I find this video insightful. :)
P.S. Today I lament not bringing a snack. I am very hungry….
Life and times of an astrophysist who is actually a former journalism student who is really a NERD nerdy retarded weird girl pretending to be an astrophysisist...mispelling INTENDED!
Ah yes Mondays the start of a new week!
I finally finished Fandom of the Operator by Robert Rankin. Ah yes I forgot to thank my friend Jo for introducing me to this bizarre author.
The thing with his books you must approach each story with an open mind and be prepared for outright randomness, like finding out 3/4 Fandom of the Operator, the main character Gary Charlton Cheese is a serial killer. The same main character who I admired for his in-depth look at life and death? Who I admit was a bit obsessed with his favourite author a total sociopath and has a knack for Voodoo. However, he is, but isn’t responsible for his horrifying crimes or behaviour? Like any book I have read by Rankin so far it all comes into perfect clarity at the end.
Anyways the meaning of this entry is to explain why I am leaning towards the philosophy of absurdism and its not because of reading Robert Rankin although part of it is. I was first introduced to the philosophy in uni my last year in Australia during the class called the Modern Novel. It was after I read The Outsider by Albert Camus where I had the moment, where one thinks that makes sense to me. Therefore, I became interested in the ideas of Theistic Existentialism and Absurdism, mostly the later.
If I stop and think about it, to me life is absurd! Especially if it has no meaning and the search for meaning (if there is none to begin with) is absurd. The very fact there is a people aware of there surroundings and the planet has to have a reason of some sort. People must have meaning to exist otherwise its absurd. Is this were religion comes in?
Having meaning in our life is not essential because it is absurd, that that’s not to say it can’t be meaningful. If the sole point of the world is to be aware of the Earth, life, live morally, create art, etc and there is no point to it then why? But the search for meaning although absurd in fact creates meaning in a sense.
We can never know if there is a life after death because no one has really come back and explained it all? Unless you’re Christian then of course Jesus rose from the dead and proved it.
The Earth could not just happen with the big bang theory. There had to be a big banger? But who is this big banger? The world in all its wonders and complexity could not just appear out of nowhere? There had to be an intelligent designer of some sort. But who is this designer? The whole search and theories of this is absurd because one can never know. They can speculate and maybe say they know, but really can they?
However it’s all these absurdities that help me to believe in God because without some sort of meaning life is absurd. Mind you believing in God is absurd because I can never know it completely unless I met the (Trinitarian) man upstairs and asked him the meaning of life. But what if it wasn’t what I expected and even God doesn’t know? Then it really would be absurd wouldn’t it?
P.S. I am off to see the Tony Man Features today!
Lately I’ve been reading Robert Rankin, who is ultimately in my mind the kind of author when I read his stuff my initial reaction is wtf? Rankin’s writing reminds me of techniques and ideas I have thought of and would like to try. He is bloody brilliant! So far I have read three of his books, The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, The Toyminator and Nostradamus Ate My Hamster and I am now starting The Fandom of the Operator.
For instance, Nostradamus Ate My Hamster is a nonsensical book which finally has some clarification at the end. It follows Russell Nice, who works at a dead end job at a prop house for movies. When his friend Morgan tells him the story of Jim Pooley and John O’Mally and the disappearance of the Flying Swan a local pub in Brentford, Russell begins a mad quest to find it. Hence he is met with a former sex therapist/dancer/barmaid named Julie, Adolph Hitler’s appearance in the 1990’s via time travel, an insect devil like alien which who steals peoples time in order to live, the discovery of holographic machine called the Cyberstar which can make projections of real life stars, followed by the making of a movie using said machine to convert people to the insect devil guy and trying to save the world from a Nazi, robot like future.
For instance I wonder if one would question the sanctity of an author who makes Adolph Hitler one of the main antagonists in his work Nostradamus Ate My Hamster for humours sake. He is apparently brought to the 1990s via time travel and looks just like the pictures from the 1940s. Russell ‘who was called in existence to be the hero’ nearly has a heart attack when he seems him at the local pub the Bricklayers Arms in Brentford. (As any logical person would do.)
I must give full props to Rankin for his absurd imagination. At least I know that I am not the only one out there who can spiel off utter nonsense and make it into something engaging. His writing can be a bit redundant sometimes as he’ll go on a tangent about why something is such a way, (probably for humour’s sake?)I keep reading just to see what he will come up with next. His books are well worth the read. J
P.S. I am leaning towards the philosophy of Absurdism...
DISCLAIMER: Some readers may find this entry offensive so read at your own risk…I am pretty sure some people I know may find this blog via facebook as can be proven by the anonymous commenter. I also know there are others lurking about whom I’ve never met and could be offended by this. Please bear in mind this is my opinion.
Also take note due to the length of my experiences and ideas on this subject…this may be a multipart series…starting with my story as follows
This has been on my heart and mind for quite some time….The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints mostly known as Mormons and Christianity. Which of these experiences with religion is the ultimate obsolete objective truth? And if there such a truth. What is truth? If truth is subjective can it be objective? I’m still attempting this one so bear with me.
For the past couple of weeks I have researched Mormonism and today Seventh Day Adventists. It has opened my eyes to not what I think is true but what I know to be false. I’ll make this clear I don’t think I ever truly believed in Mormonism or understood what it was ever.
So today I have decided to write a formal resignation letter to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). I think I would feel much better spiritually if I do this . I’ve fully rejected Mormonism but I feel I need to do this. I’ve been doing some research into it and I found the template to write the letter, etc, but most of it deals with de-converting and becoming atheist or agnostic.
Firstly I should start off with my experience with in the Mormon religion and religion in general to show how I came to this prolific decision. I remember when I was young between 4 and 8 often attending Mormon church with my grandmother (my mom’s step mother my readers may have seen her referenced as Sue-Woman) and right around this time my mom converted to Seventh Day Adventist. Being a child I was inclined and somewhat expected to go with what the only adult role-model in my life at the time which was my mom and soon my step father who I have issues with and will never discuss publicly. I was raised both Seventh Day Adventist and some-what Mormon. This was the start of serious religious confusion because both have different beliefs on what it means to be a Christian. I was told what to believe and how to believe, but never asked to find out for myself till now. I even told others they had to believe too because I thought I was supposed too.
When I was 9 I lived with my brothers devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents due to circumstances I don’t think it’s proper to write here, (for those who know me you may ask or I have already told you) Hence they (not the church they are affiliated with) had me terrified of the end of times prophesised in Revelations. I had nightmares about reincarnation and I was constantly told other religions and other denominations of Christianity were bad. I still remember my step grandmother’s library or anti-Mormon and anti Catholic literature. When I visited my grandmother (Sue-Woman) during this time period I yet again was forced to go to Mormon church except this time instead of daydreaming or not really paying attention to it I brought with me the distain and hate my step-grandparents taught me in just a short while. I kept thinking WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Before I went back to live with my mom permanently I was considering baptism and reading over lessons for it, but it never happened. For this I am thankful because I won’t have to worry about my attachment to this as much.
When I was 13 during one of my visits to my grandmother (Sue-Woman) I was dragged to church. Except this time I listened on some level…I think this time I wanted to believe in something big then myself or wanting a sense of belonging. I expressed wanting to go to church to my grandmother who was thrilled. So when I came back home in September my aunty contacted some church members nearby who agreed to let me come with them to church. I was called an investigator and I was aware my mom was not pleased by this but strangely I didn’t care. In fact I was encouraged by the fellow members at my ward to bring my mom an inactive member back.
I don’t know if I believed in Mormonism. I never once properly read The Book of Mormon, except Sunday school. In fact Mormons often challenge new comers to pray with sincerity concerning the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, citing a verse in its closing book:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" Moroni 10:4
I never ever, ever did that! NEVER! I couldn’t get past reading 1Nephi. I had no urge to read it. That should have been a sign to me right there.
Months after attending both church and church groups such as Young Women’s and functions I agreed to meet with Mormon Missionaries. Here is where it gets interesting. I met with two male missionaries called Elders, they usually come in twos, (like Noah’s Ark, Ned Flanders Ark too :P)
My brother was also in the hospital at this time for a leg injury, which I felt (still do a little bit, which I shouldn’t) responsible for. (He fell off a slide at a jungle gym.) I was having issues with my mother as well. I remember looking forward to the talks by the missionaries because it took my mind off the troubles at hand and the unneeded guilt I had. I considered it story telling and fact like. I remembered everything and I remembered the missionaries Elder Thompson and Elder Gaylord (yes that was his name) being really impressed when I could spout off the facts of the church, whether I believed it was another story. In fact this should have been a sign right here, one day they brought another Elder who would be taking over for another one and they discussed the three kingdoms of heaven and I of course I blabbered them all in perfect order, (Celestial, Telestial and Terrestrial ) but when I was asked which one I should strive for I jokingly said “It doesn’t matter!” I remember the look of pure shock on their faces. I quickly said Celestial because that’s the one all Mormons hope to go provided you did everything required of you in this life time, celestial marriage, good works, etc.
Then one day as I was off to the hospital to visit my brother and one of the Elders handed me a sheet saying when my baptism was. Instantly fear struck me. I wasn’t asked if I wanted too. I was too scared to say wait a minute or better yet NO! But sadly I decided to go along with it because I thought I had too if I wanted salvation.
Shortly before I was baptised about a day or two I was interviewed by an Elder who did not do the talks with me, which is a requirement to see if I was fit for baptism (I think), I found out from my grandma (Sue-Woman) I was supposed to be interview by a Sister (a female missionary) in fact I should have been taught by two Sisters. The missionaries who taught me explained to me I would be asked some very hard questions, but I did not know they would be questions such as….
Have you murdered anyone?
Have you had premarital sex?
Have you had sex with the same sex?
Apparently all your sins are washed away after baptism, so it wouldn’t matter, but they had too. I just remember these ones for some reason. I was 13 years old! Tough questions indeed! These questions haunted me for a long time!
I remember right to the moment before my baptism, that I did NOT want to do it, yet my aunty found me and prayed with me because that is their the answer to everything. I don’t even remember the exact date or anything. You think if I truly believed I would remember such an occasion. I felt horrible afterwards and that’s when the night terrors began….I know my mom could have helped stop this from happening as she had to sign a waiver saying I was allowed to get baptised. I don’t blame her for this at all. I thought I wanted too, she wanted me to be happy and this is a big one, my Mormon family members I am sure would have given her shit if she didn’t. I didn’t find out till about 5 year later she had serious reservations about this.
Anyways, not even year later after I was baptised I had to move to a different part of town. So facing the prospect of having to meet new people and my growing uncertainty with Mormonism I became inactive…of course after this I was found by the ward where I lived. Believe me they no how to find people who don’t want to be found, just read over my experience in Australia. This is one of the reasons I want to remove myself from membership. I want to be left in peace. I went to this ward once after that, but I was still somewhat included in Young Women’s group, went camping etc. Fun times? Yes and no.
I know I have renounced Mormonism 100 times over and asked God to not count it as a full on commitment but I still feel burdened by it and guilty for it. I keep telling myself I am on the right path now, but I need it in writing so I know I am no longer tied to them.
P.S. I made it my utmost duty to refrain from sarcasm due to the seriousness of this entry.
For the last few months I have developed a hobby for baking, mainly cookies and muffins. I am thinking of attempting scones, but never again cinnamon buns. (Those were a disaster!) Where do these delicious homemade junk food end up? In the stomachs of Hev-Lady, Tony, Pretty Blue Eyes, me, unsuspecting victims at church.
This is what the oatmeal cookie recipe is supposed to look like….
Prep: 15 minutes, Bake 9 – 11 minutes per sheet. Makes about 3 dozen
2/3 cup granulated
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or stick margarine softened.
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup raisins, chopped nuts or semisweet chocolate chips, if desired
End result: Betty Crocker cookies of the good little wifey variety. Mmmmmmm…..The kind a perfect pastor’s wife makes for Sunday and everyone loves. Yay!
This is what it looks like when you make it when you’re on mental vacation, half awake and off with the fairies in happy day dream land.
Prep: 20??? minutes, Bake 11 – 15 minutes per sheet. Makes about 4-5 dozen? I ate about half a dozen of raw dough…
2/3 cup granulated
1 cup packed brown sugar….wait that was 2/3 rights.
1/2 cup (and a bit) butter or stick margarine softened.
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Soya sauce…I mean vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
1 cup oral care Actrium adult cat food, sorry all purpose flour.
1 cup raisins,
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup of oatmeal crisp berry cereal (if desired, which I did not, but considered maybe next time?)
End result: Something that looks like cookies! But did not rise properly and is a chewy and gooey looking in a good not so good sort of way. I think they are edible, they taste good…
NOTE: I noticed just before it was too late before adding Soya sauce and cat food. I was extremely close too! They are pity oatmeal cookies the ones people eat because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. I made them for Tony’s home visit tomorrow. He asked for cookies.
P.S. I have a bad habit of licking the spoons.
It’s 12 a.m. I am tired, but my mind is full of thoughts. I thought I had it all figured out. And now I am debating whether or not I want to get up for church in a mere 8 hours and even bother in repetitive nature of a Sunday starting off with the usual morning start, eating, getting ready, arriving early, some mini enforced socialisation with the pastor, find my seat at the pew, sing, pray, offering (I’ve never once paid tithe :S), sing some more, children’s moment children leaving for Sunday School, scripture reading, sermon on reading, pray, sing, pray again, enforced socialisation a.k.a. coffee time, watch Manny drool all over Pretty Blue Eyes, eat some cookies, drink some coffee, more enforced socialisation, wait for ride home, arrive home pissed off for no apparent reason and ending with me hibernation in my sardine can of a room! It’s not that I don’t enjoy on some level it (although with the way I described it sounds like I entirely hate it). I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t pretend I am someone I am not. Where do I draw the lines?
It’s come to the point I’ve put Bible verses on my wall and now I wonder why they are there?
Sometimes I think I only started going to church because of Pretty Blue Eyes, Hev-Lady and the need for friends and socialisation. Once I decided to go to church the nagging stopped. Here is the irony, months after I begin fellowship at a church Hev-Lady decides that it’s OK for people to be Christian and not go at all. She happily says this and when I tell her this is what I was trying to explain to her all a long beforehand she just smirks and says sorry. WTF? Is she being serious or just throwing my old ideas in my face and mocking me?
Anyways if I suddenly decide to stop going to church again after sort of coming to terms with it, I am pretty sure I will come across as anti-social or in need of saving, etc, etc. Or be told the devil is pestering me again?
I don’t even know who I am anymore or even knew who I was to begin with. When will this identity and faith crisis end?
P.S. I am thinking I am depressed! As well as still wondering who the anonymous commenter is!
Let’s see if I can write about this frustration in an intelligent way!
I was reading a book from the church library called Hot Buttons (1986) by a variety of male Christian authors, (most of them pastors go figure) I was hoping for insight about issues pertaining to Christianity because it talked about some issues, such as abortion, death, sex and homosexuality I was wondering about. Not only did it enlighten me it irked me on so many levels.
For instance one of the contributing authors Eric Pement discusses abortion and actually says ‘if woman is unmarried, if she would follow the Bible’s instruction to ‘flee from sexual immorality’ (1Corninthians 6:18) and remained sexually pure most of the problems of unwanted pregnancy (and most reasons for abortion) would be solved,” (p. 98)
Mind you he attempts to absolve himself of the woman should be virgins before marriage card by saying that the man’s responsibility is ‘at least equal to women’s if not greater.”
I personally could never have one, but I still believe it’s a woman’s choice because it’s her body. It bothers me but I don’t think I have a right to tell someone what to do.
How about Don Williams who says “homosexuality should be viewed as a sickness like cancer or heart disease.” Hmmmm… However he doesn’t say homosexuals are not allowed to attend church or be Christian themselves but (heterosexual) Christians should not accept same-sex desire as “God’s best for them.” And how there is prayer therapy with psychologists which have a 100% cure rate. (More like a 100 % repression!)This stuff is really hard to stomach after doing a whole university course on this. I believe sexuality and gender are social constructs; the world is predominately heterosexual and so is the Bible (which is completely up for interpretation both good and bad.) I hope you can guess where I am going with this?
It’s not that I don’t believe in God or the Bible I just don’t believe some of the stuff being said by these authors. I am so entirely confused!
P.S. I saw Pretty Blue Eyes at work today!
Can I write a blog entry in 10 minutes or less?
Yes I can! I shall share with you 10 things that happened today….
P.S. I am hell of a tired! I still haven’t figured out the anonymous commenter yet!
Anonymous commenter! Who are you?! I am curious to who you are? No more hiding behind the mask of elusiveness! However, if you wish to remain as such I respect your decision.
So far I know you’re female, and a fellow co-worker. There is all the idea there may be more then one of you anonymous commenter’s as well.
So whoever you are, the curiosity is overwhelming. Thank you for the positive encouraging comments on my blog by the way. :) I might also add you’re good with words too.
Also in response to the why am I dumbing it down? I am making fun of the seriousness of the topic of religion because I find it hard to talk about given my strange religious upbringing. My step grandmother had me scared to death of the Devil and reincarnation!My family is constantly pressuring me to return to the fantasy of Mormonism…I have a friend who is concerned about my return to Christianity. I am even finding this change a bit challenging especially, the exclusivity of it all. I am not sure how to write about these issues in a non dumb way with out adding some sarcasm that makes it sound less smart because I must be afraid of sounding so. I am not even aware I am doing it if that makes sense? Humour is a deflector for something that makes me anxious to write about.
Not to mention I find the pharaoh from Exodus incredibly funny that I did knowingly dumb down, but seriously the Pharaoh was dumb…how many terrible plagues came to Egypt before he finally let Gods people go? A hell of a lot! So I find some Bible stories satirical…
P.S. I am sick! Oh and Canada did amazingly awesome at the Olympics!