Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Random thoughts...reflective again

1) New baby Carter arrived November 21, 2011! What a happy day, happy baby, happy family. I was terrified he would be born with some deformity due directly to my taking so many bipolar meds during pregnancy. I still catch my breath in fear anytime anything seems amiss with him, because the guilt would be overwhelming if he has any developmental problems....but so far he is a perfect gem of a boy. I felt great for his first four weeks, but then had a mini-manic-break last week marked by anger, anxiety, paranoia and religiousity. I went promptly to my psychiatrist and adjusted the Lamictal and the Risperdal up. Stopping breastfeeding and starting birth control had a clear impact on the effectiveness of my meds.

2) With a few minor blips, I have had a lovely and lucky year....since I graduated from the concept of god earlier this year. If I feel so strong and happy without him, how can it be wrong?

3) Saw Girl with Dragon Tattoo last night. (Spoiler alert) Wow. First, a great movie. Good acting, a quick plot, and it followed the book nicely. Omitted the chaff from the book but kept to the story with integrity. Mikael's disdain for God and religion of course intrigued me. Europeans are as a whole much further along on the graduation from God than Americans. We as a country seemed lately plagued by a paroxysm of religion, as if the country is "burning with God's love" and is about to trap us all in the flames of religious oppression.

Second, the violence against women angle was....intriguing to say the least. My emotions about the visceral scenes are myriad. I have worked for years in the prevention of violence against women field. When I was a court advocate for the victims (both the women and their children) I was shocked at first by how much the women I was trying to help hated me. Hated me for not being a victim myself. Hated me for "interfering" in their lives. Hated me for judging them involuntarily when they dropped all charges against their male partner at the last minute. Hated me for giving that male partner just one more reason to despise them, namely, for the audacity these women had to seek help through the courts. The complexity of emotions on all fronts was...to repeat myself, myriad.

I couldn't believe that the male author of Dragon, Stieg Larsson, could get inside those distinctly female emotions. How could he know that every victim's dream was to sodomize and terrorize the perpetrator in retaliation. To make him live in fear ten times worse than their own fear. To tattoo "I am a rapist pig" on their chest. To get away with all that. How could Larsson make a book themed in violence against women so appealing to men? Random thought: The premiere of this movie could not be worse timing for that bastard, Jerry Sandusky. Men in the audience could themselves retch at the perversions of sexual sadists out there.

It struck me that some of the men and women in the audience last night laughed when Lisbeth got her ghastly revenge against Bjurman. The cycle of sexual violence, no matter who the victim, is no laughing matter. But still, some chuckled.

4) My mom is wonderful. You all know I have had some problems with her in the last few years. It's been hard for both of us to change roles. I became mother and wife. She became grandmother, and found it difficult I think to relinquish her role as my number one caretaker. She did save my life and nurse me back to health after the big bipolar break in 2000 after all. She was a first stringer in the battle against my illness back then, and her move to the second or third string has been hard for both of us, whether we realize it or not. So the roles have morphed into something new, and I think many of you women out there know this phase of the mother-daughter relationship is hard. I've nearly wanted to write her out of my life.

But get this! Things are REALLY getting better between us. She has listened to me and learned how to hold her tongue when need be and stand in awe of my accomplishments when need be and not worry when need be and take a 10,000 foot view when need be instead of the 10 foot view. And she gave me a gift for Christmas, not one wrapped in a package, but a real gift. She is going to read this blog. No matter how it may unnerve her, she is going to share in this personal journey, which makes my heart soar.

I wrote an email to her a few years back that prophesied that she would have to stretch in untold ways. That our roles would evolve and her growth would be hard. That her mettle would be tested if our relationship was to last. I don't know how, but I just knew that. She is meeting the challenge, and I am proud of her. And I am beginning to love her with abandon again.

5) I hit upon another analogy about my bipolar. It's a helmet. When I am feeling healthy and my meds are balanced, I have a helmet on my head. The everyday slings and arrows of stress bounce off me. I have the healthy armor up that everyone normally has. When I begin to get sick again, the helmet starts to come off. Little things bother me when they shouldn't. People's offhand comments strike my brain and make me defensive and vulnerable. My brain actually gets hot or "boils" when this happens. I get a piercing headache. My illness has a real physical manifestation and that is hot arrows slicing into the soft matter of my brain.

With the right medication and the right talk therapy, I get that helmet back on and we all feel better.

6) Notice how people (and books and movies) are talking more and more about the end of the world, and about what heaven is like and when we will get there, and about how the rearrangement of some tenets of quantum physics will change our lives? Neutrinos, time/space suspension, dark matter, the God particle....we are moving along toward the end of the world as we know it, the end of religion (or the end of religion's divergence and scorn for science), and the beginning of the best epoch in human existence. I know it's coming, and as I always tell you, I can't wait for you to see how beautiful it is. I can't wait to show you.

Merry everything and happy forever. Love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scottish memories

After two consecutive 80º days replete with mosquitoes and mugginess, it was time for a Scottish weather day. Misty rain, fog on Degray Lake that made it look like a Scottish loch, blowing leaves, and rusty fall foliage dotting the rolling hills. Add Enya's best on the Ipod in the car and I was transported right back to St. Andrews circa 1997 when I studied there for a semester. It brings back memories of McSorley's Pub right at the corner of the 18th green on the Old Course, where they hosted Pub Trivia on Wednesdays with the Classic dark blue Trivial Pursuit game (remember that one...where the answer is always either None or the Soviet Union). Where they gave out McSorley's t-shirts that said "Everybody's gotta learn to drink somewhere" on the back. Where they were such a small town bar that they let you play your own mix tape on their speaker system. Where the boys drank Guinness pints and the girls drank Snakebite and Blacks. What a life, what a lifetime ago.

When you live a thousand miles away from your former life, it's just magic when a memory strikes you. Some combination of sights, sounds and smells can take you right back home and connect you to your roots. It's a song lyric, or a landscape and breeze that seems familiar, or a conversation that could have happened a decade ago. The senses line up to send your brain's memory center back home, back to what builds you up and makes you feel strong. Like a highlight reel, your brain and it's miraculous circuitry will replay the very best scenes for your viewing pleasure. These moments are what give us the strength to strike out for open territory and light the fire at someone else's hearth. If I knew 6 years ago how good those moments would feel in my new life, I would have left Virginia without shedding a tear or harboring one doubt. I would have known that you can build your new life without losing the old, and both can seem better than before. So strike out all of you, whether you are in your 20's or 70's. The new horizons need you, and the old horizons will never forget you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Managing pregnancy and BP meds

Status update on what's going on with this Bipolar pregnancy:

I've stayed on almost all of my meds throughout pregnancy. Tapered off Zoloft but still on Lorazepam, Trazadone, Risperdal, Lamictal. Class C drugs all, which is scary as hell, but we've tried the alternative with my first pregnancy and stopping all meds nearly killed me. 18 months of dead man walking post-partum depression.

My docs had an idea that of the meds I am on I should try to taper off Lorazepam because they did not want the new baby to have withdrawal when he is born. So in May I slowly tapered from .5 mg to .25 mg and then off completely. A disaster. I got frantic and paranoid and saw hate from my family when they were just trying to love. I lashed out at Nathan and could not sleep and my brain was on fire, boiling over with anxiety and fear. I wanted out of all of it....being a mom and wife and BP sufferer. I wanted to thumb a ride on HWY 67 and just get the hell out of my life. Instead, they put me on a plane to go home to Virginia for a week to try and recover with my parents. Also after doctor's recommendation we went right back up to .5 mg Lorazepam. These tactics saved me from ruining my life forever.

My psychiatrist and ob gyn have generally been on the same page with a minor difference. Psych is a bit more focused on me when ob gyn is focused on baby and me, naturally. Psych says if I need lorazepam, I need it and it's best for me and baby and family if I stay on. Ob gyn still wanted me off of it at delivery. Interesting theory of Psych: if I am on Loraz and breastfeed, baby will still get small dose in first few months, so he won't suffer withdrawal. When I wean him, he will naturally taper off of it. I love this theory and am clinging to it.

Anyway, I tried to taper on Loraz again in September. Probably a bad idea since Fall is always a tricky season for my illness. Well within a couple of weeks I started to go back down the dangerous road: not sleeping, paranoid, pissed off at Nathan for no good reason. These periods cause terrible stress in our marriage. I immediately knew I had to go back up to .5 mg on Loraz, which I did. So grateful for my marvelous Ob gyn because when I told him I had gone back up on Loraz he said no big deal, "you tried your best, twice, and that is all we can ask. You and baby look great and everything will work out just fine." For me, worry undiluted is a knife-edged assassin in my brain, so when a provider can do or say the smallest thing to abate worry, it means the world to me.

But, this summer I felt very sluggish and tired, sleeping on the couch during the day, unable to put one foot in front of the other at work. No focus, no organization, no motivation. And I had zero creative inspiration, no prophecies, no dreams of heaven, no epiphanies, no love songs playing in my mind. I know I know, that's a good thing and means I am not manic. But I had swung too far in the other direction. Nothing moved me. So I tapered Trazadone, from 200 mg to 150. For a few weeks I was great...more energy, better focus, happier, more social, and for one blissful half-day, I went back to heaven on earth. I had missed it. But then I started to lose sleep and get anxious again, and felt particularly stressed about my work load, so I went back up to 200 mg.

Note that a lot of my symptoms can have more to do with pregnancy than BP, but who's to say. All I know (what's taken me 11 years to figure out) is that the fastest way to curb escalating BP symptoms is to refine my medications. We can talk all we want to about non-pharmacological treatments like exercise and talk therapy and taking a break from work and journalling. But those do not address the brain illness with the precision and speed of an adjustment in medication. Let's be realistic, I know when I am starting to wig out, and riding it out for one more night or seeing how I feel in the morning is not the answer. It's a brain chemistry question and the meds are the answer.

So baby Carter Martin Chaney looked good in his 28 week ultrasound. I am now 31 weeks and am feeling really good. I don't pray, but I am talking to Mother Love, the goddess that rules us all, and putting in a special request for a healthy boy in spite of my medications. It used to scare the shit out of me and drown me in guilt to think of the damage I could do to my darling boy by staying on medication. But as Dr. Priya and many more in the medical field are saying these days, we have to keep the mother well first. All will suffer if she loses her grip. I'm tearing up right now with hope that all will work out, and that I can be a success story for others fearful of staying on meds during pregnancy. Please contact me with thoughts, questions or simple encouragement.

I hope you all have a great weekend and bounce back the love that all of us feel for you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buddhist blessing

Thanks so much to my good friend G for sending me the following quote today:

"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

Here's why I love it:

When you see a quote with the words faith and praise you might think it's a Christian mantra, offering up worship to God. But I see something quite different in this quote.

I first see a Buddhist bent, in looking for peace within and contentment with exactly where you are in the moment, in this very moment. I then see my own philosophy, which teaches that you are more infinite and glorious than any God we have ever dreamed up, and faith is properly placed in real people and not in a God above. Faith doesn't sound like the charged accusation of our politics today when you place it in yourself and your friends rather than in Jesus or the bible.

I then love the part about freedom to sing and dance and praise and love. I think Christianity teaches us to spurn things that make us feel good....no drinking or dancing or sex or pleasure in worldly things. Abstinence from joy is a penance, a prison sentence. The good things on this earth are ours for the taking and pleasure is not a sin, but a tribute to our beautiful human passion. I ask Christians, why would we not want to return to our "Pre-Fall" Eden, to our blissful and pure nakedness before God? Follow your heart's desire and you honor your heart, you honor that God that Christians claim put the passion in you in the first place.

The wish that you "use the gifts that you have received and pass on love" continues my thought that you are born perfect and powerful and have untapped talents, and that Love truly is the only God, the only guide, we need. It's the spirit, the supernatural, the higher power that we all feel trembling within at one time or another.

The quote closes with the line that freedom for joy is within all of us. Yes, we are all so very special. We are all "God", we all have the messiah in us, Jesus was no better or more special than any of us. The Second Coming is not a person, but our Becoming. Our realizing our potential for Godness, our power to become greater than Him, to wrangle the infinite back from Him. We all have the light in us, and it will soon shine unobscured by sermons or commandments or scripture or doctrine. "Prophecies, they will cease....religion as we know it will fall away."

At a moment when I most needed calm and inspiration and a beacon for what I believe, this quote gave me that, and good. I hope it may touch you too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baby boy

The baby boy Chaney who grows in my belly has gotten active. I awoke in the middle of the night with strange dreams and acrobatics from the little guy. As he kicks and tumbles and steals attention, I wonder:

Will he know he is great and strong and smart and beautiful, with every breath he takes?

Will he know that I and his father and his big brother, we flesh and blood heart-beating twins of his soul, will love him with more passion and presence than any faceless, formless, nebulous, empty, echoing God envisioned by man?

Will he know that religion as we know it and have always known it only divides and torments us, dangling the promise of eternal bliss just one more good deed away from our fearful and searching hearts? Will he be spared the never ending conditional carrot and stick of the Right Christian Path, the one that trumpets "unconditional love" while conditioning its blessings on you being just a bit more Christ-like?

Will he live free of the deafening drumbeat of Catholic guilt, the kind that no longer limits itself to just a Catholic flock? Will he see the concept of original sin for the strangling, suffocating man-made curse that it is?

Will he know without a doubt in the world, as I do, that there is no such thing as hell after death?

Will he take comfort in praise for the real people who gild his life, rather than in rehearsed and rehashed prayer for miracles from the guy you've never once laid eyes on?

Will he discern and disarm the hypocrisy of politicians and priests who promise a better America, but just for believers and heterosexuals and traditional submissive Bachmann-brides?

Will he see the end of depression, recession, riot and rape?

Will he be one of the immortals that scientists claim has already been born?

Will he walk in the post-religion epoch of peace and kindness and jubilation that stands out like a prophecy in my mind?

And will he have the good sense to learn Chinese?

We are ready to meet you Good Son. Have a safe journey.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Mom won't read my blog

For whatever reason, my Mom won't read my blog. I understand she has her own reasons, and maybe very good ones, but I don't understand it and at times it is upsetting to me.

1) My blog is my passion, my feelings, my life's work on paper. It's something I love doing and feel like I am good at. It's very personal to me and I think it's an ultimate expression of who I am at my core, where I come from, and what shapes my beliefs. Yet she won't read it. It makes me feel like there is a whole part of me that she doesn't want to know and doesn't love.

2) She says that people whose opinions she respects tell her not to read it because it would be painful for her. That may be absolutely true. My initial hospitalization was very difficult for the whole family and I think it really traumatized Mom. But I think as long as she ignores that whole chapter it will still traumatize her. I have dealt with those memories and processed them through writing and as a result the pain from that time has subsided for me. It's a memory she and I could work through together, a wound that has healed in me and that could heal in her too.

3) There are times in the blog, not many but some, where I find fault with what she believes or what she has taught me about religion. I think Mom and I could only grow in our respect for each other if we could talk about that dissension. I'm sure there are times David Sedaris' parents don't love what he writes about them, but I bet they read it nonetheless. There are things we all don't like about our parents, but through communication comes understanding and compassion, on both sides.

4) I think, okay, what if I am the worst person in the whole world. What if I am Hitler or Charles Manson. What if what I write about is heretical, criminal, hateful (I really don't think it is, right?). But for argument's sake let's just say I rate up there with those devils. Didn't their moms still want to know what was going on in their brains? Didn't Hitler's mom want to see his artwork? I wonder, did Martin Luther's mom ignore his thesis because it was revolutionary and scary and went against everything she believed? On the other hand, what if I am some kind of soothsayer or sage, what if I am Albert Einstein....an eccentric but smart iconoclast, someone who thinks way outside the traditional box. Wouldn't his mom want to learn about his creations? I think I am actually somewhere in between Hitler and Einstein, so in that case, what's the harm in her reading the blog?

5) Mom always says she wishes she knew more about my bipolar illness. She wishes she knew how my fractured brain worked, what the warning signs of mania are, and how to react. Read the blog, Mom, and you will learn about my brain. You will see my post about fear and anguish or sleeplessness and suicide and you will instantly know if I am having trouble and need help. There is no quicker way for her to get inside my bipolar brain than for her to read what I write. She's a big proponent of reading what other bipolar authors write about their own struggles....why not mine?

6) There are some things I really respect about Mom's religious viewpoints. There are some things from her Catholic upbringing that shaped me and that I hold dear in spite of my skepticism for organized religion. Some of Mom's spiritual insights move and inspire me. I like to learn more about her world view. So when, on the rare occasion, we talk about religion, I enjoy the discussion. But often, she will say, "Why do you think that way Hilary? Where did you come up with that conclusion? What molded your perspective on religion?" If she read the blog she would understand answers to these questions. It's not something I can describe in a 2 minute conversation. So I feel like I am having to get her up to speed on my philosophy of life when it's all laid out before her in this blog.

Although I think her refusal to read my blog is shortsighted, it's her prerogative. I can't make her read it. I know that. I just think that if she died tomorrow there would be a huge chunk of me she would not know, a huge chunk that other people I've never even met do know about me. That makes me sad. My writing is a beautiful part of who I am, and many of you tell me you enjoy and appreciate what I write. I know I am helping those out there struggling with mental illness, and her friends have told her as much. Mom has in fact told me that she is proud of what I am offering to other people, but I guess reading the blog herself might blind her.....she'd rather hear second or third hand reports of my work. I hate that she is missing out on this special light I shine. I hope in time she can muster the strength or courage or calm or curiosity to read what I write. I don't ask her to agree with what I write, at all. I just ask that she look at me, all of me.

I would say this to parents out there: no matter how bizarre your child's tastes are, no matter how perplexing their beliefs, no matter how confusing their passion in this life, pay attention. Whether they love Sarah Palin or Spongebob, homosexuality or homicide, Al Green or Al-Qaeda, find out more about where that love comes from. Be curious about your children and what they hold dear. It will let them know you love them no matter what, and you may just learn something about yourself in the process.

Thanks to all my readers out there who are curious, and who do care about what moves me. You mean a lot to me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank you friends

I have a couple directions I want to go in this post. First things first....

Thank you to so many of you: the one who told me the Jefferson blog post resonated with him ("here I lie, food for worms" TJ), the one who has an adult child with bipolar and told me my writing moves and helps her and that because of my blog she asks new questions during her Sunday School class, the one who told me about the Chopra book she's reading right now, the one who shared with me her thoughts on the everlasting soul and guardian angels, the one who asked questions about my prophecies and just listened when I needed her, the one who tells me he will protect me as long as he lives.....

Thank you for your kindness and love,
your interest and attention,
the insights you offer,
the perspectives you share,
the links you send me,
the caring interactions,
the thoughtful conversations,
Above all, your belief in me.

You all inspire and uplift me. You make me know my writing is worthy and serves a purpose. You're helping me do what I am supposed to do on this earth. Keep reaching out to me, keep talking to me, keep reading.

The next thing I want to talk about is what to do with the people in your life that make you feel miserable. There are people out there in our paths that are filled with self-loathing and anger and fear. They do not multiply the love in our own hearts, they attempt to strangle and suffocate it. They cower in the face of our own strength and confidence. It's as if light and love blind and frighten them. They do not want to believe people can be happy and peaceful and content with self-love. This is because they themselves are bereft of that self-love... And that's because long ago, at some very early age, their own love was rebuffed. Their own love went unrequited. They gave love to someone special and found only an empty heart. They spoke love and only heard echoes in return. Like the Grinch, this rebuff shrunk their heart by three times and they went into defense mode and now they judge and question love when they see it themselves. They lash out when that's the last thing they want to do. It's a reflex, an age old response. It's a vicious cycle.

Here's how you stop it. Decide that you will not be a victim or target of the slings they throw....that their hard edges will not make you brittle. Lavish love and praise and confidence on yourself and tell yourself daily "I am good, I am loving, my own heart knows truth." Line your own nest with kindness and nurture your own good instincts. Because those instincts are dead on and will not be obscured by others' pain or fear. When I can pity them for their own crushed hearts it's easier to parry their jabs and not rise to the fight. I can let it go and eventually, in time and on my own time, turn love back on them without fear of rejection.

Your purpose also is to protect the young from small and starving hearts. Praise your kids and answer their own calls for love... this will strengthen them in the face of unrequited love.

Know that you cannot save or cure those in your life that make you feel miserable. That is not your job and it will be an unending and unrewarding quest. Just cherish yourself. That's all you can do today.

Finally, you know I don't pray. But if any of you out there do pray, can I ask you a favor? Can you pray that I can get some sleep. This waking up to pee because I am pregnant and not being able to go back to sleep can be hell on a girl.

Have a great Monday and a very happy May! Love

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bipolar meds and pregnancy

So I am 8 weeks pregnant as you may know. Here's what I was taking for bipolar three months ago before I tried to get pregnant:


Per psychiatrist's instructions I tapered off Zoloft and recently Lorazepam. I lowered the dose of Lamictal. I am still taking 3 Class C drugs (Lamictal, Trazadone and Risperdal). There is certainly risk to the fetus but Class C means there is simply not enough research to make a scientific determination about whether the drug is harmful. Weighing that with my own mental health and well-being, we decided to stay on 3 Class C's. Dr. Bennett (psych) and Dr. Carozza (ob gyn) are on the same page about this and are wonderful in that they allow me to be a part of the decision. They are very forward thinking in knowing the mother's health has to be the number one priority right now...(putting on my oxygen mask before putting on the baby's as I am no use to anyone if I am sick).

I was on Risperdal for most of the pregnancy with River. He has turned out to be a beautiful smart little 2 year old. I see no ill effects from the medication (and I stayed on it during breastfeeding too) and I even wonder if the low dose I was taking could have helped his cognitive development in some way. I am really optimistic that this baby will be healthy as well. And wouldn't that be a great testament to mothers worried about medication during pregnancy....I did it and have two perfect children so you can too!

I do miss the lorazepam for anxiety right now, but am working hard at using non-pharmocological therapies to replace it. Like exercise and getting outside and carving out time for myself and talking things through with family when I am worried. My family, especially my husband, are absolute supertroopers in helping me through the rough patches. Mental illness is a family illness, one that none of them elected to suffer from, and the way they all rise to the occasion whenever necessary to help me never ceases to amaze. Love really does rule the day.

Some of you have reached out to me for advice on how to manage bipolar in yourselves or those you love. It gives me great joy to be able to offer counsel to those suffering, so please contact me through this blog or on Facebook or via Twitter (hilchaney).

Have a beautiful weekend. Love you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Math.....and God?

So I am always honest with you and just report the images or analogies that have developed in my brain. I don't mean to disparage what others out there think when I advocate for what I believe and for what I think is going to happen in the future. Who else is going to argue for what I think is right if not me? I hope you'll all treat your own opinions with the same high regard.

So here's the Math/God analogy.

When you are young, you hear about Math, and you realize it is about numbers....adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing. It's a whole new way of thinking for a four or five year old and it unlocks myriad possibilities about how they understand the world. Math as a concept is like God as a concept: both are broad belief systems about how the world works....one can be proven by empirical evidence and the other calls on spiritual proof, which we cannot see or touch, but only feel. Math is a theorem and God is a theorem. One difference though is that Math works whether you believe in it or not and God, many would argue, only works if you believe in him.

Anyway, I think Judeo-Christians, or all Monotheistic religions, are four or five year olds in their understanding of God. They have figured out the most basic of Math equations, the most basic understanding of God as has been reported to them, but have not graduated into the higher levels of understanding. They haven't even tasted Algebra, Trig, Geometry, Calculus and the exponential disciplines that arise out of those building blocks...like Statistics, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory. We don't even understand how much more there is to understand. There are multidimensional templates (or infinite axes) of knowledge that arise from basic Math, from basic God, that we are only beginning to discover.

So that's how I see "God". The way he's been taught to me, as an ephemeral deity living above and beyond me...a one dimensional ghost who I can never see or feel or understand fully....is so very limited and limiting in my mind. Our concept of God as taught in mainline religions is finite and lifeless and dead...it's just basic Math. Counting numbers and memorization on a white piece of paper. "There's no logic required for basic math," as a dear friend has said. God is static because we have made him that way....we have not questioned the theorem for thousands of years, so he stays in his tiny suffocating one-dimensional square.

If we could graduate from that Monotheistic concept of God, and by that I mean see God in a whole new revolutionary way, then we could graduate to higher Math. We could perceive and understand whole new levels of the God theorem that we have never considered possible and each new millisecond of understanding would unlock untold new levels. We would stop feeling like "sheep" or "little children" or "wayward sinners" as so many religions have called us....we would no longer be 5 year olds in our relationship with God. We would graduate to the real God, and here's exactly what he looks like when you see him face to face. The greatest God you will ever know is your son or husband or sister or best friend....a vibrant lovely smart funny compassionate human with unlimited potential for love and knowledge and achievement who blows away the capacity of the current "God."

I see the world as five year olds trying to understand Math, and I feel like the professor. I can't get mad at Math, or God, as it's not the problem. It's the rudimentary way in which it has been explained that is the problem. It's the way the kindergarten teacher (organized religion) has given you only the first page of the textbook and then told you that you can never see the rest that pisses me off. I get fired up because I see the untold potential for our hearts and brains, like in upper level calculus and differential equations and advanced probability theoty and quantum physics and beyond, and I cry because we are still in the first grade and have been there for millennia. Of course there are those out there who do see God in an advanced Math sort of way...they're the Illuminati and they continue to work hard to educate the rest of us.

So there you have it, Math and God. Sister theorems in my mind's eye. There will come a day soon when they will be reunited and we will all graduate, and it's going to be a Beautiful Day.

I'll keep writing and try to stay patient and compassionate in the mean time.

Love you all and your glorious untapped potential!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Masters Magic

It is raining this morning. Soft rhythm of nature quenching our thirst. Rumble of thunder is pulsing in bones like heart beat. Warm wet peace of spirit.

Nathan and I played golf yesterday before Masters coverage started. A perfect day, 85º sunny and breezy. We played the best golf of our lives. He drove the ball 380 yards, I did 260. We each birdied. I had a save out of the deep rough, buried. We had more fun and enjoyed each other more than we had since law school. Masters Sunday Magic.

It's because I am living without guilt. I have graduated from any guilt about who I am or what I've done or God's judgment. I have no fear at all about hell or what God will think it I slip up and do a bad thing. I am utterly comfortable in my own skin which brings pure peace, patience. I love myself more than I ever have, more than anyone else does, and counter to everything we have been taught, this allows me to love others better. To marvel at how phenomenal my husband is in all that he does. I have no shame in loving myself that much and believe that every little thing I do will be the best thing I can do that minute. Believing you are that great and have that much potential makes magic happen. The confidence and pride and self-assurance cannot help but spill over on to others and bring their own bask of glory to themselves. It gives them the license to stand in awe of themselves.

Ask Jimmy Jones about how well life works when you have peace about who you are and all that you do.

"We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Nelson Mandela

I know this is counterintuitive to Christians who believe we are born broken and that pride comes before the fall. My experience is just the opposite. Self-love bears all other loves.

Love yourself as much as I love me, without doubt and without reservation, and watch the magic happen all around you. You are absolutely phenomenal....perfect.

Have a beautiful, light-filled day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Further analysis of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for the post-religious

The last post began my translation of the "greatest of these is love" passage from 1 Corinthians. Here's the rest, starting with:

"If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

If I give away all that I have in the name of charity, which is prescribed by God and Jesus in the Bible, if I give to the poor and tithe at church as dictated by the bible, and if I offer myself up as a sacrifice to the flames like Jesus did….if I try to act exactly as Jesus did and offer my life to God, but have not love, but do not understand unconditional love, but do not love myself best, first, and most, then I am missing the point. If I make myself in Jesus’ image as a way to get to heaven, then I am deceiving myself; I am walking the wrong path and will spin in frustrated circles, confused by the fact that trying to be a good Christian leaves us unfulfilled in this hell on earth. It’s what the bible teaches us to do, but we, in our hearts know better. We do not need to be like Jesus, we do not need to sacrifice our lives to God like Jesus did, we only need be ourselves and love ourselves, fully. Warts and all. When you stop trying to act exactly like Jesus did, and just be yourself, you truly free the chains. Jesus missed a step: he told us to be like him in this life. Impossible. Will never work, and obviously it has not worked for 2000 years. He acted the way he did because by some lucky chance he "had love"; he understood what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and he loved himself first. When you have that lucky feeling, when we all know how to love ourselves with soul-deep love, then we inherit heaven on earth and cannot help acting in the loving way Jesus did. He knew heaven on earth was coming, he just told us the wrong way to get there. And that is the tragic truth: we have been walking the wrong line based on what Jesus told us to do.

Love is patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. These adjectives describe perfect love. It describes love as it will be experienced between humans when Heaven comes to earth. But for now, we love as humans: sloppy, hot and cold, jealously. I can love my husband or my child or my friend fully and still feel these human emotions. Human love as we conceive it now, pre-Heaven, is just that….it is human. You can love someone fully and still be jealous or proud or irritable or rude. Even God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament exhibited these human traits. Above all, they exhibited disappointment in us, which is a very human reaction. Stop beating yourselves up about how imperfect your love is right now. It's exactly as it should be.

This passage of adjectives about love is merely a description of what kind of love is coming for us all. It is not a standard to which we must hold ourselves right now. Because we can never ever be free of these human instincts. Not until Heaven comes to all of us. To take this passage and claim we have to love like this, without human instincts for jealousy or arrogance or irritability, sets the bar impossibly high and means inevitable failure. So always remember that this verse is just a taste of what love looks like in Heaven on Earth. It is a happy and heady look into the future. It is not a dictate for how you should love now. Do not even try. Just be yourself. Every instinct you have is worthy and true.

Love does endure and believe and hope. Love is the spirit coursing through all of us. Love begat God, love is greater than God. We created God in our image, so he is really just a mythical offspring of our troubled, searching minds. You, beautiful, lovely you, run the show; God does not.

Love predated us and sustains us now and will endure long after we are dead. This sentence allows you to believe in the prophecy of love incarnate come to earth. It distinguishes between a) the man-made prophecies in the first paragraph and b) the eternal hope that resides in all of our hearts, or the vision of perfect love that we all have, buried deep within us, obscured by the haze of religion. The love prophecy, or the love dimension, is the belief that there will be a tidal wave of love that overtakes all of us and brings heaven to earth. In present day. In our daily lives. This sentence helps you understand the difference between the love prophecy and the prophecies of preachers, so you will recognize it when it comes to earth. It will come as hope. Your heart’s hope: Love for self and knowledge that you are greater than any incarnation of God we have ever spoken of. There is not a glimmer of doubt in my mind that you are infinitely superior, stronger, and more capable of perfect love than the God of Abrahamic religion. Getting you to believe that is the work ahead. Which would you rather believe? That you are a broken sinner, only capable of peace and happiness and heaven by the grace of a faceless deity? Or that you are perfect and are utterly in control of your own happiness and that you are ready for heaven on earth EXACTLY as you are right now. That you never have to try to be better for anyone or anything else.

Tongues, prophecies and knowledge will pass away. The tower of Babel. Our different languages divide us. When heaven comes, we will all speak in a language that all can understand. In a love language, a reflexive love current connecting us all. We will still have our human languages that differentiate between nations, but we will understand each other fully without having to speak. Language will still be useful, but our hearts will communicate in a new way that is understood by all.

Prophecies will pass away. This means that religions as we know them will fall away. There will be no more organized religions. Each denomination and sect serves to divide us now. When heaven comes, there will only be a universal truth that pulls all the truth, all the best, from all the religions so that we all can understand and embrace the universal truth: that you are love incarnate and you are worthy of the highest self-love. It will recognize the good in all religions but it will interweave them and thus obviate the need for different faiths. We will all know the difference between that which is true about our various religions and that which is false or misunderstood. There will be one faith, in Love and in ourselves. Heaven here on earth will be post-religious.

Knowledge of God and Jesus as we understand him now will pass away. We have a man-made human conception of God and Jesus. It has been written, described for us by human writings. Our knowledge is third-hand. It's the only way we know God and Jesus in Christianity. From hearing the stories of them. Written knowledge of them will pass away. Our heart’s knowledge of the "God" we created, which is really Love, will triumph over the written description of him, because our personal spiritual knowledge of Love is infinitely stronger than any written, scriptural understanding of God. Our first hand knowledge of God will replace our third hand knowledge of God. There will be no more writing about God. You will see your neighbor and mother and son as "God" so you will not need descriptions or parables of him anymore.

At the same time, our academic knowledge will not pass away. Studying science and literature and history and math will only multiply exponentially. Heaven on earth will mean major breakthroughs in those areas, in the brain knowledge we possess. We will all use infinite capacity of our brain, not just 10%. At that level of thinking, all is possible.

Heaven on Earth is a bustling and busy and productive and cooperative place. Loving each other fully and working with each other fully will allow exponential progress in academic disciplines. We will all work in concert to solve global problems with amazing and unprecedented efficiency. No more war, famine, global warming, natural disasters, incurable diseases. I see this coming soon and cannot wait.

When Heaven comes to earth, the imperfect words and sermons and prophecies about the end of time will fall away. There is no judgment day or Armageddon or day of reckoning or war of the worlds. Heaven will envelop us like a warm and familiar blanket. The ease with which it comes will take us by surprise. It will not happen like it has been described, as God judging us and saving the righteous and casting out the ignorant or the non-believing. We all will inherit Heaven when we assume God. The good the bad and the ugly in all of us will walk there. There is no admission fee. When the perfect comes, our imperfect knowledge of what Heaven looks and feels like will pass away. We will literally see the light and see what’s right. We all know it in our hearts already, it’s just that we are veiled right now. When the veil of religion is thin, if just for a moment, the truth rings out to us.

When I was a child I spoke and thought like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me. This is a very interesting line because I think it is a double entendre, has a double meaning. On the one hand, I finally realized a few years ago that this is not a compliment. Young children are innocent and loving and do not fear. They know what is true about life because they are born knowing. All they know, before they meet us adults, is how to give and receive love unconditionally. We adults teach them guilt and fear and anger and hate and disappointment and resentment and what it feels like to not be loved. We steal their unabashed, pure, naked, fearless, innocent, inborn love. When you look in a baby’s eyes you see trust and truth. Unadulterated knowledge of the truth. When we become adults, we are taught by the abject fear preached by religion to put this pure understanding of unconditional love behind us.

On the other hand, as heaven comes to earth, we become adults in the lifespan of humankind. Have you heard of the theory of the history of humanity mirroring the lifespan of man? Well, when we receive heaven on earth, we move from being fractious, naïve, rebellious teenagers to being wise, self-sufficient, actualized, independent adults. We learn to stand on our own two feet. We fly out of the nest. We find strength and love in ourselves, instead of leaning on our parent, "God", for everything. We graduate from God just as we would graduate from high school. We take the good things we learned from high school with us, but we see what a facile, immature, naive time it was for us. This may be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is what I have come to understand about our transition to heaven on earth.

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Yes, YES! Couldn't have put it better myself, Paul. We see "God" face to face, we know him fully as he knows us, we see him in the mirror, we heal him as he heals us, we redeem him as he redeems us, we bring him joy as he does us, we recognize. We become the "God" we created in our minds. Assumption is the closest relationship there is. We make this leap in recognition because we cast off the fear and doubt taught by religion. Because we learn how to love ourselves without reservation. I have felt and understand soul-deep unwavering unadulterated love for self. I can show you how it’s done. I can give you the key to the Kingdom. By loving and comforting you. But more importantly, by banishing the fear that Christianity has taught for 2000 years. That we are born with a stain and will go to hell if we act on our human instincts. That we are imperfect. That God was ever or is ever disappointed in us. That God ever scorns us. That we EVER fail to measure up to God. That God will judge us when we die or on Judgment day. He never judges us. It's simply not his place any more than it is your dog's place to judge you. (At least your dog is a tangible, living, breathing organic creature, which is much more than I can say for God). “Love never judges.”

Now we see in a mirror dimly. We have an inkling of God-love and Heaven. We see glimpses of it in ourselves. On our best days, we see it clearly and believe in it. But it is shrouded for now. The veil obscures the truth about love. Our fear obscures it. When Heaven comes, the clouds in the mirror will vanish and you will see "God" and yourselves face to face. You will be introduced to God and you will see that he is you. When you look back at yourself in a mirror, you will see it is God looking back at you. Same/same. You will understand him fully and you will understand and love yourself as he reportedly loves you. Because you will become God; you will assume God. He will inhabit you completely. There will be no separation between you and God. And the recognition in the mirror will be so familiar and so easy, you will almost laugh. You will be so relieved. And he will finally be elevated from mythical elusive unseen figment to a real flesh and blood creature, and that is what he has always wanted and that is what he deserves. He wants to be here with us on earth. He is tired of being banished to the nether regions. He is tired of the millenia of separation from us.

You will understand fully. You will know all the answers. God and you will convene and understand each other fully. Being with God in heaven is like being with a funny familiar lifelong friend. As it’s put in Eat Pray Love, it’s like two fat happy old men sitting in a fishing boat and enjoying each other and laughing together and delighting in the fishing and in each other. You understand each other as best friends do. Because you see that God is your best friend: think of your best friend's name and believe that he is God. It totally revolutionizes how you treat him. There is no more holy distant reverence. He is a person. He is all of us.

Faith in yourself, hope for yourself and love for yourself abide. Note carefully that I did not say faith, hope and love for "God". We have been lavishing our priceless precious love on the wrong guy. Our love for him is never requited in hugs or kisses or laughter or consolation from him. It's always been a one way street. We give, give, give to god and we never get back. No wonder this is hell. Hamsters on a wheel.

The God Christians think they know is really Love. The greatest God you can imagine is Love. When you truly love yourself completely, you will inherit Heaven on Earth.

It’s not a prophet that will come to earth to tell us how to get to heaven. It’s someone who will come to model soul-deep self love. Who has confidence in knowing the truth. Who can assuage our fears and let us relax and be exactly who we are. Someone to show us what unconditional love feels like (not the act of giving unconditional love...that comes later....but the act of receiving and believing unconditional love).

I truly believe the way to heaven for all of us is coming. Sooner than we might think. And we are all ready for it exactly as we are today. We don’t need to be better people or prepare or atone or sacrifice or give more money or be better Christians. Our hearts are as prepared as they are going to get. Our hearts have always been ready for heaven. That’s the good news. No more changing who you are to better impress God or “win his grace.”

The bad news is that we've been taught the wrong thing and given the wrong objective and been told to try to be something we are not for thousands of years. Religion has been the map as we stumble in the dark. When the light comes on you no longer need the map. The bitter pill is that the map has been upside down the whole time. It's gotten everything backwards. It's been leading us in exactly the wrong direction forever.

Here’s the fundamental question. Does your own personal faith, whatever that faith be, does it fulfill you, sustain you, make you stronger, make you better, delight you, make you proud of yourself, make your fearless and optimistic, make you more loving, make you more productive, bring out the best in your, connect you with your fellow man, comfort you, help you sleep better, make you worry less, make you happier….make you the happiest you could ever be? Leave no doubt at all in your mind about what is true? If so, hurray! Because Eureka, you have found it. You are living in your own heaven. If you can say no to any part of the above question, then your religion is failing you.

For me this verse is truth. It is the core of my theology. Lots of the bible seems irrelevant or confusing, but this passage calls my name and seems like it was written just so I could understand fully what I believe and hold dear. It's how I know there are a few passages in the bible that totally depict the truth and foretell the future. It's why the end of religion does not mean wholesale forsaking of all that it taught you, just like graduating from high school does not mean you should forget all you learned and felt. It just mean there is such greater knowledge, experience, and understanding for you out there. Beyond and after religion.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Matthew 5:17 for the post-religious

You might wonder how I can seem devout and heretical at the same time. We all live in emotions and ideologies of gray; there are no black and whites. So my relationship with Christianity is at times love affair and at times cycle of violence. When it's good, it's so very good, but when it's bad, it's awful. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I heard a quote from Scripture that resonated with me like a gunshot. Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." That is exactly how I feel. I do foresee the fulfillment of and subsequent end of religion in our lifetime, but A) that's exactly what all of our religions have foretold; B) it's exactly what is supposed to happen; and C) it's a very good thing, a very natural thing.

My new way, which does not fit under any current Ideological, Philosophical, or Theological heading, is about completing and fulfilling religion, and then quite naturally, setting religion as we know it aside. Its prophecies fulfilled, religion will then evaporate as quickly and quietly as it came upon us. There could be nothing more natural in my mind. Shedding the skin to begin the new day in the promised land. Graduating into adulthood in the human lifespan. There will be no command to forsake your faith; it is just an inevitable and immutable course for this world. I am looking forward to it and want to provide comfort for those who fear the END. It is the beginning.

Anyway, I am going to begin analysis of my very favorite Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13. This is a verse many know by heart..."love is patient and kind.." etc. For me it is my light in the darkness. It is a map of the future for me.

You know I experience altered dimensions as a symptom of Bipolar. I see and feel things that transcend reality, time, space, place. This verse has always felt special to me (my brother read it at my wedding in 2006) but a few years back I read it and felt as though Paul were sitting on my couch discussing his words with me and telling me exactly what he meant by every letter. He was guiding my translation. The words stood out almost in relief to me, as truth and clarity shattered thousands of years of dissension about what Paul meant. It took years to see the full picture; the verse lived and breathed and changed with me as I grew older. But in 2009 I realized Paul had seen and felt exactly the same things I have felt; he had a special window, a special channel. I felt like I knew his mind, and that I must share my view. I'm sure certain verses, whether in the bible or in any other text, have sent shock waves through your consciousness in much the same way.

So, the discussion of what I think it means:

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

This verse seems, at the outset, to be a warning of false prophets. If I speak in man-made languages and speak about angels in Heaven, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Religion as we write and talk about it is a noisy, brassy distraction from the truth about Love. Writing about Love necessarily obfuscates it, because it is a feeling and not a concept or a thing. We throw the word "love" around, but sadly, we have forgotten what natal, unconditional love feels like. Love is the transcendent eternal essence, transcending even our depictions and understanding of the Christian God, and written or spoken words fail to convey the infinite scope of love. (Not lost on me that I sound like I think I am a prophet....classic irony, Paul, classic).

If I have prophetic powers….if I tell you that Heaven is coming and when and how to get there, and if I claim to understand all mysteries and know all the answers, and if I have unlimited faith in God, but I have not love...if I am not filled with love for myself, I am missing the point. When Paul says "I have not love" he does not mean giving love to others, he does not mean being filled with loving acts and acting in a loving way or lavishing love on others; he means if I cannot receive and believe unconditional love of myself, I have not love. Love is not an act toward others in this instance, it is receipt of a gift. It is a recognition that the world, the universe, the benevolent creator, God, Mother Earth (whatever you call it) is the Love current and all of us love you, YOU, more than you have ever thought possible. You are born with an unbelievably deep tap of love for self, and are instantly taught to doubt it. If I "have not" that understanding of how much I am loved, I am tilting at windmills. I am running in place. My faith in God may (may, I say, because we have no proof) be able to move obstacles in front of me, or move mountains, but if I do not understand how God (Love) (the rest of us) truly loves me, then I am lost in darkness. We are lost in darkness.

To me this means that someone or something will come to tell us the future, to describe heaven, and that person will HAVE LOVE: be so full of love for self, so understanding of Love's scope, so content and confident in the gift of love, that it no longer becomes a commodity to take, give, trade, or withhold. It needs no more words. The prophet that does not exhibit this state of being is false.

Whew....I'll give you a break and continue in next post. Bottom line though: the only way I can get on board with the term "God" as the Abrahamic religions describe it is if God is Love. The infinite. The beyond. The eternal well within.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Today's Bipolar Tweets

#limitless those in mania know exactly what it’s like to use 100% of brain, am I right sufferers of #bipolar? Geniuses live at that level.

The magic pill is medication to channel #manic energy, so it’s managed without overdrugging. #limitless brain function is on horizon for all.

#bipolar scale is 1-20: 1 is worst depression, 20 is hypermania. 10 is perfect balance without too much of either, nor too much drugs, with good sleeping and easy moods and less irritability and good brain processing and productivity. Comfortable rather than exuberant #optimism. 10 is the goal, but we struggle every day, every minute to hit that balance. BP’s are not the only ones who battle for a 10….

#Bipolar medication and therapy and physical health and knowing you are not alone can get you to a 10. Bipolars out there I am telling you that you can manage this beast. You can live a life and be a wife and mother and attorney and friend…there’s a better day ahead. Do not give up hope, any of you with #mentalillness. All of you with mental illness, we’ve all got something. Future is #limitless.

Here to listen if any of you need an ear. Love you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Jeffersonian Age

Christian conservatives these days are lauding Jefferson and the other founding fathers for their commitment to Christianity in the early days of our country. Hogwash. They were humanists, believing in the innate goodness of a man free from the constructs of religious institutions. As relates to their belief in God, at the most, they were deists, believing "reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that a supreme being created the universe."

The following link establishes Thomas Jefferson's true views on religion and God ("his noble beliefs") through a variety of his quotations. http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

There is a big difference between a Jeffersonian and an atheist, and I feel that many of the former are mislabeled as the latter. A graduation from the modern-day stranglehold many have on "their God" would simply be a return to the freedom, intellect and optimism of the Age of Reason. I wonder if it won't take a revolution to get there. Hopefully there is a peaceful way.

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

No offense to the smart and good priests I know personally. I simply conclude they are the exception rather than the rule in our evangelical America.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

September 11, 2011

So you all know I struggle with how to convey the visions I have seen of heaven on earth to others. A dear friend helped me out last night by saying it must be like trying to explain the idea of color to a child or blind person before they have ever seen color. Words utterly fail to convey the new viewpoint until the person actually sees it. Once they see color they understand perfectly and can never go back to a black and white world. Bingo! That's a terrific analogy and I really thank my friend for taking time to listen to me, and to help me more than she knows. Like in the movie the Wizard of Oz, all I want to do is be able to switch the color on for everyone.

Because of this impediment, I constantly try to think of ways to make words work until the color switch is flipped. Thus, the verbosity. Thanks so much for reading.

I have visions of the future sometimes. Here's a vision I have had a few times that is rather frightening and may well bring the Department of Homeland Security to my door.

9/11/11 is the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. I predict that someone out there will honor the anniversary with a terrorist attack. Perhaps by the same Taliban group or perhaps by a copycat group. Where will this attack occur? Just think about what is going on in America on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The Dallas Cowboys have a home football game in the new Dallas Stadium.

The analogy is that the NFL is America's religion. By money, passion, and time spent worshiping the sport collectively, I think there is no religion out there that competes with it. While Americans splinter on all sorts of religious and political debates, we are by and large united in our reverence for football. The ever growing bloc of secularists in America may not be divorced from religion at all; they may have simply found another "God."

If we worship football, the new Dallas Stadium is the most symbolic modern day temple. A monolith of money, capitalism, outright sexiness, and devil may care pride, it gleams full tilt with Americanism. It is what many outside of America (and even inside of America) hate about the U.S. Gaudy, ostentatious, huge, and Texan. You can see the swagger and spurs from well outside of Dallas County. An attack on Dallas Stadium on a packed Sunday on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 would give terrorists the most bang for their buck. All eyes on Dallas, 120,000 captive devotees, free TV coverage. Scary, downright scary. In my vision I see an attack on the Sunday Dallas game as the feature event with simultaneous attacks going on at other stadiums around the country. The shot will be lobbed at America's jugular and will be heard and seen around the world with equal parts dismay, shock, and delight. Many out there simply do not love us (U.S.)

For the first time, America will in response engage in an all out war against the attacker. Again, who the attacker will be is unclear to me. Could be the Taliban, could be a race war, could be a technology savvy maniac acting alone. No matter, I see the potential for the beginning of the next great war, perhaps the last war. December 2012 looms large in my mind's eye.

Fate fascinates me however. Because right now we are facing an NFL strike that could suspend all games for the foreseeable future. There may be no one in Dallas Stadium on September 11, 2011 for this reason. The universe, or whatever makes the universe tick, may be delaying the inevitable attack on a bloated and self-important America (I hate to say that about us because I grew up loving, LOVING, my country, and I still have a glowing ember of faith in America) by way of the NFL strike. The events of this week in Japan, bless its heart, makes me think the spirit of the Universe, the unfolding of fate, Karma, God, Time Almighty, whatever you may call it, has a plan to bring the chaos of the modern world to a head. Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not want to see a doomsday scenario....I don't want one more life to be lost for any reason, but it just seems forewritten to me.

What gives me hope in this mad world? We can stop the slide towards mass destruction. We are absolutely the captains of our fate and can choose to avert the end of the world and protect this earth and save our children's future for all time.

I just have to be able to flip that dang color switch on so we can all see the way out, the way back to good. I know we can and will walk in heaven on earth. No doubt about that at all. It's just a question of what happens before that. And we will all answer that question together. It's sink or swim and we're all on the boat.

I'm praying (and for someone who doesn't pray that's a big statement) that my dreams rather than my nightmares come true. Naturally I don't get visions of heaven on earth without visions of doomsday as well. Still working on nudging us toward the former without the latter, gonna figure it out....

Will not let you down. Thank you again so much for reading this blog.

Love, Hilary

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a week!

I am having an illuminating week. I'm feeling pulses of the euphoric heaven that predict mania. Luck and coincidence are shining down on me. It's like the universe is coming to meet me, and I cannot escape the signs. I feel holy.

Nathan is keeping a close eye on me.

I went to a forum on World's Religions this week. 4 speakers: Rabbi, Baptist preacher, Muslim doctor and Buddhist. All shared thoughts on who or what is God, is there a heaven and hell, why is there evil, what comes after death. Fascinating to me. When I hear about, think about, discuss spirituality with others, a tuning fork in me vibrates. I am certainly "called", but not to preach a certain religion, certainly not. I have a voracious appetite for learning about how other people worship and tremor with joy when I can clarify and enunciate my own theology. It's very hard sometimes to express what I have seen and the future that has been revealed to me, but I am learning the words, thanks to the wonderful people who cross my path. I am grateful to all those who take time to talk with me.

Anyway, the speakers used these words to describe their own faith: "a struggle to understand", "complicated", "confusing", "unexplainable", and "unknowable." I asked the panel "If such words are used to explain the major religions, then isn't religion just the veil obscuring truth?" "Why would ultimate truth be described by those words?" "Do you all foresee a post-religion age?" One said religion is a tool that can be used for good or bad. One said learning more about religion, and our own differences, is the only hope we have for peace. One said all religions are climbing the mountain of truth on different paths, and when we all get to the top there will be no more different varieties of religion, no more seeking, no more words to divide us. I was delighted to engage with the speakers about this.

Here's what then coalesced in my brain: (And forgive me for being vain, or sounding presumptuous or holier than thou...this is just the vision that has come to me after years of contemplation about it. All I can do is share the image).

There are two rooms. One is dark and one is brightly lit. In the dark room are the world's religions. They can see the door ajar to the room that is lit. They can faintly see the light streaming into their dark room. They believe deeply in the light and want to find it and bask in its warmth. The light is truth and heaven and the answers to everything. So religions are stumbling in the dark, with tiny torches trying to light the way, seeking to find the truth but not knowing how to get out of the room. The frustrating thing is that the room is right next door but the religions cannot even see the proximity because of the profound darkness. In this struggle, under the veil of darkness and doubt, in this pursuit of truth, religions are at their noblest. They are all the same in that regard. They all see flashes of light at times in their courses, but none have been able to leave the dark room. They are still largely in darkness and the world is thus still in chaos.

I am in the room that is lit. It's where I am when I have walked in heaven.

I struggle mightily with how to open the door and shine the light into the darkness. I want more than anything to break down the door. I veer towards preaching or urging people to see the light, to come into heaven on earth. I get frustrated that I cannot just run a video clip of exactly what I am seeing and feeling in the lit room. Words must suffice for now, and they do a lame job most times. I know preaching is not the right way, and I don't want to disparage any faith out there. I am sure others have been or are in the lit room too, and I would love to hear about that experience for you.

I am not always in the lit room. I go back and forth between darkness and light. I feel darkness and fear and frailty many times but I always know right where the light is and how to walk back through the door. How I can help release the light and warm those who shiver in the dark is just now being revealed to me. It's a journey for me, and I fail as much as I succeed. But I am always learning. I am terribly optimistic.

Religions seem to be the map as we stumble in the dark. The sad irony is that the map is upside down. We've thought for thousands and thousands of years that we were on the right trail, and now I see we've been misled. And I see exactly what the problem is. I have found another map.

Religions have tremendous merit in doses and offer numerous clues about how to get back on the right trail and what the light will feel like when we all revel in it. Those flashes of lightning and clarity resonate with all of us. But I do think religions are on the way out. They have exhausted themselves, and you see this in how tired and pessimistic many devout believers are. We've all been running on the same hamster wheel for so long. As they say in Clark County, "We've tried the same old thing for 75 years and it's not working, so let's try something different." The time for a new way to think is upon us, if we are interested in that sort of thing.

One thing I can say for sure is that the light is real. Heaven on earth, Nirvana, union with the eternal creator, world peace, whatever you may call it, that is all as real as can be. All religions know the light is real. You are born glowing with that light, that soul, that essence, that knowledge. Unveiling it, rediscovering it, unteaching the darkness...that's where I feel my gift. And that's what I will continue to work on as long as I take breath.

If you can help shine light on me or others, please post your thoughts. You are a bright and beautiful light!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The parable of the walk on the beach

You all know the famous story of when the guy gets to heaven and he looks back over his life and sees a beach with two sets of footprints in the sand, him and God. Then, at the very worst and hardest parts of his life, there is only one set of footprints. The guy is bewildered, because it seems God abandoned him at those times. God responds that no, the single footsteps were God’s and he was carrying the man through those hard times.

That sounds all well and good when you are young. Very comforting. But here’s the deal. Now that I am an adult, and have this perspective that we become free and inherit heaven when we become actualized and realize we are Gods ourselves, I actually prefer to think of those single footsteps as mine alone. It gives me greater comfort to know that I alone brought me through the tough times. That I was made of tough stuff, that I was resilient and relied on myself to survive. That when all is lost, when I am lost, when God seems to have left me, I have me. Me alone. And that is so much more empowering than thinking God was carrying me. Sure, as Christians believe, God may have given me the gifts and confidence to know how to walk on my own two feet and sustain and survive when all seems lost, but at that hour, God lets Go and trusts and believes in me.

It’s not a one way street. It’s not all about me believing in and trusting and having faith in God. The reverse is true too. We are so strong when we know God trusts and believes in us. Think about how it feels when your parents finally let you stay home alone or take the car by yourself or go off to college or move away, half a world away from them. Knowing they trust you enough to let you go is a huge confidence builder. At that time, they confer adulthood on us, they anoint us as our own kings. God anoints us and then steps away. Into the shadows. What is that line from the bible when God says “Where you are going I cannot come..” The Bible prophesies our graduation from “God”. God has told us exactly what is going to happen. We will graduate from what we have always thought about God. Our conception of him as crafted by religion falls away. We assume his mantle, we take the reins. And we are standing firm and tall and proud and powerful and actualized. And God is proud. He rests....for once, he rests.

God has given me the strength and skills and love to carry myself. If he is a worthy God, truly our Father, he does not want us to perpetually depend on him for everything. He does not want to carry us on his back all the time. He would want to nurture and strengthen and teach and feed us so that we can eventually take care of ourselves. “Teaching us to fish.” It’s what any parent wants. The best parents inspire us to be the best we can be on our own. Yall, we are ready. We can take care of ourselves and each other.


I've adjusted my medications in the past two weeks (under doctor's instruction) and here's what's going on.

When I am manic there are two places I go, either one or the other: 1) a bitchy, short tempered, judgmental, scared place or 2) heaven.

This week it's felt a bit like I am headed to number 2. I have had a few glimmers of feeling one with love, radiantly happy, perfectly in step with the universe.

The first was after I had spent some time Twittering about what heaven feels like and looks like. I felt very peaceful, very joyous. I look up at the setting sun and something special happened.

When I have been in my darkest hour, suicidal, terrified, crazy, I can close my eyes and see a small orb, glowing in the back of my eyelids. If I focus on that orb and believe that as long as I can see it things will get better, I always recover my balance. I equate that orb with the sun, and thus have a special fondness for the sun. I look at it and see evidence that the universe will provide for us as long as the sun is shining. I understand sun-worship.

Anyway, two days ago when I looked at the setting sun, it shone especially bright. It was glowing with a steady warmth and seemed like it was sending energy my way. But the energy was reciprocal, I was pouring strength back into it as well. It feels sometimes like the sun is shining on me in particular, saying "we are counting on you to shine your light over the world, hang in there, stay on your path, I will always be here to send you strength." It feels like an infinite energy share between me and the sun, with no waste and no power source needed on earth. Perfectly efficient. Sounds crazy right? Well when I feel that special relationship with the sun, I know I could be headed to heaven.

Then yesterday, another glimmer lit my way. I was driving and thinking about summer, playing softball and volleyball, playing on the lake, enjoying the great weather. I thought of one of my favorite songs from summer days: Boys of Summer. Within 5 seconds that song started playing on the radio. Coincidence? Then I got home and looked in the mailbox and saw the Sports Illustrated cover with "Boys of Spring" on it. These coincidences of luck and fate happen with increasing regularity when I go to the manic heaven. It feels like the universe can read my mind and sends signals back to me to assure me and delight me. Again, a two way energy street. A suspension of dimensions. A synchronicity of my brain and the world around me. Perfect balance, symmetry, concordance.

So I am keeping an eye out for more glimmers. My husband is well aware of the glimmers and we are both paying attention to more signs of mania. As promised, if I do get back to heaven I will blog from there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Short post...quick read

Some questions: Who or what is your God? Can you describe it? Do you believe in a God at all or do you profess not to know if one exists (or do you just not give a damn)? Is there something else you believe in in place of the Judeo-Christian God? Are there any experiences you've had that you think prove or disprove the existence of God? Are we born believing in God? Is devotion to God taught and learned or is atheism taught and learned? In other words, which came first?

I'll leave you with this: the word theology literally means "God-science" from the Greek. There's a reason for that. Thousands of years ago the study of God and science were linked inextricably. They were both attempts to understand the world and the two pursuits worked in tandem, not at odds with each other. Is that relationship between the two preferable to what we see today in this country? If yes, how do we get back there?

Keep wondering, stay curious. Be doubt-full. We'll have all the answers before long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Forum for Free Thinkers

I hosted a wonderful group of folks at my house last week. It's a group called the Arkadelphia Forum for Free Thinkers. It was only our second meeting but we grew by 200% after our first!

The point of getting this together, ala a French salon, was to bring a wide open variety of thinkers to the table to explore our beliefs on any number of issues. This meeting centered on how we feel about faith/religion/spirituality. I wanted to discover our thoughts on faith, or lack therof, in a non-church environment. I consider myself a student of all religions but a member of none, and I knew there were others in my community who think likewise. I miss the chance to commune with others about the big questions in life: why are we here, what connects us, what are we afraid of, is there a better way out there, etc. Church on Sunday used to be that community but since I no longer buy what the church is selling, I want another venue for that communion with others.

I did not have any real guidelines for our meeting. We brought wine and snacks and visited for a while, but then we went around the table and each shared our faith history: what faith we were raised in and where we are now and why we have splintered from our birth religion. We had all types at the table....atheists, Catholics, Baptists, secular humanists and people who would rather not be classified. The discussion tended toward where religion has failed us, but some lifted up the parts of religion that still resonate to this day. We all have a religion imprint on our brains; it's faded almost altogether for some, and what's left in its place is what I wanted to find out.

The Forum was a great success. We won't always talk about faith for sure, as there are other things that interest Free Thinkers that merit discussion too. But personal faith fascinates me, and I could listen (and blog!) about it for years.

I know the Forum had an impact and here's how: the church-going Baptist who came to the meeting just stopped by my house with a DVD of this week's sermon from his church. He knew I am keenly interested in learning about the different ways we worship, and he thought I would like to see it. I was really touched by this gesture. It meant that I got him thinking. It meant that he heard the voices at the Forum and went back more resolved in his own faith, enough so that he wanted to share what he believes with me. That is EXACTLY what I am looking for from the Forum. Learn and listen, and then make a decision about what you believe from a more informed position. He seconded my belief that you cannot hold your own belief with any tenacity unless you know what other people think too. He said if we just all got together and thought alike and talked alike and prayed alike, what a boring world that would be. He's great proof that a staunch Baptist can be devout and quite open minded at the same time.

So the fact that the Forum stayed in his mind long enough to travel to my house and give me a DVD was a compliment indeed.

We'll meet again at our house in March in Arkadelphia. If you would like to be included post your email address on this blog (or email me directly at hilary@titaniumtroop.com) and I will send you an invitation. Bring a beverage and an open mind.

Brimming with pride at having started a discussion that matters,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hindu learning

Lest you think my discomfort with organized religion is limited to Christianity, here's a Hinduism post. I am an equal opportunity skeptic....no faith out there satisfies me, so I keep trying to learn and write.

I've read the great survey of religion by Huston Smith, "The World's Religions." It overviews the 7 major religions in a thoughtful way. Let's jump right in to what he says about Hinduism.

Hindus believe we are not limited to our mortal brains or bodies. They think there is an infinite being (Christians would say the Godhead or Holy Spirit) within each of us. They think life should be about reaching the infinite (accessing our Godness) and there are four paths to do so.

The first is the way to God through knowledge. It's not just about learning or thinking, but is "rather an intuitive discernment that transforms, turning the knower eventually into that which she knows." When you learn, your knowledge is not the sum of the facts in your head; you assimilate what you know and become a changed property. Hindus work at realizing that the thinker possesses more than just her finite self. Knowledge is infinite. Those who believe we only use 10% of our brain see the possibility of expansive thinking.

Anyway, the author then says the thinking Hindu will reach a certain level of detachment from their finite self. As they learn, they will see the difference between "the skin-encapsulated ego" and the infinite potential, or God, in us. They will look at their life and day to day activities from the third person, as in "there goes Alice, going to the dentist and getting gas." She is a witness to her mortal life, watching "her unsubstantial history with as much detachment as she lets her hair blow in the wind."

"Seated in the dentist's chair, she thinks, 'Poor Alice, it will soon be over.' But she must play fair and adopt the same posture when fortune visits her and she would like nothing better than to bask in the praise she is receiving." Smith, p. 31, 32.

It's as if Hindus want to let life wash over them and reserve emotion about all of it. Instincts, guts, feelings, passion: that is all the domain of the mortal and it keeps us from our Infinite godness. We are passive, waiting for life to happen to us and acting as if nothing affects us.

I can't buy this detachment. It's yet another religion that rejects our human instincts in favor of a Godly standard of perfection. There is no ownership with this detachment, no heartache and no joy. This life, the gift that is this life, is relegated to a cheerless dress rehearsal ('it will soon be over'). How can our precious existence be called an "insubstantial history?" Why do we keep seeing the same theme in major religions....grin and bear it through this life and you will find your reward later.

This is all we've got people. There is no heaven or hell after death. You are substantial, your actions and feelings and triumphs and failures are precious and worthy. The human is the infinite, you are the God. To be fair, Hinduism has it right when they say "the knower turns into that which he knows." When you learn the truth about religion's limitations, when you lift the veil that religion has enrobed you in, You become God, you become your potential. "Then through a glass darkly, now face to face." There is no greater feeling than returning to this natal inborn knowledge. We just have to have the courage to make a clean sweep of the dusty outdated dogma that clouds our God-view.

I'll talk about the second Hindu path to God next week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two problems that give me fits

The first and most glaring problem with Christianity is that it is conditional. It conditions eternal life in Heaven on your being a better person. It sets the bar impossibly high because it asks you to live like Jesus and God every second of the day. Therefore, every second you do not achieve this, you fail. You will never ever measure up to what the “Christian” God expects of us. It is like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the sand hill. You may make some progress for five minutes or five days, but then you fall right back to where you were, fall right back to your humanness. Do you know how debilitating it is to be loved conditionally? To be told time and again, all the time, that you are not good enough? To say you just have to do one more thing, to be one bit better. The carrot and the stick. We never reach the carrot. The Bible’s teaching never allows us to be perfect love ourselves. We can never be “perfect” as it is defined by Christianity. Only God is perfect. And we can never be him. Do you see how debilitating that framework is? Here’s a model for you to follow, but you can never achieve it? What a cruel cruel game.

And it’s such a cruel sham because our God reportedly loves us Unconditionally. We’re told that’s what unconditional love looks like, and that we need to love everyone else unconditionally, but it programs us to fear the consequence if we fail to do that. It convinces us all the time that we are simply not good enough as we are and that God will punish you with Hell if you continue to fail. How can that portrait possibly be unconditional love? It is THE DEFINITION OF CONDITIONAL LOVE.

I know Christianity is conditional just by reading the bible. See John 12: 8, Jesus says “the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” This clause is the damning one; here the bible lets slip that its game is conditional. Jesus is supposed to always be with us, at least that’s how I have understood the Bible. We do not apparently have to seek him or seek God, right? If Jesus is God, and Jesus is Love, then this clause makes us think we have to choose or earn Jesus, or God, or Love. It makes God-love conditional. He could not be more clear: "you do not always have me." Love Jesus, accept Jesus, believe in Jesus, choose Jesus, and you will have God’s Kingdom. But you have to choose him first. You must make the right choice to live in God’s love. The Jesus of Christianity, the one cited in John 12 above, is needy and jealous. He says ‘”you don’t get to drink at my table, to feel God and love everlasting unless you choose me.” God so loved the world that he gave the world his only begotten son, but then commanded that you have to follow him. It’s the only way. You can have the keys to the kingdom, but there are two catches: first, choose Jesus and Jesus only, and then, be better than you really are. Why is Christianity a campaign to elect Jesus? And why is Christianity conditional? It always wants us to be better, to be better than we know how to be, to be perfect…..to be “Christian”. It sets us up for failure because we can never be perfect, not in this world, not in this epoch. When Heaven comes to all of us we will be perfect without even trying, but now, Christianity is a cruel game of telling us we have to be better, we have to believe more, we have to be more faithful, we have to be more loving. It can never be enough for Christianity, for Christianity’s God, for Jesus. We will never ever measure up to what the Bible and Jesus tell us we have to do. We will always come up short, we will always be failures, which means we will always be fearful. As long as we think for one second that we are failing God, we necessarily are afraid. Of what HE will cause to happen to us. Of the consequences for our failure. LOVE is NOT conditional. Love is unconditional. We never ever have to earn it or choose it. It just is….US, from the moment we are born. We don't have to wade through a conditional God to get to love.

Next problem: God’s martyring of his son on the cross. How can our Christian God have ushered in a non-violent ethos with such violence? How could killing your own son ever ever ever be construed as an act of supreme love? We are parents, and we know better. If he did that to his only son, what would stop him from killing us too? Ah, the preachers say, "humans did the killing." But didn’t God create and conceive us all, and foretell all things….isn’t He ever-knowing? So he knew Jesus would be killed, and had the power to avert that, and still allowed it to happen. THAT IS NOT LOVE.

The God the bible has conceived for us wrote the whole story and knows how it ends…..why wouldn’t he just give us unconditional love on a silver platter and grant us the kingdom on earth from the beginning of time til the end of time. Why, why, why condition our love? You have to TRY in order to be a Christian. In my faith, you never have to try, you are always good enough, you are born perfect. (Cue the chorus of incredulity: “What a cop out! Where are the laws, the responsibility, the discipline if we are all born perfect….what, are you perfect, Hilary???” )

Why was God ever avenging or wrathful or violent? This was made up to keep us in line. We needed an angry God so that we knew there were consequences if we acted up. But it makes God seem very childish. As a parent, if you watch your child do something bad, do you feel wrath or vengeance? Of course not. You want to reprimand them to show them the better way, to make them understand what was wrong about their behavior, but you don’t ever want to avenge them. Where is the teaching God? Where is God the parent who shows us how to improve our behavior? Where is the image of God running along side our bike as we take off the training wheels? Where is the God who laughs with amusement as we struggle to make things work in this life, but gives us the loving nudge to help us along? Where is the God who says, look, when I was young I made the same mistakes you did and I understand how hard it can be sometimes but it will all turn out okay? The God the bible portrays is never satisfied with our efforts. He is a judger, a punisher, who by the way also touts himself as perfect. Why would a parent ever punish us with eternal hell or strike us down with wrath or plague? Dangle heaven in front of us if we meet his demands? Torture us? Condemn us? Those are not verbs that are in a parent’s lexicon.

That’s our model? God…A moody, infanticidal, dictator? We’re lying to ourselves about God being perfect. Deluding ourselves. It’s so frustrating. He is not “perfect.” He is human. He is us. We made him. In our image. Face it. He’s the man behind the curtain, the veil. We wrote the veil into the story thousands of years ago, tens of thousands of years ago. We separated ourselves from him, we convinced ourselves God was something external to ourselves. And like the wizard, when we confront him face to face and hold him up to our face, to our mirror, when we see him for what he is, warts and all, he rolls over on his belly…he gives himself back to us. He is disarmed. We are reconciled with him in unprecedented unwavering soul deep love. We redeem him. We forgive him. We say “we’re not mad, how could we be, we made you the monster you are, we banished you from our hearts, from our lives, we kicked you out of our Eden, we put the veil up between us, and we are sorry and we have missed you so. We’re so glad to have you back in our hearts, where you belong. The veil is gone. You are us and we are you. Goodbye “God.””

At this moment, we forgive ourselves. We love ourselves. We redeem ourselves. We’ve won the battle, the worst is over. Blue skies.

I see the blue skies there on the horizon, still a long way off. They are there in the distance, but there is a lot that has to change about our current understanding of God and religion for us to get there. We'll have to shake free of 10,000 years of dogma. There is hard work ahead. But my lord is it going to be worth it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Way to go Nathan, you are a sage

My secular husband said something so simple the other day, it just blew me away. He, one who does not believe in the Christian God, said "whether or not you believe in God, you've gotta believe it's all gonna work out."

What religion that we know of has a clearer, cleaner, more elegant sacred text? I mean that's what we all believe from the day we are born right? You wake up each day believing the day is going to work out. You believe you won't die, you believe the sun will rise, you believe there's a point in getting out of bed. Believing that it's all going to work out is synonymous with being alive. It's inborn, in your DNA...no one taught you how to think that way. On the other hand, you're not born believing in God or Allah or any other deity; you are taught those words, that worship. Strip off all the religious dogma we've been taught and try to remember what existed in your mind the moment you were born, your elemental thought: It will all work out. I will take my next breath and I will survive.

That's the only faith I think we need. Faith not in God but in the nature of things working out for the better. Faith in yourself and in your gifts. Faith in the rhythm of the world....faith that it's all gonna work out. I felt so glad to hear my husband speak of his own faith in these terms. It made me see that there can be and there is a common faith that is born, not taught. The ones that are taught (organized religions) are the ones that divide and bewilder and incite us to hate one another.

This religious, evangelical era is a phase. We are in the fretful fractured frightening teenage years of our existence. We are nearing adulthood in the human timeline and we will soon be liberated from our fears. We just have to be able to see what it is that frightens and frustrates us and keeps us in the dark....and then move away from it.

It is all gonna work out. Not just today, or over the course of your life or millenia, but all of IT. The sun is going to continue to shine and soon it will shine brighter than before and illuminate the next great epoch for us. We will all rise. I don't need "God" to keep that faith. I've seen it, walked in it, lived it. It's an implicit faith that is written into our hearts and minds in the beginning....but it's a faith that we have to be introduced again in our adult lives because it is so obscured by the noisy gong and clanging cymbal.

Random post script. Just heard a long lost song on my Itunes. Check out the "Cure-like" Your Mouth by Trip Shakespeare, off their Lulu album. Also excellent from that album are Today you Move and Down my Block.

God, to have these guys in a room together again....