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31 July 2004

Batura moraine, Karakoram, August 1985 Posted by Hello

15 July 2004

"Blasphemous" Ideas hatched during Y2K = Excerpts from a post in January 2001:

What follows is two separate notes I scribbled in a hurry to explain my current view of god. I'm pretty sure most people would consider what I have to say extremely blasphemous, but the idea has sort of imposed itself. I don't try to impose it on anybody ...
If I'm wrong then I will probably burn in hell forever and if I'm right then my fate might not be very different either. Yet I don't lose a moment of sleep over it. I've had no reason to become paranoid so far. .......
.... As I said, this view of god has imposed itself, but I know that my presentation is neither original nor particularly insightful. To me it's all just plain obvious, but I'm happy to listen to any arguments that might refute it and present a better idea. ....
Here goes:
First note: "What if god thrives on both the pain/suffering and the joy experienced by all creatures? ....
Do I believe in satan? No -- I never really believed in the existence of such a thing .... To me, satan is simply one aspect of god. It's not a creation of god in the same way we are, though perhaps it can take possession of the mind of a created being. The aspect of satan can be a useful tool as god uses it in different ways to inflict the pain on man and beast that is his ecstasy or to draw maximum pleasure from the joys also experienced by man and beast. God can also use the concept of satan to make us fear because that fear is also one of his great sources of pleasure. If we could completely stop all pain and suffering and fear we would undermine god's very existence -- but of course there is no way we could do that. Yet if god were really a good, loving god as we were led to believe, that is exactly what he would want to do -- relieve all beings (including animals, plants and whatever else is conscious on some level) of suffering, fear and pain. But look at how the world we know is designed: the fear and the pain are built in -- violence, death, destruction and chaos, conflict -- it's all totally ingrained from the start. One being has to kill, destroy another in order to be able to survive. And isn't there both fear and pain involved? Doesn't the antelope fear and suffer when the lion pounces on it and tears at its throat? It's designed that way. That is god's nature. But if he had natural life evolve to the point where it produced us, maybe he wanted to -- no, had to -- bring in elements of uncertainty. I believe there is unpredictability -- even for god, and he needs it. Or maybe there are many gods and the uncertainty/unpredictability arises from that. I find it hard, though, to think of god as not one but many -- because I grew up believing in a single god. So I think, anyway, that there might be a chance for us to change god and {for him to be} happy with that because he needs the excitement of not knowing what comes next. I'm making god seem very human but this is because I can only describe him in human terms -- no human being can really do it otherwise anyway. My conclusion is that god is most certainly unworthy of worship -- though I'm sure he likes people to worship him just like Hitler and Stalin ... (etc.) liked to be worshipped."
Second note (from a message to a friend): "....
..... My doubts about god come from the way I see nature, and that cannot be explained by the idea of a "fall of man": I cannot believe that a truly good, loving god as I understand it designed a world where animals and even (some) plants have to tear others to shreds in order to live, where thousands of different species of parasites can only exist by sucking another being's blood or harming it in other ways, where there are always fights to determine who is to dominate whom, where some are always expelled from a group and often hunted down and killed, where a male lion, for example, always kills the offspring of a new mate who lost her previous mate, the father of those cubs, where.... I could go on and on almost endlessly, just giving examples of totally unnecessary cruelty and violence in nature because it was designed that way -- without ever getting to the cruelty of man, which, of course, is all the worse because he understands it. But could primitive man, for example, really help being cruel? Now we can, to some extent, and hopefully more and more so. Many people seem to believe god created the world but cannot be held responsible for the way it turned out. Not me. Did he really have to design it that way? So why didn't he design us in such a way that we wouldn't even be able to perceive this as cruel? Maybe he mainly designed us in such a way that we could develop our minds and hearts ad infinitum, so that he himself could evolve through us. I think he is indeed evolving through us, and I hope we can someday go so far as to completely change his original design of this world to accommodate the sensitivities that, with god, we are developing over time (too slowly, unfortunately). And we might be just one of many intelligent races in the universe -- who knows -- all going in that direction, more or less. Perhaps I choose to believe this simply because I need to find hope whereas the belief that god is really good and evil all rolled into one forever offers no hope at all. Of course, the god who created this world could easily fool us forever without us being able to find out for sure. No one can tell me god couldn't pull this off, to make people believe he was all good and the bad was all their fault and that of some fictitious satan, so that they would worship him faithfully, which of course would tickle him pink. We should remember Gödel's theorem showing that all finite systems are incomplete and their full truth is unknowable from within them."

My final break with the God of the monotheistic religions - 1999

Diary entry: Woke up Saturday 20 June 1998 from a dream in which I met True Father/Abogee/Rev. Moon (Sun Myung) ....

Diary entry: Monday 13 September 1999: Apart from the incomplete sentence above, there is a 2-year gap in this diary between the last time I wrote and now. I can't seem to find the time to write anymore.
In the dream mentioned above I sat by a table with "Abogee" and others, and realized that I was naked below the waist. "Abogee" gave me a hostile look and made some remark filled with contempt -- I don't remember what he said -- and I don't give a damn anyway.

30 October 1999 Saturday: Again I didn't get a chance to write for some time. -- I wonder if anybody will ever read my diaries. Would they be of any interest whatsoever to another person?
I'm writing these lines hoping that someday someone will read this and all of the diaries I wrote before, and find something of interest in them.  My oldest diary goes back to 1976 -- at least that is the oldest one that I still have. Almost everything I wrote before that year (I was 25 years old in 1976 and spent that entire year plus almost all of the previous year 1975, and all of 1977, 1978 and half of 1979 in the United States --- 1976 was the American Bicentennial) was either destroyed, mostly by myself, or was lost when I was robbed near Livermore, California on Thanksgiving Day 27 November 1975. I only have a cassette tape on which I recorded some of my ideas in English in late 1974 and which I left with my parents when I went to America on 6 March 1975.
Over the last few years I have become more cynical about God and I have completely lost every bit of faith that I ever had. I still believe that there is a God. But while I believe that I must do my best to be good, and to be humble and honest and unselfish -- I no longer believe that those qualities form the essence of God's character. I am cynical about God because I believe God is the most cynical being. I believe God combines, and thrives on, both good and evil. God needs both and God needs to experience, constantly, the discrepancy between what we generally view as good and evil. "Satan" is God's invention. If such a being exists, then he is entirely God's creation, just like everything else.
God, my creator, is thus basically an anathema to me. The entity that humans call God, or whatever, is my enemy -- although, of course, it's ridiculous to describe it in this way --- I'm saying that only to dramatize the idea (or emphasize it). I believe God created the World the way it is because God gets a kick out of it. God needs to experience all the joy and all the suffering that we humans and animals and plants, and whatever other beings there are, experience. God thrives on that, feeds on that. All those feelings are God's feelings, but at the same time God is above them, and he must therefore derive great pleasure from them. It may sound strange to ascribe such "human" emotions to God but it really isn't. How else could God have created us, or, rather, caused us to come into existence through guided evolution?
I submit that God created everything for one purpose: to serve God; to give God pleasure or to fulfill a need. We, and everything that exists, are meant to fulfill that purpose. But clearly there is evolution, development and change, because God pushes us forward so as to better fulfill that purpose and to increase his pleasure. And both our joy as well as our suffering give God pleasure. God is therefore just as cruel as God is magnificent and good, from our point of view. To me it is crazy for us to want to love God or even to be grateful to God. That is the point I have reached. Of course, I cannot really oppose God, since God is responsible for my being here and God makes all the rules and laws.
I have no choice but to accept God's laws, however grudgingly. But since I see that God's creation seems to be unfinished, and to be developing and changing, I can do my best to try to counteract or to fight against anything that I regard as evil, which is cruelty, selfishness, exploitation of others (that is what God does all the time, 100%) for one's own good. I don't believe that God sees love the way St. Paul describes it in the New Testament. To God, whatever gives God pleasure -- and all too often that means for one chosen person or group to inflict great suffering on others -- is good, I guess; but to me, ultimately, all suffering is the result of evil action -- often induced or enouraged by that same self-glorifying, cruel God. God's love is often evil.
The tiny spark of hope I still have lies in the fact that this World can change and does develop, as if God was still experimenting with the practice of love and good and evil. I'm probably totally crazy but I think it may be possible to change God -- because God may have created us to do even that. And God would even get a greater kick out of that.
All of this is, of course, totally out of synch with Moon's teachings. But Moon is just God's favorite toy at this time. He is a fad, nothing else.

01 July 2004

The Decline of the West and the Rise of the East - from a letter, 1992

Excerpt from a letter I wrote to Mahmood Nawaz, a Pakistani student in Cyprus, on November 19, 1992 (words in square brackets were inserted later for clarification):

... I grew up in Europe and have spent all of my life, except for about two and a half years, in a western/Christian cultural environment (including 6 years in the United States, 5 years in Cyprus and close to 2 years in Greece). I think I have enough of an understanding of western/Christian culture [read: civilization] to be in a position to tell you that it is in decline. Western culture [civilization], which has dominated the world for centuries, is running out of steam, and Europe, the cradle of that culture, is in danger of becoming a cultural backwater and a spiritual desert. Europe has a huge moral debt to pay to the rest of the world because the European peoples caused death and destruction everywhere and ruthlessly exploited the peoples of Africa, Asia and the original inhabitants of the Americas and the Australia-Pacific region. Europe, however, does not recognize this and wants to continue exploiting others. And white America, which was created by the Europeans, is going the same way. But in Europe and America there are signs that their system is crumbling. Society is falling apart, riven by decadent immorality, crime, drugs and so on. I believe it is Karma. The west as a whole has to suffer because it refuses to pay its debt to the rest of the world. And I am sure there is more to come.
Mind you, I don't think we will see a total breakdown of the western system in the next 20 or even 50 years, unless there is a major economic, natural or military catastrophe. But the western system is definitely crumbling, and changing. The west, which has long imposed change on other societies throughout the world, is now being changed by a kind of reverse osmosis as it absorbs other cultures. I don't think we would recognize it if we could come back to the world even 100 years from now. There is great potential for an Asian culture [civilization] to rise to become the guiding light of coming centuries. It is not yet so. It has not happened yet, and, in fact, that Asian culture I am thinking of is still in a process of fermentation, so to speak, and it is not yet clear what eventual form it will take (I think it will arise primarily from 3 countries: China, Japan and Korea). I hope, of course, that the dark side of the rise of one culture as a guide to others can be avoided this time, or at least that it will be far less dramatic than the terrible destruction caused by the Christian west.
I am basically bored with Europe, and I cannot relate to the people who continue to firmly believe that the western system is the hub of the world's cultures. To me it is already a thing of the past. The motor of history for the next century and beyond will be Asia. But this does not mean that Europe has nothing left to do in the world. Apart from the dark side of Europe's progress through history, which I mentioned above, there are also positive achievements, and there are aspects of its culture and its science that others are well advised to learn. Europeans, and Americans, for that matter, have much to give and to teach. I believe that Europe and America should welcome millions of people like you from Asia, Africa and elsewhere, and allow them to study and work in the west. And millions of Europeans and Americans should go to the developing countries to help and to teach. All doors should be opened wide, because I firmly believe that the more communication and exchange we have with other cultures, the better it is for the world because the more likely we can resolve misunderstandings and disputes, and create conditions for real peace.
... The western world is in decline precisely because it has forsaken the moral and spiritual ideals that originally inspired and guided its progress. Those ideals were always challenged by the temptation of materialism. Today, more than ever before, moral and spiritual ideals have lost out and western culture [civilization] is ruled by the gods of materialism and individualism, or its extension: ethnocentrism (nationalism, etc. ...).