Monday, March 16, 2015

A Goodreads community review - The Testament of Mary

This is a work of fiction on the life of someone important which might be taken as fact by anyone hungry for something different to the official version. So little is known of the historical Mary whose life is now so venerated and whose name is divine. I'm not a believer but I am interested in Mary. I'm fascinated by the heavy reverence for her. I like the author's depiction of a Jewish time beset by upheaval and political intrigue. The struggles in Northern Ireland might well have been an influence. And of course such times keep on keeping on. In the midst of this story is a mother who is about to lose her son, now a stranger to her, like any son who leaves their mother for danger, like soldiers do today. She of course did not bring her son up to be a warrior let alone a spiritual one. I sensed fear and shame in her words. I also sensed in the writing an anger that the decision to kill her son was by God, by the crowds hungry for blood, the political conspirators, her son's disciples, and not by her, his mother. In other words if he is to live or die only she should decide it. But then again, in the spaces of the book, perhaps her son wanted suicide. It was all too much. And therefore her opportunity had passed her by anyway. Why her son she asks throughout the book. Why should his death be the catalyst for a change for the better? She will get nothing from it and the future from where she sees it is just as grim as the present in which she lives. She is merely a mother. This work of fiction seems honest to me. And yet it should still be regarded skeptically by all who disagree with its premise. In the end nothing should go unchallenged. Not even the idea of God.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

No madness

The Bulgarian Voices – Angelite

And Huun Huur Tu

Together sing the songs of

Fly, Fly My Sadness,

And no madness

Can resist their beauty.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recent comments and observations on suitable topics.

As an atheist I am indeed delighted to live my life in Australia without God being a part of it. I have no need to evangelize this, as I imagine that my everyday person, warts and all, is no different to that of believers. In a less tolerant society I would live the same, though I might feign belief just to please the oppressors.

Good without God? Morality's Foundations Crumble in the Absence of Christianity
Peter Hitchens ABC Religion and Ethics 3 Dec 2014

I would concur a little with Paul. While God is alive in active minds everything is permissible, though not always useful. As human knowledge has grown with the secular ages so the boundaries of human behaviour have been pushed further away from the tribal times of Paul. God, the ultimate father, is thus being pulled by us humans into ever deeper complexities of love and its apparent antibodies, neurosis, psychosis and hate. If God truly exists God cannot be prohibitive, but humans will always be. Without God freedom without boundaries is too hot to handle.  In the end prohibition is a matter of conscience, the closest aspect of the psyche I can think of which creates a connection with God, or if no God, the effervescent self.  

If God is Dead; Nothing is Permissible: Some Thoughts on Secularism by Peter Rollins
December 12, 2014

Having read “A Vow of Celibacy’ published in the Australian 15/12/14 I wish to direct a comment to Archbishop Fisher.  It is nice to quote Tim Gunn, Lady Gaga, Isaac Newton and others who, on having chosen a celibate life, are not to be feared by the general public. And yes celibacy can be enriching for some. A celibate can feel free of concupiscence but not feel diminished in life. But I emphasise choice. To be a Catholic priest means choosing celibacy because it a condition set down by the Church. There is no choice to be not celibate while serving as a Catholic priest. The ideal of celibacy is obviously physically unrealistic for many priests. Not many priests are able to live as idealised saints. The Church’s biggest problem is its idealism. It is doomed to fail while priests are ordained as no longer ‘merely human’.  I will never believe we have seen the end of child sexual abuse by priests.  But I agree with you on one point. The Church puts its reputation before children who have suffered at the hands of it. You say this but so what.  Nothing will change. The Church lost its way as soon as it became a corporation. Jesus, if he ever did make a second coming, would be appalled. And I dare say he’d be clearing out the Vatican and handing back its riches to the poor it was supposed to work for in the first place.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Why do I write?

Why do I write?
I'll begin with the letter B.
And let me find a way -
I must like it.
Should I write formula
To gain some attention?
I can't.
I'm not good enough.
I shall stick with what I know
I was born into Catholicism I'll have you know
Into alcoholism I'll have you know
And sad though this background is
It is a resource.
Horace said write to entertain
Write to teach
But how to do this well
Not badly, not to preach
And yet I have no right to say so
No right to have an opinion
On my output
As it stands in the dead zone.
And on the 'morrow
Nothing will change
But my need to get on with it.
After I've done the chores
And done procrastinating
As the cliche goes
I feel a different kind of alive
To the everyday of normality
Because what I start
Has no end that I surmise
Until I get there.
And sometimes I am surprised
To find I imagined something
I didn't know I had.
Horace was right
I've put down words
That's taught me something
Of a thinking
I wasn't aware of
And why not share it
If I feel that what I've learnt
Is good enough in fiction
When I find an audience
For them to be entertained.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Opening excerpt from the eBook On Tongue Bleaching

The fashionable recolouring of tongues from pink to white is a growing phenomenon that is taking talking to an even higher level. The person on the street might be undecided on the merits of tongue bleaching, but as demand for it increases, more will seek it. At present it is just a matter of cost. Online surveys show that many who do not have the funds for tongue bleaching would have it done if they could. Self esteem coaches are quoted as saying that white tongues are needed. Precedents have already been set. Anal bleaching is quite fashionable amongst the groovy, and head hair has been bleached for many years. Coated tongues, the forerunner to bleached tongues are still generally accepted, but natural whiteness is losing its appeal. Not enough coverage. The necessary tongue whitening drugs are already available on the shelves of exclusive high street stores, and future government subsidies should make tongue bleaching an affordable option for everyone; an initiative designed to complement the increasing demand for appearance alterations. In a more exposed society bleached tongues will inevitably become the norm. A bleached tongue is most appealing. Such a tongue will be the recommended gateway to purity and inner beauty. It’s what people really want.

According to white tongue theory people can’t be themselves without having sex appeal. When white tongued people expose themselves while talking, they are more likely to gain the approval of family, friends and peers. Soon they’ll be attracting lovers. And white skinned people are known to be the keenest in this regard. However it would be easy think that since white tongues mean perfection, white skin is naturally perfect. But what if the person who wants their tongue bleached is dark or yellow skinned? Should they be discriminated against? Will this phenomenon lead to a new kind of racism? According to the white tongue theory the colour of one’s skin bears no relation to workings of the tongue; the tongue should be bleached because the tongue is the gateway to pure thinking, a pure tongue means a pure and godly mind, separate from the body. Skin colour is irrelevant. What is inside, in the mind, is what really counts. White is the colour of speech’s freedom. According to the theory, when the tongue is successfully bleached the dark side of the person’s nature is accordingly creamed, for words spoken have new meaning, and according to marketing prophets, this new meaning will whitewash any jaundiced attitudes and skewed thinking.

The first person to explore the possibilities of tongue bleaching is the mysterious scientist and necromancer Darryl Dharma. Back in the 80’s Dharma was an obscure thinker living in a one bedroom council flat with his parents. Since childhood he’s been obsessed with the possibilities of his mind. He read Descartes over breakfast. After puberty this obsession extended to his awkward body. A discomfort grew over the split between his mind and his body. This led Dharma to the idea of unifying his mind and body in a single presence of purity; inspired by the logic of the Trinity, but less one.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Opening excerpt from the eBook Johnny’s Unmaking – a philosophical dilemma

Let it be said that the only thing that really matters is matter. Who said that? Johnny. He’s a deep thinker who spends his salad mental days writing down his deepest thoughts. He’d like to get his thoughts printed on paper and published one day. He’s in the so-called aspirational class. So what’s Johnny been thinking? Well, he’s been thinking he’s nothing more than matter and or either also even as well as substance. A complicated piece of substance true, probably the most complex there is, him being a ‘conscious-of-himself’ human, but nevertheless still substance. He does things when he’s got the energy, and when he’s got the energy he does things. Doing and energy are to him the working substance of his substance. Maybe when he’s energy and he does things with energy, his energies clash within his body and he is matter. He’s been thinking that perhaps the atoms of such things could do with his splitting. And then there will be less of him to split; and then less and less. Johnny would like to do that. Keep splitting his body so he can unmake himself, until ultimately he’ll be just an unnameable substance, and with his mind looking on.

Those who reckon spirits and souls exist wouldn’t like what Johnny is planning to do. But Johnny always says fek ’em. Let them try and stop me. He knows what his substantial reality is about and pooh to anyone who thinks differently. They’re never going to change his mind. His matter comes first. It’s all that matters. Ha Ha. He’s a physical guy; he’s mind-flesh, in that his senses tell him about what’s going on around him while he is touching his body. He’s saying that it’s his inner side getting out and about in the surrounding world. He touches his girlfriend’s body. He’s made lots of love. Made some war too. So long as an experience creates tangible matter. His senses like it, and so does his mind.

Johnny’s wondering what is beyond his cells, nuclei and atoms. Beyond his matter. His mind says there’s something, it. By unmaking himself Johnny reckons he might find out. But then, who would know about it? Nobody’s got back from death and reported their experiences. It’s going to be the same problem. How far can too far go, just to prove a point? And will Johnny be almost nothing except mind; or nothing at all? From nothing comes nothing and from nothing there is the rest of everything that Johnny hopes for. His mind says so. He’s a package, more or less. Wrapped up in himself basically. It keeps him from disappearing into the four elements. He’s been with air and fire but they didn’t unmake him. They remade him. He doesn’t like his scars.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Nemn is the first confronting spirit to meet the pilgrim

The Fourteen Spirits

Nemn is the first confronting spirit to meet the pilgrim
In the clothing of the hangman, the head of an adder
The pilgrim from bloody birth is condemned to die
He must pay his respects to natural feelings of grief

Sofemoot appears as the corpse of a valiant knight
To present to the pilgrim all the worries he must bear
His refusal will mean he cannot expect a good life
For his lifelong burdens contribute to his timely death

Ibemu then comes as the aftermath of an avalanche
So much destruction, so much chaos and misery
The pilgrim beneath the rubble must climb the debris
And move on regardless, always looking behind

Ssocthelene his old mother clothed in virgin white
Mourns for her son whilst she embraces him whole
Though angry with her, he must forget her influence
She will understand when they meet in the afterlife

Iziot the brave in the tired body of a wartime mule
Gold medals dangling from its overburdened neck
He is the one friend, who stands long by his side
The one who loves the pilgrim in ways like no other

Colithac stands a proud ibis before him, his lover
She is ready to wipe away all the tears he has shed
And that passionate love is not to be taken for granted
Her determined patience is strength to be revered

Hotuumberi the wave is the next spirit to confront him
After the swell and mosh, and all the flotsam has left
The pilgrim for the second time will hold his breath
But for longer, his gasping for air tests his strength

Etah and her sisters are dervishes in his chaotic mind
They are dreams, consciousness and unfettered ego
They dress sensually and challenge his moral self
If his eyes are downcast they may lose their power

Mousmous the hurricane spirit blows in from the west
The blasted pilgrim tumbling, fearing he’ll be smashed
Fortunately the Great Ditch cradles him when he falls
It had migrated from America especially for this task 

Zentily has come as a tailor with an elephant’s snout
And delicately divests him of his ragged clothes
The tailor’s tape is measuring him up for linen cloths
From the shoulder to the knee he is covered as such

Naames is the spirit that will cause him the most pain
With hammer and nails his senses are crucified
He will neither hear, nor taste, smell, see nor touch
And in the air above he will hang, the butt of all insults

Colid is his earthly end and will dispense with his name
This spirit shall make the pilgrim into something unreal
Not born again, rewritten or complicated by overdubs
He will come a being quite unknown to this world

Wahola picks up the broken pieces and anoints them
And begins the ancient ritual of fervent worshipping
This is the beginning of the millennia of a great legend
The pilgrim is unrecognisable even to his maker

Athne the undertaker suited in white has a broad smile
And possesses the clean body and prepares it for rest
The pilgrim on the third morn will draw the stone blind
His anointed body fragrant, permeates from that day on