memory lingers with me…I wish I could have done more. I wish someone would have done more. Mom and I could have shared our lives for many more years.
The Fallacy of Hope and Prayer
“I wish I could have/would have done more” haunts many of my memories of all my life. Now I am doing what I think is “more”…doing all I can to share this new knowledge with my kids, grandkids and all my Family. It comes with a cost. With misunderstanding.
But Hope and Prayer, passively watching as a travesty unfolds, is of no value. I will and must pay the price for being different, for activism against a corrupt nutritional paradigm.
Mom was very active in our local Presbyterian church. She attended faithfully and was a notable quilter in that church group. She was a super resourceful single mother from about the birth of her sixth child and brought all her kids up in the church. (Her husband, my grandfather, died of alcohol related circumstance when my father was a small child.) It was expected of me to attend church regularly. I had two Perfect Attendance Sunday school pins. Arthur Bone had 14.
Dad and Mother Anne…and his mother Zada, his brother Lawson and sister Merle (the top two in the photo) …were well respected in our little community. They were known to me as Mom, Home and Aunt Merle. I attended church camps and Bible schools.
We had three churches in our grouping, Dry Creek, Edwight and Nellis. We had the manse at Dry Creek and enjoyed a procession of rotating pastors and their families. We had some fine young ministers who were just out of seminary. My first memory was Davidena McNair. She was a super missionary and held the manse for a time after World War II when ministers were not available. She married Dad’s best friend, Joe Bradford, and had to resign. Something about celibacy for women I still don’t understand.
Reverend Renny and the awesome Miss Renny moved into our manse along with daughter Marjorie, who was my age. We attended different schools, so I saw her only at Sunday school. One Sunday after church, she was left with Aunt Merle for a while. I was there…maybe 10 or 11 at the time…and we sat together on the swing on the porch.
We were alone and after a while we sat even closer together. Up until this moment, I had not “liked” girls. The feelings and emotions that gripped were beyond words. A “crush,” an affection…I had no idea what to do…sorta scary and wonderful. The Rennys moved soon after and I never saw her again. I still miss her. And those feelings. More than my first real girlfriend, Margaret Robinson, in the ninth grade. Pretty quiet till Mom S arrived on the scene…then life really began!
Reverend August Thalman
I vividly recall Reverend August Thalman. It was about 1953 when he came to Dry Creek fresh out of seminary and with his beautiful wife. He was perfect. He was a northern city boy, and sincerely wanted to blend into our culture and serve our congregation. I took him squirrel hunting in Snake Holler and we got one squirrel with my single shot shotgun, my gift from the previous Christmas. Mother Anne cooked it for us.
He included me in some of his sermons and took me with him to the other churches at times. His wife was so nice and pretty that I was very shy around her. It was a treat to take them our garden produce in the summer and eggs in winter. (It was the custom to take food and gifts to the occupants of the manse.)
I became much more interested in the church. All the Sunday School songs and lessons took on a new meaning, a new understanding. I began to internalize the consequences of being saved. Going to heaven. Avoiding hell. Reverend Thalman and I talked around the subjects, never directly. He was a mentor for living a good life and surrendering our souls, our thoughts to Jesus. He taught me to not think…nor act… just for the afterlife, but for a fuller life here on earth. To serve our fellow men. There was more to life than waiting to die.
I was baptized with full immersion in Coal River. Many of our congregation attended and there was a mild celebration at our church afterward. Mother Anne and Dad approved. I asked them why they were not Christians in the same way I was and the same way as Grandpa Browning. They said they were living a good life and that they would likely become Christians at some point. I was not of age to debate. I felt a new vigor in life. A sense of joy and anticipation for what was coming next. Heaven seemed a great place to join.
Aunt Merle and my older cousins Libby and Patsy were very happy for me. I had my own Bible and was very excited to go to church. Reverend Thalman would take me to the Wednesday night prayer meetings in Edwight and the older people there welcomed me into their group. I had visions of being a messenger to non-believers.
I felt a new relationship with life…and with death, a prospect that haunted me from the time Faye and her dramatic overstatements introduced me to the concepts of mortality. My mind was more at ease with this inevitability.
My religious support and training were exclusively with August Thalman. It was a blissful time. He told me that my conversion was meant to be, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost were looking after me and would welcome me into their kingdoms…that I was predestined to join them.
I felt I had been “called” to serve Jesus, to guide people onto the path of righteousness and help them stay there…to avoid Hell at all costs. I continue to admire missionaries like Jehovah’s Witnesses. They live their faith…not hanging back in comfortable opulence, smug in their illusion they are living their lives to the glory of God. Reminds me of King Herod’s fate… “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory and he was eaten by worms and died.”
August Thalman and his beautiful wife rotated out and a new guy, fresh out of seminary, took over. He was devoted to our congregation, of course. However, he was not as charismatic as Reverend Thalman. His wife was ordinary. Good people, but not from around here and didn’t understand the depth of their roles in our tight communities. Great sermons, hardworking, always involved, but sorta perfunctory. Not so sure I wanted to be like him.
As I headed toward ninth and tenth grade, I became more and more bonded with a couple of male friends, neither of whom were brought up in a church as I was. Ike and Robert were respectful and they accepted we were a Christian nation; however, without specific introduction, indoctrination and mentoring, Jesus cannot be known as our Savior. I found myself in retrospect losing the religious zeal inspired by Reverend Thalman and spending more time in high school sports, hunting, fishing, playing with my dogs, riding bicycles.
I did continue to enjoy the music of the church and loved the singing parts of the services. As did everyone in our circles. Mother Anne once played the piano for a service. She became so nervous that she messed up and never went back to church again. (There were a lot of musicians on the Browning side. K. Z. was an accomplished banjo player.)
I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson by happenchance and became enamored with some of his passages. He said God was not vengeful. He said we could discover deeper truths on our own by trusting our intuitions. He said to the effect that searching for the truth was our highest calling…and that we must transcend mental and institutional constraint. I never quite understood all he said and wrote…I am not alone. A cleaning lady exiting one of his more than 1500 lectures noted that she did not understand what he said but she loved the way he said it.
Among the other things I discovered in college was to my lack of appreciation for the world of academia. I would have quit if I could have found a real job…the several I had through those years were temporary, low paying…but kept me in beer and hotdogs. I enjoyed business and marketing but studied sciences. I was a regular only in classes where there was an attendance roster which factored into the grade.
The Alpha House
A high school class mate and fraternity brother, Jim Farley, and I decided we could make a lot of money as bar owners. So, we bought a small, dirty beer joint on the block facing the Marshall University Campus. The area was to be demolished by our University in five years, so the price was right. I got the liquor license on my 21st birthday and remain the youngest ever to get a WV alcohol license. Neighborhood complaints over loud bands and no places to park grew so intense that the university president called and asked us to do something about it. We asked if he intervened in other local businesses…we were in compliance with all city, county and state rules…and hung up. Three months later, he ordered the purchase and demolition of our Alpha House and surrounding dwellings.
I was soon to graduate, displaced and homeless, thanks to my alma mater, and with no real goals. I did not want a real job, like a teacher or something. I applied for a Wildlife Officer position…game warden. I was accepted and was assigned to Lincoln County. I would be given a uniform, car and gun…and $485 a month. At the last moment, a former Marshall graduate, Don Long, a geologist who was in charge of the state highway department geology group, called his old professor, Dr. Jansen, and asked if he had any graduating seniors who might want to work with him.
I was the only graduating senior. So, Don offered to pay for lunch if I would drive up to Charleston for an interview. He showed me the materials sections…Atterbergs, sieves, consolidation testing devices, L. A. hardness, sulfate resistance… and then a ship’s curve device and Bishop’s Method of Slices. I could tell I was better suited to be a game warden.
So that’s what I told Don…that I had no idea what I had just seen in his laboratories and design offices and thanked him for lunch. He said that I was exactly the man he was looking for…a blank slate to train properly…the rest is history.
Hunting and Killing
“You must not only aim right, you must draw the bow with all your might.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
When is Killing Justifiable?
I have come to think harvesting is somehow innate and taking a life respectfully in the process of putting food on the table can be acceptable for some people. Perhaps it an evolutionary adjunct to survival. Or is it unjustifiable murder?
An important question for me today has to do with the ethics of taking the lives of what others today call lesser life forms. Well, here is one of the first changes…are they in fact lesser…or just different? Was the first land creature a lesser form, or just the form of the day…which would portend we are just as transitory as dinosaurs. But I doubly digress.
Should we take the lives of any creature? Well, I used to kill things for sport, shoot song birds with my BB gun. As did all my contemporaries. We viewed it as training for future hunting. By the time Colby was of age to do this, our rule had evolved to killing is Okay as long as we eat it. He shot eight robins with his pellet gun and we ate them…tasted like doves. Andrew celebrated his first hunt by harvesting a magnificent bull elk with a black powder rifle. The old smoke pole was a gift from my father at a time when I could not afford such a firearm. We as a family continued the paradigm where we should live off the land, never mind it now costs more to harvest a wild pheasant or sockeye salmon than we would pay in a market. We hunted with passion, as if we were going to starve otherwise. We are genetically programmed to want to provide for others.
Today, I more or less believe as did the ancients. We can kill for survival and with attendant great respect both for their world and for their sacrifice. The fish or fowl or animal must live in a natural, sustainable environment and we must truly want the food to share in communion. I have come to not glorify the conquest of magnificent creatures who have lesser defensive and offensive skills. It is counter to Nature to kill the most fit.
I catch salmon and crabs and consume them in these contexts. These foods have essential oils and are at least neutral in overall digestion, assimilation and nutrition. I avoid longer lived sea creatures. We have turned much of our ocean into a cess pool.
I can even rationalize the “80/20 rule” that proposes we can get by with a less than perfect, even junk, foods and drinks now and then. Deer and squirrels and all those lean, wild mammals may have some merit as occasional food. I enjoy the connection with nature when I enter their world. There is an innate satisfaction in being a provider. This could change. I don’t look for a gun anymore when I see an elk. I would give my life to stop CAFOs.
The Philosophies of K. Z. Browning
His Church of God
Concurrent with my tutorship with Reverend Thalman, we would visit Mother Anne’s folks in Mingo County. Some really good ones there, and some, well…Mother Anne’s oldest sister, Zelta, ran off with a purported womanizer (despised by the family) soon as she was able to escape. June was between Mother Anne and their youngest, Faye. June fared poorly in school and in later life. They blamed an extreme high fever at age three.
Grandfather K. Z. was an intelligent and proud man, certainly a Type One Dominant personality. He was vain. Colored his hair, drove fine cars. He was a tireless worker. A school principal with community standing. He built a grocery store beside his house and had his barber shop in the basement.
Grandmother Willa Jane Hatfield …Grandma Punkin…attended to him and his enterprises as her full-time vocation. He beat June with firewood every grade card cycle. He once kicked her down a flight of stairs. He faulted Zelta and Mother Anne for not staying home to serve him and his family as eldest daughters should.
In keeping with his domineering personality, he created his own church he called the Church of God. He was a Fundamentalist like Jonathan Edwards and taught that God was jealous and vengeful. I remember his white church across the tracks from his house and watching a congregation of at least 30 file through open door. They were devout and followed literal scriptural instruction (as interpreted by K. Z.). Faye said some were actually able to talk in tongues.
I never got to know Grandfather Browning. Not even sure what I called him. He avoided ever talking to me about life. He had fine guns and was a superior marksman. He spent time in the local forests, sharpshooting chipmunks. Game animals and birds had been exterminated through survival harvesting. He enjoyed going to our camp to hunt and fish. It was, curiously enough, an abandoned church in Pendleton County renovated by my dad with beds and wood stoves.
K. Z. would talk hunting dogs and guns and had guns reserved for me and then Linda. He said she was the finest woman in our whole family, to the dismay of some of the other women. He set aside a special Winchester .410 shotgun for her as an inheritance and a target model .22 for me. (Faye sold of all his guns shortly after his death.)
During my time as a Youth in Christ, I had expected to gain K. Z.’s favor and his support. One night he took me to his church. It was nothing like my Presbyterian experience. I was not comfortable with the people nor the dialogue. Perhaps he anticipated this. He seemed removed from any role as mentor.
K. Z. told Dad many stories. One was he shunned his father, Scott, and many family members because they would not join with him in Christ and his church. He bragged Scott confessed his sins and committed to Christ and to K. Z.’s church on his deathbed. Faye says it did not happen.
He defended his positions by selectively quoting his Bible. (In later years and having enjoyed a lot of creative writing…as per this missive… it seems to me that Our Perfect Creator would not make text errors which require or benefit from re-interpretation of a mortal. As with food references in the Bible and Quran and others…when there is conflicting messages, then it logically means those texts were written by man at different times in societal evolution. Evolution both upward and downward.)
Nature is our guide. Look at what makes us healthy, our kids healthy and our planet healthy. Our instruction is more directly given to us from Heaven than with translated words.
K. Z. Says Who Goes to Heaven
At about age 13, Faye said she asked her dad about Heaven and Hell and about who was going where. This must be a common theme in youth. I continue to be deeply invested in this question. I apparently cannot opt out at my trial…it is an either-or choice. We are not allowed to just die. But I digress.
He told her that the selection process was clearly stated in the Bible and that a place on the Right Hand of God was difficult to earn. She asked how many people he knew would be privileged to enter Heaven. He told he knew of 8 for sure. Willa, him and 6 others. Faye told me she never went back to his church. She was sure she could not make the cut, no matter how hard she would try. Yet to this day, she quotes scriptures in her conversations much as K. Z. did. I sometimes find myself doing the same.
Who goes to Heaven…I have trouble reconciling the fact that so few of the 55 million of us who die each year go to K. Z.’s heaven…I wonder what has happened to all those Animists who ascended to religious consciousness about 100,000 years ago. But I truly respect people of any faith. By my own rules, your heart’s belief is truth.
K. Z.’S Final Chapter
Following Willa Jane’s death (atherosclerosis), K. Z. was alone in North Matewan. He had been losing cognition for years and deteriorated to where he had to be led back home from forays in the night in his underwear. The last straw was when he began shooting through his door at imaginary people wanting to take his things. (In retrospect, it might not have been imaginary in Mingo County.)
Faye petitioned the court for custody so she could put him in a “home”. He protested, but ending up proving Faye’s case in the presence of the judge. She found a care facility near Huntington. He took it on himself to manage the facility. As we departed from one of our visits, the staff brought a patient in on a gurney through the exit door. K. Z. looked pensively at the newcomer and said to us with his school principal demeanor, “just another burden on me”. We use this line as a family saying when something a little adverse happens.
He thought he was in charge of lunch as he was at his school. He tried to collect 25 cents from the sad bunch who attended those lunches. One old guy refused and cursed him. K. Z. grabbed a cane and beat the man.
The facility manager called the police and they took K. Z. to jail. Faye had a problem finding another place for him…and his cursing and violence. He faded away over the next two years.
Today, I contemplate on his deep belief that he was one of the eight of his generation in Mingo County going to heaven. How does this fit with his total lack of awareness of his Trinity in the last years of his life? I wonder about his, just as I wonder how the Jehovah’s Witness congregation can live with their knowledge that only 144,000 people of all time will sit at the Throne.
K. Z.’s siblings, Uncle Claude and Aunt Sacque also fell into dementia. Tremendously strong bodies, but the brain can deal with only so much inflammation. Today we know white flour, preserved meats, animal fats, fried foods…foods of the affluent of their era…are contributory to dementia in later life. That’s usually the “hereditary” part.
The World Health Organization reported in May, 2019 that dementia is now a major health issue and the number of cases will triple in the next 30 years. Poor food choice and lack of exercise are two of the leading causes. This is a reason I choose Nature’s food. Almost all of us think some illusive medical miracle will save us …we humans tend to have faith in a lot of nebulous concepts. Hedonism is like that. Ties in with Addictive Denial as well.
We Must Ever Be Humble
FDR, the most powerful man in the world, died of hypertension only 100 miles from Dr. Kempler, a Nazi refugee who was curing hypertension 100% with his Rice Diet. My beloved Zade Barrett died of this syndrome as well…in 1951…years after Kempler had demonstrated his natural cure over and over…Medical Saviors? People outside our families who care about us, who are devoted to the latest science, rarely exist.
True Medical Saviors would recognize food as the first medicine and use diet and lifestyle to heal. There would not be Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations…those secret dungeons where we visit unspeakable cruelties onto God’s creatures. Ronald McDonald and The Colonel are sicker jokes than this old butter photo. Someday our kids will recognize this, even if you don’t tell them.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Those old ads are comical for sure. We can laugh at the perpetrators with smugness that comes first with knowledge and then understanding what know. We know giving an infant a dose of sugar water is not optimum, that eating sticks of butter does not lubricate our arteries. That is Yesterday’s fake news. We think, “who could fall for that!” We are the same people and even bigger suckers today. Our parents and grandparents who fell for those outrageous ads could not have known how far off track they were. Today we have knowledge beyond what we practice.
What we are doing our kids today is tantamount to child abuse. We know better.
I grieve at our laughable acceptance of the child’s menu. Foods and drinks which insures a lifetime of poor food choices, foods which will diminish every opportunity for achievement and extended health. Foods which cause environmental degradation and unspeakable animal cruelty. Kids would not choose this way of life. We have to force in onto them. We know this but we are powerless to understand and act. Frozen in place by Addiction.
Tomorrow, our enlightened population will scoff at our sloth and ignorance as our society continues to feed our children foods that guarantees a sub-optimal life, both physically and mentally. A form of enslavement where the child has no other option. By the time they are of an age of understanding, they are as hooked as smokers and dopers.
I can see this. I can see food is a sacrament, a gift. The right stuff brings a heaven of happiness. The Kid’s Menu delivers a hell of diminished performance and medical supervision and experimentation. Our doctors get to “practice” on the junk and animal food crowd. The kids we put in that line.
The Lasting Legacy of K. Z. Browning
Grandpa Browning was seldom physically present; however, his stern world of guilt was often present in our daily lives in Dry Creek. His daughter, my Mother (Anne) seemed more fearful than respectful when talking of him or wondering what to get them both for gifts and wondering how they would rate her parenting abilities, her housekeeping abilities. I see those times with a more mature perspective.
I found out later that Grandman (my dad) and Mother Anne had eloped, a convenient way to bypass K. Z. and his likely disapproval. This seemed to create an illegitimacy to their marriage. Grandman was always attentive to K. Z. When they went to our hunting camp in the old church, Grandman hid the whiskey bottles and drank surreptitiously.
K. Z.’s religious views were never exactly questioned or challenged. I had accepted his sect as I did the many other non-Presbyterian sects around our region (except for the Snake Handlers). It was not until college that I had even considered the question of why are there thousands of religious dogmas and hundreds of sacred texts ostensibly handed down by a host of deities…why would all of mankind not be under the umbrella of one deity?
One of his legacies was to pique my curiosity for what is actually true. To try to define reality.
(My) Quest for Truth
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~ Joe Klaas
I think Truth comes in three forms. One is with repeatable proofs, as in tickle a ticklish kid and he will always laugh. Two plus two is always four. These are facts, truths, realities.
The second form of Truth is really not even a truth. It is mostly or totally unprovable in science, even if it is repeatable. Consider the Placebo Effect. Give 100 sick people an unmarked M&M, tell them it is a miracle cure, and some will get well. But we won’t know which ones ahead of time and when we repeat the demonstration with a new group, we will get a different ratio. But the truth is there is a Placebo Effect. This is a fact…and with a lot of windage. Has to do with the concept of Statistical Certainty, its own brand of truth.
The third form of my Truths emanates in our Reptilian Brain, our primitive, survival brain that tells our heart when to beat, how fast to beat, and when to blink our eyes. It is our control center.
Our instincts and intuitions reside here as part of our earliest survival mechanisms. We “know” to fear or avoid precipices, snakes and strangers. We can’t see behind us, thus we avoid “turning our back” to the unknown. We value friends who “have our backs”. These truths we “feel” in our “heart centers”, truths and emotions originating in the non-verbal portion of our brains. When we try to speak of them, we point to our hearts. When we try to write of them, we often fail to capture them in words….try it…you will feel my frustration.
Intuitive and Instinctive Truths are our most trusted. They have kept us alive for as long as Man has been on earth. We know to run from tigers. We know when we are thirsty. We naturally fear heights, yet we enjoy reaching the top of a mountain.
Complex neural stimulations with “pleasure chemicals” are the bases for these non-verbal intuitions. Neurotransmitters can ready us for flight or fight. They can create magnificently ecstatic states of being. Think of your most intense day of falling in love. How non-verbal it was! Tears were easier than words. How permanent it seemed. Or the birth of a child. Our instincts for loving, bonding, and protecting our children are pre-programmed, innate.
The actual truth has more to do with the fact that intense, monogamous love provides greater assurance of success in procreation. Practically all opposite-sex humans could serve us in that role. But what a joyful illusion! Thanks to our Creator for this…
How True is My Truth?
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Very few truths are immutable. Maybe death and taxes, as per Mark Twain. But it is in our nature to trust in the absence of verification, which renders our truths malleable.
We have to examine the origins of our “truths” and how we confirm their validity. Curiously, even if it seems mathematically verifiable, some truths do not stand the test of time. I question my conclusions. As should you.
I have good reasons for doubting myself. My mom and dad smoked. It used to be true that smoking was good for your throat, your “T-Zone.” More than 50% of our medical professionals smoked. Research now shows children of that generation are diminished in many ways.
It used to be true that a T-Bone Steak was good food for our bodies. We now know that our newest version of our S.A.D., our meat-focused, junk food paradigm, is worse than smoking. So, as Grandman says, “I didn’t have a chance.”
There is a positive correlation with increased occurrence of stillborn babies in smokers’ households. My older sister was still born. My mother was anxious regarding my survival in the early years. Infants quickly sense and react with anxiety as well. She said she was not good at breast feeding and substituted cow’s milk most of the time.
These revelations make me sad. What is more sad is what we feed kids today. Yesterday we had neither knowledge nor understanding. Today we have knowledge yet feed kids even worse…the Kid’s Menu.
I had heart issues, a murmur in childhood and rhythm irregularities all my adult life. This is yet another statistically predictable outcome of parental smoking. Episodes with a bouncing heart are disconcerting. Beta blockers have worked most of the time for me so far. I guess there are medical marvels.
So, my dyslexia, short attention span, hyper-active behavior, and low intelligence are not my fault. I can’t do much about it, but this knowledge does help me accept some of the things that drive me nuts about myself. I plod forward out of sheer will. I hope my bad example will serve as a warning to future parents. What you eat and drink and breathe really does matter. What you feed your kids matters even more.
For you, kids in the future: Your environment matters. If you all are still canonizing that disgusting, phony Kentucky colonel as you read this, I am disappointed in you and your world. You know better by now.
How True is Your Truth?
“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.” ~ Edward Abbey
Ah ha. Here is where I hope to get your attention. Your truths are corrupted. And when you realize this, you will see this book in a different light. It began with the Agricultural Revolution. Our bodies and brains evolved or were created in an environment where we were consuming 100-150 grams of fiber daily. The Paleo diet was mostly freshly gathered plants. Our bodies and brains and microbiota adapted to the pure world of Nature and those best adapted had the most offspring.
Then, overnight, we began eating processed foods, calorie dense/nutrient deficient foods, mono diets, fatty diets…look at our little guy in the photo, Today’s Fetus. This tidal change in food sources changed our judgments, our measures for truth. Our contaminated food sources, stuff that now ruins our bodies and clouds our brains, have intruded onto our world in triplicate in the last 40 years.
Today’s kids eat and drink horribly-treated dead animals and hyper-processed “stuff.” We raise kids under the hoax that they need this junk for optimum health. It turns them into food addicts, taking away their connection to Nature.
Addiction creates a pseudo-reality where we can no longer trust our “hearts knowledge.” Just as smokers “feel” it is safe for them to continue, we are just as wrong when we line up at McDonalds. It is illogical to celebrate Happy Meals. Our survival mechanisms could never have anticipated this cascade of hyperpalatable, addictive substances.
These substances which create cravability are found in natural foods, think drugs and alcohol, but are addictive only in refined states. These addictions, these cravings, become as much a “truth” as feeling we need to take a drink of water or avoid a charging tiger, or forage for berries when we are hungry. The survival brain does not have the capacity to reason.
Addictions: Here are a few of the common ones that will alter your brain permanently: nicotine, opioids, alcohol, fat, refined sugar, salt, crunch. Their commonalities are refinement and concentrations of natural substances, including those from our mad scientists who created a new generation of hyperpalatables which mimic real foods. They even have a kids’ sugar cereal they call “Krave.” Double milk chocolate and sugar on super-heated white flour. We are so deeply addicted we don’t notice the joke, the hoax. We feed this to kids.
Our vulnerability to addiction and addictive behaviors was exposed and capitalized with the Ag Rev. Addictions are magnified by our innate preference for Efficiency. So, when a drive-up at McDonalds is most efficient, when a Happy Meal assists with parenting, our addictions are reinforced. It feels right. It is a truth. We are better for it. And it is killing us and compromising our kids.
We make up for this by buying junk foods that claim to boost “immunity”. Are we nuts?!
Our potentials for everything have been compromised. Except, perhaps for ever-greater achievements in hot dog eating contests.
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” ~ Malcolm X
A Journey into Speculation and Unanswerable Questions
“If God does not exist, then it is necessary for us to invent Him.” ~ Voltaire
Larry Osborne and Bob Goff
I was waiting at the Campbell River airport and browsed the free book shelf where you leave books and take books as you wish. The only book there had a curious red cover, so I picked it up. Titled the Accidental Pharisee by Larry Osborne, a Christian guy who writes in a friendly, convincing style, very much like author Bob Goff. The page I opened described K. Z. Browning…another of those coincidences?
Osborne says that persons who becomes saved should be low key, compassionate and set an easy-going example, in contrast to Pharisees of old who were the final word on religion and most of life, who did not serve with compassion, and who ruled with fear and discipline. They did not mind thinning their herd. Sorta like the Clerics of today….and whose history traces back to that region. They are going to heaven for sure, and if you want to work and sacrifice as they direct, you might make it too. Osborne says you don’t want to intrude on lives as did those Pharisees.
K. Z. was an authoritarian and focused on his version of scripture…one of those “Accidental” Pharisees. Osborne says that we must not pick between the verses, rather consider the “totality” of scripture. The concept of totality is probably recognition and a work-around for conflicts between specific mandates in the Holy Word.
Dr. Richard Dawkins suggests that creating your “totality” is just another way to create your own version of religion …but I digress.
K. Z. seemed unconcerned with his knowledge that only eight of the hundreds of people around him would make it for sure. As with the Pharisees, he was a cut above. As with Jephthah, whatever it takes for him to get to heaven. He cut ties with his father. And why not? His father had become a burden on his new way of life and was going to hell for it.
Osborne takes liberty in his book to relate his version of the Crucifixion. Paraphrasing: Jesus Christ is our greatest example for comportment. He valued every life as his own, taught humility and charity, and sought reform in His church. He ran totally counter to the interests of the Pharisees and that societal paradigm. When he confronted them with demands for reform in their service to the Israelites, they were able to get him lynched in a week’s time. While there is not much reported about the details of his trial nor his defenders, his “silent disciple”, Joseph of Arimathea, a rich Pharisee, showed up afterward and kept Jesus’ body from being tossed into the landfill. (This was the typical Roman practice and the bodies were eaten by dogs. This was o. k. for those de-humanized by crucifixion.) Joseph placed him in a tomb for the wealthy and sealed it with a stone…in keeping with Isaiah’s prophecies.
Then an angel came from Heaven and rolled the stone away, resurrected Jesus and escorted Him back to Heaven.
Osborne is in total awe and exuberance as he recounts his version, his “totality.”
I would love to meet and absorb more of his certainty in this historical event…I did some of my own research on our most Holy Event. Of the 300 million people living on earth at the time of Christ, 45 million existed within the Roman Empire, and about 2 million (.7% of world population) were of Jewish religion, 6000 of which were Pharisees.
Our Creator, the Omnipotent, is immune from the concept of time and whose vastness defies even a name. (The Pre-Ag Rev Earthlings understood this and used phrases like, “The Name of the Name That Cannot be the Eternal Name”.) The proposition that this Endless, Limitless, Timeless Force would select .7% of his Images to be “Chosen” just defies reality for me. Why make everyone else defective and inferior?
That there would be a specific date where this Tengri form would take on an earthly persona, invite ridicule, torture and an earthly form of death….why? If there was a mess, it was His, not mine. I don’t feel a need to “repent”.
Raised from dead. A miraculous, world-changing demonstration for sure. But would He have made a greater impact on mankind had He gone back to Pilot’s kangaroo court and allowed all to witness His resurrection? Allow all of those 2 million skeptical Israelites to celebrate this greatest of miracles? They are His Chosen People (ironically the ones targeted for adverse discrimination beyond all others) and as such, would have been charged with telling the rest of the 298 million human beings on earth of this soul saving opportunity.
(Another irony about “chosen people” is that 82% of the males in Palestine and 70% in Israel share a common “Y” chromosome…they trace back to the same mother!)
The other clarification I would like to get from both Osborne and Goff has to do with an Only Son. I am not qualified to even approach the question. I seek these higher intelligences for sincere counsel…people who seem to enjoy a peace within which I do not and who have truths that I cannot find. What is the limitation on God to have only one Son? Are the Son and God one and the same? Could they explain the Holy Ghost?
I can gloss over the limited powers and work-arounds ascribed to Jehovah in dealing with Pharaoh to set the Jews free; however, in the larger picture, it seems that He would have an unlimited budget to do whatever He wishes. What are the limitations on Omnipotent? Why does almost everyone He has or will create burn in Hell?
Was K. Z. a Prophet or a Pharisee?
A prophet carries a message as an instrument of God. A Pharisee is His earthly interpreter, His guide to the high road to Heaven. There is a thin line between the two. Sometimes a Minister or Priest or Shaman can seem to qualify for either hat. I had not doubted that my Grandfather was truly a Holy Man. He seemed to be a paragon of virtue; however, his rules were without compassion. He could accept that only eight of all the people he knew would go to heaven.
That would place him in the Pharisee class, using Larry Osborne’s definition.
Dr. Richard Dawkins and Sir Edward Tylor
Dr. Richard Dawkins is an Evolutionary Biologist at Oxford. He is a classic Darwinian proponent and says our emerging dependence on science will eventually supplant religion. He is an archetypical representative of the arrogance that scientists bring to this debate…to the question of who am I? One of his lectures was an objection to Alabama’s law requiring Creation to be taught in public schools. He states that “All animals, plants, fungi and bacteria living today are descended from a single common ancestor who lived more than 3 billion years ago.” He waffles and says there could have been more than one emergence of life, but very likely not. And it is projected that 30 billion unique species are the result of that one magical moment where lightning struck a mudhole…or some kind of non-divine process.
Dr. Dawkins would have me believe that I am a part of every living organism, and which, as he agrees, excludes the possibility of a soul. He asks when did man all of sudden separate from the pack? When were we converted from annuals to perennials? Harari asks a similar question: “At what point did a child have an everlasting soul that its mother did not?”
Dr. Dawkins’ fatal logic gap lies with the concept of a single common ancestor. Where did that come from…. lightning in primordial soup? Why have we never seen it since and why can’t someone as smart and self-assured as Dr. Dawkins create a laboratory reenactment of something so simple as his version of the origin of life? Only once in 3.5 billion years…hmm?
Sir Edward Tylor, circa 1871, was one of the first to say Animism, the evolutionary framework of religion which developed in stages beginning about 100,000 years ago, will ultimately lead to humanity rejecting religion altogether in favor of scientific rationality.
Dawkins chimed in and says it will happen within the next 50 years. Tylor postulates that Animism is fundamentally a mistake, a basic error from which all religions grew. He did not believe Animism is inherently illogical; however, it is based on erroneous, unscientific observations about the nature of reality.
Tylor’s “scientific reality” begs the question of the origin of life as we know it. Until we can define it, create it, the probability of Divine Origin goes unchallenged. I can’t imagine a single, spontaneous emergence of DNA. DNA….and the spark of life…a single cell that can infinitely replicate itself in so many varied environments.
Neither of those two scientists address the concept of Irreducible Complexity. I have to revisit this with you more than once. It keeps revolving back in my thoughts. When did a heart take its first beat? When did a white corpuscle devour its first germ? That the process of phagocytosis developed by random chance challenges me. What about the cycle of colostrum? Or when was the first penis of value?
I am not an Einstein, but I can sense there is more to my Reality of Nature than Dawkin’s Nature of Reality. I was mesmerized by a tomato horn worm and to the extent I allowed it (him/her?) to defoliate my tomato plant. Everyday there would be fewer leaves as this fat, sluggish, ugly demon ceaselessly munched and chewed and grew. Such a single minded focus!
At first my little friend was difficult to see. She blended perfectly into the foliage. Then, as she grew in size, as she ate the leaves faster than they could regenerate, she became quite obvious. Her magnificent geometric patterns, as if she were a showcase for tattoo art, were there for all to see. So she scurried…..well, maybe not that fast…to the nearest fully leafed plant to continue her gluttony without detection.
There are thousands of versions of this creature we call caterpillars or worms or pests. We stomp them, smash them, poison them, abhor them, fear them and use them for fish bait. Those who miraculously survive nature’s gauntlets and those who survive the death wishes of man go on to spin a cocoon around themselves and change, metamorphose, into a creature of indescribable grace and beauty. Light of weight and agile in flight. Transformed from parasitizing their host plants to contributing to their procreation through pollination of their flowers. Revered by man. Loved by children.
I cannot work this puzzle in reverse.
Bishop Carlton Pearson
“Christians risk becoming utterly irrelevant in their own culture if they continue to separate people into “We the Saved” and “They the Damned”. Again, I ask, do we need Jesus to protect us from God? Is that what Christianity as we’ve known is about? Are we saved from God by God?” ~ Carlton Pearson
Netflix created a documentary, Come Sunday, that follows Bishop Carlton Pearson’s journey from the right hand of Oral Roberts and a congregation of 10,000 to his Divine Revelation that God’s Word refutes the concept of Hell. He arrived at this conclusion the same way I did. He looked at the starvation and carnage in Africa. His Creator…my Creator…would not turn His back on these babies. Nor would He allow His heartless Sadist (Satan) to burn them in Hell forever.
It was a great coincidence that I even watched that show. I take it as a sign.
Bishop Carlton loves Jesus above all else. He says there cannot be a place called Hell. Jesus would not participate. I imagine myself walking with Jesus and feeling the compassion he shows for every living thing. There are no negatives…only unshakable optimism. Bishop Carlton is more right than wrong. People are not born into “sin”. God wants us to be happy…He would not start us off with an albatross around our necks!
“Christianity has gotten so far from the accurate realities of the Christ Principle that even Jesus would probably distance himself from it. Jesus was a Mystic operating in Christ Presence and Principle, who was in touch with His divine nature and taught us to be in touch with our spiritual center, our pre-incarnate self. This is Christ Consciousness, something much more potent, plausible and viable than the religion bearing the same name. The same is true of all religions.” Carlton Pearson, from God is not a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu….
Bishop Carlton Pearson’s passions led to excommunication by the Pharisees of the Black Diocese, I don’t think he has gone far enough in his challenge to our conventional assumptions on the true nature of God.
When is it Murder?
At some point in your life….I was 77….you may want to re-examine and re-validate some of your assumptions about reality. I awoke one morning (4 am) with a shock….a great disappointment. I had been working on a video script to show you how much alike are our Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the Camps of the Holocaust. Hitler and his buddy Stalin both had decided some humans did not deserve to live and felt duty bound to exterminate them. It was not murder, it was justifiable, state-sponsored, “ethnic cleansing”. Or was it murder?
Is it murder when we kill any unwilling sentient being?
Murder is defined as taking a life unlawfully and with premeditation. So when Hitler created a “law” that some of his subjects needed killed for the common good, then we first have to question if that level of legal authority can exist. The United Nations and other world governances have recently passed resolutions that no one has this level of authority, however, the law was silent before this.
Re-visiting our myth of Noah and his ark, where practically every life form on earth was eliminated, leaving only a few people and creatures to incestuously repopulate the earth, there are many who feel that God, His Only Son and the Holy Ghost are uniquely exempt from accusations of murder. They are the ones who gave life, thus it is theirs to retract at any time. The problem with this is if there is perfectness in the Trinity, how could any of their creations be imperfect? And if there is only a Trinity, who actually came down and killed all those Egyptians?
Egyptians. Using imperfection as justification, what about all those First Born of Egypt? Our “Living God” destroyed every first-born Egyptian boy, girl, lamb, kid, calf…and to show Pharaoh his power? To make a statement? I cannot believe I celebrated this genocide of innocents, that I was supposed “love” such a heartless beast. A beast whose angel of death, the “Destroyer” was so stupid he had to have the blood from healthy baby sheep and goats smeared on doors so it could differentiate Jewish kids and animals from Egyptian kids and animals. From King James: “and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead”. I grieve for those who chose to celebrate that make-believe world of tyranny.
My Creator of this perfect and limitless universe is not in that “Good Book”. None of these conundrums exist in Animism.
Emerson, Transcendentalism and Deism
Back to Emerson, the nature of God does not stop with the K. Z. Brownings, the Accidental Pharisees, nor the real Pharisees where a few people perform rituals to ensure eternal life for themselves, passively watching the world around them decay into chaos. Passively accepting condemnation of family, friends, associates…trillions of unknowing men, women, children, unborns, aborted fetuses, brave soldiers, fearless fire fighters, protectors of our society…to eternal damnation and without ever questioning if this is the true nature of God.
Emerson came to emphasize right action as the fundamental core of religion, the notion that pure religion equals pure morality. Pure morality is conceptually equivalent to the Core Values of GSI, where we live all aspects of our lives within the most ethical standards of our times.
Deists hold many of these tenants. They respect a Creator, but “feel” our directions will be revealed from within. All of these philosophies hold common views which run counter to organized religions.