Tuesday, December 30, 2003

1000 SOULS - by Annie E. Dechant

Funny but I've watched her for so long
We have never shared a word
Her eyes never lift from the sidewalk
Long enough for me to say
You touch me so.
I feel your soul
And from my mother's blood
And my father's influence
I turn inside myself
And there is someone
The secret of a thousand souls
Funny but she only caught my eye
We had never shared a word
Her walk was tired and lonely
Reflection of a hundred years
I feel her soul. I know her soul
And from my mother's blood
And my father's influence
I turn inside myself
And there is someone
The secret of a thousand souls
Ain't it funny how you never met
And yet you feel them
Ain't it funny how you never spoke
And yet you know them
Mold a miracle and no mistake is made
In every day the wise and joyful pulse is
passed through life
The secret of a thousand souls

links to music.

How I Spent My Christmas Holiday

I'm out of the hospital and back to work today.
My fingertips are still numb, but I'm not in excruciating pain anymore.

On Christmas eve, I began getting numb in my left arm, from my shoulder down to my fingertips.
OK...that's a sign, I thought. Is it my heart? some kind of disease? Then the next day or two, things progressed from numbness to severe pain. This past Saturday morning, about 4 a.m. I couldn't bear the pain anymore and had my son take me to the ER. After a shot of Demerol that didn't kill the pain and and X-rays, I was admitted to the hospital. A Catscan later, they were telling me that it looked like I had a problem with my C-7th vertebrae. Thanks...just what I needed.

But I couldn't think of any trauma that I'd suffered to cause a problem with my disc. Neck traction, pain medication injections, many blood tests, and then an MRI. It turns out that I have an arthritic problem with my vertebrae. And I find that this is something that runs in my family...mother...sisters.

I got to meet a nice couple while hospitalized. O.J. (actually Orville) was my roommate with acute appendicitis (at age 62).
He and his lovely wife Rose proved to be very sociable fun new friends. We'll be doing New Years Eve together (if he gets out in time )

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Shelley told me...

The Century Tree
by Victoria Williams

Outside my house is a cactus plant
They call the century tree
Only once in a hundred years
It flowers gracefully
And you never know when it will bloom

Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late
Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late

Clementine Hunter was fifty-four before she picked up her paintings?
Old Uncle Taylor was eighty-one when he rode his bike
Across the plains of China Uh huh
And the sun was shining on that day
Just like today

Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late
Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late

Didn't know how to tell her for over thirty years
Kept locked up inside himself
No one saw the tears
Then she went away
And he woke up that day
So he went back to college at the age of sixty-three
Graduated with honors with an agriculture degree
And he joined up the Peace Corps at the age of sixty-nine
And he rode the grand rapids at the age of eighty-five
Now he brings roses to his sweetheart
She lives most anywhere
He sees someone suffering
He knows that despair
He offers them a rose
And some quiet prose
About dancing in a shimmering ballroom
Cause you never know when they will bloom

Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late
Hey, do you want to come out
And play the game
It's never too late

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Today's music

Ashley MacIsaac with Mary Jane Lamond - Sleepy Maggie(album mix)
Ashley MacIsaac with Mary Jane Lamond - Sleepy Maggie (the deep sleep mix)
Ashley MacIsaac with Mary Jane Lamond - Sleepy Maggie (The Sandman mix)

pure Cape Breton celtic

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Today's Music Playlist

Chuck Girard - For Brian Wilson (a Marc mix CD) - Rock 'n Roll Preacher
Chuck Girard - For Brian Wilson (a Marc mix CD) - You Ask Me Why
Eric Gales & Derek Trucks - Layla (Clapton cover)
Eric Clapton & Mark Knopfler - (Music For Montserrat 1997) - Layla
Gino Vanelli - Storm At Sunup - Where Am I Going?
Joe Walsh - (Warriors Soundtrack)- In The City
Jim Varney and Ricky Scaggs - Hot Rod Lincoln
Kennedy, Kirkpatrick, Madiera & Sprague - Coming From Somewhere Else - Hunger and Thirst
Prince - Emancipation (Disk 3) One Of Us
Susan Ashton - Angels of Mercy - Hunger And Thirst
Van Morrison - A Night In San Francisco - It's All In The Game-Make It Real One More Time
Van Morrison - A Night In San Francisco - Shakin' All Over-Gloria
John Lee Hooker with Big Head Todd and The Monsters - Boom Boom
Tito Puente Jr. & The Latin Rhythm - Oye Como Va
Santana - Oye Como Va (Salsa Remix Live)
Loreena McKennitt - Live in San Francisco - The Lady of Shalott

Thursday, December 04, 2003


coffee in the morning;
cream, sweetner
not too dark
not too continental

new young lady on the train;
new to my eyes
a smile from her
nice start of the day

petite blonde regular;
she now looks pregnant
no smiles from her...
no eyes

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

the previews look good. And, ahem, T'pol is looking extra hot this season.
"Look, they showed her boob", I said
"You aren't allowed to watch that", James replied.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

the concussion

I had a concussion once. I was young then, in grade school.
I did not know I had a concussion until I started having hallucinations and nightmares.

One night, I remember wandering around all over our 2-story house. The memory is vague, but I was trying to get away from a man who was dressed in a trenchcoat and a fedora. Kind of like a secret agent.

I ended up in my sisters' bedroom. The three of them shared a room together.
There I stood, hiding behind the open door, next to the wall...scared out of my wits. The "agent" was putting some kind of plastic tube between the crack of the door and the wall, where the door is hinged. I thought he was trying to pump poison gas into the room.

Terrified, I slammed the door shut. A very loud slam! My sisters all awoke to that sudden noise..."what's wrong? what's the matter?"

"There's a man out there!" I whispered, very frightened.


"In the hallway..."

All of a sudden, the door flung back open. In the doorway stood a figure, backlighted from the hall light. The person's hair standing on end, like some kind of Albert Einstein.

"What's going on here?"

"Eeekk!!!!" as all 3 sisters screamed at the same time.

It was my mom, who'd also been awakened by the commotion.

Then my dad, looking like Homer Simpson in his Fruit Of The Loom briefs awoke, wandering through the bedroom door.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"There a man in the house trying to kill me", I said in a hushed tone.

"Where?" We all looked down the hall, at the bathroom door. It was an old fashioned house and the door had a fogged-glass window in it. The light of the bathroom was on, shining through the window.

"He's in the bathroom!" I half whispered.

My dad, crept to the bathroom door and quietly and firmly grabbing the door handle, flung the door open. No one was there.

Things finally settled down, and my parents realized that I must have been having a large nightmare.

Another night soon after...I was upstairs in bed...sleeping because of how terrible I felt.
Everyone else was downstairs, reading, playing board games and otherwise entertaining themselves. Upstairs, I lurched wide awake. Again terror pierced my mind.
I jumped up and ran down the stairs, shouting...

"It's coming! It's Coming!. " I was scared witless. Running across the living room I jumped and landed in Dad's lap. With a deep look of concern, he asked
"What's coming, Marc?"

I looked at him, looked at everybody else in the room, confused. And blurted:
"The Fourth of July!"

Their mouths fell open as they looked at me. Then everyone started laughing really hard. I sat there confused.
Thinking, in my mind's eye I could see...in sparkly letters like they use to make the ground fireworks...

> 4 T H_O F_J U L Y <

Slowly I started to realize what I'd said. The laughter eased my mind as I joined in.

I ended up going to the hospital. X-rays revealed a concussion.

Thursday, June 19, 2003


I took the Belief-O-Matic™ quiz today.
I was surprised at my scores. The last time I took this test, I topped out at Reform Judaism. My ever changing mind.

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (98%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (91%)
4. Sikhism (88%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (85%)
6. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (84%)
7. Secular Humanism (84%)
8. Reform Judaism (74%)
9. Nontheist (71%)
10. Neo-Pagan (70%)
11. Theravada Buddhism (67%)
12. Taoism (64%)
13. Mahayana Buddhism (58%)
14. New Age (57%)
15. Jehovah's Witness (55%)
16. Islam (51%)
17. Orthodox Judaism (51%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (49%)
19. Jainism (47%)
20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (44%)
21. Orthodox Quaker (43%)
22. New Thought (42%)
23. Scientology (34%)
24. Hinduism (32%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (24%)
26. Roman Catholic (24%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (20%)

Friday, May 23, 2003

I'm invisible. You can't see me. Or do you just ignore me?

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I'm feeling good today. The air is crisp and just right for my broken-in denim jacket.
I'm in touch with timeless elements...namely a fresh bowl of Cheerios. I mean, Cheerios have been here forever.
Don't we all remember them from the very beginnings of our childhood? Today's bowl is with bananas.

And I'm reading a good book. William Gibson's (of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic fame) new novel Pattern Recognition
Here's an interesting part I read this morning concerning how the protagonist, Cayce, is troubled by her current employer's way of manipulating her into taking on a job she really doesn't want to do.

"She [Cayce] isn't feeling easy with any of this. She doesn't know quite what to do with [Hubertus] Bigend's proposition, which has kicked her into one of those modes that her therapist, when last she had one, would lump under the rubric of 'old behaviors.' It consisted of saying no, but somehow not quite forcefully enough, and then continuing to listen. With the result that her 'no' could be gradually chipped away at, and turned into a 'yes' before she herself was consciously aware that this was happening. She had thought she had been getting such better around this, but now she feels it happening again"

"Bigend, a formidable practioner of the other side of this dance, seems genuinely incapable of imagining that others wouldn't want to do whatever it is that he wants them to. Margot had cited this as both the most problematic and, she admitted, most effective aspect of his sexuality: He approached every partner as though they already had slept together. Just as, Cayce was now finding, in business, every Bigend deal was treated as a done deal, signed and sealed. If you hadn't signed with Bigend, he made you feel as though you had, but somehow had forgotten that you had."

"There was something amorphous, foglike, about his will: It spread out around you, tenuous, almost invisible; you found yourself moving mysteriously, in directions other than your own."

copyright 2003 by William Gibson

I had to buy new jeans last night. I'm down to a 38 waist, from my maximum of 42. 30 pounds since January. It reminds me of the time I was showering in the co-ed shower at one of the dorms at the University of California at Davis. I was sitting in the shower, letting the water spraw down over me in one of the few pleasurable moments of that time of my life. Looking down I noticed my stomach...that wasn't there...gee...I've lost weight. And I was glad...because weight had been a problem in my young life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Just Fine Music

I was dozing on the couch last night, and was suddenly wakened by the most delightful music.

It was Merle Haggard and the Strangers on Austin City Limits.
This music was just so delightful! I got a big smile on my face and couldn't stop chuckling.
I hadn't heard much of Merle...just a few songs on the radio on long trips hitchhiking in Oregon in the early 70's.
And "Okee from Muskogee".

But these songs were just great! The music was familiar...West Coast/Bakersfield with a nice touch of Texas Swing.
The the music had a familiar ring, they were different and unique with hooks that took me places. Fiddle solos, honking sax, blaring trumpet and Merle's understated lead quitar solos on his Fender tele.

Merle's voice is distinct and it seemed that his vocals were effortless. This band was perfect and lent many of solo performance.

I'll have to see if there's a rerun. This show also featured a segment with The Derailers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

...how was your weekend?

My son and I are sitting in the dark, watching "The Ring" on DVD on Saturday night.

Suddenly we see a spotlight, sweeping across the front of the house. I get up to look, and I see a police cruiser with it's spotlight playing across the front of the house. I turn on the hall light and go outside to see what is the matter. The cruiser pulls into the driveway and a cop rolls down the window,
"does Jonathan McCune live here?"
I'm thinking, "what has he gotten himself into this time?"
"Yes", I reply
"Is he a member of a rock band?"
"Yes, he is."
"Does he has a brown cadillac?" (Jonathan doesn't have a car, period)
"Is there a problem, officer?"
"Well, yes. Last night there was a call that incurred quite a large expense"

I'm puzzled.

Then Jonathan comes out on the porch.
"Is that Jonathan?"
"Yes, I'm Jonathan", he replies with puzzled look on his face.

The cops are out of the car. One of them pulls me aside to talk to me alone.
The story: Last night we got a call at the Mall about a suspicious package.
We had to call in the bomb squad from Allegheny County (the Pittsburgh, PA county) and it took them 3 hours to open this case.
We had to empty out half of the mall.
The case had a logo written on it that said "Better Off Dead" with a Pennsylvania Keystone picture.
There was a note in the case that said "If you find this then you are Gay" (not really accurate)
There was a web address. We went to the web and saw the page for your son's band.

My son's band is named "Better Off Dead"

I'm thinking about what the cops probably were thinking...a suspicious case...could be a bomb...says "Better Of Dead" on it...

Jonathan is beginning to put 2 and 2 together.
"There was a case that had our band's name on it, that we threw away, but that is the only thing I know about it."

Turns out that Jonathan's friends picked him up after work at the Mall. The driver had a bunch of junk in his car, and one thing was an old brief case that was empty, except for a microphone stand base. And a note that said, "If you find this, call this number" with a phone number; and on the reverse side it said "You are gay".
Well, they didn't just put it in the garbage, like a in a dumpster...they tried to throw it away in a garbage can near one of the mall door entrances. Since it didn't fit in the can, they just left it beside the can, and left to go home.

But then someone later took the case, ran into the arcade just inside the mall entrance, and left the case there, yelling something, ran out of the mall and jumped into a brown cadillac.

The cops ask Jonathan to go to the station to talk to them. He's questioned for a couple of hours.

The cops want someone to pay this bill. They want the band to admit that they set up some kind of publicity stunt. They try to coerce the band into signing a confession admitting to such. They read Jonathan his meranda rights and ask him to write a report of his story. He cooperates, because he asked if he doesn't and doesn't give up his rights, if he'd be arrested. They tell him, yes, they'd probably arrest him.

Fortunately they believe Jonathan's story. But they want to pin this on the kid who originally put the case next to the garbage can. Fortunately they have two girls as witnesses who testify that they just left the case next to the garbage and then left.

Friday, March 14, 2003

...feelin' groovy

It's a nice day today. warming in Chicagoland.

We started the day listening to the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" and "Beatles IV" albums.
"It's ok until you start singing", my son sez

On the way to work, I choose to walk on the street,

 not through the underground station, as I've been wont to do in the cold.

On the street I see all the people's faces I've been missing all winter.

At the corner..."Isn't your head cold?" a nice older man (well, he's older than me) asks, as we cross the street.
"Not today", I reply with a smile.

I almost miss the elevator, but dash in at the last moment, 

to a nice smile of the woman facing me in the car.
(and she's very nice looking too.)
This morning I get a dark Sumatra coffee...just because I'm feeling groovy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Before I Changed My Mind

I was brought to the Assembly by the efforts of Jim Sears.

I had become a christian in the spring of 1972. That was the spring I and my brother had attended WHLO Radio Appreciation Day at Lake Chippewa, in Ohio. It was an all day music festival, filled with music and drugs. I was on my third hit of acid, taking it all in.

The Glass Harp hit the stage. Phil Keaggy, dressed in a brown velour or suede blazer...sweeping his arm across the crowd seated in the field at the outdoor stage. "It's a wonderful day", he said, in the bright sun. "God made this day." He said...and the band began to play. Amazing music. Across the field of music fans, Jesus Freaks began to stand up and raise their hands to the sky, with eyes closed. It was surreal. I wasn't high anymore.

A spectator, taking this all in...after the concert a pocket of christians standing off to the side on the midway.
A middle-aged couple kneeling while christians laid hands on them.

"What are they doing?" asked my Thai friend, recently in the country. The friend who'd explained to me a about Buddah a few days before. "It's some kind of religious thing. They are praying to God"

Keaggy, playing his acoustic guitar...the first time I heard the song "They'll Know We Are Christians by our love"

Later, at the waters edge on the lake shore
Phil Keaggy, sitting small on his guitar case...playing his martin acoustic...testifying to his faith.
...the sinners prayer...me raising my hand...looking around to see who was watching...repeat after me...
the next day at home "Mom, guess what? Tom got saved!"
Her indignant Roman Catholic reaction.
Tom's denial...my silence about my own sinner's prayer.

a couple of months later...more acid...a church group witnessing at a carnival in Baltimore.
me saying the sinners prayer again. This time I was serious.
Not waiting for the "repeat after me"...but just going headlong into my own prayer for salvation.
Months of being a newby christian...sampling all of the community churches...I wasn't exactly methodistpresbyteriancatholicpentacostaletc... just a Jesus Freak.

During that summer...I began to receive letters from an old drug buddy...Jim Sears. Jim had really flipped out on acid
He'd thought he was Jesus. The last time I spoke with him was in his acid crazed talk of his vision of the Electric Church.
He'd climbed the stairs to the Electric Church in the sky...he saw Hendrix there.

The letters sent from Tulsa showed a lucid, healed Jim
Letters fill with scripture...doctrine about forsaking all
telling me how if I want to be a perfect christian, I need to follow Jesus like the apostles did.
months of letters...and I was convinced that I needed to go on to the next step in my christianity.

without ever having seen the brethren, or JR, or experienced their lifestyle, I left to join the brethren in Gainsville, FLA (hitchhiking in December in a snowstorm from Wellsville, Ohio to FL).

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

a friend asked:

"So what would I do if I could do anything and everything?"

I would become an archeologist.
I would learn Latin. I think...for thousands of years, Latin was the main language of the learned. Can you imagine how much was written over the period of so many centuries? I'd like to haunt the old libraries and archives and see what the people of old wrote.

I'd also like to play my guitar in small intimate venues all over the world...little clubs or home concerts.
Like the lyrics of a song I once quoted here:
. . . I have an artistic bent
It's like a coin thats spent
On people deaf, dumb, and blind
They pay no mind
I wonder someday, I hope soon
Get my guitar in tune
And play that song here in my head
Before I'm dead. .

I'd re-visit all of the old places that made an impact on me in this life:
- sleep under the stars in Montana...I want to see that breathtaking sky again...away from the light pollution of the big cities
- hike the dear trails of Cool, California
- hike the wash at Molino Basin on Mt. Lemmon
- take a warm shower in the water fall at the Sink Hole in Millhopper Woods, Gainsville, FL
- bake cookies with Chris Olson
- buy tacos from the street vendors in Juarez, Mexico
- ride the rapids at the river in Spokane, Washington
- Maybe I'd bungee jump
- Maybe I'd Skydive
- visit Alaska and look for Mastadon Ivory (I had a friend who used to make Alaska runs for ivory to do scrimshaw)
- finally eat an Abalone sandwich with Jeff Smith
- visit the volcanoes in Hawaii and Pompei
---there's so much more...and so little time


When my son James was born, I was immediately in love.
I was amazed at how this love blossomed instantly and I knew it would be forever.

James did not have to coax me to fall in love with him, or to pass any test of loyalty.
As his father I cannot help but love him.
And as he gets older, through thick and thin, I still love him.
Through discipline and heartache and adolescent angst, I still love him.

and I look back at my mother...and how she sacrificed and gave of her self for me and my siblings.
How she was patient in love
throughout all my screwball ideas, she loves me
throughout all the lonely time, she loves me

seeing the substance of my love as a father for my son;
I am not surprised that my mother loves me.
I am not surprised that God loves me.
one does not work for this kind of love...to give it or accept it.

Friday, January 17, 2003

what lies beyond?

I've finished a book called The Seekers, by Daniel J. Borstin, and a very good
book by Carl Sagan titled
The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark which is a book that examines and authoritatively debunks such
celebrated fallacies as witchcraft, faith healings, demons, and UFOs.

What lies beyond?
In the beginning I was in awe of God.
When I went to mass on the first day of my first grade school year at
Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Elementary School in Wellsville, Ohio;
I was sure that I'd enter a realm of new knowledge.

I felt that the people around me knew something more about God.

I remember the sight of the host in it's golden chamber, held high by the priests.
I remember the smell of incense, and the smoke that filled the altar area as the priest swung the censer.
I remember the sound of the bells...the hand-held chimes that the altar boy rang strategically during the mass.

I took for granted that God was there, and that everyone one else who came before me already knew He was there.
God and Jesus and the Blessed Mother were as real as the fairies and elves that my mother dutifully pointed out to me. She'd point to the window and
say "Look, a fairy!" I'd swing my head so quickly...but just not quick enough to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature. When I get older, like
my mom, I'll be wiser and be able to see them before they jump away, out of sight.

And the Tooth fairy dutifully left the quarter under my pillow, in exchange for my tooth.

And Santa Clause even sent me a letter...in the summertime even. And when I
turned to catch a fleeting view of a man in a car driving down the tree-lined Broadway Ave in my hometown; as my mom said "Look!, there's Santa Clause!"
"That's no Santa", I replied. "Where's his suit?"
"Those are his summer cloths" was mom's wise answer.

And the Easter Bunny hid those eggs for us to find.

The world was full of invisible, spiritual, powerful beings.


As a junior in high school, I began to seriously doubt my Roman Catholic faith. The faith that I had been so curious about during my 8 years of parochial schooling. I had always asked to many questions of my teachers.

"What if you were a bank robber your whole life, but you saved somebody by pushing them out of the way of an oncoming car...but got killed. Would you go to heaven?"

"What if you were a very good person, but was a Protestant? Would you go to heaven?"

When I asked the hard questions, the teacher would say "You'll have to ask Father about that one."
But I never really want to go ask Father. Maybe it was a fear of the wizened priest...would my questions be frowned upon...or thought frivolous.

But back to my loss of faith...I was sure that I was going to Hell. No stopping at Purgatory for me.
Why would I leave my childhood faith? Well, I thought I was already doomed.
Because once...during a moment of perverse curiosity, after going back to my pew from receiving Holy Communion...I stuck my finger in my mouth and actually TOUCHED the host. I immediately entered a state of remorse. How could I have done such a thing? How could I have desecrated the Holy Sacrament with my vile finger? This became the sin I never, ever confessed.
Even when I was about to receive the sacrament of Confirmation...and had to make a good confession so that I didn't have any sins on my soul when I received my Confirmation from the Bishop..I couldn't bear to speak what I'd done to the priest.

So I received my Confirmation, while having a mortal sin on my soul. So now, I compounded my sin. My soul must be black as coal. I am surely going straight to Hell. Do not pass Purgatory.

But slowly...as I began to mature and see just a little glimpse of the world around me. I began to doubt my faith...and my self-imposed sinful nature.

It was during this time that my new, hippie intellect began to take hold. I began to dabble in hippie religion (which was not yet called "New Age" at the time). A little Hinduism, A little Baba Ram Das, some Keroac by way of Tom Wolf, some Yippie propaganda. Some witchcraft and Anton Levey's Satanic Bible...and I was off to a roll-your own religious experience. A brief stop-off through Eckankar and Theosophy.

And then coming back full circle to a "Born-Again" Christian experience, which lasted 28 years. (which is another whole story)

And now, the big question mark is back. What lies beyond? What happens when I die?
I am now convinced that no one really knows. Everyone is believing a made up religion.
They believe because everyone else believes. They think that everyone else has a good understanding of the religion. It's just me, the individual who begins to believe what I think I should believe.
As in my first Catholic years...everyone else seems to know all about this religion. I'm sure I'll catch on when I get a little older...spend a little more time...learn a little more.

Carl Sagan had a good analogy in his book, "The Demon Haunted World". A chapter titled "A Dragon In My Garage". Let me quote:

---------begin quote-------------
"A Fire-Breathing dragon lives in my garage."
Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard
Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to
check it out, see for yourself. There have

"Show me", you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a
ladder, empty cans, an old tricycle--but no dragon.

"Where's the dragon?" you ask.

"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention
that she's an invisible dragon."

You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the
dragon's footprints.

"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

"Good idea," I say "but the invisible fire is also heatless."

You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

"Good idea, except she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special
explanation of why is won't work.

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? IF there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypotheses is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.

The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility.

Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair to me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative--merely because you render the Scottish verdict of 'not proved'.

Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons-to say nothing about invisible ones-you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you they have dragons in their garages--but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so add a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans must catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell
you. But maybe all of those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all..

Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself: On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence"--no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it--is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder when the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion."

-----end of quote-----

end of part I

Thursday, January 16, 2003

My God-Search

Personally...my whole life is living for God.
I have been on a God-search since I was a child
I have stopped at many points along the way and believed many things.
My bro. Tom taught me a song--
"I've traveled far and wide, seen life from many sides;
many would be happy if they could.
I found the happy way
I met God the night I prayed;
I've tasted and I know the Lord is good.
--Good, the Lord's been good to me
He's filled my empty life with reality
Good, much better than I thought it would;
I've tasted and I know the Lord is Good.

Traveling far and wide;
many say you've got to do this to be totally for God
You've got to do that to be totally for God.
In the Assembly, we taught and believed that you had to sell and dispose of everything to be totally for God
others teach you got to keep certain rules and laws to be totally for God;
others teach that you've got to deny and forsake what God created to be holy (set apart) for God.

I wonder and think...how can I be totally for God? What am I doing wrong? How come I'm not perfect?
-in the search I embraced the idolatry of mankind's imaginations of God.
mankind's idea that God must require the ultimate sacrifice to be pleased
-sacrificing virgins on the altars of stone, and in watery cenotes so He will be pleased
feeding babies to Moloch so He will be pleased
there must be something we can do so that He will be pleased.

But the teacher Jesus boiled down all of the hundreds of years of tradition to what is needful;
anulled thousands of years of vain imaginations and schizoid religious voices to what was needful;
And I realize that with all my heart I already do such..."Love God with all your heart mind soul and strength"
and "love you neighbor as yourself"...striving to do unto others that which I'd want them to do unto me.
The Golden Rule, that was spoken by Confucius, taught by the Greeks and Jews, now quoted by Jesus.

Is that all? It can't be as simple as that. You mean, I don't have to keep 613 mitzvat...or the 10 commandments, or the 7 Noahide commands?
Well those two that Jesus said, wrap up the whole law. If you are keeping those two, then you are keeping all.

I realize that I already am totally for God.