Jerry Garcia’s line, “what a long, strange trip it’s been” in the classic “Truckin’” applies to my life as well. I’ve been living on the edge for most of my life, and continue to do so, at the finish line here on a beautiful island off the west coast of British Columbia (nope, not in Central America, but in Canada).
Most Christians know about the Ten Commandments, which are foundational to their beliefs. They’re one of the reasons it’s difficult to dispose of the Old Testament entirely due it’s plethora of heinous laws, commands and actions of Yahweh. Although many would find it challenging to recite them in their entirety, they often involve themselves in the defence of public displays of these fabled tablets, often depicted along with one of their greatest prophets, Moses.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.”
Some would have us believe Henry Kissinger was a great statesman. Others consider him a deranged war criminal. Contrary to some beliefs, Dr. Strangelove was not based on this warmonger, but it may certainly have been a premonition or influence (perhaps he saw the film himself) for his own rise to power and world view. Substantial controversy erupted when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.
It takes courage to be a truth seeker, and more so to be a truth speaker. Many will continue to seek the comfortable shelter of mass delusion rather than disturbing reality.
Most truth speakers will stand alone in many instances. They will be mocked, demonized and punished as a reward for speaking the truth by those with conflicting world views.
I have no regrets about my use of drugs. I’ve been using prescription drugs to control my blood pressure for years and they work well. In my younger years, I also experimented with psychedelics and still smoke marijuana occasionally. Both helped in clarifying my world view and perceptions of “reality”. Both were also my choice. Neither were addictive nor had any awful side effects.
When I arrived in Vancouver, B.C. in the early 70’s I felt as though I were a “stranger in a strange land”. Having been raised in WASP enclaves, I hadn’t been exposed to other cultures or races. All throughout my public schooling (in New Jersey and Missouri) there were no “children of colour” in any of my classes. Not one. This made my arrival in Vancouver a cultural circus of colours, smells and sounds.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment was written by Eckhart Tolle and published in 1999. The book is intended to be a guide for day-to-day living and stresses the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts of the past or future. I have read many books, by many enlightened authors over my lifetime. This is one of the most understandable and profound of them.
With the advent of the “digital age“, the ability to control and direct the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, fears and “realities” of a population has risen to heights never before seen in human history.
For those not familiar with Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, here’s a link his Wikipedia biography. This genius of satire was a prolific writer, but The Devil’s Dictionary is considered to be one of his best works and has been called one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature”.
Although a link to the full text is included above, here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite, starting with Bierce’s own Preface.
I tried for years to program, or at least, have some influence on my dreams. I also tried sleep learning, which involved a small speaker stuffed in my pillow and a tape recorder that would begin playing what I’d recorded after I was experiencing the REM stage of sleep. Both failed to achieve their intended goals.