“Into the West”, performed by Annie Lennox, composed by Howard Shore, from the LOTR soundtrack, (2003)
Thinking about my father, gone from this mortal coil some 33 years now, and still fresh in my memory as if I had coffee with him yesterday. Wishing, with all my heart, I could sit down and talk with him about things I have learned in those 33 years.
Death takes everyone … death is what binds us all together … no one escapes, no one buys their way out, no one. No one, no matter the extreme sacrifices made on the alter of self to appease the gods of our secular lives, no matter the banality of the attachments of this world of flesh and passion and decay.
No matter the pride and achievements in this short night in this bad hotel … no one … escapes … Brother Death.
Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way. Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… then you see it! Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what? Gandalf: White shores… and beyond. A far green country, under a swift sunrise. Pippin: Well, that isn’t so bad. Gandalf: No. No, it isn’t. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Here, at the end of all things, Brother Death takes our hand and leads us towards the light at the end of the tunnel of the tomb … and the light … is the glorious light of Eternity’s Sunrise, or the smoldering glow of Mount Doom.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Kojo No Tsuki (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album Japanese Melodies (1990)
We are invisible ghosts, the faceless, un-noticed, worker ants that keep everything going. If the grey tribe ever stopped supporting everything human civilization takes for granted the pink tribe corner office vampires wouldn’t notice until the lights went out and the toilets stopped working.
And then they would die in their millions, or revert to savagery, and perhaps a very few would discover talents and abilities and motivations they never knew they had.
In the meantime they, our pink masters, kill thousands of us in the name of their progressive social programs, political correctness, government guidelines and deviant agendas.
Little known but true is the fact that Canada is the ONLY country in the world whose government, in their wisdom, has approved the use of large numbers of GMOs in the human food chain.
But the human body was never designed with GMOs in mind. It seems that there is something, a feeling called satiety, which is what controls the amount of natural food a human can eat – thus we find it difficult to eat 50 pounds of steak at a sitting or 50 pounds of shrimp at one party or… well you get what I am saying here.
It is becoming difficult to obtain food in Canada which is NOT GMO based
But GMOs DON’T trigger the satiety feeling because the body was not designed to handle GMOs. That is why we have no trouble eating 50 pounds of popcorn or 50 pounds of taco chips or 50 pounds of bread, because we never become satiated.
We just keep right on eating 5-6-7 times a day of even continuously snacking so that the body just never stops digesting and storing the calories and producing insulin to actuate the body’s storage mechanisms.
The result is an epidemic of obese diabetics. Look around any public area anywhere in North America. The folks you see around you every day sure don’t look like the folks in the old photographs of our grandparents and great-grandparents.
The main difference is our diet and the money to be made these days by big multinationals who happily help our government masters justify guidelines which actually kill the folks while making the multinationals rich beyond shareholders wildest dreams, and a share of those riches accrue to government through taxes.
Most people assume that scientific integrity is somehow assured; that there are safeguards along the way, preventing fraudulent research from harming patients. Unfortunately, scientific misconduct has become a very serious and widespread problem that threatens the entire paradigm of science-based medicine.
Just “follow the money” and remember that ethics were invented for people without morals.
All our government bureaucrats are both victims of their own guidelines and culpable participants in the biggest mass murder in history. And we let it go without a whimper because it happens slowly over a period of years and we are all like the frogs in the story about boiled frogs.
In another example we can look at why do leading professors of psychiatry base their practice on a number of erroneous myths. These myths are harmful to patients. Many psychiatrists are well aware that the myths do not hold, but they don’t dare deviate from the official positions (medical association guidelines) because of career concerns.
All of these guidelines and myths are ostensibly aimed at “helping” us all the while supporting the establishment and forcing us to live lives that line up with their “social values” (whatever that means) “for our own good” because obviously we are just too stupid to come in out of the rain.
So how is my fasting lifestyle coming along. Well, pretty well actually, mostly the last 6 weeks doing the 1 meal a day thing and blood sugars are around 7 mmol/l, dropped 30 pounds (on a roller-coaster), blood pressure 110 over 55 resting, off all meds for diabetes and blood pressure.
Just taking vitamins. Feeling pretty good as well, a little stretched at times but generally pretty sharp. Sleeping less – never had trouble sleeping and don’t have problems falling asleep but I find myself waking up earlier and earlier. Watching a TED talk right now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc
Isn’t it entertaining to discover that we are all at risk of dieing of government guidelines. The problem with guidelines is that there are no standard humans to which the standard guidelines actually apply.
“One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite; civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of the planet is salt water.
Land looms large in our imagination and civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us less interesting.” — C. S. Lewis
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
“This is known as ‘bad luck’. ” – Robert A. Heinlein
I am not alone in my observations but these gentlemen say it so much more elegantly than I in my grey tribe arrogance.
2Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity. 3What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun? 4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth standeth for ever. — Ecclesiastes 2-4
Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking.
And God looked down and saw that it was good.
Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch.
And God looked down and saw that it was good.
Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise.
God looked down and saw that it was good.
So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember its God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.
Nine Important Facts To Remember As We Grow Older
#9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world.
#8 Life is a sexually transmitted disease.
#7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
#6 Men have 2 motivations: hunger and hanky-panky, and they can’t tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.
#5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.
#4 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.
#3 All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
#2 In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.
#1 Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today might burn your arse tomorrow!
So much to think about, so little time, remember to forgive.
Disclaimer for the nit pickers: we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.
Our Revels now are ended: These our actors, (As I foretold you) were all Spirits, and Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre, And like the baselesse fabricke of this vision The Clowd-capt Towres, the gorgeous Palaces, The solemne Temples, the great Globe it selfe, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And like this insubstantiall Pageant faded Leave not a racke behinde: we are such stuffe As dreames are made on …Rounded with a sleepe — The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158
A year ago my mother died. Whatever she may have made of her life she had decided that it was time to depart – at 92 – with all her things in order, no more lingering, just told the doctors to take out the tubes and stop trying to prolong her misery – “I’m done! I’m ready to go! Just let me go!” A stubborn woman but also a very forgiving woman. A widow for over 30 years. 92 years is about as much as almost anyone gets and then what?
If this life is all there is then it is really pretty pathetic. If this life IS in fact just a training exercise, then eternity to think on how one conducted oneself. If this is all there is, then what is the point? If this is all there is then we live on as cowards because we lack the courage to end this pointless coil of excreting and breathing and destroying everything around us. The triumph of the banal. Unless this is just a training exercise, in which case there is much to hope for. Right or wrong I find it a comfort.
She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. — To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
… This is all just one big non-stop training exercise so that we have half a chance of learning what we need to know for real life – that is eternity.
So, WORKUPS. After a period of rest and refit, we enter into an intensive predeployment workup. The personnel have received new training, the ships get repaired, maintained and re-equiped (refitted) hopefully with newer better tools and equipment – or maybe not, if the goal of the civilian ministers and directors, the previously mentioned 5th column, is to atrit and deplete to free up funding for their favorite pig farm.
Where the right hand is blathering about commitments and duty and Ready Aye Ready, but the left hand is strangely refusing to supply enough fuel for deployment or enough personnel to crew the ships, or … well you get the drift …
We the willing, lead by the unknowing, doing the impossible, for the ungrateful,
Have done so much, with so little, for so long,
We are now expected to do everything, with nothing, forever …
Workups …, such fun, a team of highly trained saboteurs and sadists descend upon the newly minted unit with the express goal of exposing all their sins and weaknesses. And through a continuous, 24 hour a day, series of drills and simulated missions and disasters and mixed mayhem and abuse they drive the new unit, men and equipment to the outer limit of their ability to perform.
All the while timing and taking notes and punishing as they see fit until the point is reached where the unit has matured and bonded and coped with everything to meet or exceed the standards expected. This can go on for weeks, over and over and over, in the case of particularly obtuse crews. Until that magical day when you are declared fit to deploy with some expectation that you will not embarrass your masters. I remember “Hard Training, Easy Missions” from somewhere, probably imprinted at a cellular level by some screaming CPO.
And that is exactly what “Life” is. Workups and exercises until you learn the right way to conduct yourself. And the problems and challenges will keep being thrown at us until the light comes on and we learn what we are supposed to learn. Over and over, until we get it. Some get it fast, some get it slow. Some do not appear to get it at all … but we cannot observe exactly what transpires about the time of death.
I have it on good authority that God is smarter than I and He operates outside our conscious reality. At this stage of life I am not inclined to doubt that and I put down things I don’t understand to “not having all the information” or perhaps to simply not being able to operate at that level – I am fairly certain that if I think I understand things then I really don’t. Every challenge, every nasty situation, every abusive word or difficulty, every challenge, yes, every vampire and zombie, even them, every goal and ambition, every need and want, every opportunity and failure, every joy and hurt, are all exercises in learning to sacrifice and love … selflessly.
“. . . the pain itself made Puddleglum’s head for a moment perfectly clear and he knew exactly what he really thought. . . ‘One word, Ma’am,’ he said, coming back from the fire; limping,. . . ‘One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have [have is in italics in the novel] only dreamed, or made up, all those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is [is is in italics in the novel] the only world. Well, it strikes as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”
― C.S. Lewis
disclaimer for the nit pickers: we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately
… And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. …
“He that loveth his life shall lose it“, or, “He that loveth his life loses it“—i.e., that the loss of life is not in the future only, but that in the present, in every moment when a man loves and seeks to save his own life, that is, seeks to preserve and advance his temporal life, power, and glory, he is then, and by that very seeking, actually losing it. The words of this verse are familiar to us from the earlier Gospels. The disciples had heard them laid down as the law of their own life and work. They now hear the mysterious words again, and they are asserted as the law to which even His life is submitted.
There is, even in His human nature, a physical and emotional life which would shrink from sacrifice and death. Jesus IS fully human. But in self-sacrifice and death is His own glory and the life of the world. There is in ALL human nature a principle which would seek as the highest good the life of the body and of the soul, as in pleasure, comfort, wealth, power, glory, sensual delight, and so on. This is the temporal domain, this life, as distinct from the higher life of the spirit, and human nature would shrink from sacrifice and death. But the true principle of life is of the spirit, not the body, and only in the sacrifice of the desires of the lower physical and emotional life, the death of “Self” is that spiritual life realized.
And we don’t REALLY believe this fundamental, foundational, concept – that we MUST put away the self in order to do good in the world. Everything we do and think revolves around the core of “How does this do good for me?” What’s in it for me? How does this make me look to others? How does this give me more power, or make me look smarter or … well we all know what I mean here.
When I rant about the corruption of bureaucrats and the self interested venality of our leaders, am I really justified? Or, am I just upset because someone else figured out how to get away with putting a really big scam over the other voters who simply MUST be stupid to let these wieners get away with this. Regardless of the truth of the observations why do I think I am justified in getting torqued about someone else’s peccadilloes? Should I not be spending some of that valuable time and energy sorting out my own planks instead of whining about the politicians splinters? How is my complaining helping this “death of self” that is needed to produce “much fruit”?
Verily, verily, the unexamined life is not worth living.
Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately
One of my old CPO’s “Come on Ladies!!! You want to live forever? Didn’t you get the pipe? “Life’s a suicide mission! We’re all going to die! All that matters is how! MOVE IT!”
In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess You must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not You must go through the way in which you are not. And what you do not know is the only thing you know And what you own is what you do not own And where you are is where you are not.
T.S. Eliot “East Coker”:
Death to Self, Death to this world, “Death” as in we stopped breathing for ever, the “Little Death”, so many nuances…..