Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Civil War

What does civil war mean?

Civil | Definition of Civil by Merriam-Webster
1 : of or relating to citizens <civil rights> 2 : of or relating to matters within a country. 3 : of or relating to the regular business of citizens or government that is not connected to the military or a religion. 4 : polite without being friendly <Those men, they used to be best friends.

While trying to sleep this morning (4:00), the phrase Civil War, the war of brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor against neighbor, kept hazily moving through my brain.  The war of all against all; no friends, no enemies.  Why, and what does it all mean?  In our biblical folklore it began with Cain slewing Able.    Later we have the patriarch Abraham and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac, from whom many believe became the division between Jew and Muslim or Palestine and Israel.  Of course we are all familiar with the divisions between the same peoples.  African tribes selling other tribes into slavery.  Native American tribes at war with one another until they faced a common enemy in the new white settlers in the Americas. European boundaries shifting again and again throughout history.  The peoples of Asia fighting war against each other over and over.
It would appear the largest common denominator among men is their willingness to fight against their brothers, their tribes, and their peoples, spreading blood, carnage and war,  whether within or against families, or the world at large.   

I always found it strange that a family I know which has four children I have always seen the enmity they had against one another even as little children.  They always seemed to feel their mom and dad loved the other sibling better than they did  the one.  In the early days it was sister against sister and later brother against brother in this little family of four.  They presented a solid front against the world at large but seemed to really hate each other within the little family.  Christmas day used to be a nightmare as the children squabbled over who got the best presents and there were always tears and hurt feelings.  This enmity, by the way, has continued between the two girls to this day.  They are both born again ultra right conservatives, as are their husbands,  but they can hardly be in the same room together without fighting.  They say they all love each other but the emotions which separate them seem much stronger than the similarities in their belief systems.
My own sister and I used to have battles and hurt feelings but I used to think it was because of the eight year separation in our ages rather than innate rancor.  We fought as children and later as young adults but seem to have come to a commonality in our belief systems in our later years and we really do love each other.
I have tried and tried to reason out what circumstances can cause such difference in view among the same people or tribe but I am still at a loss.
I know it is not just culture because the difference in beliefs of far right Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other religious groups comes down to restricting the freedom of the same things. Woman's rights, music, drugs, books, sexuality, you name it.   When it comes down to a difference of beliefs or opinion  they all act out in the same way.  The same is true for Liberals or Progressives.  Group think is the common ground for all parties. I really could go on and on as I have fought through these thoughts for many hours but the end of my conclusions is there cannot ever be any peace in this world.  It really is not about color, religion, culture, sex or anything else.  There is no reason to it among reasonable mankind.  Difference and righteousness are what it all seems to be about.  I know I am no different that anyone else in these groups.  I hate with the same intensity and seem to find almost nothing I can agree with on the other side.
Someday the lion and the lamb may indeed lie down together.  If animals are protected, have enough food and territory to live comfortably they do seem to become friends.  Mother cats nurse baby dogs and even mice, and chickens protect kittens under their wings.  There are so many animals videos out there of dogs and elephants and even lions and men and women who raised them, never losing their love and affection for each other.  I do not really understand animal behavior but I think I understand humans even less.
When a people who live in the USA with all the creature comforts one needs to survive continue to work totally against one another, I can only feel there is no hope for mankind.  There is enough wealth in this country to supply the highest standard of living for all of our people.  We would be required however to share the wealth which is alien to almost all of us.  Our differences separate us much more then our commonalities.   We all bleed when we are injured and require food, water and shelter to survive.  the actual differences between peoples are such superficial things as skin color, hair color, eye color, build and facial characteristics like noses, eye shape, lips etc.  Except where there is a physical problem we all have two of each arms, legs, feet and hands and two eyes and two ears.   I used to try and explain our differences by right and left brained people but science has proven me wrong here.
All humans react in the same ways to difference, inclusion and exclusion and  conservative or liberal mindsets.  The extremes of these commonly held views may be labeled tea party, libertarian, progressive or even as Whigs and Tories but they all break down to the same hatreds and misunderstandings no matter how we label them.  Human kind will not ever come together and all we can ever hope for is relative peace among our peoples.
So what can we do with this dismal situation?  I really believe prayer is important for each individual to come to grips with his or her own nature: and that peace can only be held by an individual who is willing to give himself up for the needs of others.  Our heroic models for peace all shared one thing in common, they were willing to lay aside their own interests and sacrifice their lives for others.  The rest of us are left with our shitty little self interests flawed relationships until our Creator intervenes.   

Monday, January 9, 2017

A struggle with understanding

I have recently been engaged with an internal struggle about what has happened to my sister.  The past several years she has become very stressed and more and more forgetful.  Of course all of us struggle with stress and it is the bane of most of us as we get older to struggle to remember names and words which only come to us later.  I for one am quick to substitute words like thingy , thing a ma gig, what's it, that woman, honey or even sqigamahala (my own word for things whose names remain elusive).  Of late or the last year my sister does not recognize the man she lives with as her husband of 60 years.  She knows his name is Gene, but not her Gene.  She will insist  there is a stranger in her house and she will demand from time to time proof that he is really Gene.  When she is shown  papers like Drivers Licence, etc, she will insist anyone could have those made.  Jackie was always a great fan of mystery stories, puzzles and crosswords and she definitely knows of what she speaks regarding fake identification.  Jackie has been diagnosed with Dementia.
When I call her on the phone she seems normal for the most part with an occasional lapse into forgetfulness which really seems to bother her.
For my own understanding I have looked up the differences between dementia and Alzheimer's and the best short description I am quoting below:
 " According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific type of dementia caused when high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.
 "Here's the major  difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia — when an individual is diagnosed with dementia, they are diagnosed based on their symptoms without actually knowing what's behind the symptoms. In Alzheimer’s disease, the exact cause of the symptoms is understood. In addition, Alzheimer's disease is not reversible, whereas some types of dementia, such as those caused by nutritional problems or a drug interaction, can be reversed."                                                                                                                                                                I only wish my sister's disease which has been diagnosed as dementia could be, at least partially,  reversed.  I have had extremely vivid dreams the last 10 years.  They are like stories which can be interrupted and continued.  If I wake in the middle of a dream to go to the toilet, when I return I can go right back into and continue my dream.  The dreams are extremely realistic and most often involve people I know or family members.  There are a large number of themes and they keep recurring.  I will list only a few:  my mom is alive and alone and living is a specially constructed house in upstate NY.  She is divorced from my father, who sometimes has remarried, or is sometimes still married to mom.  Sometimes I have gone to visit my sister, in a sprawling estate which encompasses a lot of acres of woods and mountains.  Sometimes this property is in NY State and sometimes it appears to be in a state like the Carolina's or Tenn.  The actual house is always in disrepair, filled with unknown distant relatives, Jackie has gone out shopping or some kind of cult religious meeting with her daughter.  I am trying to clean the kitchen, find food and deal with various relatives I don't know.   As I mentioned before there are several dozens of themes and settings but they keep recurring and are rich with details and conversations and locations.  They always take different forms regardless of the particular theme and often involve arguments and conversations with relatives I have experienced problems with. I am always fascinated with these stories in my dreams and I want to go back into them to see how they come out or what is going to happen next.  They are extremely clear when I am in them but when I try to explain a dream to others I can only remember a few details and they are confusing.  When I was speaking to my Nephew the other day and he was explaining what Jackie sometimes experiences as her reality, I was struck by the similarity to my dreams.                                                                                                                        It occurred to me that it sounded like she was experiencing some sort of a dream or fugue state.  She recognizes the characters in her state but their reality is different.  She sees as if through a fog or dream and her people are sometimes who they really are and are sometimes very different from the persons she has known and loved.  This can be in the same waking time frame.  she will recognize, remember and talk to Kenny or Debbie and yet not recognizer Gene.   Even when they are sitting and eating at the same dinner table.  Gene is a nice man but simply not the Gene she was married to for 60 years.                                                                                                                  In my dreams the people are not the same ones I know in my waking life either.  They are either much nicer or nastier and appear in different settings than I have ever experienced waking.  Can this be somewhat like string theory or parallel lines which never meet, but in reality do meet???????
  I guess this is my theory to integrate reality, fugue states and dementia, a tapestry. 

     What is string theory in 10 words or less, by bgreene"It's an attempt to unify all matter and all forces into one mathematical tapestry."       

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Outlook

I have often posted, in the past, of things which happened, my opinions, my beliefs, etc.  Now I want to blog my thoughts with a new perspective.  I have never posted anything which I did not believe was true, at least at that time.  For the coming year I want to have a little different approach.  I will post mostly what I believe but also what I feel I am directed to post from a higher authority.
This will be a post which might not be provable or believable by most , but which is my inner belief. I have decided to do this because such magical things continue to happen to me. 
My fantasy's keep coming true, one by one.
My faith in God which has always been strong is becoming more and more heartfelt.  Everywhere I go, what ever I do, if I remember to ask him to take control, only the best outcomes occur.  I am not discussing things, I am talking about situations, circumstances, occurrences, etc.  I keep saying over and over how much I am blessed.
I have noted many people say this as a catch phrase.  They say it when I say it.  They say it like they would hope to believe it. even though all their talk and actions deny it.  They say it with a hope they could truly feel blessed just by saying it.  Of late when I say I am blessed or "Thank You, I feel so blessed", a strange feeling occurs inside me.  I feel lighter and a warmth pervades my being.   I feel blessed from the inside out and it may have nothing to do with what is right in front of me.  It is a different form of reality.
I so wish everyone of my friends and family could share in this kind of blessing.  Especially all the good people I know who try in vain to seek earthly satisfaction, and pray it will be God granted.  I feel sometimes this can be why some folks are so dogmatic in their view of their religion and Christ Consciousness.  They are so afraid to deviate from their rituals and what ceremony or occurrence brought them to God.   Some believe if they let their God given reason sort through various other religions or religious beliefs, that they will somehow be corrupted and will be unable to get back their original feeling of conversion or being "Born Again".  Somehow they feel their God or Jesus is so vindictive that if they even heard or entertained another thought or belief they would lose their presumed Grace and be damned forever.  They hang so tightly to their brand of religion or dogma or ritual that they become bound in superstition and True Glory continues to be denied them even as they protest how happy and fulfilled their religion is for them.  They answer Alter calls again and again and demand to know the time and day and year you too, were Born Again.  I may address this again in more depth at a later time but suffice to know that from my childhood, alone, looking at the night sky, on my back, pondering infinity, eternity, and indivisible, I have been walking with God.  This walk has continued throughout my life and has taken many turns and fancies.  I have taken my God given reason and let it explore many dark and dangerous places.  I have also explored the light and fanciful places and ever my Lord has walked along with me.  Sometimes leading, sometimes following behind as I explore,  but mainly remaining by my side (and inside),  and he has ever protected me from evil and dark influences.
Now I am learning it is my call to pass onto others what my travels with destiny have led me to discover.      " Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: you are with me: your rod and your staff comfort me "
And so a New Year begins with my Savior by my side and inside, as always.