Saturday, October 01, 2005

In Me Believe ( 1 )

So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end; it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?
Stephen Hawkins, cosmologist

As recorded in my private journal:

My car broke down when I once traveled through rural Mexico. By chance I noticed two individuals sitting cross-legged by some cactus not far from where I stood. When I approached the two men one of them appeared to be in some sort of trance. I turned to the other man, who informed me that "Carlos is talking to the animals."

Reported in 2005
A free-lance journalist on assignment in the Gaza strip had been observing a screaming Israeli settler being dragged off by two Israeli soldiers. The journalist's Hebrew was not good but he thought the settler had mumbled something about someone "very important" had given him the land--all of it. The journalist wondered why the Israel government, the only democracy in the region, would do this to one of its citizens?

An Arab-American businessman I knew slightly had been asked to meet someone in a small coffee shop two years ago in downtown Damascus, Syria. The nondescript stranger arrived a few minutes later and told this acquaintance of mine that he had a "once in a lifetime proposition." The man handed the American businessman four sticks of dynamite and a triggering device. The startled businessman went to stand up to leave, but this stranger pleaded with him to just hear him out. He informed the American that he could guarantee for all eternity a new Ferrari or Porsche every year, between 20 to 24 of the most beautiful women to satisfy his every need, along with an unlimited supply of money, fine homes, good food, and unimaginable luxuries--forever. The American businessman would only have to enter a grocery store in a nearby country....

Several years ago I was seated at an airport bar in Little Rock, Arkansas. Unexpectedly, a man beside me introduced himself and offered me one of the crackers he was munching on. I don't like crackers so I politely said no thank you. But taking a bite of his oval-shaped cracker, this stranger told me that he was "eating the body." Before I could get some explanation, the man sipped his glass of red wine, and informed me with a pleasant smile that he was "drinking the blood."

Seven years old
No Santa Claus! To this day I remember in almost every detail when my best friend told me there was no kindly, pipe smoking, overweight, bearded white man, who dropped down from the chimney or came in the back door to deliver my Christmas presents. It was a devastating revelation when my mother, a few minutes later, who was ironing clothes in the kitchen, confirmed this truth. To this day, however, I still like reading on Christmas Eve, It was the night before Christmas and all through the house....

Derrick Harley, a good friend of mine, in 1989 was visited by a large, spotted tree frog in a dream. The frog told Derrick to "go forth" and recruit 23 disciples. This he accomplished withing six months. Derrick was also instructed to self-publish a short monograph. The monograph outlined the basic tenets of the Grean.

By 1991 the disciples were proselytizing throughout the United States, Brazil and Western Europe. By 1992 there were nearly 2,000 followers of the Grean throughout the world. Sadly, a druken motorcyclist struck and killed Derrick while he was meditating by the side of the road in upstate New York in the summer of 1992. The movement collapsed. But what if Derrick had lived?
The writer Salman Rushdie was asked, in a recent television interview, what was the most important lesson he'd learned from the Iranian fatwa issued against him, and which lasted for nearly ten years, condemning him to death because of alleged blasphemy against Islam. Rushdie replied that you can not compromise with religious fundamentalism.

The former head of Bush's Council on Environmental Quality, as we eventually learned, "modified" reports on climate change. If you don't like the science--change it.

If it were only the theater of the absurd, but it's not. It really is zero-sum.

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